The Facts About Coersive Control

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Childish Behavior In Narcissistic Parents

Many covert narcissists tend to behave like children in some ways.  I believe this is because they want to be coddled & taken care of like little kids.  Not that everyone doesn’t have that urge to be cared for sometimes but they really take it over the top.

Do you know if the covert narcissist in your life is behaving childishly?  Here are some ways to identify their childish behavior.

Childish adults don’t control their emotions normally.   Healthy adults have a good perspective.  Sure they get angry or sad sometimes, but it’s proportionate to the situation at hand.  Childish adults aren’t this way.  They get angry easily or cry at the drop of a hat, & their reactions are very disproportionate to the situation.

They lie.  Granted, all narcissists lie.  Childish ones however will lie even easier than their more mature counterparts.  If they’re in a situation where they are uncomfortable, childish narcissists will lie to get out of it.  Maybe they don’t want to attend their child’s Christmas play at school, so they say they have a headache in order to get out of it.

Blameshifting/blaming.  Another thing all narcissists love to do is shift the blame to their victim rather than accept responsibility.  Again though, childish ones do it even faster.

Excuses.  When a normal adult is confronted about something, they accept responsibility without making excuses.  Childish narcissists don’t do this.  They make up excuses, often really lame ones.  As one example, my late mother in-law was a covert & childish narcissist.  She used to snoop through my purse if I left her alone with it in her home for more than a moment, like if I went to the bathroom.  At one point, she left $40 in it.  I told my husband this isn’t her trying to bless me- it’s hush money so I’ll let her keep snooping.  As I listened from around the corner, he talked to her about staying out of my purse.  She whined about having “alllllll this cash just lying around” & said she had to get rid of it.  She didn’t mean any harm- she was just trying to get rid of some of that extra cash.  Lame excuse, no?

They feign incompetence.  Any adult who wants to be treated like a child will pretend they don’t know how to do things.  They may try to do something & do it really badly or break something, so the people in their lives get frustrated & just do the task for them.

Everything is a crisis.  Not every problem is a crisis, but childish narcissists act like they are.  If they have a crisis, then they can call on someone (usually their adult children) to run to their side to fix the problem.

Parentification.  Narcissistic parents are often very good at parentification.   This is when a parent treats a child more as a partner than a child.  The child is supposed to listen to the parent’s problems, often about such inappropriate topics as the parent’s marriage or sex life.  The child is supposed to take care of the parent’s emotional needs (cheer the parent when she’s sad, calm her down when angry, etc) & sometimes physical ones as well (such as cooking for or doing the laundry).  If both parents are narcissists, often the covert narcissistic parent will also expect the child to protect that parent from the overt one.  The child ends up very protective of that parent, not only with the other parent, but in general.  When that child grows up & gets married, if his new spouse has any complaint about the childish parent, the adult child will defend that parent to the spouse, often to the spouse’s surprise.  Excuses are made, the spouse is shamed for daring to be upset with the parent & more.

To deal with these childish behaviors in your narcissistic parent, don’t indulge them.  If your parent wants you to do something you know she can handle on her own, let her.  Tell her you aren’t able to take care of it but you know she can handle it just fine.

If she calls, complaining about  a crisis & you know it’s not really a crisis, put it in perspective for her.  Use cold logic.  Let’s say she’s upset because her mail hasn’t been delivered yet & it’s 2:00.  It usually arrives by 10, so she is upset it’s not there.  You can (calmly) say things like, “Mom, it’s still early in the day.  It’s the Christmas season & the post office is really busy this time of year.  They get behind sometimes.  If it doesn’t arrive by 6, contact the post office in the morning.”  Logic is a wonderful tool with narcissists.  They can’t say anything when the facts are completely clear before them.

Use logic when she lies, makes excuses or blames, too.  You can say things like, “I really don’t see how Susan doing that could make you behave that way.  It doesn’t make any sense.  Besides, I’ve known Susan for 10 years, & I’ve never known of her to do anything even remotely like that before.”  When you use logic, always stay calm & state the facts clearly.

If your narcissistic behavior acts childish with emotions, such as having a temper tantrum for not getting her way, treat her like the bratty child she’s acting like!  Tell her you aren’t going to talk to her until she calms down.  If you’re on the phone, tell her you have to go.  Use another phone to trigger your call waiting, so that way you can tell her your call waiting went off- you have to go.  (it’s not technically lying- your call waiting did beep!)

Regarding parentification behaviors… this is a tough one.  I honestly never found a way to stop my parents from doing it.  Saying, “It hurts me when you talk about Mom/Dad like this” doesn’t work with narcissists.  The one thing I found to be the most effective was to change the subject, especially back to my narcissistic parent.  Since narcissists love to talk about themselves, let that work in your favor.  Granted, you may not want to hear the latest gossip spoken about during her last bridge club but it sure beats hearing about 1,000 reasons she thinks your dad is a jerk!

There are ways to cope with childish behavior in narcissistic parents.  These suggestions are the best ones I’ve found.  Also don’t forget to pray.  Asking God for help is the smartest thing you can do.

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No Win Situations & Narcissists

Setting you up in a no win situation is one of many weapons in the narcissist’s arsenal.  They put you in a situation where you can’t win so they have a reason to be angry with or hurt by you, or to make you do what they want.

In my late teens, my mother’s abuse was at its peak.  She would scream at me so often, it was just a way of life for me then.  She didn’t have any valid reason to scream at me, so she would often make up reasons or put me in a situation where I would be wrong no matter what.   One example that comes to mind took place not long after I met my now ex husband.  Upon seeing him for the first time, my mother hated him & told me to stay away from him.  I liked him so I sneaked around behind her back at work & school to see him. (The rest of the time I was with my mother).  He & I worked together, & often closed the place.  I wasn’t allowed to have a car, so my mother took me to & from work & school.  When my ex & I walked out from work together, my mother screamed at me as soon as I got into the car for spending time with him.  When I walked out first on the next evening we worked together, she screamed at me again for him “hiding from her”, “not having the guts to face her, “& “being a coward”.  Then on the next evening we shared a shift, he left first as I hung back.  Then she screamed at me for him “being so cocky”,  leaving work before me.  There were only three ways to handle the situation & she got mad at every single one of them.  She created the perfect no win situation.  When I tried talking to her about it, she screamed at me for not knowing what she expected of me.  It was devastating to me & made me feel crazy.  It didn’t matter to her it hurt me though- as long as she felt better, that’s all that mattered.  That’s how narcissists are- so long as they benefit, it doesn’t matter who they hurt or destroy.

Unfortunately, I’ve never found a really good way to deal with it.  That’s why it’s called a “no win” situation, I suppose.  All I have learned is not to engage in the behavior.  Let the narcissist have the temper tantrum but you remain calm.  Showing narcissists emotions only gives them supply so you refuse to do that!  Do NOT apologize if you weren’t wrong.  Change the topic.  Leave the room or hang up the phone.

Always remember, this is NOT normal behavior!  The person who puts another in a no win situation is not normal.  There is something very wrong with that person, not you.

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Enmeshment

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Soulmates & Narcissists

Many people hear the term “soulmate” & assume it means someone romantically connected perfectly to another person.  This couple is assumed to be perfectly compatible in every way – comparable intellectually & sexually, sharing the same perspectives, feelings, likes & dislikes, & always agreeing with each other.  The perfect fairy tale love, in other words.  It also is a common belief that people have only one soulmate in their lifetime.

I don’t believe that this definition of soulmates is accurate at all.  I believe it’s actually better & more varied.

For one thing, I believe there are different types of soulmates, & they aren’t always romantic.  My best friend is my soulmate.  My husband sometimes finds it hard to believe just how much she & I have in common.  My husband is also my soulmate.  Both relationships are very different & neither relationship is perfect.

