Category Archives: Abuse and the Healing Journey

Information Cynthia has learned about abuse and recovery.

God Plans Our Lives With Love

There is no denying that live can be exceedingly difficult sometimes. My readers know this as well if not better than anyone due to experiences with narcissists. This can make anyone wonder where was God during the abuse? Did He even care about what was happening to me? Does He really love me? The answers are He was right with you, He did care & was deeply upset about it & yes, He absolutely loves you!

I was considering writing my own post on this topic but found this one on an amazing blog that explains this topic much better than I can. I decided to share that post instead, & I hope it blesses you tremendously! The link to the post is below.

I did want to say one thing though… for years now, Romans 8:28 has helped me during the especially tough times & I think it may help you as well…

And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.

Romans 8:28 AMP

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

If You’re Still In A Relationship With A Narcissist

January 12, 2018, I had a very strange experience.  That was my father’s birthday, his first since he died the previous October.  I was thinking about that when God told me that my father wanted Him to tell me something.  He said, “Encourage the weak, like me.”  I knew what that message meant immediately. 

After my father died, God showed me a lot about him.  He showed me how my father felt trapped in their marriage & unable to protect me.  At the time of his death, upon meeting God, he also finally saw how wrong he had been to me.  God showed me how weak my father felt he was.  When God said to encourage the weak, I knew immediately He meant that I should encourage those who are in similar situations & also feel weak for it.

Every January on my father’s birthday, I write a blog post to do just this, to encourage those who also feel weak & in a relationship with a narcissist.

If you have been unable to end a relationship with a narcissist, I don’t think this makes you weak at all, although I certainly understand why you could feel that way.  Fighting a narcissist is incredibly draining & makes you feel weak both mentally & physically. 

Maybe the narcissist in your life has destroyed you financially & you are dependent on them.  Sadly this is incredibly common.  Narcissists excel at financial abuse.  That doesn’t make you weak!

Maybe the narcissist has made you feel forced to maintain the relationship with them.  Many make terrible threats if the victim says they want to leave.  They threaten to keep them from their children or even kill their children.  They threaten to kill their loved ones or pets.  When this happens, how can you not stay out of fear the narcissist will follow through on such threats?!  That doesn’t make you weak.  It makes you someone who loves others & wants to protect them.

Narcissists also often make their victims feel obligated to them somehow.  They may twist Scripture around to make you seem evil for considering ending the relationship with your parent or spouse.  Or they may manipulate your good nature & make you pity them.  My ex husband made me feel so guilty for breaking our engagement that I later married him, even though I was incredibly unhappy with him.  Manipulation is what made me return to him & stay as long as I did.  If that is your situation too, it’s manipulation, not weakness on your part!

Maybe the narcissist has destroyed your self-esteem so badly, you feel completely unable to make it without that person.  Sadly, this happens!  Feeling this way isn’t a sign of weakness at all.  It’s a sign of a cruel person abusing you to put you in such a terrible state.

Maintaining a relationship with a narcissist is hard!  It takes a great deal of strength to maintain your sanity & courage to continue on in this way.

If ending the relationship is your goal, that is brave!  It also isn’t the easy fix many people seem to think it is.  If you live with the narcissist, it takes time to prepare financially, to arrange for a new place to live, & more.  Whether or not you live with the narcissist, it also takes time to figure out the best way to end that relationship to minimize their rage as well as for you to summon the courage to follow through with your plans.

No, you aren’t weak for staying in the relationship with a narcissist.  If you’re looking for solutions, that shows you are strong.  Obviously you want to survive this situation & that courage of yours will pay off.  You will get through this with your dignity & your sanity in tact!

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After The Relationship With A Narcissist

Ending a relationship with a narcissist is very difficult.  Whether they end it with you or you end it with them, it is an incredibly challenging time.

If they end the relationship with you, chances are you will feel like an utter failure for disappointing them.  You will wonder what you could have done better, how did you fail this person so badly & other painful thoughts.  If the narcissist in question is your parent, you may feel excessive guilt for disappointing your parent so badly they felt they had to cut you out of their life. 

If you end the relationship with them, chances are you will be racked with guilt & even shame for hurting this person so badly.  I remember when I ended my engagement to my now ex husband, I felt so free… until he & his friends started telling me how miserable he was without me, how I should resume the relationship & more.  The guilt was more than I could take, which is why I went against my better judgment & married him.

If you’re feeling anything like I have described or more that I haven’t after a relationship with the narcissist in your life has ended, I want to talk to you today.

You have zero reason to feel badly, & this is why…

If you ended it, you did so to protect your mental & physical health.  That is NOT a bad thing!  Everyone has to take care of themselves!  God has entrusted us with this one mind & body, so why shouldn’t we take good care of them?!

If you think you should have been more patient or understanding, stop that right now.  Patience & understanding are great, but they can enable bad behavior.  Healthy boundaries don’t mean you lack these qualities, but that you won’t tolerate being abused even if you understand why the person is abusive.

If you feel that you didn’t do enough, again, stop!  People who have been in any relationship with a narcissist, whether that person is a friend, relative, spouse or whatever, tend to go above & beyond.  The real problem isn’t that you didn’t do enough.  It’s that narcissists want too much.  Nothing is ever enough as far as they’re concerned.  You could work at pleasing them until you are almost dead & they still would say you didn’t do enough.  No human being could please a narcissist for more than the occasional rare moment.

If the narcissist ended it with you, this doesn’t mean you have failed in any way.  Narcissists have exceedingly high & unrealistic expectations.  They expect more than any human can give.  As I just mentioned, no human being can please any narcissist for more than a fleeting moment.

Narcissists don’t understand what it is like to love in a real, healthy, Godly way.  They claim to love some people, but sadly their version of love is nothing like what love is supposed to be.  They “love” people that they can manipulate & use to provide them with narcissistic supply. 

If you doubt what I am saying, consider how the narcissist has acted since your relationship with you ended.  Chances are, they have acted much like a child who either has lost their favorite toy or lost interest in that toy.  They either act heartbroken & like that “toy” has done them wrong, or they act like they don’t care about the toy because it was defective anyway & they’re better off without it.

Whether you ended the relationship with the narcissist or they ended it with you, you are going to be fine.  It may not feel like it now, but it is true!  In time, you will realize how much better off you are without that person in your life.

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

My New Alexa Skills

I’ve gotten a bit creative lately. I made some amazon skills. The skills are “Scriptures On Narcissism,” “Narcissism Facts” & “Biblical Affirmations. There are links to all three on my website at:

https://www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com/home/alexa-skills/

These skills work with any Alexa device & are totally free. I don’t make any profit from them.

If there are any other skills you think would be interesting, I’d love to hear your ideas!

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15% Off All My Print Books!

My publisher is offering another sale. 15% off all my print books until December 31, 2021. Use code NEWYEAR15 at checkout.

My print books can be found at this link…

my 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

When Someone Refers To Someone Else As An Outsider Or Outcast

When you meet someone new & get to know that person, at some point your families will come up in conversation.  A red flag you need to be aware of may suddenly show up when you begin to discuss your families.  The particular red flag I’m referring to is when someone refers to another person in their family as if they are a big problem in the family, & they have no problem labeling the person based on that assumption.  They may call them an outsider, the black sheep or even the problem child.

The reason this is a red flag is because it shows the person discussing their relative this way is a part of an “us against them” mentality.  Clearly, that “problem child” is a huge problem within his or her own family.  This is a sign of a person being scapegoated.  And, scapegoating is a sign of an abusive family.

I saw this in action when I first got involved with my husband.  His family very much has an “us versus them” mentality.  Those of us who joined the family were clearly outsiders.  The only ones welcomed into the inner sanctum were ones who came from a very wealthy family or who did the bidding of the in-law family.  Think the Borg from Star Trek The Next Generation.  “You will be assimilated.  Resistance is futile.”  Those of us who weren’t willing to assimilate into the family & focus all of our attention on the in-laws, aka the Collective, were clearly outsiders & treated as such.

The family in these situations acts as if they are the good people, burdened by this person’s terrible behavior, trouble causing & lack of worthiness to be a part of their precious family.  The outsider, in short, is to blame for any & all problems within the family, & a source of great embarrassment, which is the definition of a scapegoat in a narcissistic family.

Treating people this way is very common not just among in-laws, but within biological families as well.  It’s happened to me as well as many of my readers who I’ve spoken with.  By scapegoating one person, this allows a group of people to avoid any responsibility for problems within their group.  Clearly they did nothing wrong!  It was that awful scapegoat who is to blame for all the ills in the family.

