When Certain Things Suddenly Prompt Anger In Christians

In this past year or so, I’ve realized that certain things trigger my anger extremely fast.  I’m not talking about losing my temper easily or being abusive with my anger, but feeling very angry quicker than I ever had before.  At first, I thought maybe it’s my age.  Middle age seems to get rid of the tolerance for a lot of things a person tolerated in their youth.  I also thought it might be because of all of the really negative, unfair & traumatic things I have been through in my life.  Add in a traumatic brain injury in 2015, & getting angry faster & easier than I used to seemed normal since that can be one of the symptoms of TBIs.  In considering my situation though, none of those felt like the cause.  In time, I realized the closer I get to God, the angrier I am.

It sounds wrong, doesn’t it?  It sounds opposed to Christianity as people think of it whether or not they are Christians.  Yet, there are valid reasons for me feeling as I do.  I can’t help but think other Christians may experience what I do, so my hope is what I share with you will help you as well.

I have absolutely no tolerance anymore for certain things, & when I witness them or hear about them, I become furious.  Those things are when people think they are better than others, liars, those who deliberately hurt innocent people, people who love to do plan & do wicked things, & people who talk badly about others for no reason.  These things are typical behavior of narcissists & their flying monkeys.  I have experienced them firsthand thanks to narcissists & their flying monkeys that have been in my life, so it’s only natural to hate them.  Yet that hatred has gotten worse in the recent past.  Did you know though that God also hates these things?  Proverbs 6:16-19 in the Amplified Bible state: “These six things the Lord hates; Indeed, seven are repulsive to Him: 17A proud look [the attitude that makes one overestimate oneself and discount others], a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, 18A heart that creates wicked plans, Feet that run swiftly to evil, 19A false witness who breathes out lies [even half-truths], And one who spreads discord (rumors) among brothers.”

Interestingly, I also remembered Romans 12:9 in the New International Version of the Bible.  It says, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”

Considering both of these Scriptures, I think the anger I experience makes a lot of sense.  When you get especially close to a person, you often develop some of their characteristics, such as their mannerisms & some of their ways of thinking.  Getting closer to God is no different.  The closer a person gets to Him, the more they become like Him in many ways.  A part of this is those things that once were tolerable are no longer tolerable if they go against God.  These things that stir up the most awful anger in me are specifically things that God speaks against & hates!  They also are evil & we are commanded to hate what is evil.  You can’t hate something without feeling anger at that thing.   It is only normal!

I know many people think Christians never should feel anger or hatred, but that isn’t Biblical!  Evil things should stir up anger & yes, even hatred in Christians.  Not feeling anger or hatred at such things normalizes them, & really, it even condones them.  Absolutely nothing good can come from that whatsoever!  If that was the case, God certainly wouldn’t hate the things that He does. 

If certain things trigger an uncharacteristic anger or even hatred in you, I would like to encourage you to pray.  Also consider your situation.  I would guess that you started feeling this way as you got closer to God as I have.  If this is the case, there is nothing wrong with you or your feelings!  It’s ok, & even Godly to view things as God does.  Your feelings also can be excellent motivators.  Mine motivate me to keep writing & to keep speaking openly about narcissistic abuse & refuse to tolerate abusive behavior from anyone.  Certainly these are good things! 


Filed under Mental Health, Christian Topics and Prayers

Urgent! Asking For Help

Below is the link to a gofundme created for a very special young lady in need of help. She is in a very abusive situation. Her mother is trying to get custody of her but can’t do so without the help of a lawyer. Lawyers are expensive & she needs some help before the next trial date in July. Please consider donating to this worthy cause! Any little bit helps tremendously!

Thank you so much everyone! God bless you!

Fundraiser By Julianna

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Narcissism

What Honoring Parents Is NOT

Many people are under the mistaken belief that if a person claims to be a Christian, they must blindly obey their parents, no matter what.  Narcissistic parents in particular want their children to believe this.  These people fail to realize this isn’t what Biblical honor means.

To honor someone means to give them respect.  Respect is all that is necessary for honoring.  Even the most dishonorable parent can be given the simple respect of their position in your life by acknowledging their position as your parents, being civil to them & not using or abusing them.  This is what God says parents deserve, whether they are good or bad, & as Christians, this is what we should do.

When you have good, loving parents, naturally you will want to do that & even more to show your love & appreciation for them.  When you have abusive parents however, just as naturally, you won’t want to do more for them, & that is ok!  So long as you show your parents those simple displays of respect, you are honoring them!

Also, Christians are commanded to love others as ourselves according to Mark 12:31.  If you know anything about what the Bible has to say on the topic of love, it is clearly nothing like what many people think it is.  Godly love isn’t about obedience & enabling bad behavior.  It is about doing what is best for people, even when that is difficult & even when they think what you’re doing is a mistake.

Honoring parents also doesn’t mean putting them above God in your life.  God comes first, period!  Proverbs 3:6 in the Living Bible says, “In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.”  It’s pretty obvious that He must come first!

Narcissistic parents often want their children (no matter their age) to do things that go against the children’s beliefs or morals.  For Christians, doing such things would be a huge mistake!  Acts 5:29 in the New International Version says, “Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings!”  No one, not even parents, should be obeyed before God!  Another verse to prove this is Matthew 6:24, also in the New International Version: “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

While I never tell people “just go no contact” because each situation is unique, I do want to include some information on that topic for those who either have gone no contact or are considering no contact with their narcissistic parents.  Sometimes the most honorable thing you can do is to walk away from abusive parents.  Years ago, I was seriously considering going no contact with my parents long before I actually did it.  I was conflicted though, because I felt that couldn’t be honoring them.  One of the things God spoke to me at that time was sometimes walking away is the most honorable thing you can do.  It provides consequences for bad behavior, which are meant to teach a lesson.  Granted, that doesn’t usually work with narcissists, but that is the way things are supposed to work.  And, even if they don’t learn from the consequences, by giving them, you are still doing things God’s way, because you are trying to help your parents learn that they need to improve their behavior.  You also are removing an opportunity for your parents to sin when you eliminate them from your life.  Without you around to abuse, they will sin less simply because they haven’t got the opportunity to abuse you. 

Don’t let anyone convince you that you aren’t honoring your parents if you aren’t doing things exactly their way.  Consider what I have said on the topic, read your Bible & pray about the topic for yourself.  I wish you the best!

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

When Narcissistic In-Laws Accuse Their Relative’s Spouse Of Controlling Their Relative

From early in my relationship with my husband, I knew my in-laws didn’t like me.   I also got the feeling they thought I controlled him.   I found out I was right in 2002 when one of my sisters in-law raged at my husband about me “stealing him & keeping him from his family.”   She obviously was also speaking for her sister & mother. I also knew just how ridiculous the accusations were.   They were the controlling women in his life, not me.   I didn’t know about Narcissistic Personality Disorder back then so it didn’t make sense why they thought this way about me.   Eventually I learned their behavior with me was typical of narcissistic in-laws, & many other people were in a similar situation to mine.

Narcissistic in-laws often believe that they are the only ones who have the right to control their relative.  They see themselves as the gatekeepers of their family & will do whatever it takes to maintain their power & control.  When they see their relative’s spouse having any say in their relative’s life, they get extremely offended because they see their control over their relative is threatened.

Narcissistic in-laws often accuse their relative’s spouse of controlling their relative to manipulate the situation.  They know that by accusing the spouse they can create doubt & mistrust within the marriage. 

When accused of being controlling, the spouse often starts to wonder if they are being too controlling.  They usually become even more easy going to prove that the accusation is wrong.  This is exactly what narcissistic in-laws want, because it allows them to maintain their control over their relative.

It’s important to remember that when narcissistic in-laws accuse their relative’s spouse of controlling their relative, it’s not about the spouse at all.  It’s about their own need for control & their fear of losing it.  The accusation is just a tool to maintain their power & manipulate the situation.

These narcissistic in-laws cause plenty of tension & mistrust within the marriage.  Their behavior leads to arguments as the spouse tries to defend themselves & the relative often defends their family to the spouse.

Their behavior also can cause the spouse to distance themselves from their in-laws, which can lead to more tension & conflict.  The narcissistic in-laws see this as a victory, as they have successfully driven a wedge between their relative & spouse.  This further reinforces their belief that they are the only ones who can control their family member.

This accusation also causes the spouse to feel isolated & alone, especially when the relative defends their narcissistic family.  They feel that their relationship with their spouse is threatened.  This leads to feelings of betrayal, sadness, anger, & frustration.

If you find yourself in a situation where your narcissistic in-laws are accusing you of controlling your spouse, you can cope with it!  To start with pray, & ask God for guidance.

It’s also important to not react emotionally when dealing with you narcissistic in-laws because any anger from you will reinforce to that family that you are the problem, & you don’t want them to have any more power.  Remembering this accusation isn’t personal or true.  It’s about them wanting control over your spouse.

Give them no personal information.  The less they know about you, the more likely they will lie about you to their relative, & the greater the chances their relative will see their lies.

