Benefits Of Journaling


I swear by keeping a journal.  In fact, I write in mine daily, & have a reminder on my cell phone to do so.   It helps me to vent when I’m upset & to remember the many things for which I’m grateful for.  It also helps me to keep track of when events in my life have happened.


I’ve also realized that a journal can help you heal from narcissistic abuse & keep your sanity while you’re in the midst of it.


There is something about seeing things in writing that brings such clarity.  It makes things more real.  It validates your experiences.  It shows you that yes, that really did happen & it happened that way.


Keeping a journal can help you to keep track of the truth, so when the narcissist in your life insists that a situation isn’t the way you remember, you can look back on your journal & see the truth.


If you’re considering going no contact, it may help you to decide what to do by seeing events in writing.  As I said, seeing things in writing brings clarity, & you need that when trying to decide if no contact is the right solution for you.


Journaling gives you a safe place to share your feelings without judgment.  What you write is between you & God only.  Sharing with people, even the most well meaning ones, can sometimes lead to hurt feelings.  That is something you don’t have to worry about with a journal.


I’ve found a website for a free, online, private journal that I just love.  allows you to keep your journal private or make it public.  You can change the colors of the “pages” to personalize it if you like.  (No, I don’t get any bonus for recommending this diary site- I just like it & thought you might too).


I hope if you don’t currently keep a journal, you’ll consider doing so, Dear Reader.  It really can be a very useful tool for keeping mentally healthy.




Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

Distracting Yourself

People are often less than thrilled with facing unpleasant things, such as emotional healing.  It’s quite understandable, really.  Emotional work isn’t fun!  It’s very hard, very draining work.  It’s also very necessary.


I’ve caught myself many times distracting myself from the emotional work at hand.  There have been plenty of times I’ve had a flashback at a very inconvenient time, & couldn’t deal with it right then. Times like this, I don’t think distracting yourself for a short time is a bad idea at all.  In fact, it may be absolutely necessary, such as when I had a flashback while driving.


There have been plenty of other times when a flashback has happened or a repressed memory pops back into my mind that I distract myself even when I have the time & ability to focus on it.  I’m just tired of things that happened 10, 20, or 30 years ago still affecting my life at 45.  It’s exhausting & maddening, so sometimes I ignore the flashback or memory & try to avoid thinking about it.


I’ve noticed many others who have survived narcissistic abuse do the same thing.


This isn’t good though!  I’ve come to realize that most of these things come to me when I have the time & I believe that is for a reason- so these awful things can be dealt with right then.


Avoiding facing issues only postpones the problem, it doesn’t make it go away.  It is best to deal with things as soon as possible.  After all, God allowed it to come to mind for a reason.  He must know you are able to deal with it & need to do so.  He wouldn’t allow this memory to return to your mind if coping with it wasn’t going to help you in some way.


Don’t get me wrong- there are plenty of times we need to distract ourselves from the work of recovery.  If you’ve been focusing on narcissism & narcissistic abuse for a long time, it’s time for a break.  If you have the awful experience of having a flashback behind the wheel like I did, you definitely don’t need to think about it then- you need to focus on driving!  If you write about the topic like I do, frequent distractions are a must to keep your sanity.


I believe the key is using wisdom.  I know in my heart when I should focus & when it’s time for a break.  Granted, I don’t always pay attention, but I do know.  When I ignore those “knowings,” I feel it.  The memory that came back won’t leave me alone, I get angry, moodier than usual, tired mentally & physically.


I realize I need to ask God to help me in this area, to do His will.  To face things as needed & to take breaks when needed.  I would encourage you to do the same, Dear Reader.  It will be good for your mental health!







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

Subtle Manipulation Tactics

Narcissists are very manipulative.  They project their faults onto their victims when confronted about their bad behavior.  They criticize anything & everything about the victim, destroying their self esteem, until only an empty shell of a person exists.  They gaslight.  They go from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde on a moment’s notice to prevent those they want to impress from seeing their dark side.


There are some other, very subtle behaviors narcissists do to abuse as well.  This article will discuss some of those behaviors that may have slipped by you unnoticed.


Taking on too much control in a relationship.  Whether it’s a romantic partner or a parent, having no say or control can destroy one’s self esteem.  For example, if you grew up with an engulfing narcissistic mother, she probably didn’t allow you to do much because she claimed you couldn’t do anything right.  This easily can lead to feeling extremely insecure as an adult, because somewhere inside, you don’t believe you can do anything right.  Or, for example, if the new person you’re dating insists on driving every time you two go out, over time, this can lead to you feeling anxious about your driving skills.  Especially if you grew up with a narcissistic parent or two & have fragile self esteem to start with.  My ex husband did this to me along with severely criticizing my driving, & as a result, I’m a very anxious driver.


Questioning everything.  Naturally, there are going to be times you give wrong information & need correction.  No one is perfect.  But, if your narcissistic parent or partner questions & corrects everything about you, then this is designed to keep you off balance & feeling insecure.  Basically, it’s like telling you that you’re stupid, & the other person knows better.  It worked for Satan in the Garden of Eden.  Genesis 3:1 says, “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” (NIV)


Blaming you.  For what?  Everything.  In 2014, I had a bit of a rough patch.  While splitting firewood, my husband accidentally dropped a large log on my big toe, which I’m pretty sure broke it.  About a week after, I picked up a plastic bag.  As I picked it up, it gave & a new can of Lysol landed on the same foot, near the broke toe.  Shortly after, something else heavy landed on the same foot, although I forget what it was now.  When I told my mother about this, she told me it was all my fault- I should be more careful.  Blame for things that aren’t your fault can create a feeling of shame inside.  You begin to think you should’ve known better, or done something differently.  How could you be so stupid as to do whatever you did?!  Blaming creates a nasty internal dialog.


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

When You’re Suffering…

I read a wonderful quote recently & unfortunately I have no clue who said it.  It reads,


“Something very beautiful happens to people when their world has fallen apart: a humility, a nobility, a higher intelligence emerges at just the point when our knees hit the floor.”


Not only are those lovely words, but it’s very true.


Devastating events are painful, & no one wants to go through them.  Unfortunately though, they are an inevitable part of life.  Trying to focus on the good that can come out of bad things will help you get through them.  I admit, that can seem impossible at the time, but it really is possible.


Getting sick last year, I quickly gained a new perspective.  I stopped sweating the small stuff.  I abandoned friendships that were one sided or superficial.  I realized I had to stop putting up with being mistreated, & say no or stand up for myself.  I cared less  what others thought of me & my beliefs, & became  a bit more outspoken about them.  This chased some people out of my life.  The symptoms forced me to rest often, which I truly needed to do but didn’t do before.  (Although I still struggle in this area, it has improved somewhat)  So in a strange way, I’m actually glad for what happened- it caused me to become mentally healthier & take better care of myself.


I know this isn’t easy to do, especially in the throes of a painful situation, but look for what you are learning or how you are growing.  If you feel unable to do so, ask God to help you.  While doing this may not seem useful, it really can be.  You’ll gain wisdom you didn’t have, which can help you to heal & maybe even to help others as well.  Learning about narcissism was that way for me.  I was devastated by narcissistic abuse my entire life, then suddenly I learned I wasn’t the problem- NPD was!  That knowledge helped pick me back up after being knocked down, & eventually to help other victims too.  I can’t say I’m grateful for the abuse I’ve gone through, but I am grateful that God brought good from it.  It means that suffering counted for something!


The same thing can happen to you, too.  Why not make a decision today to allow God to work good things out of your pain?  Ask Him to do so, & He will.

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

Is Feeling Compassion For Narcissists Good Or Bad?

I’ve read quite a few times lately that victims of narcissistic abuse should never have compassion on narcissists.  Narcissists don’t deserve compassion.  Feeling sorry for them only opens the door for you to fall for their gaslighting & abuse.


Honestly, I don’t totally agree.


While it’s true having compassion on someone can lead you to tolerate things you normally don’t allow, that isn’t the case 100% of the time.  For so many of us who have been abused by narcissists, we have learned what narcissism entails.  We can predict the gaslighting & crazy making they will do, so we know how to deal with it when it happens.  We also realize how healthy boundaries look, & have no trouble enforcing those boundaries.  We are  often also able to feel pity for the narcissist who abused us- after all, whatever made them the way they are must have been pretty terrible.  Their behavior is so dysfunctional.  It’s very sad.  We can balance compassion for them with maintaining healthy behavior on our part.


God has enabled me to pray for my parents daily, even on those days I am so hurt & angry, I don’t care where they spend eternity.  Sometimes, my prayers are very insincere, but I pray anyway because God understands how I feel & honors the fact I’m trying.


So why bother praying for them, especially during bad times?   Why care at all for people who have hurt me so deeply, & who won’t even acknowledge I live with C-PTSD?  They don’t deserve it!  They’ve done too much while refusing to acknowledge anything they’ve done!


One reason is because God wants us to pray for other people, even those who have abused us.  I also believe is because having compassion helps me to remember that I am NOT like them.  Some examples of ways they are different than me are:


Narcissists don’t care about anything about anyone.  People are nothing more than items to be used to benefit the narcissist.  They are not entitled to normal human feelings, needs, wants, likes or dislikes.


Normal people though care about other people.  Even people who have hurt us- we don’t wish awful things on those people.  We may not actively wish the best on those people constantly, but we also don’t wish the worst on them.


Feeling compassion, even periodically, for the person who abused you, who made you experience indescribable pain,  I think, can be a good thing.  It’s a reminder that you are NOT like them!  You instead have escaped what is meant to destroy you with your humanity in tact.  That is really a big accomplishment!  Definitely something to be proud of!  Escaping narcissistic abuse without being bitter isn’t an easy task.


