Category Archives: Abuse and the Healing Journey

Information Cynthia has learned about abuse and recovery.

Narcissistic Mothers Abuse Their Daughters About Their Weight

Many narcissistic mothers have issues with food & weight, & in typical narcissistic parent fashion, they pass those issues on to their daughters.

My mother told me how fat & ugly I was so often in my childhood that I went through anorexia at age 10, & later bulimia in my teens.  She continued to insult my weight very harshly until we stopped speaking when I was 45 years old.  Many other daughters of narcissistic mothers I have spoken to have similar stories with their mothers.  Even if they didn’t develop a full blown eating disorder, their mothers convinced them that they were ugly because they are too fat or too thin.

I think this is often because insecurity the reason many people became narcissists.  Insecurity is at the root of their behavior, so everything they do is an attempt to make them feel better about themselves.  The more a narcissist can beat someone down, the more this builds up the narcissist.  They love having the power to destroy another person’s self esteem.  It’s a “high” to them.

Narcissists also like to project their issues & insecurities on others.  In other words, they accuse other people of thinking or acting like they do, even when it’s very obvious that the victim is doing nothing of the sort.  Projection allows them to be angry about their own issues while at the same time not admitting their flaws, accepting any responsibility for them or making appropriate changes in their thoughts, beliefs & behavior.

Also, narcissistic mothers look at their daughters as competition.  If the mother is overweight or underweight, but her daughter has a good figure, it is a guarantee that she will do her level best to make her daughter feel badly about her figure & her appearance in general.  The narcissistic mother can’t handle thinking her daughter is better than her in any area, so in her mind, her daughter must be punished for this.

Narcissistic mothers also want to control their daughters, & one way for them to accomplish this task is to obliterate her daughter’s self esteem.  A person who thinks poorly of herself is easy to manipulate & control.  That person doesn’t believe she is smart enough to know what is right, so she’ll rely on someone else to tell her these things.  She also doesn’t believe she deserves to be treated well & will tolerate some pretty terrible abuse.

If this describes your situation with your narcissistic mother, please remember these things! The things she has said to you are a lie! She is only saying those things to hurt you so she can feel better about herself. DO NOT LISTEN TO HER!!!

Never forget to run to God with your problems.  Ask Him to tell you the truth. Ask Him if what your mother said is accurate or not, then listen for His response.  It may be an audible voice, or it may be a knowing in your heart.  Or, you may hear nothing at the time, but at a later time, you hear a song or read a passage in a book or your Bible that somehow speaks to you, & you know beyond a doubt it is God sending you a message.

I know it can be hard to do these things, but you need to!  You don’t deserve to feel badly about yourself or have eating disorders, especially because of someone else cruelly putting their own issues on you.  You are fearfully & wonderfully made, according to God’s word in Psalms 139:14.  You deserve to love your body, not hate it, especially because of someone else has issues.

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Financial Abuse

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Asking God For Justice

Did you know that it is acceptable to ask God for justice and expect Him to provide it?  It is.  It is actually in the Bible…

 

 

  • Job 11:20“But the eyes of the wicked will fail, And they will not escape [the justice of God]; And their hope is to breathe their last [and die].” (AMP)
  • Job 36:6“He does not prolong the life of the wicked, But gives the afflicted their justice.” (AMP)
  • Psalm 11:7“For the Lord is [absolutely] righteous, He loves righteousness (virtue, morality, justice); The upright shall see His face.”  (AMP)
  • Psalm 37:28“For the Lord delights in justice And does not abandon His saints (faithful ones); They are preserved forever, But the descendants of the wicked will [in time] be cut off.” (AMP)
  • Psalm 70:2“Let those be ashamed and humiliated Who seek my life; Let them be turned back and humiliated Who delight in my hurt.” (AMP)
  • Isaiah 1:17“Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.”
  • Amos 5:24“But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream”
  • Luke 18:7-87And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (NIV)

In Psalm 7, King David very eloquently asked God to protect him from his enemies as well as to get justice for him:

Psalm 7:

1 O Lord my God, in You I take refuge;

Save me and rescue me from all those who pursue me,

2 So that my enemy will not tear me like a lion, Dragging me away while there is no one to rescue [me].

3 O Lord my God, if I have done this, If there is injustice in my hands,

4 If I have done evil to him who was at peace with me,

Or without cause robbed him who was my enemy,

5 Let the enemy pursue me and overtake me;

And let him trample my life to the ground

And lay my honor in the dust. Selah.

6 Arise, O Lord, in Your anger;

Lift up Yourself against the rage of my enemies;

Rise up for me; You have commanded judgment and vindication.

7 Let the assembly of the nations be gathered around You,

And return on high over them.

8 The Lord judges the peoples;

Judge me, O Lord, and grant me justice according to my righteousness and according to the integrity within me.

9 Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous [those in right standing with You];

For the righteous God tries the hearts and minds.

10 My shield and my defense depend on God,

Who saves the upright in heart.

11 God is a righteous judge,

And a God who is indignant every day.

12 If a man does not repent, God will sharpen His sword;

He has strung and bent His [mighty] bow and made it ready.

13 He has also prepared [other] deadly weapons for Himself;

He makes His arrows fiery shafts [aimed at the unrepentant].

14 Behold, the [wicked and irreverent] man is pregnant with sin,

And he conceives mischief and gives birth to lies.

15 He has dug a pit and hollowed it out,

And has fallen into the [very] pit which he made [as a trap].

16 His mischief will return on his own head,

And his violence will come down on the top of his head [like loose dirt].

17 I will give thanks to the Lord according to His righteousness and justice,

And I will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.”  (AMP)

(Notice how David asks for justice, not revenge.  There is a big difference between the two.  Justice is a correct punishment for a wrong done to a person.  Revenge is inflicting suffering on someone.)

I am not saying you have to ask God for justice, that it will make people suddenly behave properly or you will no longer hurt by anything they have done.  However, if you want to, there is nothing wrong with asking God for justice in your situation if you feel so inclined. Maybe it would help you somehow to do it, and if it would, then it is absolutely worth doing.  Besides, maybe when God sends them His justice, they will learn that their behavior was wrong, and not behave that way any longer.  It is certainly possible.  All things are possible with God!

When my father was dying & I was abused daily by the flying monkeys, I did not ask for justice at first.  It took me a couple of months before I prayed for justice.  I also asked that when His justice happened to these people that they would learn never, ever to treat anyone else the way they treated me.  I also only prayed this prayer a couple of times.  It certainly is not a part of my daily prayers.  It did help me to feel a bit better to pray for justice those two times, though.  I am not a vengeful person at all.  I am however, very tired of people getting away with hurting innocent people without consequences.  It is not right, and people need to know that they cannot simply treat anyone however badly they feel like without consequences.  Since talking to these people would do no good, I believe that praying for justice for what they did to me is the next best thing.  God can get through to them like no mere mortal can!

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Encouragement For Those Still In A Relationship With A Narcissist

I’m writing this post for those of you who are currently  unwilling or unable to go no contact with a narcissist.

Almost every article out there regarding victims of narcissistic abuse says the same thing – “just go no contact.”   The tone in many of these articles & even some fellow survivors can be downright shaming.  They make it sound like being unable or unwilling to go no contact means you’re weak, stupid or something is very wrong with you.

No contact is almost always the best way to deal with a narcissist, but that still doesn’t make it an easy solution.  It always hurts to end a relationship, even when the person with whom you’re ending it is abusive.  The closer the relationship the more it hurts, too.  If you’re ending a relationship with your parent, that is going to hurt a great deal more than ending it with someone you have dated only a month.  Narcissists usually abuse those closest to them.   This is why the most abusive relationships with a narcissist are close relationships, such as parents & spouses.

There is also the fact that narcissists are able to behave & treat people right (they just prefer acting the way they do because it gets them what they want).  When they behave, they can be so very good & loving!  Seeing that, it’s hard to want to leave them because you can’t help but hoping that good part of them will stick around for good.

Not wanting to end a relationship with a narcissist doesn’t mean something is wrong with you or you’re weak.  It means you’re normal!