My husband & my best friend share much in common with me.  We all think remarkably similarly & share similar views on all kinds of things.  All of us are Christians.  We all grew up in similarly abusive, dysfunctional environments.  Yet at the same time, we’re all very unique individuals.  Each of us works in a very different line of work.  My husband is pretty interested in politics while my best friend & I have no interest in politics.  I love to crochet & knit while my husband & best friend have zero interest in either.  My best friend has no interest in cars while my husband & I both are pretty car obsessed, in particular with old classics.

While I consider my husband & best friend to be my soul mates, you can see obviously we aren’t perfect fits for each other.  Sometimes we even disagree with each other.  The cool part is that it’s totally fine!  We all respect each other’s differences.  We’re also willing to learn about the things that interest each other.  And, although we don’t always agree about everything, we have enough respect for each other to be perfectly fine with that.  We don’t have to agree about every single thing.

They both bring a great deal to my life, & I hope I return the favor to them.  They challenge me to be a better person.  There is no doubt that both are committed to the relationship with me.  I know if we have an argument, neither will abandon me.

The reason I’m mentioning soulmates is because many narcissists will try to convince their romantic partner that they are the partner’s perfect soulmate.  No one could be as good for them as the narcissist, or love them as the narcissist does, at least according to the narcissist.  In fact, my narcissistic ex husband once told me that no one would ever love me like he did.  To his credit, he was right – no one else has “loved” me as he did & that is a fact for which I am VERY grateful!  They also want their partner to think no one could understand them as well as the narcissist does, which is partly why they are the perfect soulmate to the partner.

If a romantic partner ever claims to be your soulmate, I want to encourage you to consider this person very well.  Does he or she show narcissistic tendencies?  Did this person mention the topic of being your soulmate early in the relationship?  When this person mentions the soulmate topic, does he or she only talk about how good they are for you, not that you’re also good for them?  Does this person use the phrase my ex used, that no one would love you like he or she loves you?  If so, these are some serious narcissistic red flags!  I would strongly encourage you to end the relationship!  Functional people don’t feel the need to convince their partner of their greatness for the partner.  My husband & best friend have never done this.  In fact, both tell me I’m good for them & that they appreciate me.

Functional people also don’t try to make a relationship very serious too early.  They realize it takes time to get to know each other enough to decide if this relationship has the potential to be serious.  Talking about being soulmates or discussing marriage early in the relationship isn’t normal!  My ex husband proposed to me only a bit under 3 months after we met.

Just remember, Dear Reader, that although it’s flattering if someone claims to be your soulmate, that also can be a red flag.  It can be the warning sign of a narcissist.

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Being Too Busy

So many people seem to admire others who are constantly busy.  If you don’t believe me, you can see this for yourself.  If someone asks what you’ve been up to lately, notice their reaction to your answer.  If you say, “Not much,” most people look a bit disgusted with that answer.  However, if you say, “I’ve been really busy,” most people look pleased with your answer.

Keeping busy isn’t always the good thing many people think it is though.  Constantly going takes a toll on your physical, emotional & even spiritual health.  Physical because you aren’t taking the proper time to rest like your body needs you to.  Emotional because you aren’t allowing your mind to relax or giving it time to process things you need to process.  Spiritual because you aren’t taking time to spend with God, so He can restore you,  heal you or simply love you like you need.

Keeping busy is also a trauma related response.  Many people who have experienced trauma throw themselves into activities or work rather than take the proper time to face & heal from their trauma.  Think about it.  How many people after the death of someone they love, for example, suddenly get more active in work, volunteering, working at their church or other activities?  A lot of people do this.  They also will frequently say something like keeping busy helps them not to think about their departed loved one so much.  Whether or not they realize it, they are trying to avoid the pain of missing their loved one by being so busy, they don’t have time to think about that pain.

As hard as it can be to stop this behavior, it really is important to do so.  If you are too busy, I’d like to encourage you to pray about it.  Ask God to help you let go of activities that aren’t beneficial to you, to help you streamline your life so you will have more free time, & to give you the courage & strength you need to face the issues you have been avoiding.

Also, seriously examine your activities.  Are there things you do that aren’t bringing you any joy or benefiting your life in any way?  Then it may be time to abandon them if possible.  Or, if you can’t fully abandon them, how about reducing the time, energy & finances spent on those activities?

Use technology to help you.  I lean heavily on Google Calendar.  It took some time to set it up, but once I did that, it’s become a life saver!  All important dates are on it, such as birthdays & anniversaries.  I also added dates our monthly bills are due (including notifications for a week or two before to remind me they are coming up soon so I can plan accordingly), & have them recur each month.  My husband & I both have Calendar on our cell phones, so we know when we have plans, when we have free time & when our bills are due.

Another useful tool is paying bills online.  Most companies save your payment information so if you pay the bill once, you can return each month, click a couple of buttons & pay your bill.  If you are financially able, another useful feature is automatic payments.  Most companies allow customers to schedule their payment so it automatically comes out of the bank on the same day each month.

Decluttering is another way to free up time.  Yes, it takes time to do, but once it’s done, it’s a wonderful thing.  My Grandmom had an aversion to clutter, & would say more stuff is only more stuff to clean & maintain.  She was right.  Less stuff to clean & maintain means more free time for you.

Use common sense, & you no doubt will see activities you can stop or do a different way to free up some time in your life.  You’ll enjoy your life a lot more when you have plenty of time to spend in prayer, reading, or whatever other ways you like to spend your time.  You’ll also be much less anxious & more able to face whatever issues you need to face.  xoxo

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Tips For Healing From Childhood Trauma

Childhood trauma is a terrible thing.  It forms so much of who we become as adults, good & bad.  Unfortunately usually there is much more bad than good.

The way to help minimize the bad is to heal.  To do this, you have to face the trauma, & that involves facing the emotions connected to it.  I know, this isn’t exactly fun but it’s quite necessary for healing.  Emotions demand to be dealt with, so not doing so will result in them manifesting in such toxic ways.  They will negatively affect your mental & physical health.  They can draw you to unhealthy relationships & circumstances.  That’s why it’s so much healthier to face trauma than to avoid doing so.

An effective way to do this that I have found is loosely based on Craig Hill’s “The Ancient Paths” book & seminars.  Start by looking at your life.  What areas are you consistently struggling with?  From there, you can ask God to show you what the root of the problem is.  When I have done this, God has shown me a memory, & usually it’s from childhood.  I focus on that memory, remembering everything about it that I can – what happened, where it happened, who was there, even more insignificant things like scents, sounds, who wore what clothing.  Remembering as much as possible makes it more real, which triggers many emotions.  Once I feel the emotions I tell God that in that situation I felt a certain way, like helpless, ashamed, stupid, ugly.  Then I ask Him to tell me if what I felt was right.  Was I right to feel the things I did?  I then listen for His response.  There really is healing & life in God’s word!  When He has spoken to me, I end up feeling so much better!  So much of the pain just disappears.

There is still a bit of work to do after this, however.  You will need to feel your feelings.  I mean really feel them.  Cry, get angry, yell… do whatever helps you to feel those emotions so you can get them out of you.  I often tell God just what I’m feeling.  He really can handle that & offer comfort during these painful times.  You may need to do this a few times to purge yourself completely of the emotions.  That depends on the trauma & how you as an individual feel about the situation.

When I first learned about all of this, I naively thought doing it once or twice would heal me completely.  Unfortunately healing from trauma is an ongoing process.  You have to heal from one incident at a time instead of all at once.  I can’t tell you it’s ever easy, but I can say that the more you do it, the easier it gets.  You get stronger as you heal, which enables you to face things better.  You also grow closer to God, because facing trauma in this manner makes you depend on Him for help.  It naturally strengthens your relationship.  It also helps you see God as He is, your Heavenly Father, rather than how you view your earthly parents.  So many abused children grow up seeing God as unreliable & untrustworthy as their earthly parents.  It’s natural, unfortunately.  Working on your healing in this way naturally changes your perspective on Him, & draws you closer to Him.