By shifting all blame to the scapegoat, this also allows the group to maintain the image they wish to portray –  the big happy family, the perfect family, better than others, etc.

Possibly the biggest advantage for those who scapegoat someone is by doing this, they are able to maintain their denial.  Denial they have done anything wrong, denial their family isn’t perfect, denial that the toxic person in the family isn’t really the toxic one.

These are such incredibly unhealthy behaviors!  Functional people don’t blame innocent people.  They accept responsibility for their behavior & expect others to do the same.  Functional people also respect that everyone is an individual & don’t get angry when someone believes, thinks or acts differently than them.

There is one final thing you need to be aware of on this topic.  Not every person who mentions someone in their family as an outsider is dysfunctional.  You can tell the difference between a functional & dysfunctional person discussing the outsider in their family.  A functional person doesn’t speak of their family’s outsider in a bad light.  They think of the person in question as very different than the rest of the family, but they don’t paint that person in a negative light.  They may even admire the differences in that person.  In any case, they have no problem with this “outsider’s” differences.

If someone you just met discusses an outsider in their family, pay attention to how they discuss this person.  It can show you whether or not this is an emotionally healthy, functional person.

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

News About My Apps

As of tomorrow, December 24, 2021 my app for both my website (https://www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com) & The Butterfly Project (https://www.TheButterflyProject.CynthiaBaileyRug.com) will be disabled.

I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause! There are some changes required to make it available for installation & frankly, they’re well over my knowledge level of apps. I have no desire to try to figure this all out since it’s well over my head. If anyone wants to check out my websites, the links are in the previous paragraph. You don’t need an app. I only made them for the sake of convenience.

Thank you for understanding everyone! xoxo

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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

Year End Sale On ALL Of My Ebooks!

From December 17, 2021 until January 1, 2022, my publisher is offering 25% off all of my ebooks. If you’ve been wanting to read any of them, it’s a great time to buy. Simply go to my author page on my publisher’s site at the link below. The coupon will be applied automatically at checkout.

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

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Animals, Caregiving, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Enjoying Life, Mental Health, Narcissism, Personality (including introversion, Myers Briggs, etc.), Writing

Narcissistic In-Laws

For simplicity sake, I’m going to refer to the victim in this article as he & the spouse as she, but the roles easily could be reversed.

When you are married to someone with narcissistic family members, your life is full of challenges.  Narcissistic families expect their chosen victim to do as they want, which includes marrying only someone of whom they approve.  When that doesn’t happen, that victim & spouse’s life becomes incredibly challenging.

One common problem in these situations is when the victim doesn’t recognize the level of dysfunction in the family.  He may recognize that his family can be difficult or bossy, but doesn’t see them as the cruel or manipulative people they truly are.  She however, recognizes the depths of the situation.  When she tries to say anything about his family, he becomes defensive.  She gets frustrated, he gets frustrated, an argument happens & nothing gets resolved. 

This scenario is very common, & easily can result in divorce if handled the wrong way.

As tempting as it can be for you if you see the situation clearly, asking your spouse to choice you or his family is never a good idea!  The one who gives the ultimatum usually ends up on the losing end.  The person receiving the ultimatum feels unfairly pressured & manipulated.  On the rare chance the one receiving it goes along with it, he will end up feeling resentful in time.

When you feel you must mention the situation, do so calmly & as non-accusatory as humanly possible.  Anger will make your spouse defensive because he’ll feel as if you’re attacking him & his family.  Try to remain calm & leave emotion out of the situation as much as possible.  Men respond better to logic than emotions, & in this case may feel as if the emotions are less about emotions & more of an attempt at manipulation.  Women in these situations may respond to calmly expressed emotions, however, such as, “I feel like your mom tries to interfere too much in our marriage.  It makes me really uncomfortable.”

Have your own boundaries firmly in place as much as possible with your in-laws.  Don’t let them manipulate you or push you around.  Remain calm when setting those boundaries, so if your spouse sees this happen, he can’t say you were mean or unreasonable.  Your narcissistic in-law will be angry however, & your spouse will see their irrational behavior as you remain calm.

There may be a time when you have to go no contact with your narcissistic in-laws.  This can cause problems in your marriage.  A person still under the spell of their narcissistic family may not understand your reasoning.  If you firmly believe no contact is the best solution in your situation, calmly explain to your spouse that this isn’t you trying to manipulate him or come between him & his family.  Instead, this is what you feel is best for you to do.

Always remember not to have expectations of your spouse where his family is concerned.  Expectations put pressure on him & make his situation even more difficult.  Also, he may resent them, no matter how reasonable they are, which means he will resent you.  This will push him closer to his family & make him pull away from you.

Try to be patient & understanding of the situation.  This is hard, I know, but if you too had a narcissistic family, you understand how hard it is to be under their influence before recognizing what they really are.    

At some point, he is going to get frustrated or angry with his family & need to talk about it.  When this happens, do NOT say anything like, “I told you so!” or, “I always knew she was like that.”  Listen quietly while offering your support.  You can gently state the truth in a matter of fact way. If he asks for advice, give it without being critical. 

Don’t forget to take care of yourself in this situation, too.  Pray.  Write in your journal.  Talk to supportive friends or family who understand your situation for what it really is. 

Last but certainly not least, never ever forget to pray about your situation!  Let God show you how best to handle things with your spouse & toxic in-laws as well as how to take care of your own mental health.  His help is truly invaluable & He will show you the right way to handle the situation!

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

Narcissists & Gifts

Giving gifts can be a wonderful thing.  It makes the receiver feel loved because someone would listen closely enough to know what gift would make the receiver happy, then spend the time to pick out or even make this gift, spend the time to wrap  it up pretty & all this shows that they cared enough to want to do these things.  The giver is also blessed because there is a great joy in seeing someone’s face light up when they get a special gift that you are responsible for giving them.

With narcissists, this isn’t how this scenario happens.

For one thing, narcissists are notoriously terrible at giving gifts.  To give a good gift, you have to look beyond yourself.  You have to listen to what the receiver says about their needs & wants.  You have to know things about them, such as their favorite color, the size clothing they wear, styles they like, their favorite author or singer.  Narcissists can’t be bothered with those things, so they give gifts that are what they like or think you need.

Narcissists also give you gifts in order to try to make you more like what they think you should be.  Probably in 1999 or so, during a conversation with my mother in-law that took place not long before Christmas, I mentioned that I don’t like to cook, unlike her & her daughters. I didn’t criticize them, just said I didn’t share that with them. For Christmas that year, she & both of my sisters in-law gave me cooking stuff.  Spoons, spatulas, cook books, food & the largest, ugliest pasta dish I have ever seen.  At least I did find a good use for that.  When the roof leaked, in the short time before it was fixed, I used that ugly dish to catch the rain water that leaked into the attic ..lol  Everything else was donated, given to my friends or thrown in the trash.

And of course, in true narcissistic fashion, when they give gifts, the purpose is self-serving.  Giving makes them feel like they are good people.  See how caring they are?  They gave someone a gift!

There also may be another motive when receiving gifts from a narcissist.  They may want something from you.  They may want you to do something for them, so when they ask for you to do that favor, they can say, “How can you say no after I gave you that great gift?”  Gifts come with strings attached.  They may give birthday & Christmas cards with money inside, & in return, you need to help them with whatever needs they have, no matter how ridiculous or the personal cost to you.  It is an unspoken rule many narcissistic families have.

Some narcissists also give to others in the hopes of making themselves appear to be the martyr, taken advantage of by ungrateful people.  This often makes the recipient of the gifts feel as if they are taking advantage of the giver somehow, & they offer to repay the “generous” narcissist.

When it comes to giving gifts to a narcissist, it isn’t really a better scenario. 

Narcissists are impossible to please.  They set these high goals for their victims, then when the victim comes close to it or even reaches it, they say that isn’t what they want, they want something else that is even harder to do.  Nothing their victim does is good enough.  This scenario plays out similarly with gifts.  They may say they want something, but when they receive it, it somehow falls short of their expectations & the giver feels badly.

They also compare gifts.  For example, let’s say you gave your parents a gift certificate for their favorite restaurant for their anniversary.  A thoughtful gift, but not to them.  Instead, they may tell you that their neighbor’s son bought them a 65” television & set it up for them while they were at the grocery store. 