It often takes a lot of time to work up the inner strength to be able to go no contact.  Narcissists beat their victims down so badly, they can utterly destroy their victim’s self esteem.  Even when you learn what is happening, it still takes time to repair your self esteem & to build up enough strength to sever ties.

Or, maybe you believe in your heart that the timing isn’t right just yet  for no contact.  That happened to me with my parents.  I wanted to go no contact with them for well over a year before I felt God was saying it was time.

A lot of times, a victim who lives with a narcissist is financially dependent on that narcissist.  Narcissists love using money as a means of control, so often they take away any access a victim has to money, even if it’s his or her own paycheck.   It takes time to be able to find means of supporting oneself in these situations.

There are also some narcissists who are pretty low on the spectrum.  Yes, that person causes problems but they aren’t over the top in their behavior.  In cases like this, some people would prefer to learn ways to deal with these people than end those relationships, & it is their right to do that.

None of the above situations make a person weak or flawed.

For those of you who are in situations like these, I want to encourage you today.

It’s very difficult at best being in a relationship with a narcissist, I know.  Until the time comes when you are ready & willing to go no contact, there are some things you can do to make your relationship with this person a little easier.

The first thing you should do is ask God to show you creative & effective ways to cope with this person & also to enable you to go no contact if that is your desired result.

Always remember that narcissists are all about gaining narcissistic supply.  It’s the motivation behind everything they do.  Any attention or reaction you give them, good or bad, provides supply.  Learn to be as boring to the narcissist as possible.  Show them no anger, sadness or happiness.  Be calm & collected in the presence of the narcissist.  Offer simple answers without explanations.  Provide no personal information.  This is known as the Gray Rock method.

Don’t forget to question whatever the narcissist says.  They are masters of gaslighting & manipulation, so basically almost everything they say needs to be examined.  Ask yourself if what they say is true or not.  You also can question the narcissist directly.  If you opt to do that, do it calmly in your best gray rock way.  “Why do you think that?”  “Explain how that makes sense.. I don’t follow you.”  Logical & calmly asked questions can throw a narcissist off balance.  They show her that you’re onto her.

Never forget to keep & enforce healthy boundaries.  You have every right to tell the narcissist no & to expect to be treated with respect.  Don’t explain your boundaries either, as the narcissist will tell you why your boundaries are wrong, & may make you doubt yourself.  Or, if you feel you absolutely must explain something, remember to stay gray rock & keep all explanations minimal.

Never forget that whatever any narcissist is doing isn’t about you.  It’s about them.  Everything is always all about them!  Yes, that person is hurting & abusing you, but it’s because it makes her feel better.  It’s not because you have done something to deserve it.  Also, nothing that person says about you is true.  Narcissists project their own flaws onto their victims.  It doesn’t mean you actually are whatever the narcissist says you are.  In fact, if you listen to what the narcissist says about you, you can learn a lot about that person.  If she calls you a liar, it’s because she lies often.

If your goal is to go no contact in the future, low contact may be an excellent option for you.  It’s as the name describes – you are in low contact with the narcissist.  You don’t take phone calls or visit  often, but only when you feel able instead.  Low contact can be a really good stepping stone to no contact.

While there are no easy, one size fits all solutions for narcissists, these tactics can help you at least.  And, don’t forget – there is nothing wrong with you for being unable or unwilling to go no contact.  It’s a very big decision, & every person has to do it only when & if they feel equipped to do so.

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Narcissists & Gift Giving

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Spiritual Abuse

Narcissists abuse their victims in many ways –  emotionally, mentally, financially, physically & sexually.  Some also abuse their victims spiritually.

Spiritual abusers aren’t only those who are preachers, deacons or others who are active in their church.  Anyone can be a spiritual abuser.  When my mother’s abuse peaked when I was in my late teens, she became very spiritually abusive.  She frequently told me that I was going to hell for the terrible way I treated her.  She never was active in a church or taught me anything about God.  In fact, she always said she hated Christians.

If you’re wondering if the narcissist in your life is abusing you spiritually, there are some signs to look for.

 

  • Twisting Scripture around or eliminating parts of it to suit their agenda is a big red flag.  A narcissistic parent who tells their child the commandment says to honor your parents, yet never considers where the Bible says parents shouldn’t exasperate their children is guilty of this behavior, as is the narcissistic husband who says wives should submit to their husbands while conveniently forgetting the rest of the verse says husband should also submit to their wives.
  • Narcissists also may lie to the victim, saying they are doing God’s will by abusing the victim.  This can do a tremendous amount of damage to a victim.  It can turn someone against God, or destroy their faith in Him.  I did not believe in God as a child, since I had no real teaching about Him, but my mother using Him as a weapon to hurt me made sure I didn’t want to know anything about Him either.
  • Someone who reminds victims of the imperfection of human nature as an excuse to abuse is being spiritually abusive.
  • Claiming a victim shouldn’t get angry because it’s not Godly is spiritually abusive.
  • Anyone who tells a victim to “forgive & forget” the abuse, to stay with an abuser no matter what or gets angry when a victim gives an abuser consequences is being spiritually abusive.
  • Some narcissists are quite active in their church, making themselves very valuable to the church with their service.  They will recruit enablers who are also in the church, so when their victim speaks out, they shun the victim.  The logic is something like, “He couldn’t be like she says!  Look at all of the good things he does for our church!”
  • They also may tell people that the “good” people at church are disappointed in the victim for behaving so badly, whether or not this is true.  This can leave a victim feeling unable to reach out for support.

 

Coping with spiritual abuse isn’t easy, but it can be done.

 

  • Do you know Jesus as your personal savior?  If not, I really suggest you turn to Him now because you truly need help!  There is information available on my website at this link: Salvation Through Jesus Christ.
  • Learn what the Bible has to say.  Use an easy to understand translation like the Good News or New King James version.  The more you learn & the closer you draw to God, the more truth you will see & the more you will see the narcissist has been lying to you.
  • Question things the narcissist says to you.  Not necessarily out loud, but to yourself at least.  “How does this coincide with the Bible?”  “Is there Scripture that backs up what he/she is saying?”
  • Pray.  Pray often & pray a lot.  Ask God to show you the truth & to give you clarity.  While God is holy, He is also a very loving & gentle Father.  He will guide, teach & even correct you while never making you feel badly about yourself.
  • Do you have good Christian friends?  If not, it’s time to find some!  If you know someone who has been a Christian for a while, & is actively trying to be a good example of their faith, this person can help you to keep focused on the truth.  If the narcissist prevents you from having friends (as so many do), see what you can find online.  There are many online forums & groups.  You can find friends there that the narcissist doesn’t know about.
  • Never forget that your Heavenly Father loves you a great deal.  He does NOT want you suffering & miserable.  He does NOT condone abuse nor does He want victims to suffer in silence.  Speak out & protect yourself.

 

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Types Of Flashbacks & How To Cope

I would guess about everyone has heard of flashbacks, but I don’t think all that many people realize there are different types of flashbacks.  This post is going to explain them.

The first flashback is the type everyone knows.  It’s where the person having the flashback feels as if they are reliving a traumatic event.  It’s much like you’re watching a movie in your mind, but it seems so real, it can be very hard to differentiate between reality & the flashback as it’s happening.

There are also emotional flashbacks.  Instead of feeling as if you’re reliving a traumatic event, you feel the emotions of a traumatic event flooding back to you.  Something seemingly unrelated can trigger this, such as someone using a phrase your abuser used during the traumatic event or speaking to you in a similar manner to your abuser.

Both types of flashbacks also can trigger a sort of body flashback where you feel physical pain that you felt during a traumatic event.  As an example, I’ve told the story before of how my mother threw me into a wall when I was 19.  I had back pain for 10 years after that, then God healed me.  Although God healed me over 18 years ago at this time I’m writing this, if I have a flashback of the night that happened, or sometimes if I just think about it, my back starts to hurt.

Having had all three types of flashbacks, I’ve learned some ways to cope with them that help me, & I hope will help you too.