Also remember that doing this can be very emotionally draining.  It’s only natural that dealing with such negative & strong emotions would leave you feeling drained & a bit raw emotionally after.  When this happens, take good care of yourself.  Rest, be sure to eat healthy & relax as much as you can.

I know this all sounds intimidating, but truly, you can do it & you’ll be very glad you did!

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Don’t Believe Everything You Hear

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Signs Of A Mental Health Crisis You Shouldn’t Ignore

A breakdown is often referred to in different ways such as a mental breakdown, emotional breakdown or the less commonly used nervous breakdown.  All terms are used to describe a state in which a person can’t function normally due to overwhelming stress.

When I was 19, & my mother raged at me after I came home late one night.  Her screams woke my father who came in to see what was happening & then they began screaming at each other.  I ran into the bathroom & locked myself in.  I sat on the floor, unable to move, function or think.  I was catatonic for about five hours.

Other times, like when my beloved grandmom passed, the breakdowns weren’t quite as severe.  The catatonia lasted much shorter durations, but they were still awful.

I really don’t think most people take breakdowns nearly as seriously as they should.  They don’t believe such a thing exists or they claim the person having the breakdown is weak or seeking attention.  The sad truth is that breakdowns are serious & can damage a person’s mental health.  It’s vital to recognize the signs before one happens.

One of the first signs is feeling very anxious.  I don’t mean the normal anxiety that you feel before a job interview.  I mean anxiety that threatens to overwhelm you when there is no obvious reason to feel anxiety to such an extreme.  I mean panic attacks, headaches, tense muscles, tremors, upset stomach or high blood pressure.

Depression is another warning sign a breakdown may be on the horizon.  Sometimes, depression overwhelms a person, & a breakdown can happen.  This is what I experienced one after my beloved grandmom died.

Being over sensitive is another warning sign.  It is a big hint that your emotions are at their limit.  They’re overworked which is why they’re so sensitive.

Behavioral changes can be another sign of a pending breakdown.  Because your mind is so overwhelmed, naturally your behavior is different.  You may isolate yourself, lack patience, be short with people or lose interest in things that you normally enjoy.

Trouble with concentration is another red flag that a breakdown may be on the horizon.  Stress makes concentration harder, but when that stress is ongoing, it’s even worse.  Ongoing stress can increase cortisol levels in the body which over time can deteriorate your memory, ability to make decisions & problem solving skills.

Sleep changes often happen if someone is coming close to experiencing a breakdown.  Some people sleep too much while others sleep too little.  The exhaustion of being overwrought emotionally can cause a person to sleep too much.  At the same time, a can person to think too much, making sleep impossible.

Weight loss or gain & appetite changes can be another sign of a possible breakdown in the future.  Some people when stressed don’t like to eat while others overeat.  When a breakdown is likely on the horizon, those changes can be even more prominent.  Over eating in particular because cortisol can trigger cravings for high fat or sugary foods.

If you recognize these signs in yourself, it’s time to take action now.  Breakdowns can be avoided with proper self care.  Pray.  Talk to God like the Father that He is to you.  Write in a journal.  Talk to a trusted friend.  Reduce as many activities that are unnecessary as possible so you can have more time to relax.  Watch your eating habits to be sure you eat properly.  You still can indulge in a slice of cake or whatever treat you enjoy sometimes though- the key is balance, not cutting treats out entirely.  Get extra sleep, even if you need to take a sleeping pill to help you.  Do things that make you feel nurtured & comfortable.  Taking steps like these can truly help you avoid having a breakdown & are good for your mental health.

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About Being True To Yourself

Anyone who knows me knows I am deeply into music.  Although I love all kinds of music, one of my favorite bands ever is the famous rock band, Queen.  Their unique sound & ability to mix all types of sounds to make music is absolutely incredible to me.  “Normal” music bores me so the uniqueness that always has been Queen is super appealing to me.

Anyone who knows me also knows my way of thinking is a bit skewed from what normal people think.  That ties into my Queen fandom, so please bear with me….

Recently I was listening to my favorite Queen song, “The Show Must Go On.”  The song was written by Brian May, the band’s incredibly talented guitarist & by the way also an astrophysicist, for the band’s singer, Freddie Mercury as he was dying from AIDS.  The band members were incredibly close friends, & this song was his gift to Freddie.  The story goes, at the time they were to record it, Freddie was quite ill & the other band members weren’t sure he would be able to sing long enough to create the single.  Upon hearing their concerns, he slammed down a shot of liquor & said he’d do it… then proceeded to create the vocals in only one take.  Pretty impressive especially for a dying man, don’t you think?

Yet, this isn’t something that was un-typical for the magnificent singer.

An extremely shy man, Freddie Mercury created an on stage persona that was very different from his true personality.  His fans loved the extrovert he was on stage, yet in spite of that, when he was off stage, he stayed true to his true shy nature.  His private life stayed private as much as possible.

In spite of being known for being shy, Freddie Mercury had a healthy self esteem.  Many people assume being shy means having low self esteem, but that isn’t always the case.  He recognized his talent as well as his shortcomings.  As a result, he also was very accepting of others & non-judgmental.

Freddie Mercury was comfortable with who he was.  Ok, he was not perfect, but who is?  Even so, this man was clearly comfortable in his own skin.

Also, he wasn’t afraid to step out of the box.  He did many unique things.  The opinions of others really weren’t important to him.  That isn’t a bad thing at all!  Everyone should have such confidence in stepping out of the box!

Thinking of these things, I was reminded yet again that Freddie Mercury is quite the role model.  Yes, I know, he had issues.  But honestly.. don’t we all have some issues??  He was true to himself & that is a wonderful thing!  We should strive to be true to ourselves as well.

I think most of us can learn a thing or two from this amazing man!

Naturally as Christians, we need to keep God first in our lives.  That being said though, it sure wouldn’t hurt any of us to learn a few lessons from Freddie Mercury.

Whatever you do, stay true to yourself, be comfortable in your own skin & don’t be afraid to step outside of the box.  What other people think isn’t important.  And yes, this is aimed at those who survived narcissists!  You take care of yourself, be true to yourself & don’t be afraid of trying anything different.  If you want to dye your hair pink or blue or purple, then by all means, DO IT!!!  Get that tattoo, change your wardrobe into something entirely different from your normal.  Don’t let the opinions of other people determine what you should & shouldn’t do.  I know this can be so hard when you were raised by narcissistic parents, but it’s so important to break away from their mindset.  They don’t know you as the person God created you to be.  They don’t understand His will for your life.  And that is fine.  You know these things & you know that you need to do God’s will for your life.  Do it & enjoy every single moment!

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Some Victim Shaming Comments

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Some Thoughts About No Contact With Narcissistic Parents

As I write this post, it’s May 5.  To many people it’s no special day.  To others, it’s Cinco De Mayo.  To me, it’s a reminder of a very strange day.

In 2016, my mother in-law died on April 30.  Two days later, our oldest kitty died suddenly.  Three days after that was our dog, Dixie’s birthday & we really did try to celebrate her special day as usual.  Not easy with the sadness we both felt, but we tried & I think Dixie was ok with that since she was a very sweet, sensitive & smart little pup.

Then “it” happened.  May 5, 2016, I had a huge fight with my parents.  It wasn’t entirely unexpected, as you can tell if you read the original post in the link above.

Today, as I was driving home, the date hit me.  I had thought of it earlier remembering my sweet Dixie on her birthday (she passed in 2017), but I hadn’t thought about it relating to the argument with my parents.  I also realized I hadn’t thought of it last year, either, but in all fairness, my mother had just passed & I was still in shock at that time.  I wasn’t functioning very well.