I truly believe that this is an individual thing though.  Just because I’m good with feeling compassion for the narcissists in my life doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you too.  And you know what?  That’s OK!  God has very individualized plans for each person, even those in similar situations.  I’ve met some people with narcissistic mothers who feel no compassion for them, only disgust their mothers chose this dysfunctional, abusive way of life.  It doesn’t mean they’re carrying around bitterness or anger, only disgust for the poor choices their mothers have made.  This works for them just fine.  It enables them to keep firm & healthy boundaries in place or to stay no contact.  It doesn’t hinder their healing process, either.   So if you feel that having compassion for your narcissistic mother is wrong for you, don’t feel bad!  That may just be the path for you.









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

You’re Much Stronger Than You Think!

Something crossed my mind recently…


I thought about how I dealt with the abuse as it happened to me in my younger days.  I didn’t deal with it.  For one thing, I didn’t have the time.  It was one crisis after another after another for years.  I didn’t have time to deal with something before something else happened.  For another thing, I grew up thinking I never had any real problems.  It didn’t matter how much something hurt me.  My pain was never validated, so I believed it was no big deal.


As a result, I went on with life as if nothing happened no matter what trauma I’d just endured.  Like, when I was 19 & had my first nervous breakdown.  I locked myself in my parents’ bathroom & was catatonic for roughly 5 hours.  By the time I came out, I had about one hour to get to work.  I was at work on time, & went through my day as if nothing happened, in spite of being tired & feeling very “off.”  The prior year, my mother came to my job, screamed at me in the parking lot, humiliating me.  When I went back inside, I took a few minutes to relax only because my supervisor told me to, then got back to work.  In fact, after both situations, I ended up comforting my now ex husband because he said such situations were hard for him, rather than receiving comfort from him or anyone for that matter.


I used to think these things meant I was strong but I realized something today.  I wasn’t strong- I was dysfunctional.  True strength would have meant I faced these situations & took care of myself after.  Instead, I told myself they were no big deal.


When you are abused by a narcissist, you get a very warped view of all sorts of things, including what true strength is.  Pretending things don’t bother you when they do isn’t true strength.  It’s merely setting yourself up for these things to manifest in bad ways at a later date.


I’m telling you this today, Dear Reader, because if you feel weak, like so many victims do, because you can’t seem to “get over” the abuse  you endured, you need to realize you aren’t weak.  Quite the contrary.  It takes a lot of strength to face past abuse & trauma.  It doesn’t take a lot of strength to ignore it.


It takes a lot of strength to live daily with PTSD or C-PTSD.  It’s  incredibly difficult living with constant memories of things you wish you could forget but can’t, managing symptoms, pulling yourself out of a panic attack, calming yourself after nightmares or coming back to reality after a flashback.  Things things take a great deal of strength.


It also takes a great deal of strength to change, to try to live a healthy life instead of a dysfunctional one.  Change can be scary since it’s going into foreign territory.  The familiar is comfortable, even when it is painful, so many people find it easier to stay dysfunctional than to change.


Developing new & healthy boundaries is downright terrifying when you haven’t had them before, so setting & enforcing them also takes a tremendous amount of strength.  When people who had weak or no boundaries first start to set them, they meet with a LOT of opposition.  To press on even though everyone around you is calling you selfish or wondering what happened to that “nice” girl you used to be takes a lot of strength!


So you see, Dear Reader, just how strong you are?  Give yourself some credit today.  You are  so stronger than you give yourself credit for!


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

Spotting Narcissists Online

A while back, someone who followed my blog disagreed with one of my posts.  She stated why she did, & although I respected her opinion, I saw she took some things I said wrong.  I explained what I wrote, & left my computer for the evening.  The next day, I saw several of my readers understood what I was saying & defended me, including one who got into a rather heated disagreement with the original commenter.  The original commenter stopped following my blog & unfriended me on facebook.  She obviously held me responsible for what other people said that she didn’t like.

A few years before, a similar incident on facebook cost me a 20+ year friendship, so obviously this wasn’t the first time I’ve seen this type of ridiculous, immature behavior.  I’m sure it won’t be the last either.

I realized out of that situation with my blog that this person was a narcissist.  While she shared a great deal of insight in her own blog & facebook, sometimes there were very subtle hints of narcissism.  I thought I was reading too much into it, but as time went on, I saw more & more hints.  For example, when she shared her opinions, she stated them as fact & seemed to have no tolerance for anyone who disagreed with her.  Those people were wrong, period.  She also brags openly about any accomplishments, such as many shares of a blog post or mental health professional agreeing with something she’s said.

Most people don’t jump to ridiculous conclusions.  They don’t read into what you said- they trust that what you said is what you mean, while narcissists find a way to take everything personally.  The long friendship of mine that ended?  We shared a mutual friend, & he told this friend he “read into” what we said on facebook & knew from that how badly we thought of him.  (FYI- mostly what she & I talked about at that time was knitting.  I’m not sure how that meant we hated him.)

Most people also realize that you are going to have different opinions than them sometimes, & are OK with it.  They won’t think “if you aren’t for me, you’re against me”, but instead accept the fact that no two people agree on absolutely everything.  In fact, if they did, it would be very abnormal!  Narcissists however believe you have to share their thoughts, feelings, opinions, likes, dislikes, etc. or else you’re wrong.

Narcissists online also share only about themselves- what they think, what they’re doing, what is happening in their lives & probably plenty of pictures of themselves.  They almost never ask others how they are doing or what is happening in their lives.

They state their opinions as written in stone fact rather than simply their opinion, & won’t listen to the opinions of others or criticize them.  They also demand that you agree with them, because, after all, if you’re not for them, you’re against them!  (at least in their mind)

Spotting narcissists online can be trickier than spotting one in person, but remembering these tips can help you.


Filed under Mental Health, Narcissism

Everyone Has Individual Paths To Take In Life

Recently, I was talking with a dear friend.  She’s been having trouble with her sister, & handling the problem very well.  She’s showing God’s love & grace in this difficult situation.


I felt bad as we spoke, because I knew if that was me in her shoes, I’d be very angry.  I felt like I wasn’t being a good Christian because of that.  Immediately, God spoke to my heart.


This friend has told me that growing up, she spoke up to her narcissistic mother.  She never stifled her anger.


I however, was her polar opposite- I learned early on never to show any anger.


Growing up, my mother would holler at me for my “Bailey temper” even if I was simply frustrated.  I learned very young it was better to stifle my anger rather than show it & be shamed.  It’s only been the last couple of years I’ve been letting myself show anger.  In fact, I can’t stifle it any longer.  I get over it & forgive the other person quickly, but it still feels somewhat foreign to get angry.


I can’t really compare myself to this lady because we’re so different.  God wants me to show my anger, I believe, so I’m not wrong when I feel it or show it.  For her, she chooses not to get angry with her sister & that is what’s right for her.  Neither of us are wrong or bad.  We’re simply doing what is right for us.  And, both of our solutions are Biblical.  Matthew 5:44 tells us to love our enemies & forgive them, which is what my friend is doing in her situation.  Various Scriptures tell of times when Jesus Himself got angry (Mark 10:13-16, Mark 11:15-17, etc).  Being angry is not a sin!  It’s what you do with your anger that can be sinful.  Ephesians 4:26 says, “Be angry, and do not sin” do not let the sun go down on your wrath,” (NKJV)


Realizing all of this was so freeing!  It helped me to feel I’m on the right path for me, just as she is for her.  It also helped me to stop feeling shame for when I get angry like I did at first (old habits truly die hard).
This situation also goes to prove that we all have very individual walks with God. Sure, there are some basic things He wants from all of us, like following the 10 commandments. But beyond that?  We all have very unique & individual paths to take. Don’t compare yourself to another person.  Instead, enjoy your own path, & enjoy the freedom there is in that.

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

The One Good Thing About Triggers

Anyone with PTSD or C-PTSD knows about triggers.  Triggers are those things that send us rocketing into a flashback or emotional flashback, or at the very least, remind us of some painful trauma we’d just as soon forget about.  They also can trigger a panic attack or dissociation.


As painful as triggers can be, they also can serve a good purpose.  They can show us the areas in which we need healing.


I have a very hard time going into the neighboring town where my parents live.  It is full of awful memories for me, so I avoid the town as much as possible.  Going past the library is the worst though.  That was where my first job was, & where my mother did some very abusive & hurtful things to me.  She once screamed at the top of her lungs at me in the parking lot in front of my now ex husband, the patrons & my coworkers.  She humiliated, belittled, shamed & degraded me there too.   Repeatedly.  When I see the library building, even just driving past it, I either get a panic attack, flashback or dissociate.  I’ve done them all.  The one time I went inside that library a few years ago, I had to leave immediately because of having a panic attack & flashback at the same time.  Naturally, I haven’t gone back to that library since.


One good thing about this is I realize that I need further healing in the area of the things my mother did to me at that library.  I have dealt with so many things my mother did to me, but not the events that took place at that library.  I know I have repressed some of them, but not all.  I need to deal with what I do remember.


Have you ever thought about triggers this way, Dear Reader?  As painful as it can be, it is a good thing when you learn about some area where you need further healing.  You can’t heal from what you don’t acknowledge, so you need to know what areas you need to work on.  Every event you heal from brings you one step closer to wholeness, one step further from the trauma you have endured & fills you with more joy & peace than you had previously.  If you can look at triggers as a sign that you need healing in a certain area, they truly can help you.


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

Some Thoughts On False Teachers

I’ve seen quite a few articles over the last few months about false teachers.  One article even claimed a famous television evangelist I like very much, Jesse Duplantis, was a false teacher.  While wondering if the articles were correct about false teachers being so prominent, I decided to ask God for help & discernment on this subject.  He showed me some things..


Some claim false teachers preach about God’s blessings & prosperity.  The fact is, in the Bible, God says He loves His children so naturally He wants to bless them.  See Jeremiah 17:7-8 & 29:11, Numbers 6:24-6, Exodus 23:25, Psalm 34:8, & Matthew 5:6 & 9 as a few examples.  If the Bible clearly spells out how God wants to bless His children, how does it make sense that someone who teaches about this topic periodically is a false teacher?  Prosperity & blessings shouldn’t be the only topic one preaches about, but discussing them sometimes?  What could be wrong with that?