During the flashback, I find it extremely important to keep myself grounded.  People do all kinds of things to make that happen.  Some clap their hands loudly, stomp their feet hard or hold an ice cube.  I prefer touching something with either a very coarse or very soft texture.  Smelling something with a strong scent is helpful too, such as lavender essential oil.  A bonus of lavender is it has anti-anxiety properties to it, so not only does it smell lovely but it helps calm you naturally.  I actually keep a small vial of lavender essential oil near me at all times just in case I need it.  Whatever you choose to do, it needs to be something that basically “assaults” your senses to override the flashback & keep you grounded in reality.

It’s also a very good idea to remind yourself that this is only a flashback.  It isn’t real.  There is nothing that can hurt you happening right now.  You’re completely safe.

Also try not to focus on anything else as the flashback is happening.  Instead, focus only on getting yourself through it.  Nothing else.

Once the flashback has subsided, chances are you’re going to feel tired.  They take a lot of energy, physically & emotionally.  That is totally normal.  Try to take it easy if you can, & get some rest.

When you have recovered & feel able, I really recommend thinking about the topic of your flashback.  If it was reliving a traumatic event, what was the event about?  If it was an emotional one, do you know why this flashback was triggered?  What happened that made you feel the way this event did?

From there, you can begin to deal with the event however works best for you.  Pray, journal, talk to a close friend, a pastor or therapist or a combination of these things.  Don’t forget to really feel the emotions connected to this event.  You’re allowed to cry or get angry about it!  In fact, you need to do so.  Feeling the emotions will help to get the out of you & help you to heal.

A wonderful thing will happen as you heal from this painful & traumatic event.  It will lose much of its power over you.  It won’t hurt so much to remember it anymore, & it’s likely you won’t have a flashback about that particular event again.

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How Narcissists Use Cars To Abuse

Narcissists will use anything at their disposal to abuse & control their victims, & that even includes cars.

If a victim has hurt a narcissist somehow or even simply set boundaries with the narcissist, the narcissist may drive like a maniac in an attempt to scare the victim.  After I broke off the engagement with my now ex husband, we went somewhere together & he was driving very erratically.  It terrified me & I asked him to stop it.  He said it was my fault he drove that way, because after I broke up with him, he didn’t care if he lived or died.

Cars are also an excellent place for a narcissist to have complete control over their victims.  The victim has no means of escaping the narcissist’s car, so there is no choice but to tolerate whatever is done in that car.  In my late teens when my mother’s abuse was at its worst, she refused to let me get my license & a car.  Naturally, this meant she took me to & from school & work.  Each ride was sheer hell for me because she screamed & raged at me the entire ride.  I had no way of escaping either since I needed to get to my destinations, so there was no choice but to tolerate it.

Narcissists also often want to be the driver because this means their victim/passenger only can go where the narcissist wants to go & on her time schedule, not the victim’s.   If they want to go somewhere with their victim, they will tell the victim what time they will pick him or her up, or tell the victim to come to the narcissist’s home so the narcissist can drive them to their destination.  It’s all about control, & all victims know, narcissists love to have control over their victim in every possible way.

There are also some narcissists who don’t drive.  This is most prevalent with covert narcissists rather than overt.  They may play the naive & innocent role, claiming it is just too hard to drive.  Since overt narcissists usually avoid appearing in a way that can look weak somehow, they usually drive.  Again, this is all about control.  If a narcissist can’t or won’t drive, this forces the narcissist’s victims to take care of her by either taking her places or doing things for her.

I’m certainly not saying that everyone who is a bad driver, who prefers to be the one driving or doesn’t drive is a narcissist, of course.  Some people are simply more daring behind the wheel than others.  There are also many people who develop serious anxiety behind the wheel, & they realize they shouldn’t be behind the wheel.  There are others who love driving or who feel safest when they are driving.  These people obviously aren’t narcissists, & you can tell they aren’t narcissists by their behavior.  The daring driver is daring all of the time, not only after someone has upset him somehow.  The anxious person asks for rides &/or offers gas money rather than expects others to help.  The person who prefers being the driver never gets upset when someone says they want to drive or meet them somewhere.

If you have recently met someone, & think the person may be a narcissist, this is one way to help you to figure it out.  Watch how the person is when it comes to driving.

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When Narcissists Ignore Their Victims

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Narcissists & Special Days

Much like my last post, this one was inspired by some random ponderings related to my first marriage.

Let me set the stage for our third wedding anniversary.  My ex & I were living with his parents, which was his idea & not something I wanted to do.  About 2 months prior, I spontaneously severed ties with my mother.  I don’t even remember why anymore, but I was angry at her.  My ex also pressured me about kicking her out of my life for years.  I pretty much just snapped.  I hadn’t felt right about severing ties with my mother since doing it, because it wasn’t well thought out.

On the day of our anniversary, both of his parents were home, & planning to drive to my ex father in-law’s sister’s home in PA for Christmas, as they always did.  My ex mother in-law & I were in the kitchen talking when the phone rang.  She answered it, & suddenly darted around the corner.  It was unusual, but I didn’t think much more of it.  Later after my ex got home from work, I looked at the caller ID in our room & saw my parents’ number.  Immediately it clicked- that was why his mom hid from me while on the phone.  I mentioned it to him & said maybe I should call her back (obviously this was well before learning about NPD).  He got furious with me & I got furious back.  I got in my car & left to cool off for a bit.

When I got home an hour or two later, my ex mother in-law was waiting for me.  She took me aside & told me I had to make things right.  I upset my ex so badly, he was punching walls after I left.

I ended up being the bad guy in this whole situation.  For upsetting my ex & also upsetting his parents by “storming out of the house without telling anyone i was leaving” (I was 22- didn’t realize I had to check in with anyone at this point in my life..).

You know something though?  If my mother hadn’t called, none of this would have happened.  She knew my ex hated her as much as she hated him.  She had to know her calling would start a fight between us.  Yet, she called anyway, & on our wedding anniversary of all days!

There’s also my ex.  Another narcissist, he had to make my painful situation with my mother all about him & what he wanted & what he thought I should do.  He also had to make sure his parents knew just how upset he was & how that was all my fault, knowing his mother would intervene.

This is typical narcissist behavior!!  They just had to ruin what should have been a special & happy day.  They use anything they can to destroy any joy in their victim’s life.

My point in sharing this with you, Dear Reader, is this.  If you have a narcissist in your life in any way – parent, spouse, cousin, anything –  be prepared for your special days to be ruined.  This is one of their favorite tactics.  My third anniversary with my ex is hardly the only special day that has been ruined by narcissists in my life.  Countless birthday have been miserable.  So many Thanksgivings & Christmases have been ruined by narcissists like my pushy, demanding in-laws & my ex & current husbands opting to spend those days with them over me that now I absolutely dread those two holidays.  I used to thoroughly enjoy Christmas (not Thanksgiving so much), & now once November 1 arrives, I start dreading the pending holidays & am pretty angry until they’re done.

Narcissists love to destroy any joy in their victims.  Probably because they want their victims to be as miserable as they are.  It also makes them feel powerful if they can have some control over a person’s emotions.  Feeling powerful is great narcissistic supply, after all, so it’s no wonder they enjoy this scenario so much.

Obviously, there is no way to stop a narcissist from ruining your special days.  The best advice I have is to keep in mind that they are going to try ruining them at some point so you aren’t shocked when it happens.  It will help you to be prepared.

Your best bet is if  at all possible, avoid the narcissist completely on special days.  If you can’t, try to keep in mind they aren’t happy until those around them are totally miserable like they are.  Deprive them of that narcissistic supply.  Don’t let them see that what they do & say bothers you.

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After The Divorce

Today would have been my ex husband’s & my 28th wedding anniversary.  Naturally, realizing that made me think about our relationship.  I thought I’d share my random ponderings with you, since many of you who read my blog have been divorced as well.

When I decided to end my first marriage, although I wasn’t yet a Christian, I still felt terrible for breaking my vows.  I took them very seriously.  I also felt like a total failure for not being able to make that marriage work.  No matter what I did, that marriage was still not good & he was never happy with me.  I was never good enough for him.  I also felt incredibly guilty.  Guilty for not being able to fix the marriage, for never being able to please my ex, for doing everything wrong, for wanting the divorce & more.  I felt that intense guilt for a long time, for at the very least, a couple of years after we separated.