Anyway, when I thought of the date relating to the argument with my parents, guilt about overwhelmed me.  I am so NOT proud of my behavior that evening.  That argument also was what led to me being no contact with my parents, & that led to them dying without me in their lives in any capacity.  It was my final straw.  Yet, I know what I did was the right thing.  It seems so unfair to be wracked with guilt even knowing I did the right thing, yet, it also makes sense in a strange way.

Going no contact with your family, in particular your parents, is incredibly hard.  Many people have no idea just how hard, but those of us who have done it or are contemplating doing it know.  It’s brutal.  It goes against nature, stepping away from your own blood!  Yet sadly, it also is necessary sometimes.

If you’re contemplating going no contact with your narcissistic parent or parents, my heart goes out to you.  It’s incredibly difficult!  Having been in your position, I can give you some advice though…

Seriously consider your choice.  No contact needs to be permanent, not permanent until you need your parent or miss them.  Only do it when you are certain you can make it permanent, no matter what.

Don’t do it on a whim or because you’re angry.  My story may sound like I did that but it’s not the case.  I’d been considering no contact for a while at that time, yet felt the timing wasn’t right until that argument with my parents.  It felt as if God said, “Now”.   Timing is important.  Trust His timing & ask Him to help you figure out when the time is right.

Know that going no contact can lead to tremendous guilt, even when you know there was no other choice.  I know, it seems wrong but it’s a simple fact.  As I type this, I still feel guilty about going no contact with my parents even knowing it was God’s will for me to do it.  The one thing that helps the guilt is leaning on God for reassurance.  At first, it was constant.. especially when my father was dying in 2017.  It has lightened up a great deal, but even now, sometimes guilt still kicks in.. like today.

Never, ever stop praying for your parent.  I know many people say narcissists aren’t worth praying for, they’re a lost cause, nothing can save them, etc. but you never know.  Both of my parents are in Heaven!!  When my mother died, a stranger, the funeral director who took care of her, told me that he felt God wanted him to tell me she was in Heaven.  In 2017, a former friend told me that God spoke to her about my father being in Heaven.  I realize not everyone wants to be saved & God honors the choices of each person.  That being said though… never stop praying for your narcissistic parents!  The worst case scenario is that parent doesn’t accept Jesus, which of course is terrible, but there is at least some comfort in knowing you did all you can do.  God heard your prayers.  He won’t forget you praying for your parents.  He knows you did all you could do.  Your conscience is clear, & that is a good thing.

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Any Reaction Is Good As Far As Narcissists Are Concerned

Narcissists do their best to elicit reactions from their victims.  It doesn’t matter to them if the reaction is positive or negative, so long as it’s a strong reaction.

If you react positively to a narcissist, this provides narcissistic supply because it builds up their ego.  They see your reaction as proof that they are the awesome, amazing person they want people to think they are.  This means they will pursue you fervently in order to gain more of that precious supply you provide.

If you react negatively to a narcissist, this also provides narcissistic supply.  In the mind of the narcissist, it proves they are incredibly powerful.  After all, only a powerful person could elicit such a reaction, as far as they’re concerned.  Or, they can portray themselves as your victim, which is another great way for them to gain supply.  This situation also means they will pursue you fervently, because they want that narcissistic supply.

Narcissists really are experts at creating “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” scenarios, aren’t they?

As difficult as it seems, you need to avoid both scenarios.  The more narcissistic supply you provide, the more the narcissist will demand of you.  They will not hesitate to drain you of anything & everything you have- money, possessions, your time, energy, etc- to gain that supply.

To avoid providing a narcissist with supply, you need to stop reacting & start responding.

Reacting is that knee-jerk reaction, that thing that just happens automatically, without thinking.  Responding, however, happens after you take time to calm down & think.  Responding is what you need to do when dealing with a narcissist.

Responding isn’t nearly as easy to do as reacting, but it is possible, even when face to face with a narcissist.  To start with, pray.  Ask God for help responding & to keep your reactions in check.  You also can pray Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” (KJV)

Remind yourself how important it is to stay calm.  Remembering why you need to behave this way can be helpful.  Also tell yourself that you can do this, you are well able to remain calm no matter what.   Remember Proverbs 23:7  “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:…” (KJV)  If you tell yourself such things, you will be able to do them.

Another trick I learned is to stop for a second & take a deep breath, then release it.  This act forces you to calm down because of the breathing.  It also gives you a second to think of a response or ask God for help.

If you are no longer in a relationship with the narcissist, & they are either harassing you (themselves or via flying monkeys) or creating a smear campaign, I still would urge you to remain calm.

If the narcissist is harassing you, block her every way possible- on social media, email, your phone- & ignore her completely no matter what.  If she sends you something via postal mail, before you do anything with it, pray.  Some narcissists see returning mail as contact, thus it provides them with supply, & encourages them to continue harassing you.  Others may not see it that way.  You need to pray about this before you accept or return their mail.  You also may need to get a restraining order (talk to a police officer in your area for more details).  In many cases, narcissists know about stalking laws & stay just barely legal.  This means you can’t get a restraining order since they haven’t broken the law.  Even if you can’t, document everything they do.  Save emails & texts.  Take screen shots.  Save voice mails.  And, save everything in a safe place, such as online storage, so you won’t lose it no matter what.  This way, if the narcissist does break the law at some point, you have evidence that their behavior has been awful for a long time.  This can help you with the legal system.

If flying monkeys are harassing you, also remain calm in their presence & respond, don’t react.  Any reaction on your part just proves to them that the narcissist is right about you & may encourage them to continue abusing you.  Change the subject.  Tell them you don’t wish to discuss the narcissist with them.  If they ignore your boundary, tell them this subject isn’t up for debate & if they continue, you will leave/hang up the phone.  Follow through on your threat.  If the flying monkeys approach in other ways such as via email, ignore the email.

If you’re the victim of a smear campaign, ignore it.  Let your true character shine.   I know it hurts when you hear the horrible lies being told about you, & when people you thought cared about you believe them, & I’m sorry for that.  Unfortunately, people are going to believe what they want to believe.  Some people are so determined to be right, they will ignore all evidence to the contrary.  Let them.  Smear campaigns, as painful as they are, are also a good way to find out who your true friends are.  True friends will question the person saying awful things about you & defend you.  Those people are gems that you should thank God for placing them in your life.

Lastly, you will need to release all the anger & hurt the narcissist has caused you once you are away from them or their flying monkeys.  Prayer is incredibly helpful.  Sometimes you may not feel like talking & journaling is a great way to cope during those times.  I think of my journal entries as talking to God in writing since He & I are the only ones who read my journal.  Talk to a safe friend or counselor.  When you’re able to release the negative emotions, be sure to let it all out.  I admit it- I’ve used awful language & called the narcissists in my life terrible names during those times, but it helped me to purge myself of all the awful feelings.  Not once have I felt God judged me for it either.  Not like He hasn’t heard those kinds of things before!

Whatever your situation with the narcissist in your life, Dear Reader, you can handle it.  I believe in you!  xoxo

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Handling A Smear Campaign

Most people have heard of the notorious narcissistic smear campaign.  This happens when a victim ends a relationship with a narcissist.  Narcissists can’t handle rejection, so to extract revenge on the one who rejected them, they tell anyone who will listen the most terrible lies they can conjure up about the victim.  Sadly, many people believe the lies, & victims often end up losing relationships with people they love.  In many cases even some of their close friends & family believe the narcissist’s lies.  This is why smear campaigns can be one of the most painful things a narcissist can do to a victim.

When a smear campaign happens, many victims try to explain their side of the situation.  It’s only normal to want to be believed, after all, & prove that they are nothing like the narcissist says they are.  Sadly though, people who wish to explain themselves are often met with disbelief.  Worse yet, when they become upset about not being believed, people take their righteous anger as proof that the narcissist was right, & the victim really is crazy, irrational, or even abusive.  