This holiday season, if you are in the unfortunate position of exchanging gifts with a narcissist, I hope you remember what I have said.  They do these awful things because this is just how dysfunctional, abusive & toxic they are.  It truly has nothing to do with you.  When they criticize what you give them, remember the nicer your gift, the more they will criticize it.  When they give you awful gifts or things that they like knowing you don’t like those things, just say thank you… then later, quietly find a new home for that gift.  Maybe a friend of yours could use the item or you could donate to a worthwhile charity.  Or, throw it in the trash!  You’re under no obligation to keep gifts that were given to make you feel badly or that come with strings attached.

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

About Scars

Most people are very uncomfortable around someone with obvious scars.  They stare at the person who has scars from surviving a house fire or they avoid even making simple eye contact with the person.  Some especially rude people ask this person what happened while wearing an expression of sheer disgust on their face.  Experiences like this make the person with the scars feel ashamed of how they look.  This sort of experience also can happen to someone who wears their scars inside as a result of surviving abuse.

So many people who live with ongoing mental health struggles such as Complex PTSD, PTSD, anxiety & depression as a result of being abused are shamed.  Some people mock these mental disorders while others deny their existence, which further contributes to the shame most abuse victims feel on some level for being abused.  This behavior is incredibly cruel but also foolish.

Everyone has scars to some degree.  Those scars shouldn’t be a source of shame.  Scars tell a story of things you have experienced.

Some scars show a woman has birthed healthy children.

Some scars show what happened to a soldier who bravely threw himself in harm’s way to protect his fellow soldiers.

Some scars show that a fireman was injured while rescuing someone from a burning building on the verge of collapse.

Some scars show the vet assistant’s job involves a lot more physical pain than most people think because scared animals scratch & bite.

Some scars even show that a person was abused by someone they thought they could trust, someone they thought loved them & would be good to them.

The one thing all scars have in common is that they tell a story of something that could have destroyed a person yet they didn’t.  They tell a story of survival, strength & bravery. 

If you have survived abuse & feel your story isn’t somehow good or worthy like the people in the examples I provided, I want you to know that you are wrong.  Having a mental disorder or even disorders doesn’t mean you are weak, stupid, or a failure.  Far from it!  It means you survived something that could have destroyed you.  Narcissists do their level best to destroy their victims in every possible way, yet you survived that!  Of course you have some issues as a result of the abuse, because that is only normal.  Rather than be ashamed of those issues, why not be proud of the fact you survived what many people don’t?  Then, as if surviving isn’t enough, here you are, not only coping with those issues but learning, growing, healing & helping others who have experienced what you have.  You should be so proud of yourself for how far you have come!! 

Rather than be ashamed of your scars & try to hide them, I would like to suggest that you to accept them without judgment as reminders of your strength & courage!  Hold your head high & be proud of the person you are!

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About Perspective Of Good & Bad Experiences

I love watching the old public tv show, “The Joy Of Painting” with Bob Ross.  He was an incredibly talented painter, & there is something so calming about watching him create his beautiful works of art.  I also especially enjoy the bits of wisdom he shared through each episode.  Not only bits of wisdom about painting, but about life in general. 

I was watching his show recently & he was painting a beautiful mountain scene in the fall.  During the course of painting, Mr. Ross said some interesting things.

The first thing he mentioned was as he was painting a lake.  To create dimension, he used dark & light colors together.  He said something like, “Don’t conceal all your dark areas or the painting will become flat.”  Immediately it made me think of the overly positive people of the world.  I don’t mean the average person who tries to be positive, but the ones who refuse to say anything negative or see anything but the good in people.  When people don’t admit that sometimes things are less than perfect & happy, they often are much the same way- flat.  They express only one mood- happy.  Honestly, I find this incredibly annoying to be around.  Not that I want to be around people who are always miserable either.  Somewhere in the middle is so much more comfortable & I think also healthy.  People who are real & honest are the most interesting people, in my opinion anyway, probably because they have many different aspects to their personalities & different moods.  They’re also more comfortable to be around, because you know they won’t judge you if you are anything less than completely positive & happy.  Many overly positive people also can come across very invalidating & shaming.  For example, if you’re laid up with a broken leg, it’s ok to be upset about that.  The unhealthy, overly positive type of person will say something like you should be glad it happened because now you have the time off to catch up on whatever hobbies you enjoy.  That comment can make you feel badly for being upset that you are in a miserable situation, even though you have every right to be upset.

Another interesting thing he mentioned was that you need darkness to show the light.  How true is that!  If you think of it in the natural realm, if you light up an average light bulb, it will look very different in the dark than it will on a sunny day.  In the dark, even a very dim bulb can look extremely bright.  Yet, in the sunlight, even the brightest bulb will appear pretty dim.  The contrast of dark & light always makes light appear brighter.

The same things happen with good & bad things in life.  The bad, or darker, things that happen make you appreciate the good, or lighter, things.  If you have only good things happen, you can count on not appreciating anything good that happens to you simply because that is the norm for you.  There is nothing to compare your experiences to that will make them appear worth appreciating.  If there is a balance of both good & bad things, however, the bad things truly will make you appreciate the good things.  The good things will look so much better in contrast to the bad, just like that dim light bulb will look especially bright in a very dark room.

It was kinda strange, realizing these things from watching a man paint a pretty landscape, but I hope you found them interesting like I did.  And, his show can be found on YouTube & I think it was Pluto TV where I found it.  Very worth checking out if you have the chance!

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

Empathy vs Codependency

A couple of very misunderstood concepts today are empathy & codependency. 

Some things I’ve read about empathy haven’t been overly accurate.  In fact, some make it sound like being empathic is some sort of weird psychic power when it is nothing of the sort.  Some people also seem to think having empathy means that you have no boundaries, & are completely self sacrificing 1000% of the time.  According to Merriam Webster’s online dictionary however, empathy means: “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.”  Empathy is a good thing to have, since it enables you to be kind to others.

Codependency isn’t like empathy.  It isn’t concerned about what is best for others or how you can help people.  It’s about enabling bad behavior.  Also according to Merriam Webster’s online dictionary, codependency means: “a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (such as an addiction to alcohol or heroin)”.  Codependency says, “Let me make this situation pleasing to you” whereas empathy says, “How can I help you to help yourself to do what is best for you?”

Although both of these words clearly have very different meanings, some people confuse them, using them interchangeably either from a point of being naïve or being manipulative.  With narcissists, it’s almost always manipulative.  Narcissists don’t care if someone empathizes with their pain, but they do care about having a victim who is willing to overlook their abusive ways & enable their toxic behavior.  Narcissists may claim their victim is lacking in empathy when what the narcissist really wants from the victim is codependency.  Many victims of narcissistic abuse are empathic people, & unless they know better, they will be hurt by the narcissist’s accusation.  Rather than have the narcissist think they are heartless, sometimes empathic people enable the narcissist’s toxicity in an attempt to get the narcissist to think they are good people & earn the narcissist’s favor.

If you realize that you have codependent tendencies or are in a codependent relationship, you’re not alone.  It happens to many victims of narcissistic abuse.  The good news is you don’t have to stay that way.  You can unlearn these unhealthy behaviors!

As always, I recommend starting with prayer.  Ask God to show you what you need to change & how to make appropriate changes.

Also learn what you can about empathy & codependency.  Learning what you can will help you to see when you’re being empathic & when you’re being codependent.

Don’t forget to learn about boundaries, too.  You’ll need to gain a good sense of boundaries & know effective ways to enforce them.  To help you get started, I created a free online book study course about boundaries.  It’s available on my website at: www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com

I know this probably sounds pretty overwhelming & hard to make the healthy changes you need to make, but really, it’s easier than you might think.  Once you recognize progress in yourself, it encourages you to keep on doing what you’re doing.  Also know that you’ll feel a lot of guilt when you begin to change your codependent ways.  That is totally normal.  When it happens, rather than give into ask yourself if you truly have a reason to feel this guilt or not.  Chances are excellent that you’ll recognize that you have no valid reason for the guilt.

I wish you the best with making these healthy changes!

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

The Phrase, “Hurting People Hurt People”

If you have been subjected to abuse, chances are excellent you’ve heard the phrase, “hurting people hurt people.”  And, my guess is when you first heard this phrase, you immediately felt badly for being upset about being abused.  Either you felt guilt for being upset, because the abuser is wounded & has no control over acting out of those wounds or downright shame for your feelings.  I have felt that shame so I understand!  I also can tell you that there is no reason to feel that guilt or shame!  That phrase is a lie!