Looking back now, I realize how wrong I was.

While marriage vows should be taken seriously, they should be taken seriously by both partners, not only one.  If one doesn’t take them seriously & mistreats or even abuses you, there is nothing wrong with breaking the vows to protect yourself & your children if you have them.  There is nothing good or holy about tolerating abuse from anyone, period!

One person also can’t save a relationship.  It takes two to make any relationship work.  It’s impossible for a relationship to work when only one person is trying to make that happen, especially if the other person is a narcissist.  They will do their best to sabotage your efforts & refuse to give you what you want or need.  So, if you couldn’t fix your marriage, welcome to the club!

Although I still don’t like that I hurt my ex, there really was no other choice.  He hurt me plenty as well, which is why I wanted a divorce in the first place.  I certainly didn’t decide to divorce him because things were going well!

Does any of this sound familiar to you, Dear Reader?  If so, I want to encourage you to change your thinking like I did.

Remind yourself that did the best you knew to do at that time.  How can you be mad at yourself for not knowing then what you know now?  It doesn’t even make sense.  That would be like being angry at a year old baby for not knowing multiplication.  We all learn as we go, even as adults.

Narcissists are also fantastic actors, so even if you knew about narcissism & married this person anyway, you still can’t beat yourself up because of what fantastic actors they are.  We all can get fooled sometimes, no matter how much we know about narcissism.  It doesn’t mean you’re stupid – it just means they are ridiculously good actors!

Don’t forget – if you grew up with narcissistic parents, you also were wounded because of your upbringing, which means you didn’t have the ability to make the best decisions. Unfortunately, this happens!  You’re learning, growing & getting healthier now & that is what matters most.

Also, never hesitate to go to God.  Ask Him to tell you the truth.  Were you stupid to marry that person?  Are you a failure for your divorce?  He really will answer you & you know what He says is the absolute truth.  Let Him help you!  He will do so & gladly!

And never, ever forget – while you may not have been the perfect spouse, that doesn’t mean the divorce is absolutely, completely your fault.  Narcissists would have their victims believe that, but it’s not true.  Wanting to escape the torture & abuse isn’t a bad thing!  In fact, quite the opposite.  It shows you love yourself enough to know you don’t deserve this kind of treatment.

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December 25, 2018 – January 1, 2019, Many Of My Ebooks Will Be On Sale!

My ebook publisher is offering a sale that I am participating in.  From December 25, 2018 – January 1, 2019, my ebooks on Smashwords.com are going to be 25% off.

Check it out at: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CynthiaBaileyRug

 

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Why Narcissists Have Children

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Anger After Narcissistic Abuse

One topic that I haven’t seen a great deal of information on is anger after narcissistic abuse.  It’s a pity too because most victims face a great deal of it, & rightly so!

Not long ago, as I was praying, God spoke to my heart & said that I have a lot of anger inside.  He was not accusatory, simply stating a fact.  He also said it’s time to face it.

I was less than thrilled with this.  Like all other victims I have spoken with, anger was just one more facet of myself I ignored rather than face my mother’s ridicule or shaming for my terrible temper.  It’s only in the last couple of years I’ve begun to recognize & face when I get angry, & it’s not fun!  I’m still not used to it.  Even so, God’s been helping me.

He showed me why this happens in victims, why so many of us stuff our anger.  It isn’t only due to the ridicule & shaming from the narcissists.  It’s also because in many cases, we had two narcissistic parents, & when the overt was abusive, the covert turned the situation around to him or her, & how painful it is for that parent.  As children, we comfort that parent rather than face our anger regarding what was done to us.

There is also the fact that most narcissistic parents don’t give their children time to recover from one abusive incident before inflicting another.  There simply isn’t time to process the anger!  The victim is too busy trying to survive, so emotions get pushed aside so survival instincts can work.  This becomes a habit, even into adulthood, & victims ignore their emotions without even realizing it.

Often, people don’t want to hear our stories.  “It’s in the past”  “Let it go”  “Stop wallowing” “You need to forgive & forget!” & other callous phrases show victims it isn’t safe to talk about their experiences & emotions, so they continue ignoring their emotions.

We can’t forget the flying monkeys, either.  Prior to learning about narcissism or in the very early stages of learning about it, it’s easy to buy into their nonsensical logic.  “That’s your mother!”  “You only get one set of parents!”  “They won’t be around forever yanno!” Such gibberish can make a person feel guilty for their feelings, & resume the dysfunctional lifestyle that is so familiar.

While these situations are understandable, that doesn’t mean they need to be permanent!  Dear Reader, maybe it’s your time to face your anger too!

I know facing anger is scary, especially when you haven’t done it before, but it is also necessary for your mental & physical health!  Holding it in can cause all sorts of physical & mental problems such as high blood pressure, kidney problems, pains without a physical cause, depression & more.  You deserve better than that, don’t you agree?

Once you decide to start facing it, pray.  Let God help you through this difficult process.  I found He guides me to what I need to face & only allows things in small doses.  The anger isn’t overwhelming that way.  I also talk to Him a lot about what I feel, which helps so much in getting it out of me.

Journaling about it is also very helpful!  Seeing your story in writing can be shocking at first, but it also reminds you that yes, this happened, yes it was awful & no it was not something you deserved.

Talk to safe, non judgmental friends.  They can be a gift from God!  They’ll understand, support & validate you, all of which are so very important!

As you work through your anger, you may feel like suddenly you’re angry about all kinds of things that never bothered you before.  I firmly believe this is normal.  I believe facing the unfairness of the awful things done to you seems to make you more aware than you once were of just how many awful or even simply wrong things have been done to you.  I don’t mean things like someone stealing your parking space.  I mean things like how you are usually the one to compromise with your spouse.  Maybe you’ve just always done it, but suddenly you’re seeing that isn’t right & your spouse could do some compromising too for a change.  Just work through that anger like the rest, & have a talk with your spouse when you are able to do so calmly.

You can get through this ugly process, Dear Reader, & you will be so much better for doing so!  You’ll feel freer & more peace & joy than ever.  xoxo

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Shock & Abuse

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Think No Contact Is Wrong? God Disagrees

One of the things I love so much about the Bible is it never gets old.  Even if you’ve read it countless times, you still will see something new.

This Scripture came to my attention a few minutes ago…

Titus 3:10  “After a first and second warning reject a divisive man [who promotes heresy and causes dissension—ban him from your fellowship and have nothing more to do with him],”  (AMP)

I thought about how this relates to no contact.

 

Many people think those of us who have gone no contact did so on a whim.  The truth is that we struggle a great deal with no contact.  It’s a VERY big & difficult decision!  Some people go no contact but then later resume the relationship when the narcissist gets word to them that they need help, are sick or maybe even they simply wear down the victim by constant stalking & harassment.  Many people who have considered or gone no contact also think it’s not Godly.  You can’t be a Christian & sever ties with an abusive family member or divorce an abusive spouse.  This thinking is completely wrong though, & Titus 3:10 proves that!

 

If you’re in this situation, then I urge you to consider your situation.  Have you prayed about it?  Chances are, if you share my faith then you have.  A LOT!  Yet, you still are leaning towards no contact or you have followed through with it… doesn’t that tell you that it’s ok?  I mean, if it wasn’t, God would find some way to let you know it’s a bad idea.  At the very least, you’d have a feeling inside that it’s not a good solution.  God’s voice may not always boom loudly in our ears, but He does have the Holy Spirit quietly let us know if there is something we should or shouldn’t do.

 

Also, have you done as this Scripture said?  Have you spoken with the narcissist in your life, explaining that their abusive behavior has hurt you?  Again, chances are you have.  Every single person I’ve spoken with who has survived narcissistic abuse whether it was at the hands of a parent, spouse or relative tried talking things out with that narcissist many times.  They didn’t simply end the relationship, & I’m sure you are the same way.

