If someone has hurt you repeatedly & deliberately, your good feelings or even love for that person can die. It isn’t a matter of hating that person, or wishing them bad things. It’s a matter of feeling complete indifference towards them. If you hear that person is suffering, you feel nothing- no pity, no desire to help them, no concern.
It sounds strange if you haven’t experienced it, I’m sure, but I would guess it happens more often than people care to admit. After all, saying it makes you sound bad or un-Christian if you don’t care about the pain of another human being. In spite of how it sounds though, I don’t think it’s abnormal to reach this place in certain bad relationships.
People say the opposite of love is hate, but I believe it to be indifference. If you love or hate someone, you have very strong feelings for someone. If you love them, you are glad when good things happen to them or sad when bad things happen. If you hate them, you are sad when good things happen to them & rejoice when bad things happen. If you feel indifferently towards a person though, you literally feel nothing for that person. No joy or sadness at their blessings or trials.
I felt indifference towards my mother in-law, even when she was diagnosed with serious health problems then later died. Does that sound awful to you? I’m sure it does, but consider some background information before judging..
From the moment we met, I knew she didn’t like me. She was civil & even pleasant sometimes in front of others, but when we were alone, she was cruel. She constantly insulted me, my family, my pets, my car, everyone & everything that meant anything at all to me. She talked to me like I was stupid & not good enough to be a part of her family. Not long after we got married, she told me how terribly disappointed she was that Eric married me instead of an ex of his. (A woman who cheated on him & treated him badly, mind you). She told me I needed to get rid of my pets- I had too many. She called my granddad stupid for living on his own at 84 years old, even knowing how important he was to me & never having met him. Upon seeing me replace a burn out turn signal bulb in my car once, she told me I needed to get rid of it- it cost me too much money. (The new bulb cost $.97 & had been in my car for the entire 9 years I had it at that time. It was the only repair my car had needed in a long time.). One evening in 2002, she called to talk to my husband, but he wasn’t home from work yet. She screamed at me for this because she thought he should’ve been home at that time of night. She also yelled at me because his allergies were bothering him. This conversation made me realize she wasn’t someone I could work things out with, no matter what I did. She blamed me for things I had absolutely no control over- how could I work things out with someone like that? Anything I felt for her died then, & I cut ties with her shortly after.
So after reading that story, doesn’t it make sense that in extreme circumstances like this, your feelings for someone can simply die?
If you’ve experienced this, please know you’re not alone & there is nothing wrong with you. This simply means you’re human & have been through some unfair, cruel things. It doesn’t mean you are a bad person or even a bad Christian.
In spite of feeling this way, I started praying for my mother in-law a few months before she died. I didn’t want to, I frankly didn’t care about her salvation or anything else going on with her. However, I felt in my heart God wanted me to & doing so helped me to feel a deep peace. I would recommend you do the same, Dear Reader, for that person you feel nothing for. Praying for them may bless them as well as you. It can be difficult at first, but I promise- it gets easier the more often you do it. I believe it will give you peace in your heart as it did me.
Song of Solomon 2:15 “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” (KJV)
The little things in life can add up to big things very quickly.
Neglecting to work through the smaller things can build resentment in a relationship, even leading to drastic measures such as divorce.
Neglecting to appreciate the small things can lead to a negative attitude & lack of appreciation, which makes a person utterly miserable.
Never forget, Dear Reader, that there really isn’t such a thing as “small foxes” in life. Little things can contain a great deal of power. They need to be dealt with wisely.
One day a few months ago, I’d had a frustrating day. One of those days when nothing seemed to go right. I finally had enough & wanted to relax in bed, watching tv for a bit before falling asleep. I showered, got into my comfiest pajamas, & pulled back the covers to get into bed when I found one of my cats peed on my bed. I didn’t even remember the last time this happened. It’s incredibly rare! At first I wanted to cry out of sheer frustration. I began to whine to God, when I felt His calm come over me. Instead of frustration, I felt I needed to take a deep breath. I did & the reality of my situation sunk in rather than frustration. I’d planned on changing my bed linens the following morning- I was simply doing it a little earlier than expected. And, I have a waterbed. Basically, it’s a big vinyl bag of water, so the pee didn’t absorb into the mattress like it would with a traditional mattress. It wasn’t a huge deal.
When frustrations happen, I urge you to do the same thing I did. Stop. Talk to God. Take a deep breath to relax. Then think about your situation realistically. Is it really a big deal the thing happened? If not? Don’t worry about it. If so? Work through it. Talk to God. Confront someone if need be, in a gentle manner of course. Not sure how to do that? Ask God to show you what to do & how to do it. He will!
I know that frustrating things can feel like a huge deal, especially after a bad day or if you have anxiety, depression, PTSD or C-PTSD. They don’t always have to be a huge deal though, Dear Reader. God can help you to have a healthy perspective, so let Him!
A thought crossed my mind a little while ago. Over the last maybe 10-15 years, my father has become quite obsessed with rescuing me. If I’m in financial trouble, he wants to give me money. If I have car trouble, he wants to tell me what’s wrong with the car even though I know cars & my husband has worked in the automotive industry for 30 years. I even remember one day when I was knitting during his visit to my home, I dropped a skein of yarn & he practically leaped towards me as if he was going to pick up my yarn. He also tried to tell me how to knit differently. Mind you, he knows nothing of knitting.
Since this rescue thing began, it’s been a problem. It infuriates my mother & she in turn would take her rage out on me. Plus, I don’t need a “daddy”- I’m a capable adult. I needed a father as a child when my mother was actively abusing me & my father wanted me to console him about that fact rather than protect me. Him wanting to rescue me now & not then just ticks me off.
I’ve been wondering why he does this. I thought it was just about getting some narcissistic supply. Covert narcissists like him love to look good by helping people. They don’t help out of the kindness of their hearts or because they care- they help for supply only. However, it felt like there was something more to it than that.
Today, God showed me there is more to it.
My father’s behavior started as I began to set more boundaries with my father, to spend less time with him & to pull away emotionally as well as physically. Narcissists don’t handle their child growing up as normal parents do. Normal parents embrace each stage of life their child is in. Narcissists want their child to remain small children indefinitely. Small children are easy to manipulate & control as well as are eager to please their parents. Since children grow up, narcissistic parents are forced to find ways to keep their children from maturing too much. My father has opted to rescue me to accomplish this. If I see that I need him to help me often, it will keep me doubting myself & dependent on him. He’ll get the narcissistic supply he needs by looking like the good dad who helps his daughter, plus I’ll stay dependent on him, easier to manipulate & wanting to please him. I won’t cause “problems” by having boundaries or my own wants, needs, or feelings.
There are a great deal of covert narcissists in the world, so I’m sure that my father isn’t the only one who behaves this way. They all seem to use the same rule book so I’m sure some of you reading this have a covertly narcissistic parent who behaves in this manner. It can be so frustrating wondering what is happening when they behave this way! I hope this helps you, Dear Reader, by giving you a possible reason for this behavior.
If you’re wondering how to deal with it, the only thing I found to do is to refuse the gifts, advice or attempts at rescuing. I remind my father I’m an adult & can handle whatever the situation is I need to handle- I don’t need any help or advice. It’s going to anger your parent, but the good part of that is they can’t say so without looking foolish, so they won’t say anything. In fact, I’ve found my father pulled away from me more & more as I refused his rescuing.