Saying that hurting people hurt people assumes all who have been abused have zero control over their reactions.  Abusers are absolved of any & all guilt with this phrase, & that is completely wrong!  There are very few people who truly are unaware of the differences between right & wrong.  Most people are aware of the differences.  Narcissists are aware, too.  The difference is they don’t care what is right & wrong.  They only care about what they want.  They shouldn’t be lumped into the same category as those who are so damaged they truly don’t recognize the difference between right & wrong.     

Another problem with claiming that hurting people hurt people is that it means their victims can’t be angry at being abused.  How absurd is that?!  No matter the circumstances of the abuse, abuse is wrong & every single person who has been abused should be angry about the wrongness of what was perpetrated on them!  People need to have a healthy anger at things that are wrong & cruel, because not to feel that anger normalizes the behaviors, & such things never should be normalized!

I do realize that many narcissists come from a place of being traumatized & abused.  My narcissistic mother was one of them.  Her narcissistic mother was abusive to her until she died when my mother was in her 60’s, her mother in her 80’s.  My mother’s pain isn’t solely responsible for her narcissism, however.  I think it started that just ball rolling.  She adapted narcissistic behaviors when she was a child as a way to cope with her pain & gain attention.  However, I also believe she, like many other narcissists who experienced similar circumstances, shut down the natural empathy that most people are born with by ignoring any guilt for her hurtful actions.  The more a person does this, the less affected they become by the pain & suffering of other people.  They lose their empathy & become full fledged narcissists who enjoy hurting & manipulating other people.  People who do this shouldn’t be given a free pass to be abusive because they were abused!  Many people have suffered abuse yet turned out to be good, caring, kind & empathic people. 

And lastly, the final problem I have with this phrase is that it shuts down victims.  It makes people feel as if they can’t be angry with their abusers because that poor person was hurting, too, & they didn’t have any better way to deal with their pain.  That is completely unfair!  Victims never should be shut down from discussing their traumatic experiences!  Discussing such events is helpful when it comes to coping with pain & healing from it as well as helping other people.  There is no valid reason a person should be made to feel as if they need to stop discussing their trauma!  Many people who make others feel that way only do so because they are uncomfortable.  Either they don’t want to hear about it because it makes them think less of the abuser they are so fond of, or they are reminded of their own pain that they are too cowardly to face.  Neither situation is healthy & both situations are cruel to victims of abuse!

If you come across anyone who tells you “hurting people hurt people” when you mention your traumatic experiences, then I hope & pray you will remember what I have said & that it empowers you.  Don’t feel guilty or stop discussing your experiences!  While it’s best to stop discussing them with unhealthy people, that doesn’t mean you should be quiet.  Set the world on fire with your story!  You will heal while also helping others to heal!

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When Children Of Narcissistic Parents Exhibit Narcissistic Behaviors

When you are a child, your parents are more or less like a god to you.  They are responsible for meeting your needs.  They seem to know everything, only because you are too young to have much experience in life.  They are always there.

Having good parents is a wonderful thing.  It’s also easy to learn good ways from good people.  Obviously life isn’t perfect, but the positive you learned from your good parents helps you handle the less than perfect times.  You are a good, functional, caring person who can handle what life throws at you with grace & dignity.

For those of us who grew up with narcissistic parents, this sadly isn’t the case.

One aspect of having narcissistic parents means you were deprived of learning good & healthy habits.  In fact, you may learn plenty of bad habits.  You may become judgmental & critical.  You may become selfish & not overly concerned with the needs of other people.  You also may learn other bad habits from your narcissistic parents such as lying, refusing to accept responsibility for hurting others or projection.

I still remember when I was only 20 years old.  My now ex husband chewed me out for behaving like my mother.  He was excessively critical of me since he was a narcissist, but in this instance, he was right.  We were talking about some new music that had come out recently.  I didn’t like the music, & he did.  I said that band was terrible.  He said I sounded just like my mother.  He also said, “Just because you don’t like them doesn’t mean they don’t have talent.  It just means you don’t like them!”  He was right.  They clearly did have talent & they became quite popular, but played music that simply wasn’t my taste. 

That conversation was a wake up call for me.  I was terrified of becoming like my narcissistic mother who said everything & everyone she disliked was bad.  It helped me to become more aware of my behavior & make good changes.

It also scared me.  I was afraid that I would turn out like my mother.  I knew first hand how critical & cruel she could be, yet I imitated her behavior by what I said about that band. 

Chances are good that if you too were raised by narcissistic parents, you have experienced similar moments of behaving like your parents.  If so, don’t worry about it!  You can & will change!  The more you heal from the abuse, the healthier you will behave.  It happens naturally.  But, if you recognize that you’re behaving in some unhealthy ways, you can change those individually.  Figure out why you are behaving as you are.  Ask God to show you the root of the behavior & how to heal from that.  Consider how you would feel if someone said or did the same thing to you that you did to others.  Recognizing how badly it’d hurt to be treated as you treat others can be a huge motivator for changing into healthier behaviors. 

If you do mirror some behaviors of your narcissistic parent & wonder why, it’s probably because children naturally imitate their parents.  It doesn’t mean you’re a narcissist!  You’re doing a natural thing, imitating your parent.  Or, it could be some sort of defense mechanism.  Many times, two narcissists marry.  You saw one parent being mistreated & retaliating by behaving as they did, so you do the same to protect yourself.  Sadly, these things happen sometimes.  Thankfully though, you are aware of your behavior & want to change!  You should be very proud of yourself for that!

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For Male Abuse Victims

I’ve gained more male followers of my writing & YouTube channel over the years.  This made me realize I haven’t written much specifically for you, so I decided to change that.

Men abused by women, whether that woman is a mother or wife, are in a bad position.  Society seems to have even less empathy for them than it does for female victims of male abusers.  As if men are supposed to be too tough to be abused by a woman, & if they are, they must not be “real men” (whatever that is).  I want you men to know that is NOT the case!!

Abusers come in all forms & abuse all kinds of people.  Abusers convince their victims of many lies that leave victims feel powerless to leave.  Some of those lies are as follows.

Abusive women convince victims that their abuse is the victim’s fault.  They convince their victims if they were just somehow better, smarter, more successful or more attractive, that the abuse would stop.  Yet, victims always fall short of what the abuser wants.  Until a victim learns better, this won’t stop a victim from trying though, because he hopes that if he can just do whatever his abuser wants, he can earn her love or approval, the abuse will stop & she will treat him well.

Abusive women threaten to hurt those victims love, in particular their children.  There are so many stories about abusive husbands who threaten to kill the children if the wife leaves.  This happens when abusers are women, too.  They threaten to take the kids far away so he will never see them again, to send them away to school, & more.  Women abusers also have no trouble involving the legal system & telling the police or courts that the husband is abusive even when he is the only loving parent the children have.  Men in this position often figure it is best to tolerate the abuse rather than risk this happening to their children.

Abusive women manipulate their victim’s friends & family, often leaving him alone & without support.  Women can be incredibly manipulative, especially abusive ones.  They can cry at will, & they can make anyone believe anything they wish.  They even can turn a victim’s friends & family against him with her lies. Many toxic women excel at playing the innocent victim who needs help & protection.

Abusive women destroy their victim’s self esteem.  They make their victims believe that they are so ugly, stupid, useless, etc, that no one else would be willing to put up with them.  They also convince them that without the woman in his life, he couldn’t make it.  He needs her to survive.

Abusive women destroy their victims financially.  Whether they squirrel away every penny he earns in private accounts to which he has no access or they get him into debt, their victims are often left financially destitute & with a terrible credit report.  Often, they also get victims fired by frequently showing up at his job to fight with him or by making him call out often.  This makes victims unable to get a decent job if it happens repeatedly, & she uses it to prove to him what a failure he is.

Men in these awful situations don’t need judgment, laughter, mocking or criticism.  They need your prayers, love, understanding, empathy & practical help. 

Those of you men in these situations that are reading this right now, my heart truly goes out to you.  Please know you are NOT alone!  You also aren’t less of a man in any way just because your abuser happens to be a woman.  Don’t be ashamed!  You have no reason to be.  Your abuser, however, has plenty of reason to be ashamed!  Let her carry her shame, & you refuse to do so! 

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30% Off All My Print Books Until November 30, 2021

My publisher is having a really good sale on print books right now! 30% off! Shipping time may be a bit slow due to supply chain issues, but if you don’t mind the wait, this is a great time to get the books you want. Simply use code SAVE30 at checkout.