 

Everyone has their limits, & there is nothing wrong with reaching the limits & eliminating toxic, abusive people from your life.  The above Scripture from Titus is only one of many that say this in the Bible.  Here are other Scriptures that show God wants us to be in good, healthy relationships.:

 

  • Psalm 1:1 “Blessed [fortunate, prosperous, and favored by God] is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked [following their advice and example],Nor stand in the path of sinners,Nor sit [down to rest] in the seat of [b]scoffers (ridiculers).”  (AMP)

  • Proverbs 13:20  “He who walks [as a companion] with wise men will be wise,But the companions of [conceited, dull-witted] fools [are fools themselves and] will experience harm.” (AMP)

  • Luke 9:5 “And as for all those who do not welcome you, when you leave that city, shake the dust off your feet [breaking all ties with them] as a testimony against them [that they rejected My message].” ” (AMP)

  • Luke 17:3  “ Pay attention and always be on guard[looking out for one another]! If your brother sins and disregards God’s precepts, solemnly warn him; and if he repents and changes, forgive him.”  (AMP, emphasis added)

  • 1 Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” (AMP)

  • 2 Corinthians 6:14 “Do not be unequally bound together with unbelievers [do not make mismatched alliances with them, inconsistent with your faith]. For what partnership can righteousness have with lawlessness? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (AMP)

  • 2 Corinthians 6:17 “So come out from among unbelievers and be separate,” says the Lord, “And do not touch what is unclean; And I will graciously receive you and welcome you [with favor],”  (AMP)

 

 

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Doubts After No Contact

I think it’s a very safe assumption that almost everyone who has gone no contact with a narcissist, in particular a narcissistic parent or other family member, has had more than their share of doubts.  Ending relationships is tough, but especially when the relationship is a close one such as in the case of family.

 

What makes the doubts worse is when after not speaking for some time, you learn through the grapevine that the narcissist is sick, lost their job, or going through some very difficult situation.  Considering this is someone you were once very close to, it’s only natural to want to help them & to feel bad they are in this situation.  Those desires may make start to override the terrible things that made you sever ties in the first place.

 

Today, I want to tell you.. DON’T DO IT!!

 

No, I don’t know you or the narcissist personally, but I do know a lot about narcissists & have more than a little experience with them.  I have learned that once you end a relationship with a narcissist, resuming it will only cause you heartache as it did me.

 

At first, the narcissist will behave, & probably even be respectful & caring.  This lulls you into thinking this person has changed.  All is right in the world now.  Yet, nothing could be further from the truth!

 

In time, little things will change.  Maybe a comment here or there about how you shouldn’t have left in the first place.  Or, instead of 10 complements a day, it’s dropped to 9 & a nasty criticism.  Everyone has a bad day sometimes, so you rationalize the comments as nothing more & let it go.  After all, things have been going so well.

 

Gradually more things change.  Things get worse.  There are more criticisms.  Now there are also some manipulation attempts too.  “I never did that.”  “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”  There are also guilt trips about you “abandoning” the narcissist in the first place.  They may even have their friends or family mention how hard it was for them when you weren’t in their life.  You begin to feel guilty for hurting the narcissist, so you go along with what they do.

 

Before you know it, the relationship is as bad, if not worse as it was before you went no contact in the first place.

 

Maybe you’re thinking this won’t happen to you but I can tell you, the chances of it happening to you are excellent.  I was fooled into thinking that myself in three very different relationships.

 

One was a friendship.  Upon meeting, she told me we were going to be best friends.  I was young, naive & knew nothing of narcissistic personality disorder, so I blindly obeyed, & became her good friend.  The friendship ended a couple of years later, then a couple of years after that, resumed.  At first, things were good.  We had a lot of laughs together.  Then things changed.  She constantly demanded my attention.  I spent a lot of time with her, no matter what I had going on.  She expected me to watch her small kids while with her too, which is something I’m not good at doing.  I ended that friendship again after about a year & a half.

 

One was my first marriage.  I broke my engagement to my ex husband because I realized I wasn’t happy with him.  While we were apart, he insisted we remain “friends.”  We spoke often & he told me how miserable he was.  Our mutual friends told me the same.  We got back together, & married a few months later.  I knew that although he was acting better, I shouldn’t marry him but I did.  He made me feel like I owed it to him.  In fact, when he proposed again, he said, “I’m not letting you go this time.”  We separated a bit over 4 years later.

 

The other one was my mother.  In 2001, I had enough, & finally cut ties with my mother.  In 2007, my father told me that she needed heart surgery.  I said I’d pray for her.  Once she got home, she called me to thank me for praying for her.  I honestly believed at that the change in her personality was from facing a near death experience.  The more time passed, the more she regressed into the abusive person she’d always been, which is why when I went no contact in 2016, I determined this time, it’s forever.

 

My stories are very typical, Dear Reader.  I told them because you need to know that if you have doubts about being no contact, they need to be ignored.  Take care of yourself.  Your mental health is very important!  Resuming a toxic relationship does no good to you or the toxic person in question.  It simply enables their awful behavior while you sacrifice yourself.  There is NOTHING good about that!

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How Trauma Can Stunt Emotional Growth

Years ago, prior to learning about narcissism, I had a friend who counseled people at her church.  She told me how she believed many people were stuck emotionally at the age they were when they experienced deep trauma.  This makes a great deal of sense to me, especially knowing what I do now about Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Looking at some of the narcissists I’ve known in my life, they were abused, neglected or both in their childhood, or faced something very traumatic such as a life threatening injury.  My father, for example, nearly died at only fifteen from a traumatic brain injury, thanks to some drunk driver hitting his car head on.  Although he was a mature adult in ways such as keeping a full time job, maintaining & repairing his own car & home, in some ways, his behavior was very immature.  He seemed to think he should have whatever he wanted, just because he wanted it.  That is entitlement but it’s also a very immature behavior.

My late mother in-law grew up in an extremely dysfunctional environment.  At 15, she got pregnant & married my father in-law.  By all accounts, their marriage was not a happy one for many years.  Her behavior was quite immature, & often reminded me of a teenager.   Like my father, she seemed to think she should have what she wanted simply because she wanted it.

Obviously, not everyone who has experienced trauma, abuse or neglect in their childhood is like this.  However it seems to me that many narcissists are.  So many act very immature, & if you look at their lives, many also had some sort of trauma in their childhood.

I’m not telling you this to excuse the abusive behavior of narcissists, of course.  There is no valid excuse for abuse!  However, understanding them can help you a great deal.  It can help you not to be as hurt or angered by their abuse because you see it’s something wrong with them.  (This information is always a good reminder since they love gaslighting so much.)  It enables you to predict their behavior so you can protect yourself.  It also can help you to remember that basically, you’re dealing with a bratty child in an adult’s body & deal with them accordingly.

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Thoughts On Anger While Healing From Narcissistic Abuse

Recently I wrote this post about the time my mother tried to kill me, & the tough time I’m having regarding this incident.  I wondered something.  Why now?  Why this year?  Every other November 28 since 1990 when it happened hasn’t been this hard.  Difficult sometimes, sure but not like this.  So what is going on?!

A thought crossed my mind that answered that question.  

A couple of weeks ago, my husband & I went to dinner at this little local bar/restaurant we like.  As we ate, someone started playing the juke box.  The song “Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line” by the Kentucky Headhunters came on.  It immediately made me think of a story I told in this post last year.  The abridged version is this… 

The day of my father’s funeral,  I asked my Amazon Echo Dot to play music by Wham! since I wanted something light & fun, but instead it mysteriously played Waylon Jennings’ song, “Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line”.  I just knew in my heart that God & my father wanted me to know that song is kinda how my father felt – trapped & unable to protect me from my mother.  I thought about my father’s notes I’d found documenting some of the abuse my mother inflicted on me & terrible things she said about me as I listened to the song.  I read them that day & it was pretty overwhelming to say the least.

Anyway… when the song played at the restaurant, immediately I felt transported back to that experience.  It triggered a ton of intrusive memories of abuse & naturally a big C-PTSD flare up.

Later, I prayed about it all & asked God what was that about?!  He clearly spoke to my heart & said, “This was a gift from your father.  He knows you have a lot of anger inside, & rightfully so.  He wants you to face it & heal.  He knows you’re strong enough to do that.  I agree.”  