For some reason, I felt strongly that God wanted me to remind my readers of two facts that many children of narcissistic parents struggle with. I’m sorry this isn’t a new or unique word today. I firmly believe it is important, & something God wants you to remember though, so that is why I’m sharing it
Fact #1: Your narcissistic parents are NOT your responsibility. They are adults, entitled to make their own choices (even the bad ones). It is NOT your job to fix your parents or protect them from the consequences of their horrible behaviors. Your parents’ lives are 110% their responsibility.
Fact #2: While your parents have the right to live their lives their way, you posses the same right. You are entitled to live your life however you see fit. This also includes the right to protect yourself from your toxic, narcissistic parents. You are NOT being a bad son or daughter by protecting yourself from your parents or refusing to tolerate their manipulations & abuse. Tolerating abuse is never honorable, loving or good for either the abuser or the victim.
I know these two facts can be difficult to remember sometimes, Dear Reader, especially when you’re still in a relationship with your narcissistic parents, but you need to remember them! They will help you to refuse to accept the blame & responsibility for things that you shouldn’t accept blame & responsibility for. They also will help you to avoid falling for the cruelty & gaslighting of your narcissistic parents.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized something. I need beauty in my daily life in some way, shape or form. It helps to calm me, & bring me peace. It also makes me feel closer to God.
I save beautiful pictures, in particular fall or winter scenes, animal scenes & rain day scenes on my tablet, & regularly look at them.
Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder, so what makes me feel this way may not do the same for you. Maybe instead of snowy mountain views, beach views bring you peace. Then I urge you to start collecting such images. Or, if you have a favorite artist, then save images of his or her artwork. I absolutely love Claude Monet’s & Vincent VanGogh’s paintings. I have saved pictures of their artwork as well. The serene images help to bring me peace of mind.
Beauty should be an important part of your life, too, Dear Reader. Surround yourself with whatever you find beautiful in your home. Paint your walls colors that you love. Hang pictures on your walls not to merely fill a blank space, but because you love seeing them daily. Replace old pictures with new & more beautiful, meaningful ones. Invest in a pretty headboard & linens for your bed. Don’t just collect any old knick-knacks. Instead collect beautiful things that have a special meaning to you.
Start to surround yourself with the beauty God has placed on the Earth! It will improve your mood. 🙂
Among those who write about abuse, many are quick to label those who have experienced abuse as “survivors.” The term is meant to be empowering, reminding people of how far they have come, & what they survived. While the term survivor can do this for many people, it also can be shaming to others.
Some people, especially those who have only recently learned they were abused, may feel ashamed because they feel they should be “over it” by now or at least further along in their healing. Those who haven’t got the luxury of a good support system also may be subject to shame by the term survivor. But, almost anyone who has been abused can feel at least some shame when hearing that term. There is such a pressure to get over things these days, even by the most well meaning (yet clueless) people. Not “getting over” something fast enough for someone’s liking can make anyone feel ashamed.
Personally, I think everyone has the right to label themselves however works for them. If you are empowered by “survivor”, then by all means, call yourself one & do it proudly! If you aren’t, that is nothing to be ashamed of. Everyone is different. There is no shame in thinking of yourself as a victim. In fact, that is what I do because it reminds me that what was done to me wasn’t my fault. I am in no way to blame for the abusive narcissists in my life doing their best to hurt me, however, there are still times I wonder what I did to deserve the things that have been done to me. Reminding myself I was an innocent victim helps to keep such thoughts to a minimum. Doing this may not work for everyone, but it works for me.
Whatever people think of you ultimately doesn’t really matter, so please do your best not to be influenced by their opinions. What God thinks of you, what you think of yourself & what those you love think of you are the only opinions that should count.
In a discussion in my Facebook group, I mentioned how my mother always told me I hated having my picture taken. I assume that’s why my parents almost never took pictures of me as a child. Now, as an adult in my mid 40’s, seeing a camera can make me panic. Oddly, it never occurred to me that this was wrong until a friend of mine pointed it out. Once she did though, I began to think about it. I realized I have accepted my mother’s skewed view of reality rather than decide for myself what I felt or believed.
Have you done the same, Dear Reader? Do you feel a certain way about something because your narcissistic parent told you to? If so, I would like to encourage you today to do what I am doing- challenge that! Reject your narcissistic mother’s reality & claim your own.
Narcissistic parents NEVER have their child’s best interest at heart. If they try to convince you of something, it is because it benefits them in some way, not you. My mother convincing me I hate having my picture taken meant she had a good reason not to take pictures of me. Normal parents want pictures of their children, but mine didn’t want pictures of me. Not that she said this, of course, but I know it anyway. Since she convinced me I hated having my picture taken, this shifted the blame for there not being pictures of me onto me. See what a good mother she was? She didn’t force me to do something I didn’t want to do! As an added bonus- she hates having her picture taken so she could project her insecurities onto me. This situation benefited my mother nicely, but it hurt me, because here I am with very few pictures of me as a child aside from the annual school pictures.
Whatever your narcissistic mother’s reality for you is, today is your day to reject it! Face the real reality & reject hers once & for all! You deserve the best, & the best is certainly NOT the nonsense a narcissist puts on her own child. As yourself what you truly think about her reality. Do you honestly agree with it or do you feel something different? Ask God to help you to see the truth in the situation if you’re having trouble seeing it. He will help you!
Mental illness is very different from physical illness in many ways. One of those ways is the fact most people don’t usually believe someone has a mental illness. If you have diabetes, people can see there’s a problem. They see you testing your glucose or giving yourself an insulin shot. If you have cancer, you have xrays, mri’s & maybe even a visible tumor that people can see. But if you have a mental illness, there isn’t such evidence.
If you have Bipolar disorder, you’re just “moody.”
If you have C-PTSD or PTSD, you’re “dwelling in the past, need to stop thinking about things, need to get over it or you can’t have it because you weren’t in the military.”
If you’re depressed or anxious, “you’re feeling sorry for yourself, stop being sad or anxious, need to get out more or take a pill & get over it.” “Everyone feels sad/anxious” is another common comment.
What people fail to realize is you can’t control the symptoms of mental illness any more than you can physical illness.
As someone who is not only suffering with mental illness but also frustrated with the lack of compassion & understanding many people have about it, you may do like many people, & try to explain & justify your illness. Chances are, this will only frustrate you further.
As someone with mental illness myself, I get it. You want people to understand & not judge. You don’t want to be invalidated either. After years of thinking any problem I had wasn’t important (thanks, Mom & Dad for the invalidation), I assumed my mental health wasn’t important either. It took a long time for me to accept that I have real problems, & being invalidated by subject changes & such stupid statements as “Just take a pill- you’ll be fine” make me feel as I did growing up, like I don’t count. Frankly, I’ve come too far to live with that feeling anymore. I’ve also realized if I continue to explain to certain people who say such invalidating things, it will leave me feeling even more frustrated & angry. They only dig their heels in deeper & become more committed to know nothing of the problem at hand. They don’t want to understand, so nothing I can say will make them understand. It’s not worth my time & energy trying to make them understand
If you are in this situation as well, Dear Reader, I would like to encourage you today. You don’t have to explain your mental illness to anyone. Some people are going to want to know about it, but some won’t. Those people are committed to not knowing or understanding, & it’s not your place to make them understand or know what you live with. You will know if someone is genuinely concerned for you & wants to know what you experience. They won’t try to tell you what to do to “get over” your mental illness. They will offer understanding & support, not judgment. They will offer to help you if they can. People like this are the only ones that deserve your time & any information you wish to share about your illness.