You also can limit your contact with your in-laws.  This means avoiding family gatherings & limiting phone calls & text messages.  If your spouse disapproves of this, remind them their family has problems you.  Why should you try to have a relationship with them?  It’s ok to prioritize your mental health over your relationship with your in-laws.  I severed ties with my in-laws in 2002, & never regretted it.

If your spouse defends their family & refuses to see anything bad about their behavior, you’re in an especially difficult situation.  Don’t try to convince them of the truth, because that makes them even more protective of their family.  Don’t try forcing them to choose you over their family, because that will make them believe their family is right about you & choose them. 

It’s also important to seek support from safe people who see the truth of this dysfunctional situation, especially if your spouse doesn’t see it.  Neutral people also will help keep you grounded which is so important in such a crazy making situation.

Dealing with narcissistic in-laws who accuse you of controlling your spouse can be a challenging & emotional situation, but you can handle it!


Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Narcissism

15% Off All My Print Books!!

My publsher is offering a sale on all of my print books. They’re 15% off until June 2, 2023. Simply enter code MAKERS15 at checkout. My books can be found at this link:


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

Dysfunctional Coping Skills Of Narcissists – Reinventing The Past

A few years before my mother died, she frequently told me what a great mother she was.  It was truly painful for me, listening to her brag about all the wonderful things she supposedly did for me.  Not only because either the things didn’t happen the way she said or she hadn’t done those things at all, but also because I felt she was disregarding the trauma she inflicted on me.  It was very painful.  I finally asked God to help me out with this.  I was tired of hurting & frankly, I was also livid that she thought this was ok.  He showed me some things.

My mother’s stories weren’t true, & she knew that.  She was trying to convince herself & I both that she hadn’t done the terrible things she actually had done to me.  While she didn’t care about the damage she caused me, she did care about anyone thinking badly of her.  If other people knew what she had done, she would look bad, so it was best to convince me those things didn’t happen so I wouldn’t share stories of those terrible things.  Her actions towards me caused her shame because of how they made her look, & this was how she chose to cope with what she did.

If she could convince herself those things hadn’t happened but the good things did, she also could convince herself that she was a good mother.  A big added bonus for her.

A lot of people are like my mother was in this situation.  They have no clue how to cope with problems.  Rather than try to find a healthy way, they engage in very dysfunctional coping skills like reinventing the past as my mother did.  She could have come to me, said she realized how badly she hurt me & was sorry.  She tried to be a good mother but had no idea how to accomplish that.  That would’ve been the happy ending to this problem I wanted, but it also wasn’t possible.  She couldn’t have done that because, in typical narcissist fashion, she couldn’t face the bad things she had done.

When you are on the outside looking in at someone who behaves this way, it is hard not to be upset.  Often, the knee jerk reaction will be you want to set that person straight.  It’s so unfair that they invalidate your pain just to make themselves comfortable, especially for such trivial reasons as reputation or appearance.  If the situation isn’t like that, but is someone you love working hard to ignore something they should face, your knee jerk reaction can be much the same, you want to set that person straight because you want better for them than this dysfunction.  Eirher way, this is such a frustrating place to be!

Today though I feel that you need to know that you need not to act on your reaction.  Yes, it would be wonderful to tell that person they are wrong & guide them in the right direction only to have them see the error of their ways.  That is sadly unrealistic though.  A person who employs such dysfunctional coping skills is rarely going to be open to the truth. 

Please remember though that no matter how dysfunctional a person’s coping skills are, they have the right to use those coping skills.  The sooner you accept that, the sooner you will be at peace.  I know this is a very tough pill to swallow.  It was for me with my mother.  But, once I did that, I realized peace like I hadn’t felt before. 

By accepting their coping skill, please know I don’t mean allowing them to draw you into their dysfunction.  I do mean accepting that they are in a different place than you.  They feel this is all they can handle right now.  You also do not need to validate their delusions.  If they demand you agree with whatever they say, you can change the subject or give a non committal type answer such as simply saying, “I know that’s what you believe.”  Also by accepting their coping skill, that doesn’t mean you need to believe what they say.  Always remember the truth, not the tales woven by someone using such a dysfunctional coping skill. 


Filed under Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

Why Victims Talk About Their Experiences With Narcissistic Abuse

Many times, victims of narcissistic abuse talk about their experiences once they are free of their abuser.  A lot.  To many who haven’t had similar experiences, this often looks like some unhealthy coping mechanism or simply not healing by being stuck in the past.  That actually isn’t the case though.  There isn’t anything wrong with discussing those terrible experiences.  In fact, it can be a very healthy thing to do!

Talking about the traumatic experiences we endured at the hands of narcissists help us to process what we went through.  Narcissistic abuse is not only incredibly cruel but it can be outrageous as well.  Even having experienced it first hand, sometimes it’s still hard to believe it happened.  Talking about the abuse is helpful in making it more real.  It also can help you to accept what happened for what it was rather than sugar coat it or even completely deny aspects of it.

When talking about abusive experiences with other people, we also can figure out what’s normal & what isn’t by their reactions.  Since narcissists are so very good at gaslighting, it can be hard to tell what is truly real & what is only what the narcissist says is real.  Narcissists work so incredibly hard to distort their victims’ reality that we need help to figure out what is real & what isn’t, sometimes even many years after the abuse has ended.  The deprogramming of the narcissists’ toxicity is a long & difficult process, so any help in this area is a wonderful thing!

Narcissists convince their victims that normal is bad, so learning what is normal & also that it isn’t a bad thing is healing.  Narcissistic parents & spouses speak of normal things that their victims want in such a shaming way, it leaves victims feeling horribly for wanting normal things like respect, civility & even love.  Victims often feel like something is wrong with them for wanting these things.  It is so helpful to learn that nothing is wrong with you for wanting these things, but instead, something is very wrong with the narcissist for shaming you for wanting such things.  It helps you to release a great deal of shame & gives such freedom!

Talking about our experiences with other people also can give us the empathy we have lacked with the narcissist.  A functional person who didn’t experience narcissistic abuse may find your experiences hard to believe, but won’t assume you’re lying.  They also will feel badly that you went through & offer you comfort & validation.  Narcissists give their victims nothing of the sort, & often mock their victims for wanting such things.  They label normal feelings all wrong.  They shame victims for feeling sorry for themselves when their reaction is completely normal to the abuse the narcissist just inflicted on them.  After suffering through that, it can truly be a comfort & helpful when someone else sees that what you went through was truly abnormal & even horrible

While discussing your traumatic past can be healthy, I believe what is equally healthy is to take breaks from thinking & talking about it.  It can be easy to get too caught up in the terrible things that were done to you & even wanting to learn all you can about Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  Doing that can burn a person out emotionally, so taking breaks is truly vital to good mental health.  Be sure to set aside time where you refuse to think about any of that & focus on lighter & more fun topics.  Watch fun movies.  Participate in your favorite hobby.  Spend time with close friends who make you laugh.  Take yourself out to dinner.  Whatever you do doesn’t need to be anything elaborate or expensive, but it does need to be a pleasant distraction. Your mental health is very important, so please, always take good care of it!  xoxo

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

Lies Narcissists Tell

Narcissists rely greatly on lies.  Their lies help narcissists not only maintain the image of themselves they want other people to see, but also they help them to abuse their victims.  Today, I would like to address some of their big lies they don’t want to get out.

Narcissists are necessary to live a good life, or so they say.  Narcissists love to make their victims feel like without them, the victim wouldn’t succeed at all.  The truth however is much different.  The truth is without them, victims will succeed & be much happier.  If you consider your life with & without the narcissist involved, no doubt you will see a LOT of differences.  Your life without the narcissist was much better, wasn’t it?

You aren’t really the problem in the relationship.  Narcissists love to lay the blame for all problems in the relationship on their victim, but you know what?  That isn’t true!  The problems in relationships boil down to the narcissist, every single time.  They make the choice to abuse, & to push victims’ buttons relentlessly until they blow up.  Victims respond in perfectly understandable ways in these situations.  That doesn’t make any victim the problem in the relationship.

The narcissist also lied about how other people see you.  Narcissists love to tell victims that other people see them as bad, abusive, mentally unbalanced & more as a way to isolate them.  If a narcissist can convince their victim that everyone sees them a certain way, then chances of that victim looking to others for help or others telling the victim that the narcissist is abusing them are very slim. 

They say you’ll never find someone who loves you as much as the narcissist.  Narcissists love to tell their victims that no one could ever love them like the narcissist “loves” them.  My ex husband told me that once, & you know something?  He was right!  I haven’t been in any other relationship with anyone who “loved” me like he did, & that is a wonderful thing!  The only other person who will love you like the narcissist has is another narcissist.  Functional people will love you in ways that don’t destroy your self esteem, identity, peace of mind, finances, life…

Whatever the narcissist said about you was wrong.  I know, it can be very hard to believe this after the narcissist drilled certain things into your mind, but I promise you, it’s true.  They don’t take the time to get to know their victims well, so they truly don’t know their victims, even though many will say they know the victim better than the victim knows himself or herself.  Narcissists also work hard to convince their victims that they are stupid, ugly, lazy, worthless & much more as a means to gain control over them by ruining their self esteem.  There is not one grain of truth in any of the terrible things the narcissist told you about yourself.