Rather than frustrate yourself, there are some much better ways to handle this awful situation.

First, pray.  Ask God for whatever you need in the situation & in particular, His guidance in exactly how you should handle it.  This is the absolute best place to start in any situation, in my opinion, & especially in such a tricky one as dealing with a smear campaign.

Second, you need to shift your perspective a bit.  Someone who genuinely cares about you not only wouldn’t believe the narcissist’s lies, but would defend you.  Anyone who doesn’t do this & believes the narcissist’s lies clearly doesn’t really care about you.  Knowing that, why would you care what people like that think of you?

Third, it bears repeating – never defend yourself to anyone who believes the narcissist’s lies.  There is no point.  Some people prefer to believe lies to the truth, so defending yourself to them will only serve to convince them that you are as bad as the narcissist says you are.  I know it’s tempting to defend yourself, but truly, you will be better off not doing so!  Let these deluded people believe whatever they want.

Fourth, rather than worry about the lies being told about you, try to focus instead on living your life in such a way that no one with any sense would believe the lies.  Just let your good character shine through.  1 Peter 2:15 says, “For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.” (ESV)  Doing this will prove that you are nothing like what the narcissist has said you are, & in fact, contrary to what the narcissist claims, you are a very good person.  Some people are die hard, excessively loyal to the narcissist, & they will refuse to believe anything but the lies.  The more rational, reasonable & functional people though will see the truth.  These are the people whose opinions you should value rather than those who blindly accept the narcissist’s lies as truth.

I know smear campaigns can be very difficult & painful to experience, but truly, you can & will get through it.  You will come out stronger & wiser from the experience too.  Your relationships most likely will be better as well.  The unhealthy ones will be weeded out by the narcissist’s lies, leaving you with the good ones.  Although smear campaigns are awful to go through, usually these good things & more end up coming from them.  Oddly, they really can be a blessing in disguise.

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Why Narcissistic Parents Defend Their Child’s Abuser

 

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What I Learned From No Contact

So many websites & authors make no contact sound like an easy decision & once you go no contact, all will be right in your world.  Nothing could be further from the truth!!  While no contact is often the best & even the only solution, that doesn’t mean it’s an easy one.

If you’re considering no contact with a narcissist in your life, in particular one in your family, you need to be aware of some things.  I am not writing these to make you change your mind about no contact, only to help you prepare for the potential aftermath.

  • No one has the right to abuse you, not even your family.
  • You are under no obligation whatsoever to tolerate abuse from anyone & yes, that includes family.
  • Cutting toxic people out of your life doesn’t make you a bad person.  It makes you someone who cares enough about yourself not to tolerate abuse.
  • Just because you severed contact with someone doesn’t mean you hate them.  You can love someone but still not be able to be in a relationship with them because they’re abusive.
  • No one can fully prepare for what may happen after no contact because all people are different.  When I went no contact with my mother, she ignored me & kept her distance.  When I went no contact with my father, he continually tried to force me to talk to him, including getting his family to try to force me to talk to him.  It’s hard to predict how the person on the receiving end of no contact will handle it.
  • You will be depressed for some time after going no contact.  No matter how sure you are that you did the right thing or how much you know you had no choice but to do this, ending a relationship especially one with a family member is TOUGH!  It hurts!
  • You’ll also feel very guilty for a while, even though there isn’t a valid reason to feel that way.  This is simply because that is how this person trained you.  Their feelings are more important than yours & how dare you put your feelings ahead of theirs, at least that is what they want you to believe.  Remember, this person is the reason the relationship fell apart.  Yes, you walked away but only after you were pushed into doing so to protect your mental health.  There is no reason to feel guilty about this!
  • You’re going to have doubts.  It’s only normal.  Remind yourself of how much thought & prayer went into your decision when this happens.  Also remember what led you to make this incredibly difficult decision.  Doing so helps a great deal.
  • Not everyone is going to understand.  Some people are going to judge you very harshly.  Those people can be incredibly hurtful & cruel.  No matter how convicted they are in their beliefs, it doesn’t mean they are right.  Don’t let them make you doubt your decision or tolerate their abusive words.
  • Of those who judge you, you will be surprised by who is doing it.  Some folks you were convinced were on your side will turn on you, & it is going to hurt badly!  You also may be surprised by acquaintances & even strangers who attack you for going no contact.  It’s shocking when someone you barely know or don’t even know at all thinks they have the right to tell you what they think you should do with your life.
  • Those who don’t understand also will try to guilt or shame you into reconnecting.  Don’t let that happen!!  Again, remind yourself of what led you to making this decision.  Also remind yourself that these people don’t know the whole story, so their input is useless to you.
  • Often, these people who attack you are going to be your own family.  Family is often the most abusive in these situations.  Mine certainly has been.  Various members have attacked me like they were starving lions & I was vulnerable prey.  Sadly this is pretty normal in narcissistic families.  Family members often delude themselves into thinking they’re a happy, normal, functional family.  They will do anything to protect their delusions, including attack someone who tells the truth.  If they can quiet the truth teller, then their delusions can remain in tact.  To them, attacking their own kin is worth it if it protects their delusions.
  • You may think if you just did something they wanted you to do or loved them enough, the abuse would have stopped.  That is not true!  A person changes because they want to.  To make an abuser want to change is nearly impossible.  They get what they want from being abusive & they lack empathy.  This means they see no reason at all to change.
  • You also may have days where you miss this person.  You may be tempted on those days to rekindle the relationship.  You may even want to apologize for going no contact.  DON’T DO IT!!  Once someone has gone no contact then later returns to the relationship, it gets much worse than it originally was.  It may start out good, but it won’t take long before the mask comes off again.  When that happens, the person underneath is even uglier than they were before.
  • You won’t be functioning in survivor mode anymore, so you may feel much different.  You may feel very vulnerable & over sensitive.  Little things can make you cry or make you angry that never bothered you before.  You may have more nightmares than usual.  You may experience changes in anxiety levels by either becoming more anxious in general or less anxious but when you do get anxious those times are harder than they used to be.
  • You may feel oddly lost, too, like you don’t know what to do with your life.  When in a relationship with a narcissist, they seem to take up all the room in the relationship, even down to including all the room in your brain.  Without them, what is there to think about?!  It can take some time to feel less lost after survival mode is over.
  • At some point, you are going to feel so much better!  You’ll experience freedom & enjoy that feeling immensely.  If the narcissist in your life was a relative, guilt will come attached to enjoying your new freedom, but in time it will get less & less, until it disappears.
  • You’ll also experience peace, possibly for the first time in your life!  No more unnecessary drama.  No more narcissistic rages.  The peace is glorious!!
  • You won’t feel on edge all the time, worried about what to say or do to appease the narcissist so he or she won’t rage at you.  You finally can relax & not focus all of your energy on this person.  It’ll feel like a giant weight is lifted off your shoulders.
  • You also will start to enjoy little things more than you used to.  When you’re life is totally focused on a narcissist, it’s hard to enjoy subtle things like a bird singing, a beautiful full moon or even a great song on the radio.  It can feel almost like you’re reborn, I think is the best way to describe it.

In time, you’ll learn that no contact was absolutely worth it.  In spite of all the pain, the tears, the doubts & the attacks from horrible people, it truly was worth it.  You will survive it, & be better & stronger for it!

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Never, Ever Underestimate Narcissists Or Flying Monkeys!

I was thinking of something & thought I’d pass it along to those of you who read my work & follow my YouTube channel.