Some claim false teachers focus on the “lighter” topics such as God’s love rather than the “heavier” topics such as the need for Salvation.  There certainly are a great deal of preachers who discuss God’s love, how He supports His children & the like.  I don’t believe these preachers are necessarily bad, though.  I remember before I became a Christian.  Hearing people tell me I was going to Hell if I didn’t accept Jesus as my Savior right at that moment certainly did nothing to make me want to accept Him.  In fact, it pushed me away.  What eventually did make me want to accept Him was hearing about His deep, unconditional love for me.  As a new Christian, the “fluffy” teachings about God’s love & desire to bless me helped to draw me to Him.  Going through narcissistic abuse, I think that was especially important to help me not to think God was just another unloving parent figure, only concerned with what I could do for Him.  Getting to know God better, I moved away from wanting to hear that & wanting to hear about more heavy topics.  I really believe that “fluffy” teaching doesn’t necessarily mean someone is a false teacher.  In fact, I believe preachers who focus on such issues have their place in the church.  Their place is to draw people to God, to help new Christians understand God’s love is the basis for Christianity & help encourage those in dark places that may be wondering if God really loves them.  I believe those who don’t focus primarily on these “fluffy” topics might want to consider doing so periodically to encourage their followers.


Good teachers also can back up what they say with Scripture.  That is one thing I love about Jesse Duplantis- he can back up anything he says with Scripture & does so often.


Good teachers don’t just tell you what God can do for you.  They also focus on things like how to live a holy life, & being a good witness for your faith to the unbelievers.


Good teachers tell it like it is.  They don’t sugarcoat things.  For example, they call sin, sin, rather than “making a mistake” or “slipping up.”


A very good indicator that you are listening to or reading the teachings of a good teacher is you feel comfortable with what the person says, it feels right in your heart, even when it’s on a difficult topic such as sin.  What they are saying feels right to you. Even the best of teachers may make mistakes sometimes, & no one will agree with any other person 100% of the time, but you will feel this person’s teaching makes sense most of the time.


Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

Intrusive Thoughts

I saw an interesting special on TV recently about Andrea Yates, the mother of five who drowned her children in the bathtub.  I always wonder what makes people do what they do, especially when what they do is so unbelievable, such as in the case of Ms. Yates, so this show intrigued me.

Apparently she developed post partum psychosis that became worse after the birth of each child.  She had hallucinations & heard voices that told her that her children needed to die now so they could go to heaven or else they would grow into evil adults & go to hell.  Thankfully, this is quite rare!  But one of the most amazing parts of the story to me was that when Ms. Yates & her then husband sought treatment, she received very little treatment.  One doctor told her she just needed to “think happy thoughts.”

Think happy thoughts?!  Gee, I bet she never thought of that!  *facepalm*

Guessing this doctor never heard of “intrusive thoughts.”

Intrusive thoughts come with some mental illness.  They are thoughts that come to mind that you can’t distract yourself from.  Having C-PTSD, I have experienced them myself.  Sometimes, they’ve been in the form of a memory of abuse, other times they are anxiety laden thoughts (what if this doesn’t go right?  Then what do I do?  What if that doesn’t work either?!) or they are depression related (things aren’t going to get any better, I’m a horrible person, etc).  Since getting a concussion last February, mine are much harder to deal with than they used to be.

When intrusive thoughts happen, I’ve found the best way to deal with them is to talk to God.  Ask for His help.  1 Corinthians 2:16 states that as children of God, we have the mind of Christ.  Although it doesn’t feel like it during painful & frustrating intrusive thoughts, it is still true.  What did Jesus do doing His most difficult & painful times?  He talked with His Father, & received answers & peace in return.  Following Jesus’ example truly helps.

Try to slow down, & deliberately focus on your thoughts.  Question them, tell them they are unwelcome, ask God to tell you the truth about what the thoughts are saying- do you have a real reason to be so anxious?  Why is this awful memory back in my mind- is it something I need to deal with?

Understand intrusive thoughts.  Everyone has them, but to varying degrees.  If you’re fortunate, you don’t have them often, & can distract yourself from them.  If not, they may be a sign of a mental health issue that needs addressing.  It may be a good idea to discuss them with your doctor or a therapist if you find yourself having them often & unable to distract yourself.  Intrusive thoughts don’t mean you are crazy or broken beyond repair!  Often they are a symptom of anxiety, depression or having experienced trauma.


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

To Heal It, You Have To Feel It

So many of us who have suffered narcissistic abuse are simply tired.  Tired after years of walking on eggshells & trying to please the unpleasable.  Tired because the experience gave us C-PTSD or PTSD, which are both exhausting disorders for many reasons.  Tired of working so hard, trying to heal & feel normal for once.  It’d be so nice if we could just forget what has happened.  Put it away like an unloved Christmas present from the mother in-law somewhere in the back of a closet where it wouldn’t see the light of day again.


Unfortunately though, that is completely unrealistic.


If you want to heal from any traumatic situation, you have to deal with it completely.  This means to heal, you have to feel.  Feel what, you ask?  Feel the anger or the hurt.  Get angry.  Cry.  Scream.  Cuss.


Sounds wrong, doesn’t it?  That is partly because narcissistic mothers shame their children for having any emotions, society shames victims for not “getting over it” immediately & the church often shames people for not “forgiving & forgetting.”


Dear Reader, I’ve been working on healing from narcissistic abuse since 2000.  I bought into those lies for too long.  I ignored the gentle promptings in my heart from God saying it’s OK to feel my emotions.  I tried forgiving & forgetting.  I tried getting angry & just couldn’t do it- I was afraid of getting angry & losing control.  I also could hear my mother’s voice in my head scolding me for having “that Bailey temper.”   I couldn’t even cry or grieve because I thought I was feeling sorry for myself & needed to pick myself up by my bootstraps & get over it.  And, I was miserable.


I ignored God’s promptings for years until early last year.  After nearly dying from carbon monoxide poisoning & suffering a concussion when I passed out from the CMP, I changed.  Both of these things can change one’s personality, so it’s not a surprise that happened to me.  I was surprised how I changed though.  I suddenly was less able to control my emotions.  I had no choice but to feel angry or sad or happy or whatever.  And you know what?  It’s been a blessing!!


I have been able to heal more since that happened than in the many years prior.  Feeling things has enabled me to release those emotions.  It’s enabled me to purge myself of the yukky emotions buried inside of me & heal.  It’s much like healing an infected wound.  You can slap a bandage on it, but that won’t heal it.  The wound has to bleed to get the germs & infection out first, then it can heal.


Another bonus of feeling my emotions has been I’ve learned how to make anger work in my favor.  My mother couldn’t stand me to be angry, even simple frustration was a problem for her, so she would shame me if I displayed even mild irritation.  As a result, I learned early to stuff anger deep down inside, & carried this dysfunctional behavior into my adulthood.  Now, I no longer do that.  I feel the anger, & when it is a righteous anger (such as when she is hateful to me), I let it give me the strength to set boundaries, walk away or even call her out on her bad behavior.  Righteous anger truly is a good thing for giving you strength & motivation to make changes!


Dear Reader, don’t wait until something life altering happens- decide today that you are going to feel your feelings so you can heal.  Give yourself permission to do so.  Talk to someone safe & trusted about how you feel.  Also, you can try the chair technique, where you place an empty chair in front of you, pretend your abuser is in it, & yell, scream, cry or whatever you want to do to vent your feelings.  If you don’t feel comfortable verbalizing them, then write them down somewhere safe from prying eyes.  You can pray silently too- God certainly will listen!


And, when you’re feeling your feelings, get it all out!  Don’t worry if your language is bad.  Do you think God’s never heard those words before?!  He gets that you are that hurt, angry or frustrated!  It’s much better to get that ugliness out of you than let it fester inside of you.


Please remember, to heal it, you have to feel it.  You can do this!  I know it’s scary at first, but do it anyway.  Ask God to give you the strength & courage to face those ugly, scary, traumatic things head on so you can heal from them.  Once you do this, those awful memories will feel more like a bad dream than something you’ve actually lived through.  That is how you know that event has lost its hold over you.


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

Being Sensitive

I’ve come to realize that sometimes, I’m oversensitive.  Mostly, I’m pretty thick skinned.  Growing up with a narcissistic mother basically turned me into what I think of as an insult Navy seal.  lol  But there are some times when any little thing can make me cry or very angry.  It was bothering me, being this way, so I did some praying & thinking about why this happens.  I believe what I learned may help you too.


Hormones can affect your mood.  I’m currently in my mid 40’s, & my hormones go all over the place on a regular basis.  Part of the joys of mid life… lol  Fluctuating hormones aren’t just limited to mid life, though.  Particularly in women, they happen all the time, & can affect your mood & sensitivity.  If you feel your moods or sensitivity are just too much, it might be time to see your doctor.  It’s very possible they could be in need of some help.


Going through something very upsetting can make you feel more sensitive than usual.  You just don’t have it in you to let things roll off your back as you normally might. After losing one of our cats then having a big fight with my parents at the beginning of May, I’m still much more sensitive than normal.  Although I’m feeling some better as far as grieving my loss, I’m still very hurt & angry at my parents’ awful disregard for my feelings.  Both events happening so close together was too much for me to deal with at the same time.  I had to try to grieve my loss first, then cope with what my parents did.  I’m still trying to process my hurt & anger, so yes, I’m very sensitive to everyone & everything right now.


Seasonal Affective Disorder can make it harder to cope during certain times of year.  As I’ve mentioned previously, I have the reverse SAD where I get depressed in the summertime (most people feel that way in winter).  I have a harder time coping in the summer than winter, & get my feelings hurt easier in summer.


Other mental health problems can make you more sensitive than usual.  Anxiety, depression, PTSD, etc. might make you more sensitive because your brain isn’t working quite as well as it should be.