I pray this list of some of the secrets narcissists have helps you to see the truth, & be happier & healthier.


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

Narcissists Hide Their Toxic Behavior

An especially challenging aspect of narcissistic abuse is the constant lack of witnesses.  They are very skilled when it comes to hiding their behavior from everyone other than their victims.  This behavior can be so frustrating, because as a victim, you want & need other people to see the horrors that the narcissist is putting you through.  Knowing others see what you do helps you to feel validated & also less like you are imagining everything.  It can be so grounding when someone else sees the problem, which is incredibly helpful since narcissists love to convince their victims that what they did wasn’t a big deal, it didn’t happen as the victim remembered it, it was completely normal, it was the victim’s fault or it didn’t even happen.

Unfortunately, these are the same exact reasons that narcissists try to hide their behavior.

If you are struggling with a narcissist abusing you right now & are frustrated because everyone else sees that same person as a great person, you’re not alone.  I would bet that every single victim of narcissistic abuse has struggled with this issue.  And naturally, as a result it can make you wonder if you’re overreacting, being too sensitive or even imagining the abuse.  Today I want you to know that none of that is true.  You are NOT overreacting.  You are NOT oversensitive.  You also are NOT imagining the abuse.  It is real & it is horrible.  Just because no one else sees it, doesn’t mean it isn’t real or horrible!

Narcissists hide their abusive ways because they know that what they are doing is absolutely wrong.  The problem is that even though they know this, they don’t care enough about hurting their victims to stop their cruel behavior.  It gets them whatever it is that they want, so they don’t think stopping this behavior is an option.  Hurting other people is inconsequential.  That being said though, hurting other people can make any witnesses to this behavior think less of them, so they must hide it if they want other people to continue to think well of them.

If other people witness this behavior, they may try to stop the narcissist from behaving as they do, which is another reason for them to hide their behavior.  To continue their abusive ways, all possible hindrances must be avoided.  It is beneficial for narcissists to show good behavior to any witnesses so that way the witnesses will have no reason to try to change their behavior.

Showing their true colors to only their victims also is beneficial to narcissists because if their victims tell other people about the abuse, those other people won’t believe them.  They will believe the narcissist’s “I’m a good person” act instead.  This means victims will receive little or most likely no support at all.  Lacking support means the victim may give up any hope of escaping the abuse, & be willing to tolerate whatever the narcissist does to them.

The Common English translation of the Bible says in John 3:20-21, “All who do wicked things hate the light and don’t come to the light for fear that their actions will be exposed to the light. Whoever does the truth comes to the light so that it can be seen that their actions were done in God.”  Clearly this behavior is normal to the truly cruel & evil people in the world.  If you are wondering why the narcissist in your life hides their toxic behavior, this is why.  It’s normal to them.  That being said though doesn’t mean that it should be tolerated or that something is wrong with you for being upset about it!

Please, if you are in turmoil because the narcissist in your life has hidden their toxic behavior from everyone but you, remember, there is nothing wrong with you!  You aren’t crazy, oversensitive, imagining things or whatever else you are feeling.  A person who truly is unaware of their bad behavior won’t hide it or try to make those they hurt feel as you feel.  To them, it’s normal so there is nothing to hide.  Narcissists aren’t like that though.  They know what they’re doing is wrong so they try to hide it for all of the reasons I’ve mentioned.  You’re fine!  They, however, are NOT. 


Filed under Mental Health, Narcissism

When Insecure People Are Toxic

Have you ever met someone who seemed to make you feel inferior, no matter what you did?  Maybe they were critical of everything you said or did, or maybe they exhibited narcissistic behaviors that made you feel like you were always failing, wrong or walking on eggshells around them.  These people can be toxic, & oftentimes, their behavior stems from deep-seated insecurity that they’re not willing to address. 

Insecure people often exhibit behaviors that can be harmful to those around them.  They may act smug or superior to hide their insecurity, in an effort to make others feel inferior.  They may find comfort in routine & stability, to the point that they resist change.  This means that they’ll fight change hard enough to hurt others, even if the change is necessary.  They can also be very critical & competitive, always trying to prove themselves, put others down or do both at the same time.  Many even exhibit narcissistic behaviors to hide their insecurity, some evolving into full-blown narcissists.  These behaviors can be especially harmful if they’re not addressed.

It’s important to note that not all insecure people exhibit toxic behavior.  Some may keep their insecurity to themselves, while others may actively work to address it in healthy ways.  However, when insecurity is allowed to fester & manifest in harmful behaviors, it can become toxic.

It’s also worth mentioning that everyone experiences insecurity at some point in their lives.  It’s perfectly natural.  However, it’s how we deal with that insecurity that can make it toxic.  If we’re not willing to address it, it can manifest in harmful ways that hurt both ourselves & those around us.

If you find yourself in a relationship with someone who exhibits this type of harmful behavior, you need to take action to protect yourself & those around you.  The first step is to ask God for help.  Pray for wisdom, discernment & guidance in identifying the toxic behavior & the best course of action to take.

When dealing with someone like this, it’s also important to logically question what the toxic person is saying.  Don’t take their criticism or put-downs at face value.  Instead, ask yourself if what they’re saying is true.  If it’s not, don’t internalize their negativity.  And ask them other questions such as to clarify what they’re saying, why they are saying this & what evidence do they have that what they’re saying is true.

Setting healthy boundaries is also a must.  Be clear about what behavior is acceptable & what is not.  It may mean limiting your interactions with the toxic person, or even ending the relationship altogether if they’re unwilling to change the behaviors that they know continually hurts you.

If you find yourself feeling guilty about ending a toxic relationship, remember that staying enables their bad behavior & hurts you.  No good comes from that.  It’s important to prioritize your own well-being & surround yourself with positive, supportive people who lift you up instead of tearing you down.

Ending a toxic relationship can be difficult, but it’s often necessary for your own = well-being.  You deserve to be treated with respect & kindness!  You also have the power to create healthy relationships in your life.

Ultimately, it’s up to the toxic person to address their insecurity & harmful behavior.  You can’t force them to change, but you can take control of your own life & set boundaries that protect you from their toxicity.  You can protect yourself from their toxicity & create healthy, positive relationships in your life.


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

Easy Ways To Be A Better Listener

Have you ever been in a situation where you were pouring your heart out to someone, only for them to turn the conversation around to themselves?  Maybe you were talking about a difficult time in your life, & the other person kept interrupting with stories of their own struggles.  It can be frustrating & hurtful, especially if you’re already vulnerable.  This is why it’s important to remember that when someone is talking about something you can relate to, you should listen & support them, rather than making it all about you.

When someone is sharing a personal experience, it’s important to remember that they are trusting us with their vulnerability.  By turning the conversation around to ourselves, we are essentially shutting them down & telling them that our experiences are more important than theirs.  This can be incredibly damaging to our relationships, particularly with those who have experienced verbal & emotional abuse.

People who have been through abuse may struggle to open up to others, especially if they have been gaslighted, or made to feel like their experiences are not valid.  When we turn the conversation around to ourselves, we are reinforcing this idea that their experiences are not important.  It can make it even harder for them to trust others & feel like they can share their feelings.

Additionally, when we repeatedly turn the conversation around to ourselves, we are sending a message that we are not interested in what the other person has to say.  Even if we don’t feel that way, our behavior shows otherwise.  This can lead to the other person feeling invalidated & unheard, & they may start to avoid opening up to us altogether.

So, how can we respond in a way that shows we care & are invested in what the other person is saying?  Here are a few tips:

Listen actively: When someone is sharing with us, we should give them our full attention.  This means actively listening to what they are saying, without interrupting or trying to relate it back to ourselves.

Show empathy: Let the other person know that you hear them & understand how they are feeling.  This can be as simple as saying, “That sounds really tough.  I’m sorry you’re going through that.”  You also can say you went through something similar, but unless they specifically ask for all the details, don’t elaborate much so as to avoid turning the conversation’s focus to you,

Ask questions: If you’re not sure what to say, ask the other person questions about their experience.  This shows that you’re interested in what they have to say & can help them feel heard.

Avoid offering unsolicited advice: Unless the other person specifically asks for advice, it’s best to avoid giving it.  Instead, focus on validating their feelings & providing support.

Be mindful of your own behavior.  Take the time to reflect on how you respond when others open up to you & make a conscious effort to be more present & supportive.  This is particularly important for those who have not experienced verbal or emotional abuse, as you may not fully understand how your behavior can impact others.

Being a good listener is not always easy, but it’s essential for building strong, healthy relationships.  By being mindful of how we respond when others open up to us, we can create a safe & supportive space for them to share their experiences.  This, in turn, can help strengthen our connections & foster greater empathy & understanding.


Filed under Caregiving, Christian Topics and Prayers, Enjoying Life, Mental Health

When Family Objects To God’s Calling On Your Life

Family is supposed to be a safe haven, a place where although mistakes are made, everyone loves & supports each other.  They encourage each other to learn & to grow.  Sadly, this isn’t how families always work.  Sometimes, families are abusive & cruel, destroying each other physically, emotionally, spiritually & financially.  Some families are more interested in keeping up the appearance of being a loving family than actually working on being one.  Sometimes, families also put their wants above the will of God for each other’s lives, & people in this position are the ones I want to address today.