The print versions books can be found at the link below…

https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

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Some Ways Victims Of Abuse Are Re-Victimized

Abuse victims don’t have it easy.  Contrary to what many people think, the abuse doesn’t end when the victim either leaves the relationship or their abuser dies.  Far from it.  There are many who live with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or more commonly, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Both are horrible & potentially life ending disorders since many who suffer this way commit suicide.  You would think this would be bad enough, but it gets even worse.  Many people who have survived abuse are further abused when they have the courage to tell other people about it.

If you have told people of your experiences with an abuser, maybe you simply don’t realize how other people can abuse a victim who opens up about their story.  In all fairness, it can be very hard to recognize at first!  When subjected to narcissistic abuse, any other abuse can be hard to identify.  That doesn’t make these things less wrong, however.  You need to be aware that there are many ways to abuse, including subtle ways.  The more you know, the more you can protect yourself!

Possibly the most common way victims are further abused is by minimizing or even denying the abuse.  Many people don’t want to deal with stories of abuse.  Maybe they are the type who think that is being “too negative”.  Maybe they have their own history of abuse & can’t stand listening to others’ stories because it reminds them of their own pain.  Maybe they’re close to your abuser & refuse to see this person as anything less than wonderful.  In any case, minimizing & denying abuse is cruel & it is abusive!

When the abuser is a shared family member, people often deal with this situation terribly, even in abusive ways.  No one wants to admit that their favorite relative is an abusive monster.  Certainly that is understandable.  What is not understandable is how people react in this situation.  Many relatives will abuse a victim by shunning them by refusing to include them on family gatherings while rallying around the abuser.  There are others who not only deny the abuse allegations but sit the victim near their abuser at family gatherings.  Others tell victims things like, “That is a serious accusation.”  Or, “Are you SURE that is how it happened?”  Such comments are invalidating & abusive.

A very common way victims are abused is when they tell someone about the abuse, that person says they refuse to take sides, want to remain neutral or don’t want to get involved.  Neutrality helps abusers.  It enables them to continue to abuse without fear of consequences.  Naturally, by default, this means that victims are hurt by neutrality.  Victims need someone to stand up for them, to confront abusers or at the very least, to say, “This is wrong!”  Such things don’t happen when people try to be neutral or refuse to get involved, which makes neutrality abusive.

Another common way victims are abused is when people they tell about the abuse judge them.  Everyone judges others to some degree.  There is nothing wrong with deciding if a person is safe or not, shares your life views or religious values.  What is wrong is when people judge another person’s healing journey.  Healing from abuse is very unique to each individual person.  No one who is trying their best to heal from abuse does it right & no one does it wrong.  Many people fail to recognize this, however, & judge victims harshly & cruelly.  They are judged for not “getting over it” fast enough, for not “forgiving & forgetting” & other nonsense.  This is abusive, cruel & just wrong all around.  People who are healing need mercy & understanding, not judgment. 

If any of these things have happened to you, please try to remember that these behaviors are abusive.  You have nothing to be ashamed of, you aren’t doing things wrong & you have every right to heal however works best for you.  Don’t let anyone make you feel otherwise!

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Some Reasons Why Victims Side With Abusers

If you have survived an abusive relationship & are working on healing from that, the possibility of someone who has been a victim siding with their abuser can seem utterly impossible to comprehend.  Yet sadly it happens more often than you might think.

Many people who have been abused refuse to find some way to come to terms with it.  They won’t accept that someone who was supposed to love them not only didn’t love them but actively tried to hurt them.  This is particularly the case with children abused by their parents.

Being abused by a parent also can make you feel like if your own parent doesn’t love you, then clearly you must be unlovable.  Children naturally seem to have a propensity for accepting blame that isn’t theirs, so when their parent doesn’t love them, they assume it’s because of something they have done wrong or there is something wrong with them.  Instead, they accept this faulty belief as fact, thinking they deserve the abuse.  They often grow up to say things like, “Yea, Dad was hard on me but he made a man out of me!”

Another reason victims of abuse may side with abusers is cognitive dissonance.  That is the feeling that comes with learning the truth that directly clashes with some deeply held belief.  Believing your parents are good people then learning they were anything but creates that painful cognitive dissonance.  It makes a person question everything they thought they believed.  Cognitive dissonance is truly painful, & many people would rather avoid it completely.  If that means siding with their abusive parent, so be it.  They prefer that to facing their pain.

Sometimes adults who survived abusive childhoods see other victims dealing with their pain.  They see the suffering they go through with flashbacks, nightmares, crippling anxiety & depression, maybe even suicidal tendencies & they are afraid that if they face their pain, they will end up going through the exact same pain.  Also, they may be reminded of their own pain that they refuse to face.  Instead of trying to show victims they care, they rush to shut them down.  One way they do this is to side with abusers & try to normalize their behavior.  Not only the abusers of their fellow victims, but theirs as well.

Another reason victims may side with their abusers is to create the illusion of normalcy.  If they can justify their abusive parent’s behavior, then it becomes normal, which in turn means they were treated normally & are normal people.  Thinking this way makes the victims feel normal, & not like a victim or something is wrong with them. It also has another purpose.  Many times, victims of child abuse marry other victims as adults.  In these situations, often one person faces their pain while the other tries their best to avoid it.  If the one facing their pain points out to the one who refuses to that his or her parent is abusive, that causes pain that this person has tried hard to avoid for a long time.  If he or she can make the other person believe they are overreacting, over sensitive or even crazy, the abuse was totally normal, & their parent did nothing wrong, this can stop the healthier person from discussing this topic.  The healthier person will get discouraged in trying to help their partner, & may give up the unhealthy person to their dysfunctional ways.

Rather than deal with painful things, it seems like many victims of abuse think that the easier alternative is to side with the abusive parent.  Pretending all is fine & their abusive parent wasn’t a monster at all but instead a good parent doing their best is truly a dysfunctional coping skill!  It’s a shame it’s also such a common one.

If you have someone in your life who is doing this, I know how incredibly difficult & frustrating it is.  You want the best for him or her, but this person doesn’t see that.  They see you as unreasonable, over sensitive, unkind, or whatever.  If you are to continue this relationship, then please pray.  Ask God to give you wisdom about how to handle things & pay attention to what He says.  He knows this person better than you possibly could.  If you feel God wants you to speak on this subject, then do so gently & humbly.  Remain logical & not emotional because heated emotions only shut this type of person down.  Ask logical questions too, like, “Why do you think it’s OK your father beat you with a belt?  If I told you my father did it, would you still think it’s OK?”

God may also say that you shouldn’t discuss this with your loved one.  Some people are extremely determined to continue in this dysfunction & nothing anyone says can get through to them.  If this is your situation, then do NOT discuss it!!  Have a safe place to vent your frustrations though, because you are going to need it.  Pray, journal, talk to a close friend.. just don’t keep your frustrations inside.  Remember, you don’t have the right to try to force something on another person, even if your intentions are good & it’s a good thing.  Let God deal with this person & show them the truth.  When He does it, there won’t be any doubt it’ll be done the best way possible!

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Another Reason People Side With Abusers

I’ve discussed why people side with abusers many times over the years since I began speaking out against narcissistic abuse.  It seems like there are countless reasons for this despicable behavior & God shows me more & more reasons for it as time goes on.  He has shown me yet another reason, & that is what I plan to discuss today.

I know many people think there is no point in understanding this type of behavior.  It’s terrible & that is the end of it in their minds.  If that works for you, then feel free to skip this post.  Some of us have learned that understanding the motives of others helps us to recognize we aren’t to blame & that the abuse perpetrated on us isn’t personal.  It’s about the incredible dysfunction of other people.  Being this type of person, I want to share my discoveries when I learn about what makes people behave so badly.

I was thinking about something.  My in-laws tend to side with people who treat their family members badly & reject others who are good to them.  That has baffled me for years.  At first, I thought it was simply about their dysfunction.  Maybe they just couldn’t recognize healthy behavior.  They also hate what is different from them.  Getting out of one’s comfort zone can be painful, after all.  Something else occurred to me though, & I think it is a very common way people think.

People can succeed in making abuse seem normal or even acceptable by siding with abusers & shaming victims.  If they can do that, they can make the victim seem wrong for being traumatized.  If abuse is normal, & the victim is traumatized by something normal that proves the victim is the problem, not the abuser.  This works well for both abusers & their enablers.

This works well for abusers because that means they don’t need to have any remorse for their abusive deeds.  If abuse is normal, there is no reason to feel badly about doing something normal.  That would be like feeling badly for buying a loaf of bread.  There also is no reason to stop the abuse if it is normalized.  Abusers can keep on doing whatever they want to do to their victims when that happens, because it is simply normal.