April 25, 2019 was the day I buried my mother.  I decided not to have a funeral because those she was closest to were elderly, ill &/or lived too far away to attend her funeral.  The day of her burial, I knew I didn’t have to be there, so I was unsure if I would attend or not.  That is at least until that morning.  The cemetery called.  Apparently they made a huge blunder.  My parents bought two double decker plots, one for them & another for my husband & I.  When my father died, he was to be buried at double depth, then my mother on top at regular depth.  The problem was the day of my mother’s burial, they learned my father was buried at normal depth!  They had to exhume him, rebury him in the neighboring plot, fill in the now empty grave & then they could bury my mother.  I had to rush to the cemetery to fill out paperwork giving my permission to do this.  I did this & returned home, deciding to go back to the cemetery for her burial to be certain no more mistakes were made.

This was horrific to put it mildly, especially on top of losing my mother, learning I was to handle her estate matters, try to help her traumatized cat & continue to live my own life.  Yet, it got worse…

At the grave side with my husband & best friend, I realized someone else showed up.  The cousin who was a devoted flying monkey to my parents & the cruelest to me when my father was dying!  She approached me to tell me she was just there for my mother.  I told her to leave & she wasn’t welcome.  She smugly refused.  I called her a nasty name, which then fueled her insanity to start screaming.  Thankfully her husband dragged her off as my husband told her to get lost.  Her husband & the cemetery staff kept her away from me until I left, once my mother was safely buried.

The reason I’m sharing this story with you is this… never underestimate narcissists & their flying monkeys.  Always expect the worst out of them.  I clearly made a mistake by not expecting anyone to show up to my mother’s burial.  That day I felt I was at the edge of sanity with my trashy cousin trying to push me over the edge.  If I hadn’t underestimated narcissistic behavior, I could’ve been more mentally prepared to handle the situation or asked the cemetery not to tell anyone when my mother’s burial would be.

I’m not trying to make anyone feel paranoid, like you constantly have to look over your shoulder.  However, when these people have been in your life in any capacity, even only briefly as a flying monkey, you need to know that they may come back at any time, in particular at your worst possible times.

Narcissists are glad to cause pain.  I believe that most flying monkeys are also narcissists, which is why they see nothing wrong with encouraging people to tolerate abuse or treating people any old way they like under the guise of trying to help.  If they truly think this way then there is no low too low for them.  Never forget that!  Protect yourself as much as humanly possible from such people.  Know they are capable of anything.  If at all possible, avoid them.  Block any & all contact they have with you & don’t speak to them.  If that is not possible, then remember to Gray Rock.  Be boring.  Never give into any control measures they try to use on you.  Never show them any emotions you have.  Never provide any personal information about yourself or your life.  Remember what they find interesting about you & deny them of that.  These people deserve nothing from you, so provide them with nothing & protect yourself!

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When The Family Scapegoat Goes No Contact, part 2

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Sale On My Ebooks Extended

My ebooks are currently on sale until May 31, 2020.  Check them out at the following link:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CynthiaBaileyRug

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My Newest Book Is Now Available!

I have just published my newest book, “When A Narcissistic Parent Dies: Expanded Version.”

I originally wrote this book after my father died in 2017.  When my mother died last year, I learned a lot more about what it’s like to lose a narcissistic parent.  Rather than write an entirely new book on the topic, I decided simply to expand on what I had already written.

The print version is available at this link.  The ebook is available at this link.

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Losing A Narcissistic Parent

April 19, 2019 started quite the roller coaster for me.  It was the day the police knocked on my door at 10 p.m. to tell me that my mother was found deceased in her home.  I had no idea that this event would turn my life into something barely recognizable.

A couple of days later, I found my mother’s will, which is when I learned she not only left everything to me, but I also was to be her personal representative.  I can’t express the shock I felt at learning this completely unexpected turn of events!  I never expected to get any inheritance from her, let alone be her PR.  Oddly though, it has done me a lot of good.

Personal representatives have a lot of responsibility & many details to attend to.  As someone with a brain injury & C-PTSD which has given me crippling anxiety, I didn’t think I could do any of this, even with the help of my attorney.  But you know what?  I have!  In fact, I’ve done a pretty good job at everything, including dealing with unexpected problems.

The emotional aspect has been incredibly difficult, too.  Losing a parent is terrible for anyone, but add in the narcissistic element & it’s also complicated & confusing.  I went into shock the night the police gave me the death notification, & it lasted for several months.  Most of the time, I haven’t known what I felt.  My moods would swing drastically & I had no clue why.

In spite of these very challenging things, not only have I survived, I’ve thrived.  I believe it is all because of God.

The night of the death notification, I prayed probably the shortest prayer I’ve ever prayed.  I simply asked God to help me & has He ever!

While making funeral arrangements, the funeral director mentioned he too is a Christian.  He said he felt strongly that God wanted me to know that my mother is with Him, & everything is going to be ok, just trust Him.  I know beyond any doubt that those things are true, too.

Since her passing, God has told me things that she wanted me to know.  One thing was especially interesting.  A few years before my mother’s death, she gave me a wind chime with dragonflies on it, saying she thought I would like it.  It’s very pretty so yes I do!  While visiting her grave shortly after her death, there were a lot of dragonflies buzzing around me.  I suddenly got this strong feeling that my mother wanted me to think about what dragonflies symbolize when I see them & be comforted by that.  I began to ask God if that was right, please give me a sign.  About halfway through that prayer, the biggest one yet flew right in front of me!  I researched the symbolism of dragonflies when I got home.  Common thoughts are they symbolize hope, maturity, change, love, prosperity, & peace.  Seeing them now does give me comfort, & I see them at unusual times, not only during the spring & summer months.

Also, I’d decided almost immediately to give my mother’s car to a friend’s son who was going to get his drivers license in a few months.  Shortly after, I began to have second thoughts.  When praying about it one day, God told me very clearly, “Your mother wants you to have & enjoy her car.”  This car is definitely not my usual taste at all, but I have come to enjoy driving it.  And, my friend’s son?  He said he didn’t want me to have to hang onto the car waiting on him, so I should keep it.

Among all these rather strange events, I am happy to report that my anxiety levels are MUCH better than they were prior to my mother’s death.  It still is there, but not in the crippling capacity it once was.

My point of sharing all of this with you, Dear Reader?  I want to encourage you.  If your narcissistic parent dies before you, it’ll be tough.  But, with God, you’ll be able to get through it.  You’ll come out so much stronger & be so much closer to God than ever.  It may be the most difficult time of your life, but it will be worth it in the end if you just stay close to the Father.  ❤

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When The Family Scapegoat Goes No Contact, part 1

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Very Wise Words About PTSD & C-PTSD.

Recently I was speaking with a fellow blogger, Linda Lee at https://ablogabouthealingfromptsd.wordpress.com (it’s a great blog!  Check it out!).  We were talking about how we don’t believe God created people for things like surviving abuse & losing someone we love which is what makes coping with such things so incredibly hard.  During this conversation, she told me something very interesting.  Some time ago, she spent time under the care of the well known Meier Clinic.  In fact, she was blessed enough to be under the care of Dr. Meier directly!  After a lifetime of abuse & bad mental health diagnoses, this was an incredible blessing!  What he told her made so much sense in her situation, but I believe in other people’s situations as well.  It sure fit mine!  It probably will fit your situation too!

“You are NOT mentally ill.  What you have is called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Although PTSD is classified as a mental illness for insurance purposes, the reality is that having PTSD after experiencing overwhelming trauma is perfectly normal — no less normal than it is to bleed, if somebody cuts you with a knife.  You see, God did not create us for abuse.  God is love, and He made us in His spiritual image, which means that we were created for kindness and love, not for abuse and hatred.  God created us to love and be loved. But when we get hate instead of love, when we receive abuse instead of kindness, we are damaged by that.  Being damaged by abuse does not mean that you are weak or crazy.  The strongest, sanest person in the world will develop PTSD, if they go through enough trauma and abuse.  Just as the strongest man in the world will bleed, if you take a knife and cut him.  Human skin was not created to withstand the sharp blade of a knife.  In the same way, the human soul was not created to be traumatized and abused.”