God created families to love, teach, support & nurture each other.  Sometimes though even families that do this don’t understand when one relative has a calling on their life that is out of the ordinary.  Their intentions may be good, but they still try to discourage that relative from doing what they know God wants them to do.  Then there are other families like mine.  Their intentions were anything but good when they tried to shame me for writing about the topics I do.  God showed me they did this to keep me from discussing topics that reminded them of their own pain or guilt for not helping me when I was being abused.

Being in such a position where people try so hard to discourage you from doing God’s will for your life can be so hard!  It makes you doubt, wondering if you really did hear God correctly.  It makes you feel embarrassed because people clearly think something is very wrong with you to be doing what you’re doing.  You also can’t help but feel like a fool.  But you know something?  If you keep doing what you know to do, you won’t regret it, & I’ll prove it.

Jesus Himself left His earthly family to pursue His heavenly Father’s will. He said in Luke 2:49, “And He answered, “Why did you have to look for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?”  By stepping outside of his family’s expectations, Jesus was able to fulfill His divine purpose on earth.

God called Abraham to leave his family, his country, & his people to follow Him to a land that He would show him.  By leaving the familiar land of his family & stepping out in faith, Abraham was able to establish a covenant with God & become the father of many nations.

Ruth, a Moabite woman, chose to leave her family & homeland to follow her mother-in-law Naomi to Israel.  When she did this, she found favor with Boaz, a Godly man she later married.  Ultimately, Ruth became the great-grandmother of King David & part of the lineage of Jesus Christ.

I also can tell you from personal experience that although writing the topics I write about can be extremely difficult & painful when it forces me to remember my own experiences, it has been an incredible blessing too.  I have met some really wonderful people because of my work, several of which I’m happy to call friends.  I have received many messages from people saying how helpful something I wrote has been for them.  I also have the knowledge that I’m doing God’s will for my life, & that alone is incredibly rewarding,

If you want to do God’s will for your life & your family doesn’t approve, I encourage you to do it anyway!  Prioritize your relationship with God above everything else.  By spending time in prayer, Scripture reading, & worship, we can develop a deeper understanding of God’s will for our lives.  As we grow closer to God, He will guide us in how to navigate our relationships & responsibilities to our families. 

If He requires you to leave your family to do His will, you’re not alone!  You will survive it.  Even though it will hurt, the blessings well outweigh that hurt.  He certainly has done this for many people in the Bible & even with me.  He can do it for you too!

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Enjoying Life, Evil Spirits and Spiritual Warfare

“You Should Just Leave!”



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

I Ran Into A Flying Monkey

I absolutely detest flying monkeys.  In my opinion, they truly are the worst of the worst.  They’re sorry excuses for human beings who encourage innocent people to tolerate infinite amounts of all manners of abuse & cruelty & shame them for having any boundaries or self respect.  Recently I had yet one more reminder of exactly why I despise these people.

At the time I’m telling this story, my latest flying monkey interaction just happened about a week ago.  It’s been over 4 years since my mother died & 5.5 years since my father died, yet I had the “pleasure” of dealing with yet another one of their flying monkeys. 

My husband & I were going out.  He was waiting in the car & I had just come out my front door.  A woman was walking along the sidewalk in front of my home.  She said “Cyndi?”  My guard immediately went up, because no one other than the couple of family members I speak with & anyone who knew my parents call me that instead of Cynthia.  Anyway, I said yes… can I help you?  She told me her name & I knew who she was.  Her daughter & I went to school together.  She seemed ok at first, even said I looked good, but my guard was still up anyway because you just never know.  She then asked how my mother was & I was shocked.  I told her she passed over 4 years ago in April, 2019.  She then mentioned Dad dying too & I said yes, he died in 2017.  She said Mom told her I wasn’t speaking to them, which I felt was very inappropriate.  I just said that was true.  She said Mom also told her I went to the hospital when Dad was dying when no one was around.  I was surprised & said no.  She said a cemetery employee told my mother that.  Very strange & it surprised me, which is why I said what I did.  Being so surprised, my guard slipped a bit.

She went on to say that she did things for Mom all the time.  Suddenly her story changed to helping her out a couple times.  This conversation was making me more & more uncomfortable.

Then this person said her husband died a couple months ago.  I said I was sorry to hear that.  If she would like to chat or needs anything, I kept my parents’ phone number, so just call.  My gut feeling was that she wouldn’t call, so I felt very safe saying that.  She said, “Oh thanks but I don’t have the number.  Besides, I have great kids.”  I waited a moment, sincerely hoping she’d realize how hateful this comment was & apologize.  No surprise, she didn’t.  I simply said, “Well ain’t that nice.”  For those of you who don’t know, that is a Southern woman’s nice way of saying either, “I don’t give a ****” or “Go **** yourself.”  Both fit my mood at that moment.  She didn’t reply.

She went on to ask me what I was doing with the house & I said I don’t know yet.  NOT her business, so even if I had known, I wouldn’t have told her.  She said Mom would be proud of me living there so I just said thanks in the hopes of shutting her down.  Then we parted ways.

Since this interaction, I’ve been angry.  I’m not really mad at her specifically anymore.  At least I know now to stay away from her, which is good to know.  I’m absolutely furious how people can be.  If you go no contact with a parent, people almost always assume you’re a spoiled brat or a selfish horrible person who hates your parents.  You’re treated like a pariah who deserves everything bad in life.  Yet, if you maintain the toxic relationship, that is applauded.  It’s absolutely backwards!  Severing ties with any abuser, even parents, should be celebrated & supported, not shamed, but that’s not how things are.  This has infuriated me for years, but then learning that even years after narcissists died that their flying monkeys still have no problem being their awful, heartless selves just made me even angrier.

I hope sharing this story will help you somehow.  Apparently there isn’t an end to flying monkeys doing their thing, so it may help you to remember that.  Also, no matter how well you handle the situation, they most likely still are going to upset you at some point, because that is just what they do.  If you are considering no contact with your narcissistic parent, keep in mind this sort of thing will happen to you too.  I don’t mean to make you reconsider no contact by telling you that.  It’s just a simple warning so (hopefully) you’ll be prepared for it when it happens.  Lastly, remember… no matter how wrong or delusional flying monkeys are, it’s their right to think as they do.  There’s also no point in trying to open their eyes to the truth when they are so convinced they’re right.  Rather than try, responding with “well ain’t that nice” can be quite helpful.  Saying that sounds polite, but you know what it really means & that can be so satisfying when said to awful people like this!

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Mother’s Day, 2023

I thought I should share a post for Mother’s Day since it can be such a horrid day for children of narcissistic parents.

Those who are of the “But that’s your MOTHER!!!” mentality, please leave quietly now.  This post is for those who are suffering through this day due to having a narcissistic mother. 

Now that that’s out of the way….

For those of you with narcissistic mothers, I know this is probably the worst day of the year for you. The message of loving mothers is everywhere.  “Your mother would do anything for you.”  “She loves you more than life itself!”  “Don’t forget to worship your mother today!”  When your narcissistic mother has tried to kill you, either physically or mentally, there are zero warm feelings associated with Mother’s Day.

Some people are sympathetic to our situation, even if they can’t understand it.  God bless these people!  Then there are those who say shaming things like, “But that’s your MOTHER!”  Often these people are narcissists themselves, flying monkeys who help narcissists abuse their victims.  Others are people who have suffered abuse & refuse to acknowledge their pain.  Their goal is to shut down anyone who faces their pain.  Witnessing someone face their pain also reminds them of their own & makes them feel cowardly for not facing theirs.  Rather than make healthy choices, they opt to shut down healthy people instead.

Understanding things like this can help to take some of the pain out of heartless comments, because it proves that the comments aren’t personal. They’re about the dysfunction of the person saying these things.  However, it’s still going to sting a bit, even knowing that.

Being raised by a narcissistic mother is painful.  There are ways to cope, however.

I firmly believe it’s necessary to grieve.  Grieve for the fact you didn’t have a good childhood.  Grieve because your mother never has been or will be a loving mom.  Grieve what you missed out on by your mother not being a loving mom.  Grieving such things helps you to accept your situation & heal.

On Mother’s Day, if you have children, spend time with them when possible.  Enjoy your family & celebrate this gift God has given you.

Don’t forget to acknowledge those wonderful women who were like mothers to you.  I had a friend who was like an adopted mom.  She was about 20 years older than me, & a wonderful lady.  Kris was nurturing, kind, loving, a natural mom & a devoted Christian.  Unfortunately it wasn’t until after she died that I realized I should have celebrated her on Mother’s Day.  Don’t make the same mistake I did!  If you have a wonderful mom figure in your life, wish her a happy Mother’s Day.  Give her flowers or a card.  Take her to lunch.  Do something together to show her how much you appreciate her.

If you absolutely must deal with your narcissistic mother on Mother’s Day, before you see her, pray.  Ask God to show you what you should do.  He will help you to know the best ways to cope!