Siding with abusers also works well for abuse enablers, because when the abuse is normalized & acceptable, it means they don’t have to feel guilt for failing to help or protect the victim.  Siding with abusers by acting as if victims are wrong helps abuse enablers feel like they are ok, they are normal, while also making them feel that victims are the wrong & awful ones by being upset for no good reason.  In this mindset, victims are wrong so these enablers have no reason to feel badly for how they have treated victims.

The next time someone betrays you by siding with the narcissist in your life, please remember that their behavior is more about their own shortcomings & dysfunction than it is about you.  Don’t allow them to make you feel badly for being abused.  The only people who should feel badly about your situation are your abuser & the cowardly people who enable the abuser.  Don’t carry their shame!  Be proud of yourself for surviving what you have survived!

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When People Refuse To Choose Sides

It seems that so many people, even professing Christians find remaining neutral in conflicts to be an admirable quality.  On the surface, it looks decent enough.  The neutral person may listen to both people in a conflict & offer support to them both.  And in some rare situations, this is good.  Usually maintaining a neutral position isn’t fine though.  In fact, Elie Wiesel, who survived three Nazi death camps & spent his life honoring & speaking for victims of the Holocaust, mentioned this topic.  He received a Nobel Peace Prize for his work, & during his acceptance speech said many wonderful things.  One part of the speech says, “We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere.”

Consider being friends with a couple who is getting a divorce.  They are doing so because prior to getting married, they failed to consider some important issues, such as whether or not to have children.  Now that they’re married, they can’t reach an agreement, & have decided it’s best to go their separate ways.  Their divorce is amicable.  Both parties in this situation deserve support because neither is wrong.  They are doing what they think is best for them under the circumstances.

Consider a different angle on this situation.  Instead of the divorce being based on innocent & naïve mistakes on both their parts, imagine one person is abusing the other.  That person is not only unfaithful, but verbally abusive, has ruined the other’s credit, stolen money, isolated them from the people who love them & more.  Then as the icing on the cake, rather than simply walking away, that person fights the divorce, or maybe even tries to take the innocent spouse for whatever money & possessions they have left.  Would you give this abusive, awful person the same compassion & respect as their innocent victim?  I would certainly hope not. 

Yet, people in such situations support abusers like this all of the time.  They don’t do this by openly encouraging the abuser to hurt the victim, but by claiming to remain neutral. 

People who want to remain neutral support abusers by not calling out their bad behavior, even going so far as to protect them from the natural consequences they should receive.  These people may lie to other people to make the abusers look good, even law enforcement.  This behavior shows abusers that they can do whatever they please without fear of repercussions & with unwavering support.  Basically it gives abusers a free pass to abuse whoever in any ways they would like.

These neutral people also tell victims that they don’t want to hear them talk about their abuser because “they won’t take sides”.  They minimize the victim’s pain & deprive them of much needed help & emotional support by remaining neutral.  Victims in this type of situation can be very vulnerable after experiencing so much trauma, & being treated this way affects them very negatively.  Some even become so ashamed of being traumatized that they resume toxic relationships.   Most learn quickly to stop discussing their pain, forcing their emotions deep down inside & avoid dealing with them in a healthy way so those painful emotions manifest in terribly unhealthy ways such as self harm, depression, even suicide.

On a larger scale, being neutral allows all kinds of terrible things to happen in society.  People truly need to be held accountable for bad behavior so they learn not to continue behaving that way.  While most narcissists won’t learn, at least holding them accountable shows them that not everyone is going to tolerate their abuse silently.  Even if their victim doesn’t stand up to them, if someone else does, that still gives them that valuable lesson.  It also shows their victim that someone cares for them, which can be an invaluable lesson to someone who has been told repeatedly they are unworthy of love by a narcissist.

The next time you are in a position of having the choice of remaining neutral or speaking up for victims, then please choose to speak up!  Don’t be stuck feeling like you’re caught in the middle.  You aren’t, no matter who the abuser is!  Make a choice & stand by it! 

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Narcissist’s Lies & The Truth

Have you ever noticed out “loud” lies are compared to the truth?

This is especially evident with narcissists & their flying monkeys during their smear campaigns after their victims have ended the relationship.  When they want to convince everyone who will listen that their victim is lying, wrong about everything & even crazy, they pretty much shout it from the rooftops.  They have no problem insulting them to anyone who will listen with blatantly cruel insults or lies.  In the case of covert narcissists, they use fake concern to smear their victims by saying things like, “I’m so worried about him.  He ended our relationship for no reason at all!  But before that, he was so angry at me all the time.  I’m afraid he isn’t mentally stable!”

The loud lies aren’t always during a smear campaign though.  Narcissists will smear their victims to others here & there during the relationship.  My ex husband told his mother I was extremely sensitive & she needed to watch how she spoke to me.  She told me this & we were confused why he said that since it wasn’t true.  He, like many narcissists, was thinking preemptively.  By saying that, I believe the goal was to make his mother think any complaints I had about him were a result of me being oversensitive, not him being abusive.

When the lies are what most people believe, it can be incredibly frustrating!  You often want to scream the truth from the rooftops as loudly as narcissists scream their lies.  Unfortunately, doing that is utterly fruitless.  It seems as if it somehow proves to those who believe the lies that the narcissist is right.  If you’re so angry about what they say, you must be offended by the truth.  If you say the narcissist is wrong, obviously you’re lying about that poor narcissist.  How could you be so mean to him or her?! 

One thing I have learned after watching such events happen over & over again is that the truth WILL come to the surface.  The truth is not like lies.  Lies demand to be heard & acknowledged.  The truth quietly exists, allowing others to believe it or not as they wish.  The situation with my ex mother in-law?  Once she & I began to spend a lot of time together, she quickly realized what my ex husband said was a lie.  There is also the situation with my father.  He portrayed himself as a nice guy, a good old country boy is how I could best describe the image.  No one believed he was anything but that for a long time.  Eventually he barged into my home, demanding my husband let him speak to me, even accusing my husband of abusing me & keeping me from him.  The mask came off that day.  My husband finally realized he wasn’t such a nice guy once he was on the receiving end of some obvious attacks at the hand of my father. 

Whatever the narcissist says to others about you is going to hurt.  Sadly there is no escaping that fact.  However, rather than try to convince others of the truth, it is best to stay quiet.  Refuse to defend yourself.  There is no point & it’ll only frustrate you.  Let people believe whatever they want to believe.  You simply go on about your life & let your good character shine.

The more you heal from narcissistic abuse, the easier this is.  You learn to appreciate greatly truth over falsehood, integrity over sketchy behavior, Godly love over what narcissists call love, those who will stand by you no matter what instead of those who run at the first sign of trouble & more.  You get to a place where the lies may sting, but they won’t devastate you.  Sometimes you can even laugh about the ridiculousness of them.  You also are grateful for those who believe the lies & abandon you because you know they aren’t your people.  They’re the narcissist’s, & you don’t want people like that in your life.  You realize that what is said about you doesn’t define you, so it isn’t important.  You realize there are many more important & wonderful things that deserve your focus much more than the lies spoken by ill informed fools, & you appreciate them. 

So no matter what, keep focusing on your healing & well being.  It is well worth it in so many ways!

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Special Days After Escaping Narcissistic Abuse

Special days after escaping narcissistic abuse can be very odd & very difficult days.  Many narcissists make holidays miserable in some fashion.  The overt narcissists may do everything they can to ruin the day by starting some ridiculous drama as a way to sap the enjoyment out of the day for everyone else.  Or, the covert narcissists may work hard to make special days extravagant so they may be praised for all their hard work, & make people think they’re so wonderful because there is nothing they won’t do for their family.  Whichever the case, special days make a very deep & lasting impression on victims of narcissistic abuse, & sometimes they can be very difficult even after the abuse has ended.

My late mother in-law controlled the big holidays & some special days such as her & my late father in-law’s birthdays & their anniversary.  Everyone was expected to show up to her get togethers, no excuses not to, & bask in all the hard work she put into making these days special.  I wasn’t overly fond of holidays to start with because my ex in-laws, although not narcissists, also expected certain things on the holidays & there was no excuse not to do them.  I already was fed up with holiday demands, & my mother in-law’s behavior didn’t help!  As a result, I still hate holidays even years after my last attendance at such events.  I’ve tried creating new traditions or doing things I enjoy on the day to counteract my negative mindset, but nothing has worked.  Most holidays & special days are now just another day to me at best or at worst days I dread.