Since then, I’ve been getting very angry about things as they come to mind, & my mother’s attack on me is no exception.  I never realized before that I hadn’t been overly angry about it.  Why?  Because I felt I had to be more concerned with how others were affected.  

My father complained about my mother locking him out of the house when he left the night she attacked me.  His keys were in his pocket!  He could’ve let himself back in at any time!!!  But that was what was wrong with the situation, not my mother trying to kill me.  Years later, my father complained to me about having to fix the wall my mother threw me into.  He expected me to apologize.  That did NOT happen & I told him it never would.  Not my fault she broke the wall with my back.

When it happened, my ex husband was upset about it, but not because I’d been hurt.  It was more because it upset him that she did this, rather than her actions causing me harm, if that makes sense.

Both my father & my ex wanted me to comfort them.  As a result, I did (I was only 19 & knew nothing of NPD obviously), & ignored my own anger.  That anger is now at the surface after 28 years & it’s time to face it.  

I’m seeing more & more how valuable anger can be.  Yes, we should forgive, not be full of anger or try to get revenge on people, but at the same time, anger has its place!  It is an excellent motivator for change.  It is also a big part of the healing process, & should NEVER be ignored!  The only way to heal from anger that I know of is to get angry.  Feel it.  Yell, cry, write hateful letters you never send, or whatever works for you, but feel that anger & get it out of you.  Then you can release it fully.

Forgiving too easily or early is an issue, like it was with me.  Once I became a Christian in 1996, I heard a lot about forgiveness.  I thought I forgave my mother for her attack, but what I really did was just ignore the anger that I felt.  I think many victims of narcissistic abuse do the same thing.  

I believe one of the best things you can do for yourself when trying to heal from narcissistic abuse is to decide early on that you will forgive your abuser, then face your anger head on.  It’s miserable to do, I know, & scary when you’ve never really felt anger before, but you have to do it.  Remember that anger is from God like all of our emotions, so that alone proves it is valuable.  Feeling it helps you to cope with injustices done to you & motivates you to make appropriate changes.  It also helps your self esteem when you get angry about what was done to you because it’s like it shows you that you are valuable!  You deserve to be treated right!

 

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My New & Improved Websites!

After a couple of months of struggling & attempting to drive myself crazy, my new websites are now live!!

I’m going to guess there are still some bugs in there because I never seem to make a website without a bug or two once it goes live, but I’m working on fixing any & all bugs as soon as I’m aware of them.  Please bear with me!

I added a lot of information about NPD to my site as well as other things such as some pictures.  I enjoy photography even though I’m not particularly good at it, so I thought why not add some pictures?  Beauty is always a nice distraction from NPD anyway…

Come check out my site at www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com

Don’t forget my companion website, www.TheButterflyProject.CynthiaBaileyRug.com

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Infantilization

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November 28, 1990 Was A Day I Never Will Forget.. Even Though I’d Like To

This day is a difficult one for me.  On November 28, 1990, my mother physically assaulted me.

It was the day before Thanksgiving.  I got home from work & as soon as I walked through the door, I could tell my mother was itching for a fight.  No idea why.  My father could see it too, so he quickly said he got a new model airplane & wanted me to see it (we shared a love of models).  I practically ran downstairs.  I knew it was best never to give in when she was in that mood, so I was grateful for the means of escape.

We were downstairs for a few minutes when my mother stood at the top of the steps, yelling at me.  I’m not proud of it, but I finally had enough when she called my car “a hunk of junk” or something like that.  I snapped & cussed her out.  It just happened.  I don’t think the words went near my brain – they just came out.  This enraged her, & she started yelling at my father.  “Did you hear what she just said to me!?  Are you going to let her get away with that?!”  My father quietly went upstairs, & left the house while my mother raged at him.

Meanwhile, I went into my room to grab my keys & purse so I could do the same.  As I walked back down the hall to get to the door, my mother stepped in my path.  She told me she wasn’t going to let me leave.  I told her get out of my way before I make you do it.  She blocked the doorway by putting her hands & feet against it.  I pushed her aside (not knocking her down, just knocking her a bit off balance so I could rush past her).  I ran to grab my shoes & by then she was steady on her feet again.  Before I knew it, she was in my face, & slammed me into the wall beside the front door, & held me there.  My head was the only part I could move.

Two things went through my mind at that moment…

 

  1. The pain was intense as my back popped from my tailbone to my neck.  It was this incredibly loud POPPOPPOPPOP sound that felt like it went on forever.
  2. My mother’s eyes had turned BLACK.  Jet black!  I’d seen that before & it always terrified me.

 

Suddenly I blacked out, I assume from the intense pain & fear.  When I came to a moment later, I was biting her on the arm.  She & I were both shocked at what I had done.  My shock wore off a bit faster than hers, so I ran out the door & to my car & sped off in a cloud of tire smoke.

I believe my mother wanted to kill me, & if I wouldn’t have blacked out like that, she probably would have succeeded.

Interestingly, I caught up to my father at a traffic light.  We pulled over & I told him what happened.  We then went to my now ex husband’s parents’ home since it was nearby.  My father later went to his parents’ home in Virginia.  I moved in with a friend’s parents that night, & got my things from my parents’ home a couple of days later.

Naturally, my mother never accepted any responsibility in this.  In fact, when I had to quit working a few months later, she told people I was just lazy & faking back problems to get out of working.  And, in 2014, my father mentioned this incident..  He told me it’s ok, I didn’t have to apologize for busting up his wall.  How kind, right?!  I never even thought of how the wall was damaged, but he said it was really bad.  He fixed it though, so I didn’t need to apologize.  I told him I had no plans on doing so!  Not my fault my mother broke it by slamming me into it!

This incident along with having extremely selfish in-laws who have demanded my husband & I spend the day with them no matter what (I spent it alone when I refused to go) is why I absolutely hate Thanksgiving.  Kinda hard to feel warm & fuzzy about the day when  there are memories like this assault & years of jerky acting in-laws associated with it.

I honestly thought I was ok with this incident.  (Well, as ok as one can be when they think about their mother trying to kill them & father abandoning them to an obviously raging lunatic.)  What makes it even harder, I think, is this year, the dates have fallen on the exact days they fell on in 1990, so in some weird way, I almost feel like I’m reliving that time of my life.  I feel some of the same shock & anger I felt when it happened, just to a much lesser degree.  I feel disappointment too.  In my father for abandoning me that night, in my ex for making it all about how he felt about the incident & not caring about my pain (I think he even spent Thanksgiving with his family out of state the following day, if memory serves correctly), & my friend’s father who found it hilarious I bit my mother. I’m even disappointed in my mother for not only attacking me but using it as one more weapon to trash me to other people then expecting me to act like it never happened.  I’m also disappointed in myself for failing to press charges against my mother.  The thought never crossed my mind until not long ago when I friend mentioned it.

I’m also less than thrilled that thinking about this has made my C-PTSD flare up.  Hardly surprising though.  So if there are spelling or grammar errors in here, please pardon me.  I tried to catch them all a couple of days after writing this, but it doesn’t always happen with flare ups.

I don’t even know why I’m writing all of this as a blog post.  I do promise to keep my writing real but even so, this isn’t like me.  Usually things like this I write in my journal, maybe sharing details later once I have had some time to come to terms with whatever the trauma was.  For some reason though, I felt I needed to write this in my blog instead. Maybe someone who reads my blog needs to see this.  If that describes you, Dear Reader, I really hope this post helps you somehow.  ❤

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Simple Answers Are Often The Best Answers

Matthew 5:37  “But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’ [a firm yes or no]; anything more than that comes from the evil one.”  (AMP)

One common sign that you grew up with a narcissistic parent is the need to over explain everything about yourself.  For example, if someone asks you to go with them & you don’t want to, you feel you must give them a very valid reason why you can’t rather than say “I don’t want to go there” or even simply “No.”

Maybe this is because our narcissistic parents made us so afraid of upsetting them, we learned early always to have a reason that they could accept.  Anything beat facing that scary narcissistic rage!