Don’t forget, you also have the right to set limits on your time spent with your mother.  Don’t spend the entire day with her if you don’t want to.  Set aside an hour or two for her & no more.  If you know you’ll have trouble leaving when you want to, arrange something to do so you have to leave her at a certain time.

Take care of yourself on Mother’s Day & every day, Dear Reader.  You deserve to be loved & cared for, especially by yourself.  xoxo


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

Emotions & Victims Of Narcissistic Parents

As a survivor of narcissistic abuse, I know firsthand the toll it can take on one’s emotional well-being.  Growing up, I was constantly told that my emotions were wrong & shamed for my feelings, especially when they were different than my mother’s.  As a result, I naturally learned to keep my feelings hidden & appear calm, cool & collected at all times.  While this was a useful survival skill back then, it’s a habit that is hard to break as an adult.  Today I hope to help victims of narcissistic parents learn how narcissistic abuse affects victims’ emotional lives & why it’s important to acknowledge & validate their feelings.

Narcissistic abuse is a form of psychological trauma that can leave lasting scars on survivors.  Its pattern of manipulation, gaslighting, & control leaves victims feeling powerless & confused.  For children of narcissistic parents, this usually means growing up in a constant state of anxiety & fear.  They never know when their parent will lash out or criticize them, so they learn to be hyper-vigilant, in other words always on guard.  This chronic stress can lead to a range of emotional & physical symptoms, including depression, anxiety, & C-PTSD.

One of the ways that narcissistic abuse affects victims’ emotions is by making them hypersensitive to criticism & rejection.  They learned early on that their parent’s love & approval were conditional on their behavior & achievements.  As a result, they may feel like they’re never good enough & constantly seek validation from others.  At the same time, they fear rejection & avoid conflict at all costs.  This makes it hard for them to form healthy relationships & speak up for themselves.

Another way that narcissistic abuse affects victims’ emotions is by making them feel guilty for their own feelings.  Children of narcissistic parents are often told that their emotions are wrong or that they’re being “too sensitive.”  This usually leads to a pattern of self-doubt & self-criticism, where they blame themselves for their parent’s behavior & try to change themselves to avoid further abuse.  They also struggle with expressing their emotions in a healthy way, as they’ve learned early in life that vulnerability is dangerous.

For all victims of narcissistic abuse, one of the most important steps in healing is learning to validate their own emotions.  This means acknowledging that their feelings are real & valid, even if they don’t always make sense or seem logical at the moment.  It also means learning to express their emotions in a healthy way & developing healthy boundaries with people who don’t respect them.

To accomplish this, I’ve learned prayer to be invaluable.  God has provided me with wisdom & strength to do as I need.  One helpful thing He showed me was to look at my emotions from purely logical perspective.  I ask myself questions like is this emotion reasonable in this situation?  If I struggle to figure that out, I ask myself if a close friend came to me feeling as I do after experiencing what I have, would I think that friend is overreacting or reasonable?  Sometimes looking at situations as if they were happening to someone else can give you a much clearer perspective.  And, if you still are struggling, try writing down the situation & your emotions.  Writing is a phenomenal tool for helping to bring clarity so use it freely!  I keep a journal & have found it tremendously helpful in many ways, including learning to validate myself & my emotions.

Practice expressing your emotions with safe, honest, non judgmental people, too.  As hard as it can be at first, tell safe people how you feel & ask them for feedback.  This can help you to get better at expressing your emotions.

Learning to recognize & express your emotions is tough, but worth it.  You may never get completely comfortable with it, but at the very least, you can heal to the point of being able to recognize & express your emotions in healthy ways.  Although those are useful survival skills around narcissists, stifling them long term is so unhealthy & miserable, & you don’t deserve to live that way!

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

10% Off Sale On My Print Books!

My publisher is having a sale on my print books. To get 10% off, use code MOTHERSDAY10 at checkout until May 12, 2023.

My print books can be found at the link below:

author spotlight on Lulu

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

When Trauma Affects You Long After The Events Are Over

One very important thing I’ve learned about experiencing repeated traumas is something that’s never discussed.  It’s about how when you go through trauma after trauma, you don’t have the time to heal, so eventually it resurfaces, & often many years after the fact.  This is absolutely NORMAL!  Yet, many people tell those experiencing this that something is wrong with them, they’re living in the past or they need to get over it because that was such a long time ago.

If you’re going through this, this information is for you.

When you’re in a situation where you experience repeated traumas, your mind has no choice but to kick in to survival mode.  Survival mode is when you are faced with not knowing what will set an abuser off, so you become hyper-vigilant.  This means you become extremely aware of your surroundings & the emotional state of those around you in an attempt to prevent any abuse before it starts.  This takes over your awareness of your own needs, wants & feelings.  Survival mode is a very helpful way of thinking that helps you to survive traumatic situations.

Once the relationship with your abuser ends, that doesn’t mean survival mode is over & you automatically return to normal.  Survival mode usually continues for quite some time after the abuse is over.  It can last a few weeks, months or even years.  Eventually though, it does stop or at the very least, lets up a great deal.  As great as that is, it doesn’t mean you are ok.

After survival mode ends, it’s as if your brain decides that now is the time to deal with the trauma & it forces you to do this.  This is often when you start having nightmares, flashbacks, intrusive thoughts & memories. 

This time can be incredibly painful.  It can make you feel like you’re crazy.  After all, the abuse is done, you survived, so why now after all this time are you having these nightmares, flashbacks, etc.?  There are three reasons for this.

Reason #1: when you were in the abusive situation, there wasn’t time to process your trauma & survive.  Trauma happened over & over.  You didn’t have sufficient time to process one trauma when another happened, then another & another. 

Reason #2: surviving the situation is top priority during abusive relationships.  All of your focus had to be on surviving, not how you felt about that.

Reason #3: emotions demand to be felt.  If they can’t be felt at the time, they don’t simply vanish.  They wait until a time that the environment feels safe to manifest.  If you don’t deal with them in a healthy way, they’ll still manifest somehow.

If it’s been a while since the last trauma, yet suddenly you’re faced with a flood of emotions & pain related to it, I want to assure you that you’re not crazy.  You are in fact quite normal!  Your response is normal to a very abnormal situation.  I firmly believe that people who don’t react this way to situations like this are the ones with the problems.  How can a person not be affected by trauma?!  That is what is abnormal!  Being damaged by trauma is very normal.

Rather than ignoring the emotions, nightmares, etc. you’re experiencing, it’s time to deal with them.  Ignoring them only makes things worse.  It’s much like having a stomach bug.  As yukky as vomiting is, if you can, it helps you to get better.  If you don’t, the bug has to go through your system & drags out how long it takes you to get better.  Dealing with what you’re experiencing is yukky too but it really will help you heal.  So pray, journal, talk to someone safe… do whatever helps you to process your pain.  You will survive this & you will be ok!


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

Having A Balanced Relationship With Technology

We live in an age where technology rules so much of our lives – where we’re almost never without a phone in our hands or away from some type of screen.  In many ways, technology makes our lives easier.  It enables us to communicate, learn, find entertainment, shop, & so much more.  However, if we’re not careful, technology can take over our lives & dominate our free time.

It can be hard to put down electronics, especially when they can provide us with an escape from the real world.  But, there is a lot of value in spending less time online.

When people spend too much time on their phones & computers, it can lead to a feeling of being disconnected from the real world.  We can become so focused on what we are seeing online that what’s happening around us in the real world doesn’t seem to have as much importance.  This can end up having a negative effect on our mental health, even making us more susceptible to anxiety & depression.

Spending less time on the internet also can help to improve your relationships.  If you spend all of your free time chatting over the internet, you’ll miss out on the real world conversations that are part of our closest relationships.  When you spend time with your loved ones without the distraction of your phone, you will nurture those important relationships. 

The physical health benefits of decreased internet use are also something to consider.  Too much time sitting in front of a screen can lead to neck & back pain, headaches, & more.  Taking a step away from the computer & reading a book, or doing a different activity can be just as fun, if not more fun, than spending time online.

Spending less time online can help us to appreciate the present moment more.  We can get so consumed with what’s going on with our notifications & posts that we forget to appreciate the beauty & joy right in front of us.  Instead of being caught up in what’s happening on the internet, we should be mindful of the little, ordinary moments like enjoying a nice cup of tea, taking in the beauty of a garden or getting in extra playtime with our pets.

Finally, when you forgo spending time on the internet, you can open yourself up to discovering new skills & hobbies as well as exploring new & different experiences.  Or, you can revisit things you once enjoyed doing yet gave up. 

There are some easy things you can do to break the habit of spending so much time online.  Stop reaching for your phone the moment you have any free time.  Instead, pray, pick up a book, reach for a craft project, write in your journal or call a friend.  Also delete those apps you no longer use or are big time wasters. There is nothing wrong with playing a game on your phone, but if that game takes up a lot of your time, it needs to go.  Remember, electronics should serve us, not monopolize all of our free time.

In many ways, technology makes our lives easier. We just need to remember to be careful & not let it take over our free time or even our lives.