Head or brain injuries can create problems in this area.  Have you ever had a concussion or any type of brain injury?  If so, that may cause you to think & feel differently than you did pre-injury.  Some people are fortunate & can be symptom free after a traumatic brain injury or mild TBI like a concussion.  Others have a mild injury yet live with a plethora of nasty & debilitating symptoms.  TBI’s are very unique- everyone seems to react differently, & severity of the injury isn’t always going to determine the symptoms you’ll have.  My concussion was mild enough the hospital missed it after a CAT scan, yet I live with a ton of problems from it.  One of those problems is I get hurt or angry much faster than I once did.  It’s harder for me to let things slide now than it was pre-TBI.  If you’ve had a TBI too, this could be happening with you as well.


Missing out on time with God can create problems in many areas.  As a Christian, spending time with God is vital to your relationship with Him as well as your mental health.  If you feel as if you’re overreacting to things or generally being oversensitive, it might be a sign you need to spend more time with your Heavenly Father.  Spending time with God helps you to keep focused, maintain your peace & joy & also the ability to not care so much about what other people think.  God’s opinion of you matters more than people’s after all!

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Why Do Narcissists Care More About Strangers’ Opinions Than Loved Ones?

One of the hardest things to understand about narcissists & their awful actions is why they care more about what strangers think about them than the opinions of those closest to them.  I believe there are several reasons for this.


Narcissists can’t bond.  Most people automatically form bonds with those they love, but narcissists don’t even love in a normal, healthy way.  Everything they do is about getting their coveted narcissistic supply (what makes them feel good about themselves), so they may love what you do if you provide it, but that doesn’t mean they love you.


Narcissists don’t do deep, meaningful relationships.  They want superficial relationships, where there is no real responsibility.  They simply want to be adored.


Strangers providing narcissistic supply thrill narcissists. It’s easy to show strangers what the narcissist wants them to see, & hide the bad parts.  Strangers can provide instant supply.  This is very gratifying to narcissists.  Strangers are much easier & more fulfilling to get supply from than those close to them.


Narcissists don’t get their narcissistic supply from their own actions.  Most people feel good about themselves when they do something well, but narcissists aren’t that way.  They only feel good about themselves when another person provides their narcissistic supply.  It’s relatively easy to get supply from strangers.


I hope this helps you to understand a little about why narcissists care more about strangers than those closest to them, Dear Reader.  It truly isn’t about you or something you’ve done wrong- it’s all about them & their dysfunction!






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What Do You Owe Your Narcissistic Mother?

So many adult children of narcissistic parents struggle when their parents become elderly or ill.  They feel that because these people birthed & raised them, that they owe their parents everything at any personal cost, & the narcissistic parents feed that false belief.


The truth is, Dear Reader, you only owe your parents one thing- to honor them.  Exodus 20:12 says, “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” (KJV)  Many people upon reading that verse think that means they have to blindly obey their parents, no matter their age, no matter how their parents treat them.  That is simply not true however!!


You must understand what honor truly means.  According to the Merriam Webster’s website, honor in this setting means, ” a showing of usually merited respect : recognition <pay honor to our founder>”  Basically, you treat someone with courtesy & respect when you honor them.  You don’t cuss them out when you get angry, you don’t manipulate them, you don’t abuse them in any way, you don’t lie to them.


There is also this little gem in Acts 5:29: “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.”  (KJV)  In other words, obey God before you obey your parents.  If you’re like most of my readers, this Scripture provokes a great deal of anxiety in you.  You know when your parents want you to do something for them, they demand it be done in a prompt matter, no excuses!  Not doing their bidding means you’ll have to pay & pay dearly.  Disobeying them can be a daunting prospect to say the least.  However, as a Christian, it is also good for you to follow it in spite of your fears.  God never gives bad advice!  Obeying Him will be more rewarding than disobeying them will hurt you.  I’ve had to do this myself.  Yes, it can be very scary, but clinging to the fact that God is good, loves me & wants the best for me helped me to obey him.  Also, once you do it, it gets easier the next time, then the next time, & so on.


Keeping these two points in mind, along with prayer, can help you to decide what you owe your narcissistic, ailing parents.  Do not allow anyone to tell you what to do.  No one but you is living your life.  You are the only one who can decide what you are & are not able to do regarding your narcissistic parents, preferably with the help of God.

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Filed under Caregiving, Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

Don’t Give Up On God- He Hasn’t Given Up On You

Growing up, I really had no knowledge about God.  My mother said if you’re good you go to Heaven, bad you go to Hell.  No explanation of what was good or bad, & I had no idea how Jesus fit into the equation.


As things got worse with my mother as I got older, I decided I had absolutely no use for God.  Obviously He didn’t care about me since I was going through so much at home.  In fact, I believed He couldn’t even exist.  How could a loving God exist & let me go through the things I did?


It wasn’t until I was in my twenties I realized how faulty this thinking was.  I finally realized God did indeed exist & cared deeply about the pain I went through.  That is when my healing began


If you are being or have been abused, I understand it can be very tempting to give up on God, or at least to think He doesn’t care about your pain.  The truth though, Dear Reader, is that God hurts when you hurt.  He is angry about what has been done to you, too.  He knows all too well the unfairness of it all.


That may be hard to believe when you’re hurting, but it’s very true.  Please don’t give up on God for not saving you from bad situations.  The truth is He doesn’t force people to do anything, even when it’s in their best interest.  God is a gentleman, never forcing people to do anything.  He may suggest things, show evidence that certain things are a good idea & others bad ideas, but He never forces anything.  He leaves the final decision on what to do up to each person & unfortunately many people make bad decisions.  They ignore God’s promptings & do whatever they feel like.  That is NOT God’s fault- the blame lies squarely on their shoulders.  Why get mad at God for people making bad choices since it’s not His fault?


Dear Reader, God is in your corner.  He always has been & always will be.  If you wonder where He was when you were being abused, He was there, crying over your suffering.  He was angry for you.  He was distraught that your abuser didn’t pay attention to His promptings not to do these things.


Now that it’s over?  God is there by your side, wanting to hug you & make it all better.  He wants to help you through your pain.  Let Him.  Don’t get mad at God & shut Him out.  Let Him help you instead.  He will show you how to heal & how to make your pain count for something good.  I know that sounds impossible, but it’s very true.  He has done this for me & will do the same for you, too.




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

Another Type Of Children Of Narcissists

Most people who have learned at least a little about NPD & narcissistic abuse have heard of different types of children of narcissists:  the golden child, the scapegoat & the forgotten child.  Their roles are:


  • Golden child: The extension of  a narcissistic parent, this child can do no wrong.  Praise & gifts are heaped upon him even into adulthood.  The golden child is the one most likely to become a narcissist.
  • Scapegoat: The exact opposite of the golden child, the scapegoat is the reason for everything that is wrong in the family, according to the narcissistic parent.  Scapegoats are the children most likely to seek out the truth of the situation & escape.
  • Forgotten Child:  This child gets lost in the shuffle.  Not good enough to be the golden child or bad enough to be the scapegoat, the forgotten child barely gets noticed.  They try hard for their parents’ attention, even well into adulthood.


There is another child that I’ve never read about, but have seen.  The family screw up.


The family screw up isn’t the same as the scapegoat, but there are some similarities.  The screw up isn’t to blame for all of the problems in the family like the scapegoat is, but like the scapegoat, he can do nothing right.  Growing up, he takes courses in school or college his parents disapprove of.   He doesn’t participate in the right activities either.  As an adult, he marries the wrong person, works the wrong career & does nothing worthy of his narcissistic parents’ approval.  He is a constant disappointment to his parents.


When my husband & I first started dating, he told me he was the family screw up.  It didn’t take long to see what exactly he meant, even though at the time I knew nothing of narcissism.  I seemed to be his biggest mistake, at least according to his mother, but it also seemed very clear he could do nothing right according to his parents unless he was doing something for them.  He was met with constant looks of disapproval from his parents, sometimes even followed by a grunt or sigh of disapproval.  He was very accustomed to it, but it still hurt him deeply.


I have seen him find some ways to cope that have helped him greatly.  If you too are the family screw up, I think this information may help you as well.


Giving up the hope of having parental approval.  It’s hard to do at first, but any child of a narcissistic parent (or two) needs to accept the fact they will NOT get approval from their parent(s).  The golden child may get it briefly sometimes, but even that is fleeting.  No child of a narcissistic parent ever can have their parent’s approval for more than a brief moment, & even that is very rare.  If you can accept that, & release the need for it, you will be much happier.


Decide to live in a way that pleases God & not your parents, or any person.  1 Thessalonians 4:1 states, “Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.”  (KJV)  People, especially narcissists are very hard to please.  They often change what they want, so what may please them today won’t please them next week.  God isn’t like that!  He is constant, & He is not self-serving like people.  Live to please Him instead of mankind- you will be much happier!


Choose what contact works best for you, & know it may be subject to change at anytime.  Many people go from constantly talking with their narcissistic parents to lower & lower contact until they go no contact.  They find as they get healthier, they can tolerate their narcissistic parents less & less.  Some are able to maintain low contact.  Every person & every situation is different- you need to pray & pray often about your individual situation & let God lead you to make the decision that will be best for you.

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Some Thoughts On Marriage

Since tomorrow is my 18th wedding anniversary, I thought I would share something I have learned about marriage.


Over the years, I have been criticized pretty harshly by a few people because I do not share a couple of my husband’s interests.  He likes football, fishing (catch & release) & camping in a tent.  Personally I  would rather have a root canal than participate in or watch any of those.  I really tried to like fishing.  I’ve gone fishing a couple of times & found it boring, although being in nature was nice.  After badly injuring the only fish I ever caught, I quickly decided I absolutely hate fishing.  As for football?  Nope.  Never could stand any sport involving a ball.  And tent camping?!  Hahahahaha.  No.