Once you learn about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, it becomes a bit of an obsession. Everyone seems to do the same thing once they learn about it- they read everything they can get their hands on about NPD. They join online forums. They talk about it often. Thankfully the newness does wear off some, they realize it’s not healthy to be so obsessed & they begin to take breaks where they refuse to think about it or their experiences with narcissistic abuse. Even so, NPD is still a frequent topic of reading material, discussion & even thoughts.
Why does this happen?
I believe it happens because for one thing, there’s finally an answer. Growing up with narcissistic parents, we’re told we’re the problem. No matter what, it’s our fault. If we could just do/be more, better, prettier, etc etc etc, they wouldn’t have to act the way they do. Yet, when we do our best to be what our parents want us to be, it still isn’t good enough. They still abuse us or they tell us they never wanted that out of us, they wanted this instead & we are all wrong. This situation creates a child who feels like a failure because she didn’t fix things she isn’t even capable of fixing. She feels the weight of the world on her shoulders. As an adult, learning about NPD, she realizes for the first time in her life that she isn’t the problem. She isn’t the reason things were so horrible with her parents- her parents are the reason! It’s incredibly freeing! By reading about NPD often, it’s a constant reminder that she is OK & that she isn’t the awful person her parents said she was.
Unfortunately, the gaslighting & brainwashing of narcissistic parents goes incredibly deep. Reading such information a few times doesn’t really cut it. We have to read it & talk about it repeatedly to constantly remind us that we aren’t the problem. In my situation, I have had moments of revelation where I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, I’m not the one with the problem & my parents have always been incredibly abusive. Yet, even so, I still have doubts about that sometimes. I wonder if I’m completely wrong & they are right after all. Reading about, writing about & discussing narcissistic help me to keep in mind the simple truths about them being abusive & I’m not to blame.
Dear Reader, if you are doing this, please don’t feel bad. You’re simply a normal victim of narcissistic abuse. I would bet all of us obsess to a degree over the topic. Maybe not forever, but at the very least for a while.
Triggers are things that trigger PTSD or C-PTSD symptoms to flare up. A certain sound that makes you have a flashback or a scent creates a panic attack are triggers.
Unfortunately triggers are everywhere. There is no avoiding them entirely, as wonderful as it would be if that was possible. I have realized there are times when you can be more easily or less easily triggered. Certain dates (an abusive parent’s birthday for example) can make you more sensitive to triggers. Some people also are more or less triggered at various stages of healing.
So what can be done about triggers? Since they can’t be avoided completely, they need to be managed.
Prayer is the best place to start. Ask God for help showing you ways to manage your symptoms during triggers or ways you can avoid them.
Identify your triggers & avoid them when possible. This isn’t always easy, as thinking about your triggers can be upsetting. But, you need to know what upsets you so you can either avoid it or be prepared to deal with it when you can’t.
Triggers can show you what areas you need healing in, so pay close attention to them. For me, hearing someone talk about being sick & having their family care for them is a big trigger for me. I barely saw a doctor growing up, my mother complained when I was sick about having to take care of me or being stuck at home with me. As an adult, my mother doesn’t believe me if I have a health problem, blames me for getting sick or injured or accuses me of faking it. When I hear someone talking about their awesome family who was there for them during a health crisis, I know that I couldn’t experience the same thing, & it hurts me. It also makes me angry at my mother for being incapable of feelings that any normal mother feels for her child, for seeing nothing wrong with her behavior & instead getting upset with me for being rightfully angry with her. All of this shows me I still need healing in this area. The good part about all of this is the more that you do heal in that area, the less power the triggers will have over you.
Also focus on the here & now. Being well aware of your surroundings can help you to stay focused on that rather than get caught up in a panic attack. This also can help you to stay in reality during a flashback. Touch something with an extreme texture- very soft or coarse fabric, maybe hold an ice cube. Smell something with a strong scent, such as lavender (which also has anti-anxiety properties) or that holds good memories for you, such as the perfume your favorite aunt wore when you were a child.
Write in a journal. Writing can be extremely therapeutic. It also can be validating when you see things in writing rather than speaking about them.
Learn what self-soothing techniques work best to relax you. They should involve at least one of your senses. Soak in a bubble bath, wear soft & comfy clothes, stretch, listen to calming music, listen to nature sounds, sing, drink herbal tea or flavored coffee (decaf is best), light a scented candle or incense, smell some flowers, read a book, watch a funny movie or tv show, look at pictures of those you love or that inspire you.
I’m going to take a wild guess that I’m not the only victim of narcissistic abuse who has experienced this kind of situation. I’m hoping sharing it will help those of you who have similar experiences.
When I was in either seventh or eighth grade, I experienced the scare of my young life at that time. My parents & I went to the grocery store one night. While there, we ran into my friend, her parents & brother. She & I went off to check out the makeup while our families shopped for groceries. Shortly after we were separated, a very creepy guy started following us & trying to talk to us. He scared us both badly. Thankfully, we found my friend’s parents as we were trying to get away from the creepy guy, & she told her parents what happened. Her father was a very big, imposing man, which worked nicely in our favor. As Creepy Guy approached, her father put his arms around us both & told the guy to leave his daughters alone or else! Creepy Guy left us alone. My friends father told me to stay with them until we found my parents. Upon finding my parents a few minutes later, he told my parents what happened. I don’t remember if they even thanked him for protecting me. We went to one cash register, my friend & her parents another. Creepy Guy was outside the store at this point. He was looking in the window at me, waving & smiling. My father said & did nothing. My mother continued putting groceries on the conveyor belt & said to just ignore the guy. By the time we left the store, Creepy Guy was gone. That was the end of the situation. Neither of my parents asked if I was OK or showed any concern for how scared I had been. I never thought about the incident again until I was around 40 years old.
When it came to mind one day, I was suddenly very shaken up. This guy was just very creepy, I don’t know how else to describe him. It was painfully obvious his motivations with my friend & I weren’t good. Yet, my parents didn’t show an ounce of concern, not even after my friend’s parents told them what happened. These were good, Christian people- they didn’t lie or even exaggerate! Why wasn’t what they said taken seriously?! If I had a child & this happened to her, I would’ve called the police & spoken with the store manager, not to mention, tried to comfort my child.
In considering this situation, I also realized that not only do my parents still shop at this same grocery store, my mother sent me there to do her shopping a few times before I moved out. I didn’t feel any anxiety in that store during those times I visited it. It’s only been as a middle aged woman that I feel horrible anxiety if I’m near that store. Thankfully I don’t shop at that store or have any reason to go near it very often.
I was wondering recently why this is. Why as a child, was I ok, but now, 30 years after the fact, even a quick trip through the parking lot sends me into a panic attack. God showed me the answer.
As narcissists, these parents demand to be treated as gods, basically. There is no room for anything except for their reality. You aren’t allowed to have feelings, needs, etc. with a narcissistic parent because that makes you a “bother.” All that exists with narcissistic parents is their reality, period, & anything to do with you isn’t important. If you experience a trauma, they won’t care. It’s not a big deal to them because it doesn’t affect them. As a child, you accept their reality as your own. When something traumatic or even simply painful happens, & your narcissistic parent(s) acts like it’s no big deal, you internalize that. You accept it wasn’t a big deal & ignore your feelings.