Filed under Enjoying Life, Mental Health

Being Too Close To Your Family Is Unhealthy

Genesis 2:23-24 in the Amplified Bible says, “Then Adam said, ‘This is now bone of my bones, & flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.’ 24 For this reason, a man shall leave his father & his mother, & shall be joined to his wife; & they shall become one flesh.” These verses show how important it is to grow past the close ties with our family of origin in order to grow up.  Leaving the family’s nest is a vital step in becoming the person God has called us to be.  Today, we will discuss why staying too involved with family can be unhealthy & how to find freedom in God’s will.

It is perfectly normal to love & care for our families.  However, when we are too involved or dependent on them, especially as adults, it can hinder personal & spiritual growth.  Staying too involved with family can lead to unhealthy emotional attachments, unhealthy & unrealistic expectations, stress & strain on all of our relationships.

Additionally, staying too involved with family can prevent us from living our own lives & fulfilling our God-given purpose.  When we prioritize our family’s desires & opinions over what God is calling us to do, we may end up living an unfulfilling life that is not in alignment with our calling.

Finally, being overly involved with our family also hiders our ability to form deep & lasting relationships with other people.  When we are overly focused on our family’s needs, we don’t give ourselves the time or space to develop meaningful relationships systems outside of our family.

When we become more independent from our family, we are able to cultivate a deeper relationship with God, letting Him guide our steps & mold us into the person He created us to be.  We also are able to grow & develop as individuals.  We can explore new interests, engage in personal hobbies, & pursue our passions without feeling tied down by familial expectations.  And, when we establish healthy boundaries with our family, our relationships can improve as family members aren’t so deeply involved in our lives.

We must communicate & enforce our boundaries with family members.  This isn’t always easy, especially if the family members are narcissists, but it’s necessary.  Establishing healthy boundaries is vital.  If your family members are narcissistic, don’t show them any emotion because if you do, they will use that to manipulate you.  Remain calm & firm.  Remind yourself that you have every right to healthy boundaries, & they aren’t harming your relatives, no matter what they might say.  Healthy boundaries are always a very good thing!

Seek support & encouragement from others outside of our family unit.  Connecting with like-minded people can help provide affirmation, guidance, & encouragement to continue pursuing God’s will.  They also can pray for & with you, & they will help to keep you grounded.  All of which will help you to avoid falling back into old, dysfunctional habits. 

Remember, there is nothing wrong with wanting to be an independent adult.  It doesn’t mean you want nothing to do with your family or even hate them.  It simply means you’re a normal person with a normal desire that every single person has. 

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

Being A Good Witness Of Your Faith Is Not Always What You Think it Is

Acts 4:31 in the Amplified translation of the Bible says, “And when they had prayed, the place where they were meeting together was shaken [a sign of God’s presence]; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness and courage.” 

As born again believers, we need to be open our faith & not be ashamed of it.  That being said though, some of us aren’t always comfortable with talking about it.  I am one of those people.  Although my faith is strong, verbalizing it isn’t my strength by any stretch of the imagination.  Writing is easier but even so, if someone has some questions or tries to contradict what I say, chances are good my brain won’t cooperate with me.  I won’t be able to have an intelligent argument for why I believe what I believe because I am so uncomfortable with confrontations, which is what that feels like even when it is unintentional. I also am not good at remembering what Scripture I found where in the Bible.  That has nothing to do with my faith.  That is all on me.  It’s a big shortcoming on my part. 

Because of said shortcoming, I felt like a failure as a Christian for a long time.  Clearly, that’s not a nice way to feel.  However, as a victim of narcissistic abuse for so long, it’s also understandable.  Being abused by narcissists makes people feel like failures no matter what they do, because they can’t meet the unrealistic expectations of narcissists.  Over time, being accused of being a failure makes a person think they are a failure if they make any mistakes whatsoever.  That feeling is completely wrong, even about your faith, & I’ll tell you why.

Everyone has different gifts.  Ephesians 4:11 in the Living Bible says, “Some of us have been given special ability as apostles; to others he has given the gift of being able to preach well; some have special ability in winning people to Christ, helping them to trust him as their Savior; still others have a gift for caring for God’s people as a shepherd does his sheep, leading and teaching them in the ways of God.”  Clearly this says that we simply aren’t giving the same gifts.  If sharing the message of the Gospel isn’t your gift, that doesn’t mean something is wrong with you!  It also doesn’t mean that you can’t be a good witness of your faith.

When people learn that you are a Christian, they watch your behavior to be sure it lines up with what you say.  People naturally are drawn to people who are real.  Even those who claim to be atheists are drawn to Christians who try to live their faith as much as they can.  2 Corinthians 3:2-3 in the Living Bible says, “The only letter I need is you yourselves! By looking at the good change in your hearts, everyone can see that we have done a good work among you. 3They can see that you are a letter from Christ, written by us. It is not a letter written with pen and ink, but by the Spirit of the living God; not one carved on stone, but in human hearts.”

If you are like me & not overly comfortable being a witness in the way that so many churches say you should be, by talking often & openly about your faith, I want you to know today that there is nothing wrong with you by not doing it!  As long as you are living your faith to the best of your ability, God still is very pleased with you!  Just keep doing what you do, & you will be surprised at the people who are moved by your example. 

I have people who follow my work that don’t share my faith.  In fact, some have been abused by so called “religious” people who contort God’s word to make it sound like He is all for being abusive.  Logically, it seems like they would recognize my faith & run in the other direction, yet they don’t.  That isn’t because I have any special skills for winning people to Jesus.  It’s because I try to be real.  I am open about my faith & struggles, say “I don’t know” sometimes & help them recognize that their abusers misused God’s word.  Simple, yes, but also it helps those without faith to see that not all Christians are cruel & neither is God.

If you feel badly for not being a so called “good witness”, I hope today you realize that you don’t have to be able to preach like Billy Graham to help spread the message of the Gospel.  Just be true to yourself & living your faith to the best of your ability.  That is all you have to do to please God & to help people recognize the beautiful message of the Gospel of Jesus.

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Taking Your Power Back From Narcissists

No matter how careful you may be, it’s likely you’ve come across at least one narcissist in your life.  They will do anything they can to make sure they always have control of their victims.

The most helpful thing I have found to do in these situations is to pray.  Asking God to help me remain calm, think logically rather than emotionally & have creative & effective ways of dealing with their manipulation has been incredibly helpful.

Simple acts such as providing too much personal information, strong emotional reactions, & tolerating control & manipulation can all contribute to narcissists having the power.  To take your power back, you need to do the opposite of those things.  Don’t share personal information.  When the narcissist provokes you, remain calm even when you have every right to be angry or hurt.  Instead of giving the narcissist their way when they try to control you, act as if you don’t notice what they are trying to do.

It is also so important to practice self-care.  Take the time to keep yourself grounded & pay attention to your feelings & thoughts.  Allow yourself to be honest & real with yourself, & reject any guilt that may influence you to stay with a narcissist or tolerate their abuse just because they make you feel you should do such things.  Listen to yourself & understand that your feelings are valid & important.  You never deserve to feel guilty or ashamed of being upset over how they treat you.

It is also important to recognize your own strength & power.  Remind yourself that with God’s help, you are capable of getting through anything, & you have every right to take control of your life!  Make sure that you are fully aware of how you are feeling & staying true to yourself.

One important step in taking back your power from narcissists is to recognize their behavior & know when it is happening.  It’s vitally important to be aware of those times when their behavior turns manipulative, controlling, or abusive & be willing to take steps to protect yourself.

Another step in taking back your power from narcissists is to be willing to set boundaries.  It can often be difficult & ineffective to stand up to a narcissist & tell them no, as you do with those who aren’t narcissists.  Narcissists are notorious for barreling over healthy boundaries &/or portraying themselves as innocent victims when someone tries setting boundaries on their abusive behavior.  This often makes victims give up their boundaries rather than deal with the narcissist’s abusive protests.  But it’s important to remember that you have the right to have boundaries, to be respected & treated fairly.  If a narcissist continues to disrespect you, it is important to protect yourself however you need to do.  Changing the topic of conversation, hanging up the phone or leaving can be subtle ways to do this.  If all else fails, find a way to turn the conversation back to the narcissist somehow.  They almost never pass up an opportunity to tall about themselves.

Being aware of your own reactions to them also helps to take your power away from narcissists.  Narcissists view strong emotional reactions in their victims as a sign of weakness, & use these reactions to control & manipulate.  It’s best to stay in tune with your emotions to make sure you are not giving them power when you respond to their behavior.

Lastly, a great way to help yourself in these situations is to practice mindful reflection.  This can be done through activities such as praying & journaling to help you become aware of how their words &/or actions are affecting you.  Self-care is important anyway but it can also be helpful in recognizing the narcissist’s manipulation & how you can best manage your responses to their behavior.

Taking back your power from narcissists is ultimately about recognizing their tactics & having the willingness to protect yourself.  It’s not easy but it can be done.  The more you do it, the better you will become at it.


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

Intimacy & Narcissists

When many people hear the word intimacy, sex is the first thing that comes to mind.  That is naturally one aspect of it, but there are others as well.  You share intimacy with God when you pour your heart out to God in prayer.  You share intimacy with your best friend when you tell him or her a secret that you’re too embarrassed to tell anyone else.  You share intimacy with your spouse when you both discuss your dreams & try to plan ways to make those dreams come true.