In my family, my grandparents made July 4th into a celebration combined with a family reunion.  As a kid, I loved it.  I got to see my two favorite people, my grandparents, & it was always a fun time with my family lots of fireworks.  It’s only been in the very recent past that it occurred to me that most of those people I was so happy to see each July 4th are narcissists.  I can think of eight people off the top of my head that have been utterly cruel to me.  That’s a lot of people in just one family!

Since you’re reading this, it’s safe to assume your story is similar.  I’m sorry for that.  My hope is to help you to handle this situation in a healthy way.

I always recommend prayer as the best place to start because, well, it is.  God knows us much better than even we do, & is infinitely smarter than us.  What better source could there be for help?!  Just ask Him to help you to in this situation & He will. 

You can try creating new traditions that have nothing to do with the narcissist, too.  Do something that is pretty much the opposite of what the narcissist did.  Create a calm environment without pointless drama.  Rather than participate in the usual traditions, do something unique like take a trip somewhere you like.  For example, instead of spending Christmas exchanging gifts & eating turkey & all the usual fixings, go to the beach for a couple of days.  Or, maybe go to the mountains or go skiing with friends.  After doing this once you might want to make it an annual tradition.

If this doesn’t help you to find some joy in special days, I understand totally since it didn’t help me much either.  It’s ok!  Instead, you could write out what you feel in your journal, leaving nothing out.  Granted, this isn’t going to add a lot of fun to your day, but it may help you to figure out how you can begin to enjoy special days again. At least it’ll help purge you of negative feelings.

If your situation is more like what I described with my family, you once enjoyed gatherings & only later realized there were many narcissists there, you’re going to need to grieve.  This is a loss, finding out your family members are narcissists, & it should be treated as such if you are to move past this painful realization.  It’s important to remember that moving past it is a realistic goal.  Getting over it may not happen.  Hopefully it will, but if you find that you simply can’t, don’t beat yourself up over it.  I haven’t been able to get over the realization with my family either.  It still hurts, but so much less than it once did.  And, once you get to a place of healing, you might be able to find joy in special days by doing things you like & creating new memories.

I wish you the best in your healing journey! xoxo

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About My Print Books

I recently received an email from my print book publisher. There are difficulties with supply chain delays, so they recommend customers expect to receive their books in at least 3 weeks. Usually, the time is much shorter.

I was thinking about this & how it can affect my readers, I had some thoughts.

  • Ebooks are cheaper, easier to hide from abusers, & are ready for reading the moment they are purchased. They’re a great option if money is tight, you live with your abuser, don’t want him or her to know you’re reading such material, &/or are in a rush to read a book. I urge you to consider buying the ebook version of my books rather than print if you are in such situations. They can be found at this link: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CynthiaBaileyRug
  • If you still prefer the print copy, you have two options:
    • If you’re not in a hurry, you can simply order from my website as normal. Just be prepared for possible delays. They can be ordered at the following link: https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug
    • I always have copies of most of my books to have available for anyone who would like to buy them directly from me. I can sell & ship them myself at a slightly lower price than my publisher because as the author, I get a discount on my books. I also can ship via media mail (slow but cheap) or priority mail (fast but more expensive), buyer’s choice. Simply contact me at CynthiaBaileyRug@aol.com & let me know what book(s) you would like. I’ll figure out your price & get back to you asap. I also added this information to my website so it’ll be readily available & easier to find than this blog post. Just visit my site at any time at: www.CynthiaBaileyRug,com

Thank you for your patience & understanding! It is very appreciated!!

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Warrior For Truth

On the morning of July 30, 2016, I woke up from a very odd dream.  In it, I saw my in-laws.  I was keeping a distance when one of my sisters in-law approached me.  My personality in the dream was as it is in real life, & I wanted nothing to do with her due to her past treatment of my husband & I.  She meekly mentioned seeing information about narcissism & then talked about their family.  She said reading this made her realize how bad things were.  I told her I was glad for her because now she can heal.  Then I woke up. 

I try to pray each morning before I get up, but this particular morning, it was a struggle.  I kept thinking about the strange dream & wondering what it meant.  God told me that the way I was in the dream is how I am.  I value truth over everything else.  He called me “a warrior for truth.”

That phrase has stuck in the back of my mind ever since that dream.  And, the older I get, the more I realize just how true it is.  I need only truth in all areas of my life & all of my relationships.

Truth also helps so much with healing from narcissistic abuse.  Learning what the problem was with my relationships helped me to realize that although I did make plenty of mistakes, I wasn’t completely to blame as others claimed I was.  For years I carried the blame around for causing other people such heartache & so many problems when the truth was they weren’t my innocent victims as they portrayed themselves to be.

Truth also helped me to have some compassion on those who were abusive to me.  Learning why they turned into narcissists or seeing that they had no desire to change their behavior in spite of being miserable gave me a degree of compassion for them which helped me to pray for them while also accepting that they were too dysfunctional to be in a relationship with.

Clearly what Jesus said about the truth will set us free is absolutely accurate! 

Sadly though, we live in a world where truth isn’t always as valued as it should be.  So many people are comfortable in their dysfunction & would rather avoid the truth if at all possible.  They are afraid of leaving their comfort zone, so they believe comfortable lies rather than facing the ugly truth.  Certainly feeling that way is understandable!  Truth is wonderful but sometimes it can be scary & painful too.  The fact however is that even if the truth is painful, it’s still so much better than lies & dysfunction!

Facing the truth means your relationships are healthy, functional & genuine.  You can trust those in relationship with you to have your best interests at heart as you have theirs.  You know they won’t lie or deliberately hurt you.  They also will value you highly because they know you too won’t lie to them or deliberately cause you pain.  They know you’re someone of integrity.

Facing truth also means that although some things in life are incredibly difficult, you know you’ll get through the pain & come out just fine on the other side. Certainly that is much better than working so hard to hide from pain your whole life.  Isn’t a season of pain better than a lifetime of it?

Please consider what I’ve said.  If you’re struggling with facing the truth, just know that it truly is worth doing in spite of the fear.  I can promise you that!

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How Close Is Too Close In Families?

Most people want to be a part of a close knit family.  That can be a wonderful thing, but there is also such a thing as being too close.

Some examples of being too close are as follows:

  • When boundaries aren’t respected or are non existent in a family.
  • Parents not allowing their children privacy, no matter the age.  Parents that look through their children’s diary, bedroom, wallets, purses, cars, etc.
  • Parents relying on their children for emotional support, which is parentification.
  • When parents discourage their children from growing up & becoming independent.
  • When adult children’s lives center around their parents.
  • When married adult children prioritize their parents over their spouse.
  • When adult children will tolerate anything because they are afraid to deal with the fallout of saying no.
  • When someone marries into the family, & is treated like an outsider while frequently being reminded they aren’t good enough & never will be.

Families that display this type of behavior are known as enmeshed families.

Enmeshment is an extremely dysfunctional family dynamic.  It may be passed down through generations, it can be brought about by a family experiencing trauma, abuse, illness or it can be due to engulfing narcissistic parents.

Children who grow up in this type of environment suffer for it.  They are often burdened with trying to care for their parents when they aren’t prepared to do so, which leaves them feeling overly responsible for the feelings of them as well as others.  These children also lack a connection to their wants, needs & feelings due to prioritizing their parents’ over theirs.  They grow up not nearly as independent as they should be, often expecting their parents to tell them what to do with their lives in every area including things only they should decide like when to move out or who to marry.

This treatment also leaves children in a confused state.  In one way, they are child like, yet in another they are supposed to be wise & mature enough to handle their parent treating them like a friend or substitute spouse.  They also lack the ability to self sooth in tough times, are very disconnected from their emotions & often suffer with anxiety.  Relationships are a challenge & healthy one are impossible because the parents are always their top priority.

Once the child of an enmeshed family realizes what is happening, he or she is rarely supported.  Outsiders see the family’s facade of being close & happy, & believe that is true.  When this usually adult child begins to speak about the problem, people often minimize or invalidate his or her concerns because they have seen only the close, happy family facade.  They believe this person’s concerns to be unsubstantiated, & he or she should just be glad to have a close family.  Whether intentions are good or bad when saying this, it still is very upsetting & invalidating when you are in this situation!

If you are in this situation, there is hope!  To heal, you need to lean on God first.  He will help you to see what you need to do & how to do it.