Years later as an adult, you see things differently. If you’ve learned about narcissistic abuse, you definitely see things differently than you did as a child. You realize how messed up your narcissistic parent(s) is. You see things differently than you once did. You no longer blindly accept your parents’ reality but instead accept the real, reality only. You may even have a child, & see things as a parent rather than only seeing them as an abused child. You see things through more mature eyes plus with the influence of things you have learned & things you have healed from. That is why if you look back at something from your childhood you hadn’t thought of in a long time at this point, you realize how messed up it was! You see your parents lack of protection or concern, & instead of taking it in stride, you get angry or hurt.
When this happens, it can be hard at first. When I first thought about Creepy Guy after all those years, I was angry & very hurt that my parents showed so little concern about a potentially very serious situation. (I also wished I’d had the chance to thank my friend’s father for protecting me before he died, but that’s another issue). I was also less than thrilled- yet one more thing to deal with from childhood. UGH. I realized something though that helped me. I realized how far I’ve come. I was so dysfunctional back then, I accepted that this possible rapist or murder being interested in my friend & I was no big deal. Now, I see how sick it is my parents ignored the situation. I realized that my view now is normal & that showed me how much healing I’ve done. Definitely a good thing!! So please keep that in mind if you go through this experience, Dear Reader. Seeing things in a healthy way like I did is proof that you are healing, & that is a huge blessing!
Recently, I had a rough evening. I had a nasty flashback to start with. It was something I remembered, but I hadn’t thought of in a while. A few hours later, I went to bed & had nasty nightmares.
As miserable as this experience was, it had a purpose.
The experience in the flashback & the nightmares showed me that there is a VERY common thread in my life with those who have abused or at the least mistreated me. The abusers may have done different things to me, but they all believed that I was supposed to be their personal punching bag, obey their wishes at any personal cost to me, sacrifice anything for any whim of theirs, & take any abuse they dished out with a smile. And, anyone I told their behavior was unacceptable acted the same way- as if I had a problem for being upset about their actions.
When this occurred to me the morning after the whole experience, something clicked in me. No normal human acts this way! While I already realized it, it really hit home to me just how messed up abusers are to think such things & act this way towards those they abuse. How can anyone think that it’s OK to abuse & there is something wrong with victims for calling an abuser out on it?!
My point is that although you probably know this already, I wanted to remind you, Dear Reader, that NO ONE has the right abuse you! You have every right to speak out, to set & enforce healthy boundaries, to stop the abuse, & to call out your abuser! You do NOT have to tolerate abuse just because some sick person thinks you do. You have rights! Never listen to an abuser who thinks you should tolerate anything they dish out with a smile. They are WRONG! No one has to do that. No one. You deserve better than to be abused! Never doubt that! If you don’t believe me, remember, God thinks so to. He loved you enough to send His only Son to die for you, so you could become His child. Do you really think He would be OK with you being abused after that?
In all honesty, I’m NOT at all interested in politics & I’m sure this will be my only political post ever. I have a hard enough time managing my own life without the responsibility of learning about candidates & issues. As irresponsible as that may seem to some folks, it’s the truth. That being said, I do have one issue that is sticking in my craw. Today as the 45th president is sworn into office, I thought it might be a good time to say it.
There is no real respect for the office of the President anymore. Listen to how people talk about various Presidents & you will see this is true. They are often called awful names rather than people simply disagreeing with their decisions & actions. People who don’t share the opinions of those who dislike Presidents are ridiculed, told how stupid they are & also called awful names.
And just for the record- I’ve seen this behavior in both conservative & liberal minded people, so I’m not trying to criticize any one political affiliation.
If this describes your behavior, then please think about the things you say! Like a President or not, he is in an extremely important job that is also incredibly stressful & challenging. Would you want that kind of pressure, running the country? I certainly wouldn’t! They are men of great power, sure, but they are also human beings, so this position must be very hard on them! I once heard someone say Presidents often age in “dog years” because of the stress of their position.
How about rather than criticizing Presidents, praying for them instead? For a past President, why not pray for them & their families to know the love of God? If they have health problems, pray for their health. Ask God to bless & take care of them. For the current President, why not ask God to guide his decisions, to give him wisdom, compassion, discernment, strength & courage? And, let’s not forget those who work under the President. They may have less responsibility than he does, but they support him. They also need wisdom, compassion, etc., & certainly could benefit for your prayers.
And, don’t forget- people don’t have to agree with you 100% about everything. Just because someone disagrees with your views doesn’t necessarily mean they are stupid or against you. It simply means they think differently than you do about something. Different doesn’t equal bad!
I hope straying so far out into left field doesn’t offend you, Dear Reader. I mean no offense at all. I just hope to raise some awareness to what seems to be an all too common problem in society that I believe needs to change.
When people learn that someone has been abused as a child, they often say the dumbest things, I think because it’s hard to know what to say. Simply saying, “I’m sorry for what you went through” would be fine, but many people don’t seem to agree with that. So, rather than saying that statement, they can come up with some pretty hurtful & stupid comments.
One thing some folks say is, “It couldn’t have been all that bad! Look how you turned out!” Bless their naive little hearts. This actually makes sense to them!
People who say this fail to realize that when you grow up with narcissistic parents, you learn early on to hide your problems so as not to “bother” them. Narcissistic parents have no time, energy or desire to deal with their child’s problems, so when their child comes to them with a problem, they ignore, trivialize or even shame the child for having the problem. This teaches the child it’s just best to hide their pain, illness, hurt feelings, needs & anything really from their parents.
This behavior carries over into adulthood. Out of habit, the adult child of narcissistic parents continues to hide their problems. As a result, some people look at us & assume we have it all together when the truth is that we don’t!
No one can escape narcissistic abuse unscathed. Every single person who was raised by a narcissistic parent or two has had issues from it. Some end up with C-PTSD or PTSD. Some end up with crippling depression or anxiety. Some turn to self harm or self destructive behaviors. Some end up with addictions to drugs, alcohol or food. Some end up overachievers who work themselves so hard, they end up very sick from it. Some even turn into narcissists themselves, continuing the cycle of dysfunction & abuse. Almost all end up with some type of health problems- MS, fibromyalgia, arthritis, digestive problems, heart problems, etc.
We are often able to function quite well too, in spite of the problems. Growing up as we did, learning early to hide our problems from our parents, we learned also how to function normally in spite of problems. I went through my life normally for many years even though I was suicidal. No one knew it. I got good grades in school (honor roll, graduated in the top 10% of my class). I held down jobs. I laughed. I lived my life normally, in spite of wanting to die, & not one person had a clue how I felt. Even now, no one, including my husband, has any idea exactly how bad the C-PTSD is when it flares up because I hide it so well. The habit of hiding things is so ingrained in me, I do it without even thinking about it.
If someone says to you that what you went through couldn’t have been so bad since you turned out so well, then please feel free to show them this post, if you think it will help. Narcissistic abuse is a serious problem with life long, life changing problems affecting victims. People need to understand this so they can start supporting victims!
Being a white girl, living in a white neighborhood and not knowing any people of color, Martin Luther King Jr. was never mentioned in my childhood home. His birthday was never celebrated as a holid…
Source: MLK and Advice for the ACoN Soul
Anyone familiar with someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder knows there is definitely something wrong with that person. NPD fits very well, although not perfectly. The term “disorder” can be rather unsettling. Disorder implies something is beyond someone’s control, & we all have seen narcissists change from devil incarnate to sweetheart in a flash, when the person they want to impress comes into their presence. Often, “disorder” doesn’t feel like the right description because of that behavior. It seems like something else is amiss with that person, but what?