This left me feeling quite guilty for a long time.  I felt like I was being a lousy wife for not finding some way to like these things or sucking it & up & participating no matter how miserable it would’ve made me.  Then one day, some thoughts popped into my mind that set me free from that faulty thinking, & I’d like to share them with you.


I firmly believe successful couples share interests.  My husband & I enjoy classic cars, drag racing, demo derbies, late model dirt track racing, antiques, Oktoberfests, pow wows, movies & much of the same music.  These things are all fun for us to do together.  We have plenty of interests to share, but we also have a few interests that don’t involve each other.  I believe that is also important.  A couple needs to be close of course, but they do not need to be so close that they lose themselves in the relationship!  You should still maintain your individuality when you’re married.  I enjoy crocheting, writing & photography but my husband couldn’t care less about them if he tried.  This doesn’t offend me at all!  If he’d like to try them, I’d be glad to help him get started of course, but I doubt that day will happen.  There is nothing wrong with that.


I also think if your significant other has an interest that you never tried, you should at least give it a whirl unless you are 110% certain you won’t like it.  My husband was deep into Nascar when we first got together.  I wasn’t.  I started watching races with him & quickly developed an interest in it.  As it has changed after one of our favorite drivers died, we both lost interest in it, but there were many Sundays we spent watching races together & having fun.


If you would like to share a common interest but one of you is not thrilled with the interest, see if you can find a compromise.  Since I refuse to sleep in a tent, I have suggested we get a camper or RV one day when we can afford it.  Hubby can sleep in a tent if he likes, but I’ll be inside a nice, clean camper with plumbing & electric, the way I believe God intended me to live.  lol   Or, if he wants me to go fishing with him, don’t expect me to fish.  Let me take a crochet project along & just enjoy being outside & talking with him while he fishes.  There are plenty of ways to compromise things if you think about it.




Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

Respond, Don’t React, To Narcissists

Narcissists know how to push every button you have & many you weren’t even aware of having.  They do this in order to provoke an emotional reaction from you.  Whether you’re angry or hurting, your reaction makes them feel powerful, which in turn provides narcissistic supply, & makes them feel good.  That is why they often act much like a machine gun with their cruelty- quickly pumping out verbally abusive comments one right after another.  The more they can hurt or anger you, the better they feel.  When you have pretty much fallen apart, they are deliriously happy.


If you want to put a stop to this behavior, join the club!  We all do.  There isn’t any way I know of to stop it entirely.  But, there are some ways to slow this down.  One very effective way is to learn to respond, not react.


Reaction is done immediately, often without thinking.  If a doctor uses that little hammer & taps your knee is a certain spot, your reaction is for your leg to kick.  That is the type of response narcissists want from you- immediate anger or hurt without thinking as soon as they have said or done something hateful.


Responding however is different.  It’s slower & more deliberate.  You take time to think, possibly even putting your emotions aside before you give any sort of response.  This is not what narcissists want, & that, Dear Reader is a good thing!


The more you react emotionally to a narcissist, the more buttons they will push to get you to react more.  It’s a vicious cycle.  However, the less reaction you give them, the less interest they will have in hurting you.


Responding can seem impossible to do at first, but it really does get easier & easier with practice.  The best way I personally learned to do this is a technique common to caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia.  When something is said or done, stop for a second.  Take a deep breath in & out, then speak.  That brief moment of the deep breath helps you to think, & also to remind yourself why you must stay calm & focused.  Plus the deep breath relaxes you.  This technique enables you to stay calm & focused in the face of sheer madness.


I urge you to give this a try the next time you must deal with the narcissist in your life.  It really does help you.  I have done this when speaking with my narcissistic father.  Now that he has Alzheimer’s, the narcissism has gotten worse than ever.  I don’t feel right about being too harsh with him since it’s the Alzheimer’s making it worse rather than him deliberately trying harder to get attention or hurt me.  (Dementia & Alzheimer’s can make someone with NPD act worse)  But, at the same time, I need to protect myself.  Stopping long enough to take in & release that deep breath helps me to maintain my composure & give a decent response rather than an angry reaction.  It may help you as well!  Try it- what do you have to lose?


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

Humans & Animals Have Equal Value

Ecclesiastes 3:19 “For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.” (KJV)


I realize many Christians will disagree with me, stating that humans are much more valuable than animals.  I respectfully disagree though.  God loves the animals He created.  Reread the Scripture I opened this post with: Ecclesiastes 3:19 “For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.” (KJV)  The Scripture states. “that a man hath no preeminence above a beast,”  so obviously God believes humans & animals to be equal.


Other Scriptures speak of the value of animals:

  • Genesis 3:20 “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.” (KJV)
  • Job 12:7 “But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:” (KJV)
  • Job 35:11 “Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven?” (KJV)
  • Psalm 50:10-11 “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.  I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.” (KJV)
  • Proverbs 12:10 “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” (KJV)
  • Mark 16:15  “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”  (KJV)


Animals are a wonderful blessing to people!  They offer us companionship, unconditional love, help us with chores (such as on a farm), & if we pay attention, teach us a great deal.  I’ve had pets since shortly after moving out of my parents’ home at age 19, & pray there never will come a time I don’t have any!  Mine have blessed me in more ways than I can count!  They have made me laugh or comforted me when I was upset, defended me to people who were nasty to me, & taught me many things, including how to be a good mom.


I hope you, Dear Reader, aren’t one who thinks animals are “just dumb animals” like many people do.  If so, though, I pray you’ll consider what I’ve written, & reconsider your position!


And, if you’re an animal lover like me, but never thought about such Scriptures, then please, also consider this post.  Maybe pay a bit more attention to your furkids- they are wonderful teachers, & you can learn so much from them.  Don’t forget to let them know how much you love & appreciate them, too!  They appreciate hearing such things just as much as you do!  :)
































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Your Ministry

I was just listening to T.D Jakes’ “Sacred Love Songs” cd.  In case you don’t know it, it’s songs based on his wonderful book, “The Lady, Her Lover & Her Lord.”  One of the songs on the cd is called, “You Are My Ministry.”  You can see the video here:  It’s a beautiful song, as you can hear.


The song also made a good point- your ministry isn’t only in the pulpit or serving others somehow.  Your spouse is also your ministry!


When you’re serving others, it can be easy to get caught up in that ministry.  It feels good to help others.  It’s very rewarding!  But, don’t neglect that wonderful man or woman you married!  That person should be your top priority, after God of course.


Listening to that song convicted me.  I haven’t been praying for my husband as much as I should.  I’ve been too focused on praying for my readers, my facebook group & writing blog posts.  Not that these things are bad, of course, but my world needs to expand a bit, & I need to pray more for my husband.  His job is pretty stressful, his elderly father can be very demanding & we need a lot done around our home.  He definitely needs covered in prayer on a regular basis.


What about you?  Are you praying for your spouse enough?  If not, maybe it’s time to ask God to burden your heart to remember to pray for him more often & show you how to pray for him.  I am doing that myself, once this post is finished.  I also may listen to that song more frequently- it’s not only a beautiful song but a great reminder, too.


Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers

What To Expect When Your Narcissistic Parent Goes No Contact

As I’ve mentioned before, my parents have stopped speaking to me recently.  Since, I’ve been experiencing a plethora of emotions, & I’m going to hazard a guess they’re pretty normal under the circumstances.  I also realized when a narcissistic parent goes no contact with you, it feels a lot different than when you are the one to go no contact.  In 2001, I went no contact with my mother (she initiated contact with me in 2007, & I allowed her back into my life at that point).  Seeing both types of going no contact has been eye opening to me.  I’m hoping sharing this with you will help you if your parents have gone no contact with you.


When I went no contact with my mother, it’d been after a great deal of prayer & consideration on the subject.  I knew in my heart it was the best thing I could do, & I was as prepared as I could be to sever ties with my mother.  And, I only went no contact with my mother.  At the time, I had no knowledge at all of narcissism.  Naturally I didn’t realize my father was a covert narcissist & abusive in his own way that was different than hers, so I kept in touch with him.  Anyway, I was able to grieve losing my mother, then face some of my own issues stemming from her abuse.  The time apart was just what I needed at that time.  It was a good thing for me.


Fast forward to this year.  I answered my parents’ phone call not expecting the huge fight that followed.  It was a complete surprise.  I’d expected a bit of a disagreement, but not in the really big fight that actually took place with both of my parents.


I wasn’t surprised my mother stopped speaking to me afterwards.  She is the queen of the silent treatment, & I’m sure me defending myself to her was a huge narcissistic injury worthy of the silent treatment.  What did surprise me was my father.  Since he always wants to look like the good guy, I never expected him to stop speaking to me.


Another big surprise is when praying about the entire situation some time later, God told me He wants them out of my life.  I’m not sure if He means forever or a season just yet, but either way- that was a big surprise too.  He’s showed me repeatedly that I need distance from their toxicity.


The element of surprise can be pretty intense in such a situation.  For one thing, since narcissists are so obsessed with appearances, they seldom want to end contact with their own child because it might make them look bad.  Can’t have that now can we?!  So when they do sever ties, it can come as a complete shock.  Even though some time has passed, I still feel quite shocked at the turn our relationship took.


Also, any loss can trigger grief, even when the loss is your own dysfunctional & abusive parents.  When I first felt this grief, I wondered what was wrong with me.  These people have made my life a living hell ever since I can remember.  I should be glad they’re gone!  Why wasn’t I reveling in them being gone, I wondered.  God showed me that abusive or not, they’re still my parents.  Losing your parents, whether they’re loving or abusive, is a hard thing to handle for anyone.


No contact has triggered a lot of anger in me, too.  I’m angry my parents had the unadulterated gall to get mad at me when they were the ones clearly in the wrong in our argument.  It’s glaringly obvious to anyone who knows the story that they were wrong, yet they would prefer being wrong & pretending to be right than have me, their own daughter, in their life.