You also need to start learning about & setting boundaries.  This is tough, but it can be done.  Start very small, such as not answering the phone every time your parent calls or if they want you to come visit a certain day, try to do it another day.  Tiny steps like this give you some power.  That power enables you to set more boundaries & more yet.  Before you know it, you’ll have this boundaries thing down pat!

Get to know yourself.  The real you, not the you your parents say you are.  Learn about your likes, dislikes, goals, morals, beliefs, strengths, weaknesses & everything you can possibly think of.  Accept your feelings on everything without judgment or criticism, & question if these feelings are truly yours or your parents’.

Recognize you have no valid reasons to feel guilty for doing this.  You aren’t harming anyone & you are helping yourself.  Your parents are going to hurt at first, but that isn’t a bad thing.  You need your independence & are entitled to it, & they need to learn a healthier way to live.

Remember, you can do this & be so much stronger, healthier & happier than ever before!

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20% Off Print Books Until November 5!!

My publisher is offering a discount of 20% off all of my print books until Friday November 5, 2021. Use code EARLYBIRD20 at checkout.

My books can be found at the link below…

https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

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One Thing You Can Expect After Going No Contact With A Narcissist

Some abusive people are relentless.  They abuse their victims for years, sometimes their entire lifetime or their victims’ lifetime.  When their victims finally sever ties, this should mean the end of the abuse, but often it doesn’t.  Abusers are notorious for harassing & even stalking their victims, sometimes for years after the victim ended the relationship.  Not all abusers do this however.  Sometimes, they send out their evil minions to do their dirty work.

Flying monkeys is a commonly used term used to describe the evil minions who help narcissists abuse their victims.  They are quick to tell victims that they need to fix the relationship with the narcissist because the narcissist is such a wonderful person.  They not only sing the narcissist’s praises, but they use guilt & shame to try to manipulate victims into tolerating the abuse.  They say things like, “He is so miserable without you!”  “Your mom isn’t getting any younger..”  “You only get one set of parents!”

You would think once the relationship is over, the flying monkeys’ jobs would be over too, but sadly, that’s not always the case.  These mindless cronies still take their work seriously & can amp up their dysfunctional tasks.  Sometimes they will try contacting victims even years after the victim removed the narcissist from their life.  Sometimes they do it because they think now that time has passed, the victim has had the time to “get over” whatever the narcissist did to them, so now they’ll listen to the flying monkey’s logic about why they should resume the relationship.  Other times, they are on fact finding missions for the narcissist, hoping to find out whatever the narcissist wants to know about the victim.  Most times it seems they are hoping to find the victim is utterly miserable & destitute without the narcissist.  Still other times, these flying monkeys do it just to harass the victim while telling themselves they’re simply trying to help, which, in true covert narcissist fashion, enables them to think they’re good people.  Whichever the case, their behavior boils down to creating strife in the victim’s life, & that is something that the Bible speaks against very strongly.

Strife means to create discord, clash with or to antagonize another person.  Naturally strife can lead to other problems such as anger, hatred or thoughts of revenge, which is probably why the Bible speaks so harshly against it.  Galatians 5:19-21 in the Amplified translation of the Bible says, “19Now the practices of the sinful nature are clearly evident: they are sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality (total irresponsibility, lack of self-control), 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions [that promote heresies], 21 envy, drunkenness, riotous behavior, and other things like these. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

People who are willing to start such strife do so for various reasons, none of which are good.  Proverbs 15:18 describes the type of person who starts strife in various ways in different translations.  Hot tempered, quick tempered, wrathful, & hothead are some of the words used in that particular Scripture.  Proverbs 16:28 also describes this type of person as a troublemaker, perverse & even evil.  Another motivation for some people is hatred, according to Proverbs 10:12.  Pride is yet another motivation which is mentioned in Proverbs 13:10 & 28:25.  The pride aspect proves my theory that many flying monkeys are covert narcissists.  They interfere because not only do they enjoy abusing, but they think they look like good people just trying to help fix a damaged relationship.

The best way to deal with flying monkeys is not to deal with them if at all possible.  No matter who they are, there is Biblical evidence that there is no need to have a person like this in your life.  Proverbs 22:10 says, “Drive out the scoffer, and contention will go away; Even strife and dishonor will cease.”  A scoffer is someone who mocks others or treats others with contempt.  That is often the perfect description of not only narcissists but their flying monkeys as well, so I believe this Scripture applies to them all.  Protect yourself & remove these dreadful people from your life if you can.  There is no good reason to tolerate such awful behavior from anyone!

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Valuable Knowledge For Victims Of Narcissistic Abuse

At the time I’m writing this, it is October 27, 2021.  Four years ago at this time, my father’s funeral was taking place.  I remember the day well & following is why.  I believe what I learned that day can help those of you who follow my work, so I’d like to share my story with you.

Years before my father died, he gave me a Bible I’d given him as a gift years before.  He said he wanted me to be sure it was in the casket with him when he died.  For a long time, it sat on a shelf in a closet, sadly waiting for that day.  Shortly after he died in October, 2017, I remembered that Bible.  Although we were no contact at the time of his death, I knew I had to honor my word & be sure that Bible was in his casket.  Before the funeral, my husband & I went to the funeral home & spoke to a very lovely lady who told me she’d be sure it was in the casket where no one could see it, then prayed over my husband & I.  Something else very interesting happened at that time though.

Prior to giving the Bible to the funeral home, I thought I should check inside it.  My father kept things everywhere, so maybe he had things stored in the Bible.  Turned out he did.  I found receipts, greeting cards & notes in there.  Upon removing these items, I realized the notes spoke about the abuse my mother forced upon me in my childhood.  I put everything aside because I knew I wasn’t able to handle whatever was said in those notes.  I tried not to think of them because I was so upset about not only his passing but my abusive & horrible family’s behavior at that time & knew I couldn’t handle the content of those notes just yet.

The day of my father’s funeral, I decided to read those notes & was stunned with what I learned.  I knew my father didn’t know all of the abuse from my mother, but the notes showed me he knew far more than I realized.  I became angry, because he knew quite a bit, but did nothing to help me.

A bit later that same day, I was doing some housework.  I told my Amazon Echo Dot to play music by Wham!  I thought fun 80’s music could be a distraction from the sadness of the day & anger.  Interestingly though, rather than playing what I asked her to, she said, “Here’s music by Waylon Jennings…” & immediately played “Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line.”  I was shocked because she never misunderstood me.  I love Waylon Jennings’ music, as did my father, so I figured let it go.  Oddly I didn’t know that song.  I thought I’d heard all of his music, & learned I was wrong.  I stopped what I was doing to listen to it & was stunned with what happened.

If you don’t know, “Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line” is about a man married to an awful wife, yet he stays with her in spite of being fed up.  As I listened to the song, I knew in my heart that song was basically God saying, “This is how your father felt.”  Not making excuses for his behavior or saying anything like “forgive & forget because..” or, “You can’t be mad, because….”  This was simply an explanation as to why my father failed to protect me from my mother.  While that made me angry at my father for failing to realize he could’ve protected me, it also gave me some peace.  For so long I wondered why my father let my mother treat me so badly.  I finally had an answer.

For those of you who have also been abused by a narcissist, if you have the opportunity to learn why a narcissist abused you, or why your other parent failed to protect you better from your narcissistic parent, I would encourage you to learn all you can.  Learning the reason for the abuse or the failure to protect you obviously doesn’t make everything ok.  It probably is going to make you angry.  But, it also may help you to realize that the abuse truly had nothing to do with you.  Yes, you were the victim of some very unfair & horrible treatment, but that doesn’t mean that you deserved it!  It means that your abuser was pretty messed up to think it’s ok to treat you that way.  It also means anyone who thinks that treatment of you is ok or failed to help or protect you is just as messed up as the narcissist.  This knowledge is priceless!  It’s also so freeing!  The truth really does set you free!  It may not miraculously deliver you from all damage done, but it sure will help you if you’re struggling with thoughts like what you did to deserve the abuse or make the narcissist treat you so badly. No one who has been abused should have to deal with such thoughts.

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Please Help! Thank You!

Not my typical post today, but I would like to ask my readers to consider contributing to this cause. I swear to you, I do NOT benefit if you make a donation! This is the real deal.

I know the family in this situation personally & they are some really wonderful, amazing people. I can assure you that this is a genuine need. The little girl in question is being abused & her family is trying to protect her. Donations are for an attorney to help bring Myia to safety. More details are on the link below.

Even if you can’t financially contribute, your prayers are more than welcomed! Thank you!!! ❤

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