I firmly believe there is a demonic element to NPD. I’m not one to blame Satan & his demons for any little thing bad that happens, but I do believe they are at work on the Earth. Granted, I haven’t read anywhere to confirm what I believe about narcissists being possessed or influenced by demons, so I can’t offer concrete evidence. All I can offer is some things that have crossed my mind about this topic.
There are evil spirits at work in the world..
- 1 John 4:1 “1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”
- John 10:10 “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly.”
- Revelation 12:9 “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”
Evil spirits are here to “steal, kill & destroy” according to what Jesus said in John 10:10. Isn’t that what narcissists do? They steal, kill & destroy your mental health, also physical sometimes. They also deceive (Revelation 12:9) & speak lies (like the false prophets in 1 John 4:1)
Narcissists also share many very similar characteristics & means of behavior. Even narcissists who have never met from different countries, of different races, religious beliefs, cultures, financial statuses, etc. often act very much alike. How can that be explained other than demons influencing them?
And, many victims of angry narcissists have witnessed the identical physical change during a narcissistic rage – the narcissist’s eyes turning jet black. I don’t mean their pupils dilated so their eyes looked black – I mean literally their eyes changed color from blue, green, hazel or brown to jet black. Most people’s eyes never change color, no matter their mood, but many narcissist’s eyes will.
The behavior of narcissism also goes exactly in the opposite direction of the way God wants us to behave. That points directly to Satan if you ask me.
Not being an expert in the field of demons, I can’t provide expert advice on this aspect of NPD. However, I do believe it’s good to ask God for wisdom on how to handle the narcissist in your life. I also think it’s a good idea to ask God to protect you, your family, your property, etc. from the narcissist & any evil spirits. It also is a good idea to pray for the narcissist, as hard as that may be, so that she may come to know God.
From the narcissists’ flying monkeys to even the most well meaning of people, people like to tell victims of narcissistic abuse how to feel.
- “You’re too negative. You need to be more positive.”
- “You need to let that go/get over it.”
- “Aren’t you over that yet?”
- “You need to forgive & forget.”
- “You shouldn’t have let them abuse you.”
- “You need to stop thinking about it.”
- “You haven’t prayed enough.”
Early in healing, such statements add to the toxic shame you already feel stemming from the abuse. You feel ashamed of yourself for not being over it, not forgiving your abuser & forgetting their awful deeds or being so “negative.”
Later in your healing, after you’ve gained some wisdom & experience, such comments really just get under your skin. You know that there is no way to “just get over” the horrible things that have been done to you. It takes a great deal of prayer & work to heal, & even then, you may never be “over” the abuse you endured. If you live with PTSD/C-PTSD, you live with flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, anxiety, depression & more every single day because of the abuse. As long as you have the disorder, you are forced to live with the abuse every day, like it or not. And forgive & forget?? HA. Even if you are able to forgive your abuser, you don’t forget abusive things done to you. It also makes you angry people tell you how to heal, as if they know what you need better than you do. So presumptuous & arrogant!
No one has the right to tell you how to feel or how you need to work on your healing. You know what you need more than anyone else. Besides, what may have worked for them doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you too. Different things work for different people.
No one has the right to blame you for being abused, saying things like “you allowed the abuse.” No, you didn’t. Abusers abuse, period. No matter what you did or didn’t do, the abuser planned to abuse you & did so, all of his or her own free will.
No matter what happened to your abuser, that does NOT give him or her the right to abuse you. Many people who grew up in a toxic environment became good, caring people as adults. Anyone that tries to excuse their abusive behavior because they had a bad childhood or other lame excuses is toxic. Avoid these people as much as possible! If you can’t avoid them entirely, at the very least have strong boundaries when you’re with them & refuse to discuss the abuse you endured.
You have the right to protect & care for your physical & mental health however works best for you.
You have the right to have & enforce healthy boundaries by whatever means work for you.
You have the right to limit or end contact with people who are detrimental to your healing, no matter if those people are friends or even family.
You have the right (& obligation) to take care of yourself, to rest on bad days, to cry when you’re sad, etc.
You have the right to feel whatever you feel. If you’re angry, you have the right to that anger. If you’re sad, you have the right to those tears. Feel the emotions so you can process them & heal, no matter who says you’re wrong for feeling such things.
You have the right to decide with who to share details of the abuse. You don’t have to share your story with everyone. Even if someone asks you what happened, you don’t have to tell them if you don’t feel comfortable with it. Besides, sharing with just anyone isn’t wise, since some people will use the information to hurt you.
Narcissists are masters of abuse. They abuse as cleverly as Claude Monet created beautiful works of art. Sadly, instead of leaving behind beauty as a result of their efforts as Monet did, they leave behind devastation & destruction.
A favorite thing for any narcissist to do is to control their victim. Whether the narcissist is overt or covert matters not in this area, because they all love control.
One means to control their victim is to create a fear of consequences. Naturally, the overt narcissist will use this tactic a bit differently than the covert type, but both use it with equal fervor, & both will send the same messages to the victim: “I’m rejecting you.” “You’re no good & not worthy of my love.” “You’re crazy.” “You will go along with what I want or else face my wrath.”
If an overt narcissist wants to control you, she may scream, psychologically abuse or even physically abuse you. With a covert narcissist, he will give you the silent treatment, attempt to make you feel guilty, attempt to make you pity him or even portray himself as the victim of your abuse.
Naturally, victims want to avoid these awful consequences, so they stop whatever behavior triggered the narcissistic abuse.
That is how a fear of consequences is born. Once that happens, the narcissist learns she can repeat those behaviors to control her victim.
When a person grows up with a parent doing this, it can be hard to stand up to that parent, even as an adult. I understand that completely. However, it must be done!
I’m not saying you have to return tit for tat, screaming at your parent or returning their abusive behavior to them (as justified as it might be..). I am saying that you can & should reject their behavior. Tolerating it only means you will continue to be abused by that person, which is unfair. It also sends the message to you & any others who see it that you won’t defend yourself, you don’t matter, it is perfectly acceptable to abuse you & if you will tolerate this abuse, certainly more will also be acceptable to you.
With narcissists, often saying something confrontational or even setting a simple boundary isn’t a good idea. They will use that information to hurt you further by repeating the behavior or they will tell others how cruel you were to them, while continuing the behavior. You need to know your own individual situation well, so you know when is a good time to speak out, & when isn’t. Any time I’ve had to deal with my narcissistic parents, I ask God to provide whatever I will need for the interaction. Wisdom, strength, courage to speak up.. anything He knows I will need. That has helped me tremendously in knowing when I should speak up & when I shouldn’t.
On the times you know in your heart it is best not to speak out, you still can set your boundaries & not tolerate the abuse. You can hang up the phone or leave the room. All you have to say is, “I need to go now. Good bye.” You don’t owe them any explanations beyond that.
You also need to look at their abusive consequences differently. Getting the silent treatment? Think of it as a reprieve from drama. Enjoy it while it lasts! Is she screaming at you? Trying to make you feel guilty? Acting like she’s the victim & you’re the abuser? Remember, normal people do NOT behave this way! This just goes to show how messed up the narcissist is. She is doing these things to make herself feel better by controlling you as well as injuring your self-esteem by putting you down. If she’s accusing you of being abusive, she is also projecting her own flaws onto you so she can be angry about them while at the same time, rejecting any responsibility for having them. Looking at things this way helps you not to be as devastated or controlled by narcissistic abuse. It protects your self-esteem, too, when you understand why these things are being done to you.