I’ve found too, that triggers are everywhere, & in strange places.  When I hear or read about a parent showing concern for their child, no matter the child’s age, it upsets me easily now.  It makes me sad since that’s something I’ve never had & never will have.  It also makes me angry because the reason for our fight, my late mother in-law, was never a source of concern for my parents when it clearly should have been.  I told them for years how cruel she was to me, & they truly did not care.  I know my mother didn’t even believe me when I said she choked me when my husband & I told her we had eloped.  (As if I’d make something like that up!)  You’d think a physical assault might warrant some concern from my parents, but it never did.  Anyone else I told that story to was shocked.  My parents?  Bored.


Intrusive thoughts have been a constant as well.  Things I’d really just as soon not think about pop into my mind constantly, against my will.  I can’t even escape at night because I have nightmares every single night.  I may not remember details of them, but I remember my parents were in them & I wake up feeling the anger, fear or depression I felt in the dreams.


There is sadness & depression too.  I think my parents’ going no contact with me has really made it sink in how little they have been there for me in my life.  This is just one more of those times.  Sure, growing up, they provided for some of my needs- I always had food, clothing & shelter- but there was no emotional nurturing or genuine love.  In fact, there was more abuse than anything else.


I also think these things were magnified because of the fact I was going through a particularly hard time at the time of our argument.  When you’re already stressed or upset, any little thing can feel even worse.  So when you experience something very painful, it really hurts, even worse than it would under better circumstances.


In spite of all of these negatives, something absolutely wonderful has come out of it all, & makes it all worthwhile.  Freedom!


Without my parents in my life, I have found a new freedom.  For the first time, I’m finally free to be the person God made me to be.  No longer do I need to be “on”  so much.  After all, when dealing with narcissists, that’s how it is- you’re on your guard the entire time you’re with them.  You also have to mentally prepare when you know you need to interact with them in the near future.  Finally, I’m able to relax.


I’ve also been able to get to know myself for the first time in my life.  Growing up, I was told who to be.  My ex husband tried to mold me into what he wanted me to be.  Later when I married my current husband, I tried to be what he wanted me to be & even what his mother wanted me to be in the hopes of making her hate me less.  In the last few years, I’ve tried off & on to be me, the person God wants me to be, & while I had some success with that, it’s been much more successful without my parents in my life. The constant disapproval of everything about me I think made me feel like who I am is a bad person, wrong, etc.  Without that disapproval, I’m free to be me.


I’ve realized something else good that came with this freedom.  Because I stood up to my parents during that argument in May, it’s given me a new confidence.  If I could stand up to them at that time when I felt weak & was caught off guard,  I can stand up to anyone about anything now.  In fact, that confidence even stirred a new fire in me to speak out more against narcissistic abuse.  I think that’s pretty cool!


God has been using this time apart in a great way for me.  As hard as it’s been, He has been carrying me through.  He had reasons for removing my parents from my life.  Allowing me to heal, enabling me to be more the person He created me to be & less who they want me to be & giving me more confidence to speak against narcissistic abuse have all been a huge blessing for me.


If your narcissistic parents have opted to go no contact with you, then please know it can be a blessing in disguise.  Yes, it hurts.   Yes, it’s mind boggling that they treated you so badly & had the gall to act like you’re such a bad person, they had to go no contact with you.  Yes, it makes you angry.  But, one thing about God is He can make good things come from bad situations.  Romans 8:28 states, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”  (KJV)  If you’re not seeing anything good, ask Him to make good come from this situation & to show you the good you need to see.


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

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A New Perspective On PTSD & C-PTSD

I recently had an interesting revelation that I’d like to share with you today, Dear Reader.


A friend of mine has PTSD as a result of time in the military.  One story he told me was how he was on patrol in the gunner hatch of a humvee, in the lead vehicle, when they were approached by a 12 year old boy carrying a teddy bear.  My friend told him to stop, but he wouldn’t.  Even firing a warning shot into the air didn’t deter this boy, & my friend had no alternative- he had to shoot the boy.  It turns out the boy’s teddy bear contained 6 pounds of explosives- he could’ve killed so many people!


When this story crossed my mind the other night, something else crossed my mind: I’ve been through enough trauma at the hands of narcissists to give me the same disorder as this man who has been through unspeakable trauma.


Wow.  Talk about giving a new perspective!  It really showed me just how bad the abuse in my life has been.


So many people with PTSD or C-PTSD due to narcissistic abuse tend to trivialize their experiences & I have been one of them.  They think it’s not so bad because they weren’t in the military or their narcissist didn’t hit them.  They even try to hide their awful symptoms because it’s embarrassing they have the disorder because the abuse “wasn’t so bad.”  They think they’re weak for having PTSD or C-PTSD.


Having PTSD/C-PTSD aren’t signs of weakness.  They are anything but!  They are signs of having experienced trauma so severe, it actually physically broke your brain.  They are normal reactions to extremely abnormal circumstances.  They are a sign you survived something pretty horrific.


If you live with either PTSD or C-PTSD, please know you have nothing to be embarrassed about.  Would you be embarrassed if you got diabetes?  Cancer?  Then why be embarrassed about having a mental illness?  Also, just like you can’t do anything to get a physical illness like cancer, you didn’t do anything to get PTSD/C-PTSD.


If you feel able to, please talk about your experiences with PTSD or C-PTSD or even the abuse you endured.  Talking things out is good for you- it helps you to heal.  Also, talking about what you live with as a result of the trauma can help to raise awareness of PTSD/C-PTSD.  People truly have no idea what it’s really like to live with such an awful mental disorder.  They have these crazy, false ideas of what it means to have PTSD/C-PTSD & those ideas need to be eliminated & replaced with the truth!


I would like to encourage you to ask God to show you if He wants you to discuss what has happened to you or the PTSD/C-PTSD, & if so, how.  Does He want you to speak to groups?  Write a book?  Write a blog?  There are many ways to raise awareness. Maybe you have a calling to one of those ways.


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

My Promise To My Readers

I’ve noticed an interesting trend with this blog.  When I write about my mistakes, failures or struggles, my blog gains more followers & views.  My recent post about a bad C-PTSD day gained me quite a few more followers & a lot of views.


I believe this is because people are tired of people who claim they’ve been completely healed from their past, saying all you have to do is pray & believe, & God will deliver you completely from your past.  People who are completely delivered from their pain are in the minority, yet they are the ones most in the public eye, it seems.


The problem with this is it makes people feel like failures.  It sure did me.  I felt like I must not have enough faith or I was praying wrong.  Maybe because my experiences weren’t as bad as some other folks’ God wasn’t going to set me free- maybe He thought I was over reacting & needed to realize that.


Then one night while watching TV a few years ago, I saw Josh McDowell doing an interview on TBN’s show, “Praise The Lord.”  As a child, he was sexually abused.  His story was heartbreaking, but it gave me hope at the same time.  Why?  Because he admitted that as a grown man in his 50’s or maybe 60’s (my guess.. not sure) he still had issues stemming from that abuse.  He said when people touch his shoulder in a certain way, he can’t handle it, because it reminds him of his abuser.


Realizing that this wise, caring, good man of God still had issues from childhood abuse so many years later released the feeling of shame I had.  He’s obviously no failure, yet God didn’t wave that magic wand & set him free of all symptoms of the abuse.  Maybe, just maybe, that means I’m not a failure either!


Two Scriptures also came into my mind in a new way.  Psalm 23:4, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” & Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”  I realized that God is truly there with me during all the bad times.  Not only the times that I’ve lost a loved one or had a fight with a friend- all of the bad times.  He is with me during flashbacks, panic attacks & depressive episodes.  He is with me during all of those valley of the shadow of death times, not just some.  Also, I realized you learn a lot more going through something than you do if you’re just delivered from it.  The things I learn by going through are the things that I’ve been able to share in this blog, & in my books, too, & I believe people are being helped by these things.  I’ve received plenty of messages to prove it.


Also, He is the one who showed me I needed healing.  He started me on the healing path by gently showing me what was wrong with me & how to heal.  So, since God started that “good work,” it seems logical to me, judging by Philippians 1:6, that He will continue working on healing me until Jesus comes back.  This tells me there is nothing wrong with continuing to have issues for years after the fact.  It’s normal!


These revelations gave me a new heart for how I write.  Rather than constantly trying to encourage or teach readers what I have learned, I felt it would be a good idea to share my mistakes & struggles, too, to let my readers know that they aren’t alone.  Everyone who has been through narcissistic abuse struggles to some degree.  It’s ok!  God is with them & helping them to heal.


So, Dear Reader, this is my promise to you- to be real, not only encouraging or educational.  I’ll also let you know that I understand your struggles, because I struggle too, every single day.  And, there is nothing wrong with you or your faith if God hasn’t miraculously delivered you.  There are plenty of us in that same valley, so at least you aren’t alone!


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

Before You Confront A Narcissist

I believe picking your battles with a narcissist is among the most challenging thing a person can do when in a relationship with a narcissist.  They need to know their behavior is unacceptable, yet when confronted, the person doing the confronting often ends up frustrated & even more hurt than they were after the original event that made them think they should confront the narcissist.


Second only to deciding when to confront a narcissist is how to confront them once you decided to do it.  Narcissists love to play the victim & also to twist a situation around so you’re the bad guy.  It can feel impossible to know the best way to go about this incredibly difficult situation.


I firmly believe in staying calm & sticking to the facts.  Force the conversation to stay on topic, otherwise the narcissist will steer you completely off topic, & most likely onto what they think is wrong with you.  They may provoke you into getting so caught up in defending yourself, you forget what the original topic of the conversation was supposed to be.


There is one thing that I have found to be even more important though, & that is prayer.  Before talking to a narcissist, pray.  If they are calling, quickly ask God should you take the call or let it ring.  If you feel you should take the call, ask Him to help you through the conversation.  He truly will not let you down!!  And, it may be in a different way than you expect, but it will be the best way possible.