In any case, there is rarely a valid need to explain yourself, & definitely no need to over-explain yourself anymore.  Even the Bible says in Matthew 5:37 to keep it simple.  It doesn’t say you should go into great detail.  In fact, it says anything more comes from the “evil one.”

I don’t believe that this Scripture means you are evil if you over explain yourself.  I think it tells us that if you feel the need to do so, that someone evil or at least influenced by evil is putting that need in you.  If you think about it, mentally healthy people may ask for an explanation, but they don’t need a lot of details & they accept it even if they disagree with it.  Narcissists, however, require much more.  Let me provide an example..

Years ago, my late covertly narcissistic mother in-law asked me if I could do something for her in a few days.  I said no because I had an appointment that day.  (Granted, I could’ve moved things around & helped, but frankly, I didn’t want to- she was awful to me every single time we were alone.)  At this point, a mentally healthy person would’ve said, “Oh ok..” & figured out someone else to ask for help.  Not my mother in-law.  She obviously was upset I wouldn’t help her & wanted to know what I had to do that was more important to me than help her.  She asked what I had to do & I ignored her question.  She said, “Are you doing something for your parents?”  I said, “No.”  She said, “Well, it must be awful important if you can’t help me…”  (nice attempt at guilt, no?  lol  It didn’t work.)  I forget the other things she said, but until my husband & I left her home about 20 minutes later, she continually tried to get me to tell her why I wasn’t able to help her rather than simply accept the fact I had something else to do.  (On a funny note: Refusing to give her the information she wanted infuriated her.  But, she couldn’t admit that without looking bad in front of my husband & father in-law who were in the room with us.   It was hilarious to me, watching her get more & more frustrated & unable to do anything about it as I stayed calm.  Not sure how I didn’t laugh in her presence, but I held myself together until we were in the car & away from her home.)

This is typical narcissistic behavior- they feel they have the right to know every tiny detail about you when the truth is, they don’t have that right.  My no should have sufficed.  She truly didn’t care about me or what was going on in my life.  She only wanted to know what I was doing that day so she could use the information to criticize me for not helping her (“You think that is more important than me?!  That’s so mean!!  What’s wrong with you?”) or blab to her whole family my personal information.  Is that behavior not evil?

I think it is a good idea to use the reaction of a person to your “yes” & “no” as a gauge to see how safe a person is.  Safe people may sometimes ask you why you said what you did, but are satisfied with a simple explanation such as, “I have an appointment at that time & can’t make it.”  Unsafe people will respond as my mother in-law did- refusing to simply accept your answer, & doing their best to get you to explain in great detail why you responded to them as you did.

 

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Non Apologies

Non apologies are common among narcissists & their enabling flying monkeys, so you need to be aware of them.

 

A non apology means someone says they are sorry but it isn’t a genuine apology.  Some examples are:

 

  • I’m sorry you feel that way.
  • I’m sorry for whatever you think I did.
  • I’m sorry if I did something that upset you.
  • I’m sorry I said/did that, but if you wouldn’t have said/done what you did, I wouldn’t have said/done what I did.
  • I was just upset when I said that.

 

While these apologies do contain the words “I’m sorry”, they certainly aren’t real apologies.  They accept no responsibility for the bad behavior or make any promises this will not happen again or of better behavior in the future.

 

They also imply something is wrong with the person on the receiving end of the apology.  If someone tells you they were just upset when they did something bad, the average person with empathy will feel badly for being upset in the first place because the abuser was upset for what they did & can’t be held accountable for their actions.  If the abuser blames you for upsetting them enough to do something bad, the average person will feel badly for doing what they did that “made” the abuser do what they did.

 

A genuine apology is very different.  Even if the person making the apology doesn’t understand why the person offended feels as they do, the offender will promise not to do whatever they did again.  They will admit they were being insensitive or thoughtless.  They promise to amend their behavior & do it.  There isn’t judgment or criticism because someone is upset.  There isn’t blame.  There is simply love, concern & a desire not to hurt a person again.

 

When a narcissist or flying monkey gives you a non apology, look out.  They are going to resent you for “making” them apologize & you will be punished.  They may do the behavior again or do something worse.  They may act like nothing happened, which can invalidate your feelings or make you wonder if you imagined what happened or exaggerated how bad it was.  When this happens, focus on the truth & what you remember.  Keeping a journal can help you, because you can look back on the events which helps you focus on the truth rather than the narcissist’s version of it.  And as always, pray.  Ask God to help you to stay focused on the truth & to help you act accordingly.

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Comfort In Chaos

When a person grows up surrounded by chaos, that person often ends up comfortable with chaos.  Knowing nothing else such as peace & calm, those things feel foreign & even scary.   There can be comfort in the midst of chaos simply because it is what you know, it is what is familiar.

Some people who have grown up abused even create their own chaos & drama without realizing it simply because they can’t stand peace & quiet.  Even if they hate such stressful situations, the familiarity of them provides a degree of comfort.

Most people gravitate to the familiar, even when it is painful or dysfunctional.  This is why a woman who grew up beaten by her drunken father later marries a man who gets drunk & beats her.  She doesn’t like being beaten- it’s simply familiar to her & she naturally gravitated to it.

Other people grew up being the “fixers” in their family.  They were the ones who calmed down their parents when they were fighting or denied the fact their parents were abusive if anyone questioned them.  They kept their dysfunctional parents happy at all personal costs.  Being the family fixer means these people feel they have no real purpose unless they are able to fix things.  They are comfortable with chaos because it means they have a job to do, & it’s a job they know how to do well.

As dysfunctional as this behavior is, there is hope.  The healthier you get & the more you heal from the abuse, the less comfortable you will feel with chaos.  It will happen naturally.  I’m not sure there is a way to address this issue specifically.  I’ve just noticed that it seems to diminish on its own as a person gets healthier.  So take care of yourself.  Address whatever issues you have as they come up.  Pray, ask God to help you to get to the root of the problem so you can deal with it the most effectively.  In time, you’ll notice you become more uncomfortable with chaos & much more comfortable with the peace that you deserve.

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The Consummate Victim

Some covert narcissists are what I think of as the consummate victim.  They are the ones who are always wronged, always the victim, & never at fault for anything.  Some examples of their behavior are as follows.

 

The narcissist says something cruel.  You get angry, & rightfully so.  She claims she never meant to hurt your feelings.  She was just trying to help & had no idea what she said would upset you.  She then stops speaking to you for weeks, even if you apologized.

 

The narcissist tries to manipulate you into doing something you don’t want to do.  Naturally, you refuse to do it.  She claims you don’t love her.  How could you refuse to do this one little thing for her, especially after all she’s done for you?!

 

The narcissist is your elderly parent who expects you to come at their beck & call.  You tell your parent you only are available one day a week to do what she needs.  She tells your family how you refused to help her, & they attack you for being a bad daughter, ungrateful, a spoiled brat & more.

 

Narcissists who claim life is so unfair to them or that they are mistreated when people confront them on their abusive behavior are also consummate victims.  There are also those who blame their victims for their abusive behavior.  They are also consummate victims, as are those who complain about their problems, yet refuse to do something to change the situation.

 

Dealing with these people is incredibly frustrating, I know.  My late father & late mother in-law were both covert narcissists & consummate victims.  I repeatedly asked my father not to call after 9 at night.  When I refused to take his call when he called at 10 one evening, he called my in-laws & a cousin who lives almost 500 miles away.  He told both he was so concerned about me for not answering the phone, & asked them to have me call him immediately.  Another time, I was angry with my mother in-law because she had snooped through my purse yet again.  She asked my husband why I was angry, & he told her.  I overheard the conversation.  She claimed not to know what she did would be upsetting to me.

 

Both situations were similar.  As a result of my father’s & mother in-law’s actions, my husband & I got into an argument about his mother & my cousin & I argued about my father.  Being the typical consummate victims, their obnoxious behavior caused problems for the real victim while making themselves look good.

 

There are some things that you can do that can help you if you must deal with this behavior in covert narcissists.

 

Always rely on God to help you in this situation. He will be glad to help you discern the truth & strengthen you to do whatever you need to do!