Also, you need to remember that you are an adult now. No parent, narcissistic or not, has the right to control their child.
And, as an adult, your parent can’t hurt you anymore. They can’t take away your video games or car keys. What can that person possibly do to you? At this stage, they would have to move into illegal actions (stalking, harassment, reporting false claims to Child Protective Services, etc). Or, they possibly could cut you out of their will so you don’t get an inheritance if your parent dies before you. Really though, is that a big deal? It’s only money- you can make your own, & doing that wouldn’t have strings attached to it. When narcissists give you money, there are always strings attached somehow. Better to avoid those strings!
Dear Reader, if you are still in a relationship with your narcissistic parent, then I urge you to remember such things. Protect yourself & your sanity as much as you can from your narcissistic parent. You do not deserve their abuse, & you have every right to protect yourself from it however you see fit.
Recently I’ve realized something surprisingly helpful in helping me cope with the abuse I’ve experienced at the hands of my narcissistic parents. Seeing things through their eyes. Granted, that isn’t always an easy things to do since I’m not a narcissist, but it can be oddly helpful.
Seeing things through their eyes has shown me the incredible dysfunction they live with, & how so much of their abuse wasn’t personal (although it sure felt that way), but was solely about them. I was simply collateral damage, an acceptable loss to them.
For example, my mother has criticized my looks as far back as I can remember. Compared her features to mine, telling me how much more attractive hers were than mine. Naturally, I grew up feeling like the ugliest person on the planet. Eventually, I looked at this situation through my mother’s eyes. My mother said when I was born, she figured I’d look like her- brown hair & eyes. I’m a blue eyed blonde, like the Baileys- my father’s family. In fact, I look a lot like my grandmother, who, mind you, was a beauty in her youth. My mother hates all of her in-laws, so if you look at this situation through her narcissistic eyes, I probably betrayed her. I disappointed her by being born not looking like her, & to boot, looking like people she hates. Never mind I had zero control over this, somehow it still comes back to her, & I didn’t do as she wanted. I had to pay. Plus, she probably thought I was prettier than her, so again, I had to pay. She had to tear me down so I didn’t think of myself as pretty. Bonus- tearing me down built her up at the same time.
Realizing these things helped me to stop taking her scathing criticisms so personally. What she said wasn’t true- it was simply a means to make herself feel better & to nurse the “wound” I gave her by being born differently than she wanted me to be. Granted, I’m still trying to believe I’m pretty, but at least I know now what she said is all lies & I’m not some hideous monster like she made me feel like. (Feeling pretty probably will take a long time. Baby steps..)
See what I mean? Seeing things through her eyes helped me to see the truth in the situation, & stop believing her hurtful lies. It can help you as well, & let’s face facts- anyone who has experienced narcissistic abuse needs any help they can get to heal the damage it’s caused.
I would like to encourage you today to try this, Dear Reader. Look at a painful situation through the narcissist’s eyes. I guarantee you will see that you did not deserve what was done to you, that it was more about the narcissist than you & that the narcissist lied to you simply to benefit herself. If you’re having some trouble, ask God to help you if this is something He wants you to do.
I’ve read so many times that narcissists never change, but I have to disagree with this.
Narcissists can change for the better, because with God, all things are possible. This is quite rare, but it’s certainly something to hope & pray for. (I believe in hoping for the best but preparing for the worst) It happened with my husband’s father- he improved so much. I don’t know why he changed, but it was wonderful. He was caring & kind to my husband instead of his usual behavior- critical, bossy & generally nasty. Unfortunately though, he later developed dementia, & returned to his old ways. (Dementia & Alzheimer’s can exacerbate narcissistic tendencies. Sadly, this is quite normal.) After his wife (a covert narcissist) died in 2016, he returned to his much better behavior.
More commonly though, narcissists do change as they get older, & they get much more devious & creative. They have to change because as they age, they have to use different tactics if they want to remain in control. In my teens, my mother was a very intimidating & imposing figure. When she screamed at me, as she did so very often, I was always afraid she’d physically hurt me. If she tried this today at age 77, I wouldn’t be so intimidated. How could I be? She is much older & frailer now. Screaming at me now wouldn’t have the desired effect, so she has changed her tactic from screaming to speaking in a soft tone & saying the most vicious things she can come up with.
Narcissists are smart- they know what will be the most effective way to accomplish something they want to accomplish. They are experts at reading people, as they have to be to figure out the best way to use them. They also are smart enough to realize what worked well for them when they were 35 most likely won’t work as well at 75, & they must adapt accordingly. Besides, their children aren’t as easily pushed around at 40 as they were at 10. They have to find new ways to manipulate them if they wish to continue using their children.
Many older narcissists also like to reminisce. They like to talk with you about the past. Often it’s the usual narcissistic rhetoric- bragging about their great accomplishments at work or the vast numbers of people they’ve helped. But, narcissistic parents also can do something very hurtful- brag about the amazing childhood you had. My mother has done this many times. She talks about all the great things she did for me when I was a child. Some things were simply a parent doing what she should for a child, & some things never happened at all. When this happens, it used to hurt me a great deal. She was invalidating & denying abusing me! Instead she made me look like a screw up who needed her. Finally though, God showed me something that has helped me tremendously. This behavior is a coping skill. Dysfunctional as it is, this is how my mother copes with the guilt she feels for being so abusive. Rather than take responsibility & apologize to me, she reinvents the past to make herself look like a good mother. She also even tries to get me to agree with her stories, in the hopes of convincing herself & I both that the stories really are true. Once God showed me this, it made perfect sense to me. I no longer was so hurt by her stories, because I knew they weren’t a personal attack (even though they may feel like it sometimes). I knew instead they were a dysfunctional coping skill. It is her right to use that skill if she wants. It’s also my right not to validate her stories if I am so inclined, & I never do validate them.
Just be forewarned, Dear Reader. As your narcissistic mother ages, she may not mellow out like many folks do. She may seem a bit easier to handle in her golden years because she isn’t screaming, but don’t be fooled- just because she isn’t screaming or physically abusive doesn’t mean she isn’t still capable of hurting you a great deal.
Ever since I became a Christian in 1996, I’ve heard preaching about not allowing your emotions to rule you. Keep them in check & don’t let them run your life!
Basically, this made me feel bad when I would feel hurt or angry & couldn’t control how I felt. I thought something must be wrong with me for not having a better grip on my feelings.
The truth though is everyone needs to have a healthy, balanced perspective on emotions.
Emotions are given to us by God to let us know when things are good or bad. When something is good, you feel happy, content or pleased. If something makes you sad or angry, you know this thing isn’t good. Emotions are a good monitor in that respect.
Emotions can teach you a lot about yourself. Where your boundaries lie, what you enjoy or don’t enjoy & who you are the closest to. Not allowing yourself to feel such things can turn you into a shell of a human being, & that is not what God wants for you.
Sometimes emotions can be irrational too. There may be times that you’d rather lay on the sofa watching TV than go to work, even when you enjoy your job, & you have no idea why you feel this way. In times like this you know it’s best to ignore those emotions & go to work.
When you are healing from trauma or abuse, however, you need to be sure not to ignore your feelings. If you suddenly feel anxious, angry or depressed, you need to know why you feel that way. Then you will be able to feel the emotion fully, process it & release it. Ignoring your feelings if you’re healing only serves to drag out the healing process & make you more miserable. I know, facing past trauma is hard, but it is easier than constantly trying to stuff it down inside of you.