Last May just after my mother in-law died, I didn’t tell my parents.  I realized they’d see her obituary in the local newspaper.  I expected them to call me, & say how sad it was, she was a great woman, blah blah… things I did NOT want to hear about the woman who hated me & treated me like dirt for the first 8 years of my husband’s & my relationship.  When my parents called a few days after she died, I knew the call wasn’t going to be pleasant.  I  also knew I might as well take the call because if I didn’t, they’d call back constantly until I answered since that’s what they do & they’d think this was an important topic.  I also asked God to help me have the right words to say.  My parents shocked me by saying they wanted to attend the funeral, & were upset they didn’t even know she passed until they saw her obituary.  Wasn’t expecting that!  It immediately angered me, especially when my parents acted like something was wrong with me for being angry.  I ended up yelling at both of my parents, even using some bad language which are all not my normal behaviors with them.


Once I hung up the phone, I told God how sorry I was- I don’t even know what happened to me, why I reacted that way.  It’s not like this was the first time my folks cared more about someone who has hurt me than me.  God spoke to my heart & said this is exactly what they needed.  They needed to know that they hurt me so badly, that I would act that way, so out of character.   He answered my prayer- He gave me the right words for the situation at hand- just not in the way I expected.


In the months that have passed, I realized God wanted my parents out of my life, & this was a way to do it.  They have cut ties with me, so I can’t be accused of going no contact with them.  Anyone who hears about this situation has to see the ridiculousness of it.  My parents cared more about someone they saw twice in the 22 years my husband & I have been together, than me, their own daughter.  It’s only logical I’d have been upset by that.  Not even the most devoted flying monkeys can justify their incredibly hurtful behavior, which is probably why I haven’t heard from any of them.


My point (finally) is that praying before confronting a narcissist is absolutely vital to dealing with them.  If I wouldn’t have prayed before talking to my parents last May, I have no doubt our relationship would be as it always was.  Extremely painful for me.  As it is though, I’m much happier than I’ve been in a long time, in spite of grieving the loss (dysfunctional or not, losing your parents is still a loss that needs to be grieved).  It’s amazing the power of prayer.  James 5:16 states in the last half of the verse, “The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with. ” (MSG)  That is so true!  Utilize that power & God will help you in ways you never imagined, even when it comes to something so complicated as dealing with a narcissistic parent!


Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

A Day In The Life With C-PTSD

Today, September 6, the day I’m writing this, was one rough day for me.  I’m hoping sharing it here rather than in my private journal can help others.  I also hope my writing makes sense- it’s really hard to write when the C-PTSD flares up.


To start with, I woke up first thing in the morning after a restless night full of nightmares I barely remember & repeatedly waking up for no obvious reason.  I started out my day very tired, which made concentration harder than usual.  It also means my moods are more erratic.


I decided to go to the local craft store for some yarn for a new crochet project.  Although I spent 3 days prior out all day & it wore me out beyond description, I thought maybe going for a brief drive & visiting a craft store alone when it’s not busy would be doable.  Yea… that sounds good in theory.. in practice though?  Not so much.  The parking lot was super busy since other stores in the shopping center were packed apparently.  Then, the cashier at the craft store was on her first day, so she was confused & learning as she went rather than being fast like the lady who was training her is.  UGH.. I wanted out fast & there was no escape!  Not one other register was open!  I got my yarn & made a mad dash for the parking lot since I felt like the agoraphobia was going to overwhelm me.


After leaving, I went to visit a dear friend.  The brief drive shouldn’t have been full of triggers & anxiety, but it was.  On the way to her home, I followed a car for a good part of the journey that resembled a car an old boyfriend of mine drove.  This ex died in 2014 after killing his boyfriend, then himself, in their home. It was all over the local news at the time & very hard for me to come to terms with for a while after that, since I didn’t realize how he was.  The story was a complete shock to me.  Seeing this car reminded me of our brief relationship, & how incredibly sad his story was.  Also it made me grateful I escaped him unharmed.  I have no doubt he would’ve killed me if I’d stayed with him.  When I left him, I had NO idea how dysfunctional or dangerous he was.  All I knew was he spent hours screaming at me when I broke up with him that evening, telling me I was making a huge mistake, he was a great guy, I’d regret leaving him, I was ruining his life, etc.  (Nothing out of the ordinary for me since my mother screamed at me constantly in my last couple of years before moving out of her home.)  As a result, I spent many years beating myself up for ruining his life.  Learning of his death in 2014, I realized how dysfunctional he was which set me free from that guilt, however, the story was so sad, I still feel pity for him, the man he killed & their families.


There was also a surprising amount of traffic out today & the exhaust fumes made me feel sick, thanks to the over-sensitivity I have to carbon monoxide.  Surviving carbon monoxide poisoning can do this to a survior, & frankly, it’s a real nuisance!  I got a nasty headache, stomach ache, & I felt woozy after breathing in the fumes that doesn’t want to go away.


I also realized the date on my way to my friend’s house.. September 6.  On that day in 1990, I hurt my back at work.  Not terribly, but pretty painful.  As it was healing, my mother threw me into a wall during an argument which made the pain a thousand times worse.  Shortly after, I had to quit working outside my home.  My mother never believed my back was injured, & told anyone who would listen how I was so lazy that I was faking the injury so I wouldn’t have to work again.  In fact, my doctors even thought I was faking it, & said similar things.  I was told so often that I was faking it, I wondered if I really was faking it.  Years later I learned people with PTSD often have lower back pain with no known physical cause- you’d think a doctor back then would’ve sent me to a counselor, but no one did.  Instead they shamed me for being lazy.  The memories of that experience made me angry.


Thinking of how my mother responded to my back pain triggered other intrusive memories I really don’t want to have.  For one, about a year ago, my mother called one day & said my father told her my ex husband hit me.  She said she had no idea, & if she’d have known, she would’ve called a lawyer about this & straightened it out!  The fact is she did know- she blamed me for making him hit me right after it happened.  She saw the bruises I wore- the most obvious injury was the shape of his hands were on my wrists in the form of bruises.  It was just one more time she didn’t care about my pain.  Other memories intruded my mind, against my will & I was unable to push them away.  They reminded me of many painful times that my parents have abused me & I was supposed to tolerate it all quietly, with a smile, including our most recent fight in May & how they have quit speaking to me since then, even though they were in the wrong.  I was angry & sad all at once remembering these things.


Did I mention I’m still having difficulty grieving the loss of my 2 cats since May?  Grief seems to magnify other issues, making them even more challenging than usual to deal with.


This awful, miserable day meant I had to hold in my tears or anger until I was alone since no one was responsible for the emotions.  It’s just a part of the disorder & no one I was around today should be forced to feel bad for making me cry or making me angry.


I’ve also reviewed this post at least 10 times to make sure my writing makes sense, because making sense is so hard to do when the C-PTSD flares up.


This is typical of a day in the life of someone with C-PTSD or PTSD.  Any little thing can trigger thoughts that they don’t want to have yet are helpless to prevent.  Mood swings & anger &/or depression can be triggered easily too.  To be honest, it’s sheer hell to live with.


PTSD or C-PTSD are not a result thinking too negatively.  They aren’t wallowing in the past or looking for pity.  They aren’t playing some “poor me” card, looking for attention or pity.  They mean someone has experienced such trauma in their lives, it literally broke parts of their brain.  They are serious mental disorders with symptoms that can easily be out of control.  They mean the person who is sick has good days & bad days.  On good days, it may seem like the patient is totally fine.  That isn’t the truth however.  On good days, this usually means the patient is just better at hiding his/her symptoms than on other days.


I’m not explaining this because I want pity.  I’m putting it out there because I know many people who read my work live with PTSD or C-PTSD, & can’t always explain it to other people in their life.  I’m hoping this will help those people relate to my crappy day.  Maybe they will now be able to explain to their counselors or their friends & family just how triggering & difficult a typical day with PTSD or C-PTSD can be.  Sure, my specific circumstances may be different, but I’m sure the basics are the same- agoraphobia, unexpected triggers, & intrusive thoughts & wicked mood swings.  Please know, Dear Readers, I pray for you daily.  Living with PTSD or C-PTSD is horrible, & I pray for God to heal you & until He does, show you how to live with the awful symptoms.


Also, you’re not alone!  You’re not crazy!  There are so many of us who live with these symptoms due to traumatic experiences.  Having PTSD/C-PTSD doesn’t make you weak or a failure or any other ridiculous thing you’ve been told.  It’s a sign you reacted normally to very abnormal circumstances.


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

Creative Ways Narcissists Get Narcissistic Supply

My overtly narcissistic mother always likes to look pitiful in front of my husband.  She has turned on the tears in front of him,  complained about how hard life is now that she & my father are older & other such things to look pitiful.  As a result, he has offered to help her in various ways.  When he does, she always hugs him tight, thanks him profusely & sometimes gives him money.


When my mother asked my husband about his parents, & he told her how they were doing & things he’s done for or with them, she responded by giving my husband a big bear hug & kiss on the cheek.  Granted, she always hugs him before leaving, but it’s different after he’s discussed his parents with her.


These two things have bothered me for a long time, but I didn’t know why.  It felt wrong somehow but I couldn’t put my finger on it.  God showed me exactly what was wrong with these scenarios a few minutes ago…


My mother has it in her head that my husband takes complete care of me.  She thinks he works, takes care of the yard, repairs our vehicles, does all the housework while I do absolutely nothing but spend his money (don’t even ask- I have no idea why she thinks this, but she also thought the same thing of my ex husband.).  She also knows he’s helped out his parents a lot over the years, especially once they started getting older.  Keeping these things in mind, it’s natural she assumes he takes care  of anyone in need.  She pretends to be pitiful to get his attention.  She wants his attention because she is impressed by my husband & his family (my husband is a very attractive guy, & his family gives the appearance of being a big, close, happy family).  Having the attention of someone who is a part of that AND good looking AND if she can get him ignoring me for her?!  Talk about narcissistic supply!