I have beat myself up a LOT since learning I have C-PTSD.  I’ve told myself I’m so weak & other people had it worse & all kinds of heartless, invalidating things.  It doesn’t help when other people’s words & actions re-enforce such things.   I have found that sometimes those who have suffered abuse yet don’t have C-PTSD can be as judgmental as those who lack empathy for those who have been abused.

Anyway I find Dr. Meier’s words to my friend so comforting!!  Having C-PTSD or PTSD is a very normal response to a very abnormal situation!  These disorders aren’t a sign of weakness.  They are a sign of being normal.

Also, notice that he said. “The strongest, sanest person in the world will develop PTSD, if they go through enough trauma and abuse.”  That tells me that no one is immune to traumatic responses.  Every single person has a breaking point, a point where enough is enough, & the trauma they experience will cause their brain to develop PTSD or C-PTSD.  Everyone’s breaking point is different, so there is no point in judging others who have one of these disorders.  No one is immune!

The next time you’re feeling weak or like a failure for living with PTSD or C-PTSD,  I hope you’ll remember what Dr. Meier said.  Print them out.  Save them somewhere on your computer or phone.  Share them on Facebook.  Whatever you do, please remind yourself of them!  I certainly plan to do so & do so often!  It can get too easy to go down the rabbit hole of thinking you’re a failure for having such a problem & that isn’t right!  No one is immune!  They are natural reactions to highly abnormal circumstances, nothing more!

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When You Love Your Narcissistic Mother

Recently, I was watching an episode of “The Walking Dead.”  I’m not sure if any of you who follow my work are also fans, but if not, you still might find this interesting.

In this particular episode, Neegan was talking to the daughter of a woman he had killed.  Alpha was a horrible woman & was basically a cult leader in my opinion.  Anyway, the daughter was calm at first, realizing he killed her because it was necessary.  He kept saying she needed to get her feelings out though.  It wasn’t healthy to hold them in.  The girl insisted she was ok.  Eventually, the young woman broke down though.  When she did, she said something interesting.  “I want to hate her but I can’t!”

This really hit home with me.  I think many of us with narcissistic mothers feel the same way.  I realize not everyone does.  Some dislike or even hate their narcissistic mother.  I truly hope this post doesn’t make you feel something is wrong with you.  Everyone is different!  I’m simply writing this to help those who feel like I do.

It’s a very strange feeling when you know your mother did the most horrific & unspeakable things to you, destroyed your self esteem, destroyed your identity even, yet on some level, you still love her.  It makes no sense at all to the logical mind to feel that way.  If anyone else did these things to you, chances are excellent you wouldn’t feel any love for this person at all.  Why feel differently towards your mother?  She’s the one person in the world that never should intentionally hurt you, yet she did.  Over & over again in fact.

The one year anniversary of my mother’s death is fast approaching & I’m realizing I feel the same way.  I want to hate my mother, but I can’t.  I’ve been thinking about this & this episode of “The Walking Dead” got me thinking about it more.  I thought I’d share some thoughts as to why this happens sometimes.

Many children of narcissistic parents are naturally loving & kind.  They aren’t people who hate easily & often not at all.

Many narcissistic mothers were the engulfing type.  Children grow up feeling as if she is the only safe place for them because their mothers make them feel that way.  Hating that safety net of sorts feels impossible.

Often, there were some good times, too, not only bad.  Very few abusers are abusive 100% of the time.  They are nice & loving periodically to bond their victim to them.  This trauma bond can be extremely confusing!  You want to hate the abuser, but you also know that they can be very kind & loving at the same time.  It feels impossible to hate someone kind & loving even when you know that they are capable of unimaginable cruelty.

The nature of relationship is another factor.  You only get one mother.  You shared her body with her for nine months.  This can’t be said of any other human being on the planet.  This naturally makes a child share a unique & exceptionally close bond with her mother, no matter what kind of mother she was.  Hating one’s mother is unnatural.  Of course it is possible & many people do feel that way, but not everyone is capable of hating their mother.

If you feel like there is something wrong with you because in spite of it all, you still love your narcissistic mother, please know there is nothing wrong with you.  When it comes to surviving narcissistic abuse, there are no one size fits all solutions.  Everyone is different.  Everyone processes emotions differently.  Everyone also had different experiences.  I really don’t think there is anything wrong with how anyone feels who survived a narcissistic mother.  The only wrong that I’m aware of is when someone repeats the pattern with their own children, & continues the cycle.

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Preventing Narcissists From Wanting You Back

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How Narcissists Can Abuse Without Doing Anything

Everyone who knows much about narcissistic abuse knows their tactics.  Gaslighting, invalidation, scathing criticisms, baiting, projection… the list goes on & on.  They also have other ways to abuse their victims that are so subtle, they are often overlooked because the narcissist isn’t doing anything.

Narcissists can instill blind terror into their victims with a  look.  I remember the look from my overtly narcissistic mother when I was growing up.  I knew to stop whatever I was doing or saying right then or else the consequences would be terrible.  Naturally, I obeyed, & didn’t have to face consequences after that look.  My mother was hardly the only narcissistic parent to do this.  Many use it.

There also is a variation on the look that covert narcissists prefer.  The victim knows if they don’t do what the narcissist wants, they are going to be on the receiving end of a horrendous guilt trip.  Since covert narcissists are naturally much more subtle than overt narcissists, they wouldn’t consider scaring their victim in the same way.  Instead, they prefer to make their victim feel so guilty that they never repeat the behavior again.

Both overt & covert narcissists have yet another variation on “the look.”  It’s the look that makes a victim feel like they are the most moronic, disgusting, pathetic creature in the world.  My ex husband perfected this one.  When we argued, I was always wrong, according to him.  To drive his point home, he would look at me with a very smug look.  He never said the words, but his facial expression told me he was convinced I was utterly pathetic, stupid & lucky he was willing to put up with such a disgusting creature as me who was clearly so far beneath him & his highly superior intelligence.

Another way narcissists can abuse without lifting a finger is known as triangulation.  This is when a narcissist confides in another person about the victim.  They usually lie to this person to make the victim look bad & to make the narcissist look like an innocent victim.  When that third person believes the lies, they confront the real victim.  They tell the victim that they need to apologize to the narcissist, stop doing whatever the narcissist said they were doing, or even resume the relationship with the narcissist after going no contact.  The narcissist does nothing while this person abuses the victim on their behalf.

Clearly narcissists have abuse down to a science!

If you face any of these situations when dealing with a narcissist, chances are at some point you will think you’re reading too much into their actions.  You may even think something is mentally wrong with you to think the narcissist meant anything more than simply to look at you or was talking to a friend about your troubled relationship.  Please get such thoughts out of your mind immediately!  You aren’t reading too much into anything!  Every single thing narcissists say & do has a purpose.  You are correct in assuming those looks mean what you think they mean, & that person telling you what you are doing wrong by the narcissist is being used by the narcissist.

When these things happen, the first step I suggest you do is ask God to guide you & give you wisdom & creative ideas for handling the situation.  Also remind yourself that nothing narcissists do is innocent.  Everything has a self-serving motive.  These behaviors really have nothing to do with you.  They’re about the narcissist gaining control over you.  Don’t allow yourself to give into that control.  And, as for the person used in triangulation?  If you can’t remove this person from your life, at least refuse to discuss the narcissist with this person.  You’ll save yourself a great deal of frustration!

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

Excusing Bad Behavior

Have you ever noticed how many people readily excuse away bad & even abusive behavior?

  • “Boys will be boys!”
  • “That’s just how she is.”
  • “She had a difficult childhood.”
  • “He just doesn’t know how to act any differently.”

Naturally no one is perfect.  We all hurt or anger others sometimes.  When these things happen on a regular basis though, they shouldn’t be excused away.