I firmly believe that while you can’t listen to your emotions blindly, you do need to listen to them often & use wisdom on how to deal with them. Know sometimes you can ignore them, but mostly, you should pay attention to them & respect them. Don’t judge your feelings either. They aren’t good or evil- feelings simply are.
To Those Who Are New To Learning About Narcissistic Abuse- It’s OK, Even Necessary, To Talk About It!
When you grow up with narcissistic parents, the fear of divulging what they do to you is very real. Narcissistic parents don’t always use threats- they don’t need to. They have a certain look that can instill sheer terror into their child. That fear often stays with the child into adulthood. This benefits the narcissistic parent, because she knows her secret is safe. However, it hurts the child.
Not talking about the narcissistic abuse you endured can cause many health problems, such as ulcers, high blood pressure or digestive problems. It affects your mental health too. Depression, anxiety, PTSD & C-PTSD are very common, even under the best of circumstances- a good therapist & caring support system. Without those things, depression, anxiety, PTSD or C-PTSD are pretty much a given.
You need to talk about your experiences! I’m not saying you need to publish books or write a blog like me, unless you feel that is the direction God is leading you, but you do need to talk for the sake of your physical & mental health.
I know talking about your experiences can be a scary prospect. It also can feel like you’re being disloyal. That is not true, however. Telling the truth isn’t being disloyal.
Guilt happens too. I think it’s pretty much impossible not to feel guilty at first. You’re talking about something you were told your entire life you shouldn’t talk about, after all. My mother used to tell me not to “air our dirty laundry.” It took me a long time to realize it wasn’t “our” dirty laundry I was airing, it was hers.
If you’re considering talking about the things that have happened to you, please know that it’s OK to talk about it. If you don’t feel up to talking, how about writing in a journal at first? Writing is very therapeutic- there is something validating in seeing your experiences written out. Also, if you take precautions, no one will see what you write, so you can feel free to let it all out. I love http://www.my-diary.org, as it is a password protected, private online diary.
If you aren’t comfortable talking to another person, why not pray? God is a great listener, & will comfort you like no one else can. You can be completely open with Him without fear of judgment or criticism- it’s very freeing.
If you opt to try therapy, be sure you find a therapist who understands narcissistic abuse. Not all therapists do, so it may take trying a few before you find one you’re comfortable with.
And, if you opt to talk about your experiences with those closest to you, use wisdom with deciding who to open up to. If you share a person with the narcissistic parent who abused you, they may not want to hear about your experiences. They may be very fond of the narcissist, ¬ want to hear anything bad about her. They may not believe you. It is better to find someone to talk to who isn’t close to the narcissist, such as a friend of yours who doesn’t know your parent(s) well. You also need to speak with someone who is caring, supportive, objective & close to God. You need someone who is honest enough to tell you the truth, but caring enough not to be brutal & painful with it. If this person also gets mad for you about what you have experienced, that helps too. I had a friend who in many ways was like a mother to me. She was a very special lady, always had a ready smile & some encouragement. But, when I told her some of the things my parents did to me, she would get angry on my behalf. If this good, Christian lady who was utterly patient & held no bad feelings towards anyone was getting mad, it must be really bad. Her anger helped to validate my pain.
Talking about the painful experiences you endured will help you to heal. It will get the toxicity out of you, preventing further damage to your physical & mental health. It also will help you to keep the blame on the abuser instead of on yourself, which is a battle for many victims of narcissistic abuse. So please, open yourself up to talking about your experiences. You deserve the freedom it brings you. xoxo
Abusers destroy their victim’s self-esteem. The more completely they can destroy that, the more completely they can rule their victim. Yet in spite of the destruction, many victims reach a point of breaking away from their abuser, whether the person is a spouse, friend or parent.
Unfortunately, that only is the beginning. So much damage is done, especially to the self-esteem. That low self-esteem causes all kinds of problems for a victim, including believing that she is unworthy of care. Abusers make sure their victims know that they don’t matter, which means their pain doesn’t matter either. That false belief can follow a person for years even after the abuse has ended.
So many victims don’t believe they deserve to be cared for or even validated, when nothing could be further from the truth! They are easy to spot too- they are the ones saying their situation “wasn’t so bad,” or, “So & So had it much worse than me,” or even, “It was only mental/sexual abuse.”
Dear Reader, today I want you to know that you *do* matter! Your abuser was absolutely wrong! You deserve to have your pain acknowledged & validated! It doesn’t matter if someone else “had it worse” than you- abuse is painful & destructive, period!
I know it’s hard to really understand that you matter after years of being told you don’t, but it’s the truth! God has a purpose for everyone & everything in this world, which includes you. You matter & God loves you!
If you truly want to heal, you need to start by understanding that you have been through some terrible things. Acknowledge that rather than saying it wasn’t a big deal or someone else had it worse. What was done to you was wrong! You matter, & you didn’t deserve to have those horrible things done to you.
Also, please remember how much God loves you. Healing is the hardest thing you may do in your life- you need His love & support. He truly will help you to cope & even to learn to love yourself.
Romans 8:35-39 “35 Who shall ever separate us from the love of [a]Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 Just as it is written and forever remains written, “For Your sake we are put to death all day long; We are regarded as sheep for the slaughter.” 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors and gain an overwhelming victory through Him who loved us [so much that He died for us]. 38 For I am convinced [and continue to be convinced—beyond any doubt] that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present and threatening, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the [unlimited] love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (AMP)
If you have read much at all about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, you have read about the benefits of going no contact. It is often the only solution, as many authors on the topic will feverishly tell you. After all, it’s not like you can reason with someone who refuses to accept any responsibility for their actions. Many times, all you can do is hope to escape the narcissist with your sanity in tact.
Unfortunately though, one thing I have noticed is many people who say that no contact is the only solution fail to mention that is it not a cure all.
Certainly, eliminating an abusive narcissist from your life is beneficial. You no longer have the daily struggles. Without their gaslighting, you can think clearer. Your finances may improve as well, if the narcissist was draining your bank accounts. You finally can focus on yourself & healing. However, without the narcissist in your life, you still will have problems that stem from your time being abused by that peson.
Please believe me, I’m not speaking against no contact. While I believe it is an individual decision & no one should attempt to force anyone into making that decision, I also realize it is usually the best solution. I just think it is very important for people who opt to remove the narcissist from their life to realize that doing so won’t solve all of their problems. Yes, it will improve daily life since they won’t have to deal with new, frustrating, abusive situations, which is fantastic. But, it also won’t solve some things.
No contact doesn’t cure PTSD or C-PTSD. In fact, there is no known cure for either. All you can do is manage the symptoms, which, by the way, can be much easier without a narcissist around!
It also doesn’t stop repressed memories from returning to the forefront of one’s mind sometimes.
It also doesn’t mean you won’t have times of missing the narcissist. They all have something that made you love them. If they didn’t, deciding to go no contact wouldn’t have been a difficult decision at all.
No contact doesn’t mean you won’t think of the narcissist anymore. Whether he or she is a parent, relative, romantic interest or friend, you have shared experiences together. You won’t forget them just because that person is no longer in your life. Birthdays, anniversaries or other special occasions will pop into your memory periodically.
Please don’t lose hope after reading these things! They don’t mean there is something wrong with you or you are irreparably damaged. They simply mean you are a normal person who has been deeply affected by narcissistic abuse.