Regarding my mother basically “rewarding” my husband when he mentions doing for his parents, God showed me that my mother is trying to accomplish two things with that conversation with my husband.  1- she is trying to hurt me.  My mother knows my mother in-law has hated me since we first met & I stopped speaking to her in 2002.  Showing she cares about her hurts me, especially knowing she does this on purpose.  She also knows that if I confronted her on it, I would look mean, unreasonable & possibly even crazy since she was just being polite (or whatever excuse she would use).  2- by “rewarding” my husband & praising him for helping his parents, my mother is showing me what can happen.  If I would just do more for them, I could get this reward too.  The sad fact is though, that when I have done for my parents, it really wasn’t ever enough.  Sure, my parents thanked me & sometimes even gave me money I didn’t ask for, but my mother in particular made me feel like I was the hired help, just doing the job I get paid for.  Or, like I was disappointing her by not doing enough.  Sometimes, I wasn’t doing a task good enough.


Isn’t this incredible?!  But, thinking about it, it makes perfect sense to me.


Narcissistic supply is a precious thing to narcissists.  Everything they do boils down to getting their supply.  They will do anything to get it, period, no matter who it hurts or what they need to do.  Sometimes, they have to get creative, & they definitely can be creative when it benefits them.  Just look at the above examples- my mother got her supply in extremely creative ways!  She hurt me, she put me in a place where I couldn’t confront her without looking bad, she tried to control me, & sometimes, she even got my husband’s focus off of me & onto her.  It’s like she hit the narcissistic supply jackpot!


My point in sharing all of this with you, Dear Reader, is because you need to be aware that whatever narcissists do is about supply.  Even seemingly innocuous things like I described in the above examples are about procuring narcissistic supply.  Never forget that!  Even things that appear innocent but give you a bad feeling can be about supply.  If you have a bad or strange feeling about something the narcissist is doing, even if it looks totally innocent, listen to that feeling!  Go to God, & ask Him about it.  (I wish I would’ve done it years ago in those situations I mentioned- it could’ve saved me a lot of frustration & wondering what she was up to!)  And, ask Him what you should do about it.  Narcissists may be very creative, but God is much more so!  He can show you effective & creative ways to deal with the narcissist in your life!


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

Narcissistic Supply In Overt & Covert Narcissists

All narcissists, whether covert or overt, whether high or low on the spectrum, are all about gaining that coveted narcissistic supply to make them feel good.  Educating yourself on how they get that supply is important so you understand why they are behaving the way they are & protect yourself accordingly.


Covert narcissists are much different & more difficult to deal with (at least in my opinion) than overt narcissists.  At least overt narcissists are open about their abuse.  Coverts?  They are much sneakier & more devious in the ways they abuse their victims.  In fact, it takes most victims a lot longer to realize they are being abused by a narcissist when their abuser is a covert narcissist.


Overt narcissists are easy to spot.  They are the ones bragging about their accomplishments, talking non stop about themselves, showing no empathy to anyone (& sometimes even bragging about that fact), & having no interest in other people beyond what those people can do for them.


Covert narcissists  however are much harder to recognize.  They like to give the impression of being kind & giving, even to the point of martyrdom.  They’re often married to overt narcissists, & look like the innocent victim of that person’s bad behavior.  They rarely, often never, stand up to the overt narcissist, saying there’s nothing they can do.  Even if the overt narcissist abuses their child, the covert claims there’s nothing he can do to stop his wife.  It’s so hard for him watching his wife abuse their child.   He portrays himself as the real victim, not the child, even to the point of expecting the child to console him.  (My father has done this as has my mother in-law).  Covert narcissists can fake empathy & concern for others, although if you look closely, you’ll see it’s simply an act on their part.  They also often mirror others, attempting to act like their victim to make the victim feel closer to them.


These differences in overt & covert narcissists also mean they get their narcissistic supply differently as well.


Overt narcissists want lots of praise & admiration.  If they are the center of attention, that makes them incredibly happy.  They are quite happy if you don’t talk, allowing them to control the conversation.  In fact, openly controlling you, not only the conversation, will make them gloriously happy.


Covert narcissists are much more subtle.  As I mentioned above, they get narcissistic supply by looking like a martyr.  Being married to an overt narcissist is ideal for them, because they get pity for what they put up with & being unable to get out of the situation.  They also appear modest when getting a complement, I think because this often makes people fuss more over them.  Coverts are also very controlling, but not so obviously as their overt counterparts.  For example, I’ve told my parents I don’t like calls after 9 p.m.  My covertly narcissistic father has ignored this repeatedly.  I decided I was going to drive the point home, & ignore him when he called at 9:15 once.  From 9:15 until 10, he called 15 times.  I let the phone ring… until my cousin called at 10:15.  He lives 450 miles away & never calls me so late, so I was worried about him.  It turns out my father called my cousin to tell my cousin to tell me to call my father!  And, my cousin said my father had called my in-laws who he knows I haven’t spoken to in years.  He told my cousin & father in-law he was worried sick about me since I didn’t answer his call.  He looked like a caring father when in fact, he just wanted to control me- he wanted me to answer his call no matter what I wanted or felt.  I didn’t call my father back that night.  Instead, he called me early the next morning, & was obviously upset that I didn’t call him that night.  If I had called, he would’ve gotten his narcissistic supply by being able to control me- it would’ve made him feel powerful.  Instead, I told him exactly why I didn’t take his call, & after that he never called me after 9 again.


I recently realized narcissists also get narcissistic supply by rescuing you.  I asked God once why does my father want to tell me how to fix any problems in my life or seem disappointed when I don’t need his help.  God showed me that rescuing me provides narcissistic supply.  It would make him feel like he’s doing something good by helping me, & not in the normal way helping people makes most people feel good.  It goes deeper than that.  Covert narcissists feel that helping others proves that they are good people.  They hope the person they helped will tell others about what was done for them.  They also bring it up periodically, hinting for praise.  “Did that money I gave you help you get your car fixed?”  “This room sure looks better since I helped you to paint it!”  The goal of such comments is for you to say something about how grateful you are for their help, or maybe you couldn’t have done it without them.


Overt narcissists aren’t so subtle when they help you.  They may bring it up often, remind you that you owe them or that you wouldn’t have been able to accomplish what you did without them.  I’m not sure about other overt narcissists, but I noticed with my mother, she doesn’t usually mention something she helped me with to my face.  Instead, she tells my father & I’m not sure who else how she’s always bailed me out of trouble (which she only did once- when my dog had to go to the emergency vet).  She also seems to get a thrill out of giving me money even when I don’t need it.  I wondered about this for a while & asked God.  It made no sense to me- I don’t ask her for help nor do I expect it from her, yet a few years ago, she started giving me money.  Immediately God showed me why she does this.  My parents are quite financially comfortable.  Moreso than my husband & I.  She enjoys reminding me that she has more money than me & can give me money without worrying about not being able to pay bills.


I pray you learn all you can about narcissistic supply, so if you must deal with a narcissist, you learn what not to do.  The less supply you provide, the less interested the narcissist will be in you.

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Don’t Beat Yourself Up Over Your Mistakes

I’ve always had a knack for remembering dates.  Even after the TBI I got in 2015, I still remember many dates that have been important to me at some time in my life.  For example,  I got my first car on July 6, 1989.  I moved out of my parents’ home on June 9, 1990.  I met my husband on March 14, 1992 & our first date was November 4, 1994.


Don’t get me started on my furbabies- I remember who I adopted when or when who was born, & when who passed away.


Remembering dates can be convenient sometimes, but it also can trigger some very unpleasant memories.  For years, I beat myself up from August 23 until November 24 because that was the short time I was involved with a man who I thought was a good guy, but I was unhappy dating.  When I told him I wanted to break up, he did his best to make me feel stupid & like a failure, which sunk in with me.  I believed I ruined his life & was a terrible person for it.  Many years later, I read that he shot & killed his boyfriend & then himself in their home.  It finally clicked that maybe he wasn’t the good guy he portrayed himself as.  I started remembering our short time together & realized that he was a very disturbed man.  I didn’t have clues then to just how disturbed, though.


In a way, learning this information was a good thing.  I finally was set free from the guilt of leaving this man.  It was as if I finally had permission to accept that leaving him was for my own safety.  It also helped me to think about something…


I have spent my life beating myself up for way too many things!


The disturbed man I mentioned?  I was only 19, he was 28 when we dated.  He was very controlling & I was so accustomed to being controlled, although it bothered me, I didn’t realize it was wrong.  It was so bad, in fact, that I didn’t want to date him.  I only did because he was pushy & my friend at the time said I should.  After growing up with narcissistic parents, this behavior of allowing others to control me is pretty normal.  I see that now, but for years, I told myself how stupid I was for this.  I should’ve known better.  HOW?!  How could I have known better?!


I’ve also beat myself up for not standing up to my parents more often, for tolerating way more than I should have.  This also doesn’t make sense- they’re my parents!  Aside from the dysfunctional teaching I grew up with that said I deserve whatever is done to me, being parents puts them in a unique position in my life no one else shares.  Most people are like me in that they are more willing to tolerate things from their parents than other people.


Does this describe you as well?  Have you spent way too much time chastising yourself for things that really aren’t your fault?  If so, please stop it right now!


Everyone makes mistakes!  Those of us raised in abusive, dysfunctional environments tend to make even more than most people because we simply do not know any better.  Frankly, it sucks, but it happens!


Have you learned from your mistakes?  Good!  That shows you don’t want to continue being dysfunctional!  That is something to be proud of!!


Do you realize that sharing stories of things you did & what you learned can encourage other people?  It really can!  I’m hardly proud of sharing the things I have in this blog, but the good part is they encourage other people.  I have the emails & comments to prove it.  In a way, my mess has become my ministry.  Not only the mess of my dysfunctional upbringing, but the mess of the dumb things I did as a result.  That encourages me too, because I know it means my pain has a purpose.  It wasn’t for nothing!


Your pain has a purpose too, Dear Reader!  If you don’t feel that way, then talk to God about it.  He will reveal the purpose to you, & comfort you!




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