Intimacy with someone who is safe & loving is a wonderful gift! 

Unfortunately narcissists know this, & will do their best to mimic intimacy with their victims.  They do this as a way to win over new victims.  When someone feels a close connection with someone they just met, it lures them in quickly.   Naturally this gives the narcissist a prominent place in their life & even control over them.

I wonder if narcissists also mimic intimacy as a way to fill the emptiness inside them.  Maybe faking it makes them feel normal on some level, & so many narcissists do have an unspoken desire to feel normal.

In spite of that, narcissists don’t want true intimacy.  True intimacy requires thinking of someone other than yourself.  That’s not exactly a skill narcissists have or want to have since they believe attention must be focused on them at all times.

True intimacy also means someone can see the real you, not the version of you that just anyone can see.  That is a nightmare scenario for any narcissist.  Narcissists don’t want anyone other than their victims seeing behind their mask & will do anything to prevent that from happening.

To know if someone trying to be close to you is a narcissist, there are some signs you can recognize.

A person who truly wants an intimate relationship with you will keep your secrets.  You know beyond a shadow of a doubt whatever private things you share with them will remain between you both.  Narcissists may say they won’t share what you tell them, but chances are excellent they will tell someone.

Along those lines, they also won’t threaten to tell others your secrets or use them to embarrass you.  Narcissists absolutely will not hesitate to behave in this cruel way.

They also won’t use what they said against you.  For example, they won’t use your fears that no one else knows about to manipulate or control you.  They also won’t share the embarrassing secrets you have shared with other people to make you look bad.  Narcissists will be more than happy to use any very private & personal information against you either to manipulate, control or embarrass you.

This type of person also won’t judge what you share, no matter how unusual or even strange what you say may be.  A safe person may comment that something is rather odd but they won’t think less of you for it.  Narcissists absolutely can & do judge every single person.  You aren’t the exception.  They will treat you this same way.

True intimacy is a wonderful thing.  God created us to want it.  Sadly, narcissists know people crave it, & that means to them, it is nothing but another tool to add in their arsenal of abuse weapons.  If you recognize the signs of a narcissist faking intimacy, protect yourself.  Share nothing even remotely personal about yourself with them.


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

10% Off Sale On My Print Books!

My publisher is having a sale on my print books. To get 10% off, use code INBLOOM10 at checkout until April 28, 2023.

My print books can be found at the link below:

author spotlight on Lulu

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

Nostalgia After Trauma



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

Depression In Teenagers

The teen years aren’t easy for most people.  So much is changing physically & emotionally that it can be difficult to process, especially for teens since their brains aren’t fully developed yet.  The part of the brain that is responsible for rational thought, the frontal cortex, won’t be mature for a few more years.  They also lack emotional regulation skills.  Considering such things, it’s no wonder some teens can face depression.  Today I want to make you aware of some signs of depression in teenagers.

Crying is probably the first sign of depression that comes to mind in many people.  It isn’t always the case though.  Crying can be a very helpful way to release pent up emotions.  It also can be a sign of anger & frustration.  Frequent crying may be a cry for help, but not always with feelings of being depressed.  Talking about their feelings can be very helpful.  If they prefer not to, journaling can be just as helpful.  Encourage the teen in your life to write about their feelings & look over past entries often.  Doing so can give them insight into what is happening.

Crying also can be a good thing in that it can give a person insight into why they are crying.  If the teen you love is crying, gently encourage him or her to talk about it.  It could be a temporary thing such as their crush not returning their feelings, failing a test, losing a game or even just everyday stress that he or she hasn’t learned to cope with yet.  Once you learn the cause of the tears, then gently dig a bit deeper.  Did their crush not returning their feelings make them feel unlovable?  Did failing the test or losing the game make them feel like a failure?  Is stress overwhelming them?  Getting to the root cause can help them learn to cope with such feelings & gain a healthy perspective on the situation.    

Sudden outbursts of anger also can be a sign of depression.  Depression isn’t always about feeling sad.  Sometimes it is about repressed anger that was never given a healthy outlet.  This means that some depressed people may have angry outbursts.

Anxiety can manifest as tears, which means it can look like depression.  Anxiety is so stressful & exhausting, that it can be overwhelming sometimes.  Tears can be one way to cope with such feelings, especially if a person is unaware of what is happening or how to cope.

Grief also naturally can trigger depressive episodes in anyone, but can be particularly difficult for teenagers since they lack the knowledge & experience to cope with such challenging emotions.  Grief can be triggered by many things, too, not only losing a loved one.  It can be caused by a breakup with either a romantic partner or a close friendship, parents divorce, an older sibling moving out & countless other types of loss.  While grief lessens over time, there are times when it never entirely goes away. 

Experiencing trauma also can be at the root of depression.  A teen who has been abused, seen someone they love hurt or abused, been the victim of bullying, been in a car accident or a plethora of other traumatic things may be understandably depressed.

Physical problems can cause depression, because of living with pain or being embarrassed for being different.   Mental disorders can cause depression as well & many manifest in a person’s teen years.  Bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, attention deficit disorders & more all are known to begin in a person’s adolescence.  

It is important to learn what you can about what is on a teen’s mind when they are struggling with depression.  The more you learn, the more you can help them. Pray, asking God to show you how you can help & to give you the right things to say.  Always be gentle & non judgmental.  Make sure he or she knows you are safe to talk to about anything, & only want to help.  If you too have struggled with depression, be open about it.  However, avoid saying things like, “I know just how you feel.  I felt that way when something happened in my life” when they are trying to tell you something. Instead, just listen to what they have to say & answer their questions.

Depression in teens is a common problem.  Teens need all the love, support & understanding they can get at this time, as well as teaching on ways to cope.  You never know- offering such things may prevent the teen you know from thinking suicide is their only way out of the dark pit of depression.


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

Encouragement For Those Who Talk Openly About Narcissism

Some people are known as Dark Empaths.  They are often described as someone who uses their ability to recognize what others are going through & use it for their benefit.  They have only one of the three types of empathy, what is known as cognitive empathy.  According to researchers Paul Ekman & Daniel Goldman, this means someone can identify with what someone is experiencing & feeling, yet their own emotions aren’t affected.  There is no desire to help or support someone struggling.

Dark Empaths also can be prone to gossiping, bullying, manipulating or intimidating others & being vindictive.  They also can be prolific with gaslighting, love bombing & portraying themselves as the victim.  If you’re thinking their behavior sounds narcissistic, you would be absolutely correct.  The difference between them & narcissists is that they have some empathy, as damaged as it may be, unlike narcissists who have none.

I learned some time back about a variation on the Dark Empath that is quite different than this standard definition.  In fact, it’s very empowering to people like me!

This alternative definition says that Dark Empaths are champions for humanity.  They want to protect & educate people.  Often, they are victims of narcissistic abuse, & learned from their experiences.  They can spot a narcissist & recognize their manipulations easily.  They also can outwit narcissists easily.  Narcissists hate these Dark Empaths because they see behind the mask, recognize exactly what they are, won’t hesitate to call them out on their behavior & warn others about them.

While I’m less than thrilled with the original, recognized definition of a Dark Empath, I do identify well with this alternative definition.  I just wish it was the original definition, because it fits what I thought when I first read the term Dark Empath so much better than the original definition.  When I first began reading about empaths, everything seemed to portray them as almost mystical, sometimes with psychic powers & cheering up people who were sad.  It seemed to me empaths were all “unicorns & rainbows”. I found something silly for quite some time, so I stopped reading about them.  Over time, I learned I have a great deal of empathy, but I’m far from the unicorns & rainbows type.  I’m too realistic for that.  If something is bad, I will admit that just as quickly as I’ll admit something is good.  So for me, I thought of myself as a Dark Empath.  Later reading what psychologists refer to as a Dark Empath was rather shocking.  Finding the alternative definition felt so much more accurate.  And, realizing what I was reading described me well was pretty empowering!

Today I thought sharing this with you might be as beneficial for you as it was for me.  So many people I’ve spoken to who follow my work also fit this alternative description of a Dark Empath.  If it describes you, then I hope you find this as empowering as I have.  Don’t let society’s desire for only light, happy things dissuade you from what you feel you must do.  It’s ok & even necessary to talk about more serious, deep things like narcissism.  Narcissists are out there & hurting people every single day.  Everyone needs to be aware of what they’re capable of & how to protect themselves from these monsters. 

Not everyone is capable of speaking openly about narcissism & narcissistic abuse because of the backlash, but if you feel called to do this, you have the ability to handle that backlash with dignity.  I can promise you that.  I’ve been attacked more times than I can count from people I know & strangers alike for discussing it so openly & you know something?  It no longer upsets me, because I know people like this only want to shut people like me down because of their own selfish desires, & usually are narcissists themselves.  Dark Empaths are realistic & understand people enough to know this, which means the insults of such people don’t affect them or deter them from their path.

If you too are a Dark Empath in the alternative definition of the phrase, be encouraged!  What you’re doing is helping people, even changing their lives.  Keep on your path!  God has given you a very unique calling & equipped you to handle it!