These things also don’t mean no contact is a bad idea. Like I said, it is often the only solution to an extremely painful & impossible situation. The reason I wanted to share these things with you, Dear Reader, is so you will be prepared if you do opt to go no contact.
When dealing with someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, there is one important point you must never forget- they are extremely envious.
Narcissists want what you have, whether what you have is a loving marriage, a great job, talents or a nice home or car. I think it is because narcissists feel so badly about themselves, that your good thing, whatever it may be, is perceived as a threat. By you looking good, they think it makes them look bad, as if people are constantly comparing them to others. They simply cannot stand someone else looking better than them in any way or doing something they are unable to do.
One example of this that comes to mind is my mother in-law. She’s never driven- always had to rely on others to take her where she needed to go. From day one, my car was always an issue with her, even knowing I love cars, especially mine. She started by accusing me of driving too fast in her neighborhood. I thought it was odd, but slowed down. Not long after my husband & I got together, she suggested we go out to lunch one day. I said fine, let’s figure out when to do this. She said, “You WILL be taking Eric’s car, right?” I was baffled & said “No, I have my own car.” She dropped the subject. A couple of weeks later, she suggested we go out again, & again she asked if I was taking my husband’s car. Again I said no. This happened once more & by then I was getting angry. My car wasn’t good enough for her to ride in?! Someone who doesn’t drive or know the first thing about cars thinks she’s too good for my car?! Anyway, a few years later, my husband & I had both of our cars at his parents’ house. I’d been helping him work on his, then when he didn’t need my help, I replaced a burned out turn signal bulb on my car. When I was alone, my mother in-law took this opportunity to tell me my car was costing too much money- I needed to just get rid of it. (a $.97 bulb that burned out after 8 years was too expensive?) She also made fun of me for “liking to get dirty & greasy” because I had car dirt on me after working on hubby’s car.
At the time, I knew nothing of NPD. I did realize though that all of this nastiness boiled down to one thing- envy. My mother in-law envied the fact that not only was I independent enough to drive, I could even fix my car if need be. She has created this dependence on my father in-law by not driving, under the guise of helplessness, yet at the same time, she envied me for not being so dependent on my husband as she was on hers. Obviously she was trying to hurt me not because there was something wrong with me, but because there is something wrong with her.
Sadly, this is typical narcissistic behavior. Narcissists attack things that mean a lot to you for two reasons- because it causes you a great deal of pain or because of envy. Often, for a combination of both reasons. In the situation with my car, my mother in-law used both reasons, I believe.
When the narcissist in your life viciously criticizes something about you, or even simply tries to instill doubt in you about it, you can bet she envies you. Don’t let her cruel words or actions make you feel bad about whatever it is she’s criticizing about you! In fact, remember that whatever it is, is a good thing. If it wasn’t, she wouldn’t care enough about it to criticize you so viciously. Don’t let her cruelty make you feel badly or as if you’re doing something wrong. It is simply proof that you are doing something very well & that you are blessed! Remembering these things will help you to not be hurt by her verbal abuse.
I had a very interesting experience the other night. I had a dream about my husband’s parents. Suddenly the dream changed a bit & it was just his mother & I. She hugged me & said she was sorry for everything she did to me.
When I woke up, I was WIDE awake, so I figured I might as well utilize the time & ask God what the heck that was about. When she was alive, she seemed to have no guilt for treating me badly, so I thought maybe this was some sort of weird wishful thinking on my part. No. Not even close.
God said she knows I pay attention to my dreams so she wanted me to dream what I did. He also said that she felt very bad for being so awful to me. She was so bad to me because of her own insecurities (typical narcissistic behavior). She thinks I “made a man” out of my husband.
This blew me away. Partly because my mother in-law never accepted any responsibility for anything she did to me, let alone apologized so I just assumed it’d be the same after her death. Also partly because this sort of thing happened with my ex husband’s mother as well. We got along great until my ex & I moved in with his parents. Then when I divorced him, naturally she was on his side & I became the scourge of the earth. But after she passed in 2010, suddenly she started appearing in my dreams on a pretty regular basis. She once said she understood why I wanted a divorce & another time, said she was proud of me for helping people with my writing. In my dreams even if she doesn’t speak, she’s always smiling at me & seems proud of me.
My point in sharing all of this is to show you just how important dreams can be. They truly are worth paying attention to! You can learn a great deal about yourself through your dreams, since they are almost always about the dreamer. They can reveal areas in which you need healing or need to change your thinking or behavior. Or, they can be Heaven sent messages like my dreams about my mothers in-law. In any case, dreams are very important!!
There also will be plenty of dreams you don’t remember or only remember snippets of. That can be frustrating when you’re trying to understand your dreams, I know, but even those have a purpose. I asked God about them at one point because I have so many like that. He said the brain constantly processes information- good, bad or indifferent. Those dreams you don’t remember are simply that, your brain processing things. They aren’t important.
If you want to start learning from your dreams, then start by praying. Ask God to help you to understand them better & to remember the important ones. Keep a written record of them too, as seeing them all together with the dates of them can help reveal a lot about your life. It’s also a good idea to use a dream dictionary. I use one online, http://www.DreamMoods.com I write down all the things about my dream I can remember, then look up what those things mean on the website. I write down what the site says about each thing, then read over the entire thing. If I don’t understand, I ask God to help me figure it out, which He does. Sometimes I don’t even make it that far- as soon as I wake up, He tells me what the dream meant, but that doesn’t happen very often. In any case though, dreams can be utterly fascinating & helpful, so please consider paying more attention to yours!
I read an interesting article about anxiety:
To sum it up, the author, a psychologist, suggests that anxiety & panic attacks are a result of not dealing with emotions for too long. The attacks are the mind & body’s way of releasing enough pressure so we don’t get overwhelmed.
This makes sense in a way to me. Feelings do have a way of demanding to be heard.
My first panic attack happened the night before my grandmom’s funeral in 1996. I’d never heard of panic attacks & thought I was having a heart attack. My husband had them before & figured out quickly what was going on, thankfully. Anyway what triggered the attack was thinking about seeing my family. I hadn’t seen them in a few years at that point, because my mother then later also my ex husband told me my grandparents hated me. Since my family was close at the time, I figured if my grandparents hated me, everyone else did too. I pulled away from them in 1992. I thought if I showed up 4 years later at the funeral, these people who hated me would kick me out or show their hatred of me in some other way. I didn’t feel capable of dealing with losing my grandmom, who I loved, in addition to being hated. Thinking about that was painful. I tried to push all my thoughts aside because I felt overwhelmed. Then, a panic attack started.
Other times, panic attacks have started in similar ways. Trying to push aside fear of going into a public place or ignoring anger rather than facing it can trigger panic attacks for me. Before I stopped speaking to my in-laws, knowing I was going to see my mother in-law triggered panic attacks. I knew she hated me & if we were alone for any length of time, was going to say or do something hateful. Trying to ignore the anger I felt at being forced to deal with her triggered panic attacks.
I don’t know if this psychologist is right about all panic attacks, but when I thought about it, I realized it’s definitely true for at least some of my panic attacks. Does this describe yours too?
Unfortunately the author didn’t offer suggestions on ways to cope with these panic attacks. I’m guessing though the best way to do so is to face the feelings that accompany them as soon as you can. Pray, talk to a supportive friend, journal… whatever way works best for you to cope with your feelings. I also wonder if writing in a journal on a daily basis could help. Daily recognizing your emotions & dealing with them seems like it should cut back on panic attacks.