 

Remember the type of person that you’re dealing with.  No matter what you do, this person will twist the situation around to make you look bad & them look like the innocent victim of your cruelty.  Expect nothing else because this person has no desire to behave any other way.

 

Also remember that there is nothing wrong with you setting boundaries or confronting this person on their abusive behavior.  Both of those are good things to do.  They are healthy & show you have self respect.

 

Consummate victims are very skilled at recruiting flying monkeys.  When you set those boundaries or confront the narcissist about her behavior, no matter how gently & reasonably you do so, it’s a safe bet someone will tell you how cruel, unreasonable, wrong, etc. you are.  When this happens, ignore whatever these flying monkeys have to say.  They don’t know the truth, only what the narcissist has told them.  Also, it’s best to refuse to discuss the narcissist with them.

 

Lastly, it’s also important to remember that consummate victims may project their status on their real victims.  It can be easy to believe their lies since narcissists are talented actors who give very convincing performances.  To avoid believing their lies, remember that you are NOT a consummate victim if you are angry about being abused, setting healthy boundaries or refusing to be manipulated.

 

If you are faced with a covert narcissist who portrays herself as a consummate victim, you can cope.  You have the knowledge & strength to handle this ugly situation.

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Narcissistic Families & Cults

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Why Children Of Narcissists Have Trouble Setting Goals

As children, we’re supposed to figure out what we want to do when we grow up & plan for it accordingly by the time we graduate high school.  Many plans change but at least most kids have an idea of what they want to do with their lives.

 

I didn’t.  I never could figure out what I wanted to do with my life.  I didn’t even know if I wanted to get married or not, but I assumed I wouldn’t because my mother told me no man would ever want me.  I’ve kind of fallen into things rather than having a plan to get there my entire life.

 

I’ve thought this was strange since it seemed to me everyone else I knew growing up had some goals.  They knew if they wanted to get married, have kids, travel the world, go to college, & what kind of career they wanted.

 

Recently I realized something.  I believe this is because when you grow up with a narcissistic parent (or two), you learn early on that you’re wrong about anything & everything.  What you think, feel, like, don’t like, want, believe, etc. is all wrong.  So, if you believe you’re wrong, how can you set any goals?  The goals will automatically be stupid, bad, wrong, etc. because you set them.  Why bother even trying to set goals that are going to be so bad?  It’s a waste of time.

 

Plus, many of us with narcissistic parents were told by that parent that they knew us better than we knew ourselves.  Believing this lie would also inhibit us from making goals because obviously we are too stupid to know what we should do & what we want to do.

 

Even realizing this, I still have trouble setting goals but am improving a bit at it.  I have learned I’m not the stupid, ugly, fat, horrible, useless person my mother told me I was growing up.  I have also learned she has absolutely no clue who I am, so saying she knows me better than I know myself was an absolute lie.  I know me much better than she ever has & ever will.  Learning these things have helped me some in this area as well as healing my virtually destroyed self-esteem.  Realizing these truths about yourself can help you too.   Talk to supportive, loving & safe people.  Write in a journal.  Those things will help you to discover the real you, the good person that you are as well as what you want to do with your life.  They also will help you to see that maybe what your narcissistic parent said you wanted, liked or didn’t like was absolutely wrong, & enable you to figure out what makes you truly happy.

 

Dear Reader, if you have this same problem with setting goals, know you aren’t alone.  You aren’t crazy or stupid for not being able to do so.  It is simply one more side effect of growing up with a narcissistic parent.  Focus on healing your wounded self-esteem, & I believe goals will become more natural & easy to set in time.  Ask God for help, too- He will not let you down!

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Hard Times Happen As You Heal From Abuse

“It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.” ~Theodore Roosevelt

The above saying is so incredibly true when it comes to healing from abuse.

Anyone who has experienced any type of abuse knows that healing from it isn’t easy.  In fact, it may be the hardest thing you ever do in your life.  There will be times you want to give up & just forget everything that happened.  Other times, you’ll want to curl up in your bed & never get out again because the pain is overwhelming & so depressing.  Yet other times you feel like you can’t think about anything but some traumatic, horrible experiences, even though you would love to think about something, anything, else.

Awful times like this are, unfortunately, a very natural part of the healing process.

When these times come, I want to encourage you to keep pressing on.  The results will be worth it when you make progress in your healing.  All progress, even baby steps, is good when you’re healing from abuse, after all.  Do whatever you know to do to help you heal.  Or, if you don’t know what to do, then talk to God.  He wants to help you, so let Him!

Whatever happens during these incredibly trying times, don’t give up, Dear Reader!  I know it’s hard & painful, but don’t give up!  You can & will get through these times.  Be gentle & understanding with yourself.  Be especially good to yourself too- do things that make you feel good.  Pamper yourself.  Splurge on that yummy milkshake or latte.  Snuggle up in your favorite blanket or get soft, cozy new pajamas.  Watch your favorite movies or tv shows.  Self care is always important, but especially so during the hard times.  Don’t neglect to take care of yourself!  xoxo

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Forgiveness After Narcissistic Abuse

One thing that every adult victim of narcissistic parents I have spoken with has struggled with is forgiving their parents.

So many people, particularly Christians, think that these victims need to forgive & forget.  They often quote Ephesians 4:26 which says, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:”  When victims struggle with forgiving & forgetting, they are shamed & even shunned by the very people who should support them, creating even more pain, guilt & shame in the victim.

I want to give you a new perspective on forgiveness that I think can help you today.

If you look at the definition of forgive, nowhere does it say you don’t feel anger.  According to Merriam-Webster.com, to forgive means:

1 : to cease to feel resentment against (an offender) : PARDON; forgive one’s enemies
2a : to give up resentment of or claim to requital for; forgive an insult
b : to grant relief from payment of; forgive a debt

It’s possible to forgive someone while still feeling anger for them.  What I mean is when you forgive someone, you decide that they don’t owe you an apology or repentance. You won’t try to collect that “debt” from them.  You have released that person from paying you the debt that they owe you.  This is what I try to do any time someone mistreats me- give up expectations of an apology immediately.  That way, I have forgiven that person, as God wants me to do.  Yet, even forgiving quickly doesn’t mean I may not still feel some anger for that person for a while.  See what I mean?  You can forgive while still feeling anger.

I also firmly believe that releasing the anger you feel can be a process.  If the waitress makes a mistake on your order or a clerk is rude, those minor incidents are easy to forgive.  Big issues though, it takes time to work through the anger.   Processing anger from years of abuse takes a lot of time & work, especially if you learned early in life to ignore your anger which is the case with most children of narcissistic parents.

There is also the fact many people think to forgive your abusive parents is a one time thing.  You just forgive everything in one fell swoop & *poof* you’re not angry & you never will be angry again with them.  As anyone who has tried to forgive their narcissistic parents knows, that isn’t how it works.  You have to work through many different traumas individually, not lump them all together as one big trauma.

I honestly can say I have forgiven my narcissistic parents.   However, there are still some times I feel anger at them.

When a repressed memory comes back to mind, I feel anger at my parents about the incident.  When I have flashbacks, nightmares, the anxiety & depression get bad, I also feel  anger.  It’s their fault I have C-PTSD, after all.  Plus, when I told my father about having it, he ignored me then changed the subject.  Sometimes I also feel anger when others talk about what a great relationship they have with their parents.  I wanted that with mine, but wasn’t able to have it, because their narcissism was more important to them than me.

Do you think this means I haven’t forgiven my parents? If so, I’d have to respectfully disagree.  I have released my parents from any responsibility to apologize or make amends with me, which is the definition of forgiving.

Yes, there are times I still feel anger at them, as I admitted, & I think it’s very normal.  I also work through the anger & release it quickly.  That is the best I can do, & I know God honors that I am trying.  That’s all He asks of us, to try our best.

If someone tells you you’re wrong for not forgiving your narcissistic parents, Dear Reader, please remember what I said in this post.  If you don’t expect your parents to apologize or repay you for the trauma they inflicted on you, you already have forgiven them.  The more you heal, the less anger you’ll feel towards them.  It just takes some time.

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