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

What Biblical Submission In Marriage Really Is

Ephesians 5:22-24 instructs wives to submit to their husbands.  Frequently these verses are taken out of context, & even worse, used to manipulate women into tolerating abuse from their husband.  This is not the intended message of the Scriptures!

Ephesians 5:22 in the Amplified Bible states, “Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as [a service] to the Lord”.  The original Greek word used for “subject” is “hupotasso”, which means to willingly place oneself under another’s authority.  This is not forced submission, but a voluntary act of respect & love.

Verse 23 goes on to say, “For the husband is head of the wife, as Christ is head of the church, Himself being the Savior of the body”   “Head” refers to a position of responsibility & leadership, not dominance or superiority.  Just as Christ is the head of the church & serves it, the husband is called to be the head of the household & serve it.  This means that he is to love, protect, guide, & care for the needs of his wife & family

Verse 24 then goes on to say, “But as the church to Christ, so also wives should be subject to their husbands in everything [respecting both their position as protector & their responsibility to God as head of the house]”   This comparison is significant because it emphasizes the importance of submission in Christian faith.  Just as the church submits to God out of love & reverence, wives are called to submit to their husbands out of love & respect.   However, this submission is not blind or unconditional.  Just as the church has the right to question God, wives have the right to question & challenge their husbands’ decisions if they believe they are unjust or harmful.

Many who stress the importance of wives being submissive stop at this point, but the Bible doesn’t.  Verse 25 addresses husbands.  It says, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church & gave Himself up for her,”  This means husbands should prioritize their wives’ needs & well-being.  This love is not based or control, but on service & humility.

Verses 26-27 go on to say, “so that He might sanctify the church, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word [of God], 27 so that [in turn] He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy [set apart for God] and blameless.”  This shows His love is not just a feeling, but a transformative force that changes & purifies.  In the same way, husbands’ love for their wives should be transformative & purifying, helping them to grow & flourish.

Ephesians 5:30 then draws another parallel between the husband-wife relationship & the relationship between Christ & the church.  It says, “because we are members (parts) of His body.”  This emphasizes the intimate & inseparable nature of the relationship between Christ & the church.  In the same way, the husband & wife are called to be intimately connected & inseparable, as one flesh.

Interestingly, Ephesians 5:21 is also frequently neglected when people discuss the submission of wives.  It states, “being subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.”  This statement reminds us that submission is not a one-sided obligation but a mutual relationship where both parties serve each other & God.  Husbands are called to submit to their wives by loving them sacrificially, & wives are called to their husbands by respecting & supporting them. 

Lastly, Ephesians 5:11 reminds us that we shouldn’t have any part in evil deeds.  No wife should submit to an ungodly or abusive husband.

By exploring Scripture, we can see that submission is not a one-sided obligation but a mutual relationship where both parties serve each other & God.  Submission does not mean blind obedience or tolerating ungodly behavior.  Our ultimate obligation is to God, & we are called to seek Him first.


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

Narcissists Hate When Victims Stand Up For Themselves To Anyone

Everyone with even minimal knowledge of narcissists knows that they can’t handle when their victims stand up for themselves to them.  No matter how accurate what they say is, no matter how gently it may be said, they still can’t handle it.  They take it as a personal attack & will rage in some fashion at the person who dared to have the audacity to speak to them in such a way.

Did you know that narcissists also can’t tolerate when their victims defend themselves to other people?  It’s true. 

When I was growing up, if I told my mother about a problem with a friend, she always told me things like, “To have a friend, you have to be one.”  In other words, no matter what was done to me, she wanted me to tolerate it rather than speak up for myself.  And, it wasn’t just her.  Other narcissists in my life have been the same way.  I wondered why this was at the times these situations happened, but only recently have I thought about it enough to figure out why they were that way.

Narcissists don’t want victims standing up for themselves to anyone in any capacity because to do so would mean they recognize abuse.  If they recognize abuse, then they obviously would realize that the narcissist, too, is abusive, & they would stop tolerating that abuse.  Clearly, this would be bad for any narcissist, so they instead enable others to abuse their victims & encourage the victims to tolerate it.  In order to keep victims tolerating abuse, when their victims say someone is mistreating them, narcissists do their best to dissuade their victims from standing up for themselves.

Narcissists in this situation tell their victims that they are being over sensitive, over reacting, being defensive, reading too much into the other person’s behavior, & more.  The goal is to shame their victim into silence by making them feel ashamed of themselves for being upset about being wronged or even abused by the other person.  If they can accomplish this, then they can keep the victim compliant & tolerating their abusive behavior.

Another tactic they may use is to call you weak or cowardly if you don’t defend yourself.  They say things like, “If I was in that situation, I sure would do things differently!”  While this may sound counter intuitive to their goal of keeping victims tolerating abuse, it’s actually not.  This behavior also causes shame in victims, which makes them even less likely to defend themselves.

Or, if the victim mentions standing up to someone to the narcissist, the narcissist often will criticize how the victim did it.  The words were all wrong, the timing was inappropriate, the victim’s tone or body language were all wrong, etc. according to narcissists.

In any situation, whether you defend yourself or not, you WILL be wrong, according to the narcissist.  The best way to handle this is simply not to mention defending yourself to narcissists.  Handle your situations however you know is best without telling the narcissist anything about them.  And never, ever ask a narcissist for advice about anything, let alone how to handle a relationship problem!


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

Supporting Someone Who Has Lost An Abusive Parent

Losing a parent is a truly unique & painful experience, in particular when that parent is abusive.  My husband & I lost all four of our parents in a short time – one parent a year from 2016 to 2019.  It was a very painful & confusing time for us both. 

I realized at that time, people have no real idea on how to help those whose abusive parent has died.  Thank God, I have some wonderful people who are very close to me that did know, but they were in the minority.  It seemed to me that the majority of people assumed because I was no contact at the time my parents passed away, that their deaths didn’t affect me in the slightest.  They couldn’t have been more wrong!  And sadly, I didn’t know what I needed at the time, let alone how to express those needs.  Today I want to express some common needs so that anyone who reads this can share this with their loved ones to get the help they need.  Clearly grief doesn’t have a “one size fits all” solution, but I am sharing some basic needs that I believe should be able to help most people.

To support someone who has lost an abusive parent, let that person know you are in this for the long haul.  Grief is a very messy journey full of ups & downs, lots of tears, anger & even joy.  To someone who hasn’t seen their loved one experience such emotions, it can be pretty intimidating, but if you can get past that & let your loved one know you are going to be there for them no matter what, that person is going to treasure you.

Don’t judge.  When my father died, I barely shed a tear.  When my mother died almost exactly 18 months later, I was utterly devastated.  There was also a painful feeling of relief that the abuse was finally over when they died.  When each of my parents died, I did NOT need judgment about my feelings.  I needed love, support & comforting words letting me know that my feelings were valid, even though they were vastly different with each parent.  Thank God, I have all of that in my wonderful best friend.  Everyone needs someone like this to help them survive losing their abusive parent.

Don’t try to rush grief.  Grief is unpredictable & has no time table.  Rather than trying to rush someone through their grief, encourage them to take their time & mourn however they need to.  Ecclesiastes 3:4 says there is a time to mourn, & this is so true.  While sometimes a distraction from their loss might be helpful, crying & getting their feelings out is even more helpful.

If you don’t know what to say, admit it.  Sometimes in these situations, the most helpful thing a person can hear is “I don’t know what to say, but I’m here to help if I can.”  Honesty like that goes a very long way.  And, it is so much better than saying something that while well meaning, comes across hurtful.

Check in often.  Some people tend to withdraw when going through trials.  I’m one of those people.  But, that doesn’t mean people like me don’t want to know other people care!  A quick text to say, “How are you today?” or “Thinking of you” can mean the world to someone who is grieving.  Extroverted people need these check ins so they know others care for them, too, & it may open the door for them to talk things over with you, which could help them tremendously.

Encourage them to do whatever they like that helps to process their loss.  Sometimes this may be getting angry about the terrible things their parent did to them.  Other times it may be as lovely as planting a garden in their parent’s honor.  Let your loved one do what they want to without fear of you judging or criticizing them.

Let them know it’s ok to talk negatively about their abusive parent even though he or she has died.  There is some unwritten rule out there that people aren’t supposed to speak badly of the dead.  As if dying negates all bad things they’ve done & rockets them into sainthood.  For children of abusive parents, this can be painful because they know their parent was no saint.  They have the emotional & sometimes physical scars to prove it.  If your loved one says something derogatory about their parent, let them know it’s ok to say these things.  The truth doesn’t change just because someone has died.  And, also let them know it’s perfectly OK to discuss whatever good things they want to about their abusive parents, too.  Chances are there was something good about them, & it’s good to discuss those along with the bad things.

Offer to pray for & with your loved one.  Sometimes the most comforting thing a person can do in your most painful times is pray for you.  Ask God to carrying your loved one & strengthen them during this extremely painful time along with anything else you can think of this person needs.

Treating someone in these ways definitely can help them get through the intensely painful process of losing an abusive parent while strengthening your relationship at the same time.

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