God wants us to take responsibility for our actions & also to confront others about their bad behavior:

  • Matthew 18:15- 17  “15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.”  (NIV)
  • Luke 17:3   “Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.”  (KJV)
  • 2 Timothy 4:2  “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” (KJV)

If someone continually hurts you, you are well within your rights not to make excuses for their bad behavior & even to confront them about it.

With narcissists, I realize confrontation isn’t always a good idea however.  They can spin any situation around to make the victim look crazy, stupid or even abusive.  In cases like that, you have to lean on God for wisdom a LOT.  Sometimes, confrontation is a good idea, but other times it isn’t, & you will need His guidance to figure out whether or not each incident is worth confrontation.

In any case, don’t make excuses for bad behavior.  Confront the person misbehaving when it’s appropriate, let it go when it’s appropriate, but don’t excuse away abusive behavior.  Excusing it only leads to a person abusing more & more.  After all, if an abusive person knows they can get away with abusing, what motivation would that person have to stop?

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Filed under Narcissism

How Narcissists Manipulate Their Victims

One of the favorite tools of narcissists is saying something that may seem innocuous but in truth, it’s designed to cause hurt or anger.  Years ago, my late mother in-law  asked something me in front of my husband… “Is your car running ok?”  Sounds innocent.  Also, every time we went to her home, we were in my husband’s car so how was she to know if it was running or not?  The truth was she hated my car.  She told me many times I should get rid of it.  Her “innocent” comment was one more way to say she thought my car was a piece of junk.  Later, when I said something to my husband, he defended his mother.  He never heard her tell me how she hated my car, & as I said, when we visited her, we took his car.  He saw no evidence that what I said was true.

This is a very effective tactic!  What narcissists say may sound helpful or nice, & may even have a victim believing that for a second, but it’s manipulation.  It’s also said as it is to cause confusion, so when you confront the narcissist, they can deny any wrong doing. As an added bonus, narcissists like witnesses, so they can validate that the narcissist didn’t mean any harm & you’re wrong, as in the situation with my mother in-law.  This provides the narcissist with their precious narcissistic supply.  And, if you stay silent, this also provides the narcissist with supply, because they see they have control over you.

The coup de gras is when the narcissist can make you apologize for your valid feelings.  Unfortunately this happens often, because such devious techniques can be very difficult to spot.

There are different ways narcissist use this technique.  Some are listed below so you can learn to spot this manipulation as soon as it begins.

  • Mentioning an ex frequently.  Narcissists love to say “my ex is still in love with me”, that he or she called or they ran into each other somewhere.  They also may mention good qualities about this ex.  This is to make you jealous & insecure, by letting you know the narcissist has other, better options.  If you say anything, the narcissist says you’re insecure, & have no need to worry.  The reassurance doesn’t feel so reassuring, however.
  • Narcissists like to flirt, but not necessarily with their partner.  A narcissistic significant other has no trouble flirting with other people in front of their mate.  When confronted, they say things like they’re just being friendly, you need to stop being so insecure & the flirting doesn’t mean anything since you are the one he or she comes home to.  Again, the reassurance isn’t very reassuring!
  • Narcissistic parents “brag” about their children to others.  Narcissistic parents love to share stories about their children that make the parent look good.  If they were able to fix something for their child or rescue them after doing something not very wise, those stories will be shared.  When their child is upset, they tell their child they have nothing to be upset about because the parent was bragging about them.  How can that possibly be upsetting?
  • Being condescending.  Narcissists believe themselves to be of superior intellect, so when their victim is in need of advice, they offer their so called wisdom freely.  They mention they’re doing it to help or they have your best interest at heart, so your accusations offend them.  You should be grateful they care enough to help you!
  • Talking about things with other people in front of you that you know nothing about.  If you & the narcissist are with other people, they may discuss stories that you know nothing about or have inside jokes.  The narcissist wants you to feel left out.  If you mention it, the narcissist says he or she knew you wouldn’t want to go which is why you were left out, or you’d be bored by the silly inside jokes.  You then feel ashamed of yourself for your very valid feelings.

You can learn to recognize these subtle tactics with practice.  When you do, remind yourself of what is happening, & act accordingly.  Don’t show the narcissist that you’re hurt or angry.  Pretend not to notice their manipulation.  This will deprive them of narcissistic supply, & most likely they’ll stop using that tactic on you.

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

One Way To Minimize Anxiety

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

If You’re Struggling With Setting Boundaries Or Going No Contact With Your Narcissistic Parent

Many people have issues with setting boundaries or even severing ties with a narcissistic parent.  They say you are being mean, unreasonable, selfish.  In religious people, they may also throw in that you aren’t honoring your parent, & they quote Exodus 20:12 that tells us to honor our parents.  Or, in Asian cultures, they mention filial piety, which is respecting & caring for one’s parents being the highest of virtues.

People who say this sort of gibberish are either completely clueless or they’re narcissistic enablers.  Yet, in spite of that, sometimes victims are convinced that these imbeciles are right.  They stop using their boundaries, continue to tolerate the abuse, & are completely miserable.

If you are reading this & in this place of either wanting to set boundaries or go no contact with your narcissistic parent, but feel you are being selfish, mean, etc., you need to know that you are wrong!  I promise you that, & will show you why.

Although I don’t know much about religions other than Christianity, I do know that many of them seem to share one common belief, which basically boils down to, “you reap what you sow.”  Just look at what the Bible has to say about that…

 

  • Proverbs 11:25 “The generous man [is a source of blessing and] shall be prosperous and enriched, And he who waters will himself be watered [reaping the generosity he has sown].” (AMP)
  • Proverbs 19:19 “A man of great anger will bear the penalty [for his quick temper and lack of self-control];
    For if you rescue him [and do not let him learn from the consequences of his action], you will only have to rescue him over and over again.” (AMP)
  • Proverbs 22:8 “He who sows injustice will reap [a harvest of] trouble,
    And the rod of his wrath [with which he oppresses others] will fail.” (AMP)
  • Obadiah 15 “The day of the Lord is near for all nations.
    As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head.” (NIV)
  • 2 Corinthians 9:6 “Now [remember] this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows generously [that blessings may come to others] will also reap generously [and be blessed].” (AMP)
  • Galatians 6:7-8 “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked [He will not allow Himself to be ridiculed, nor treated with contempt nor allow His precepts to be scornfully set aside]; for whatever a man sows, this and this only is what he will reap.
    8 For the one who sows to his flesh [his sinful capacity, his worldliness, his disgraceful impulses] will reap from the flesh ruin and destruction, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” (AMP)

 

These Scriptures prove that whatever a person does, good or bad, there are consequences.  It’s a natural part of life.

I realize as the child of a narcissistic parent or two, this feels so foreign.  After all, the child never should upset the parent, burden them with “trivial” things like their needs or let the parent face consequences of their terrible behavior.  However, this is so wrong!  God has made sure this reaping & sowing wisdom is mentioned repeatedly in His Word.  This has to be important to be mentioned many times, wouldn’t you agree?

If you think about this, I’m sure it’ll help you to realize that your boundaries or no contact aren’t you being an awful person, but simply the natural course of events.  That is what happened with me.  I felt bad for setting boundaries with my parents & going low contact. God reminded me of Galatians 6:7-8.  I thought about it & realized it made sense.  Every time I so much as started to feel guilty, I remembered that Scripture.  It was very encouraging!  So much so that I was finally able to go no contact with my parents.  I felt mostly sadness because this wasn’t how things should be, which I think is totally normal, but very little guilt.  Without realizing the principle of sowing & reaping, I don’t know if I could have gone no contact.  If I had, no doubt the guilt would have been about crippling!

Please consider this post if you are struggling with setting boundaries or going no contact with your narcissistic parent, Dear Reader.  You aren’t wrong, selfish, unreasonable, mean or anything else.  You have every right to do these things!

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