Category Archives: Abuse and the Healing Journey

Information Cynthia has learned about abuse and recovery.

A Little About Boundaries

People who don’t understand Narcissistic Personality Disorder, flying monkeys in particular, seem to all think that setting boundaries & limits on a narcissist’s abusive behavior is a terrible thing to do.  If the victim is a Christian, these people often add in that those limits are “ungodly”, “unloving” & even “not honoring your parents.”  If a victim wants to divorce a narcissistic spouse, people are quick to point out the Scripture that says, “God hates divorce!” or “wives submit to your husbands” while leaving out anything else that can elaborate on these verses.

The fact however, is that these people are entirely wrong.  Boundaries are loving, Godly & honorable.

You can’t change anyone’s behavior of course, but boundaries set the stage to encourage a person to behave in a better way.  Good boundaries also show people how to treat others in a healthy way by displaying clearly what a person will & will not tolerate.

Consequences when someone disregards another’s boundaries also give a person a choice.  They can change their behavior for the better & receive a better, healthier relationship in return for their efforts.  Or, they can continue their bad behavior & suffer the negative consequences, such as someone terminating the relationship with them.

It is a loving thing to do to help people behave in a more Godly & loving way.

What is not a loving thing to do is enabling bad behavior.  Tolerating abuse is far from loving.  How could it be a loving thing to do to encourage someone to participate in bad, abusive & yes even sinful behavior?  It isn’t loving at all nor is it Godly!  Yet it seems like so many people think this is the case, & will twist Scripture around in an attempt to convince other people this is true.

And, on the opposite side of that same coin, how is it loving to tolerate things that cause pain?  How does that sort of behavior benefit anyone?  It only hurts victims & tells abusers that their awful behavior is fine.

I know this post is a very brief & basic one today, Dear Reader, but I felt the need to put it out there anyway.  I feel someone needs this simple reminder, so here it is.  Keep your boundaries in place & keep enforcing them!  Anyone who doesn’t respect them is the one with the problem, not you.  You aren’t a bad Christian or unloving spouse or adult child for having boundaries.  You are simply giving someone the natural consequences of their behavior, as things should be.  People reap what they so, as the Scripture says…..

Galatians 6:7-8 “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked [He will not allow Himself to be ridiculed, nor treated with contempt nor allow His precepts to be scornfully set aside]; for whatever a man sows, this and this only is what he will reap.  8 For the one who sows to his flesh [his sinful capacity, his worldliness, his disgraceful impulses] will reap from the flesh ruin and destruction, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” (AMP)

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Narcissists & Cars

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Escaping The Scapegoat Role

When you’re the family scapegoat, not only do your narcissistic parents abuse you, but other relatives as well.  It seems that people think if your own parents abuse you, doing so much be acceptable behavior.  It’s a miserable life!  It doesn’t have to stay that way though!  You can break out of the scapegoat role!

To start, you’re going to need to get to know yourself so you know what you will & won’t tolerate. Pay attention to how you really feel about everything.  Question yourself.  Do you like or dislike things because that is genuinely your taste or because your parent told you to?  Writing things down may be a big help to you.

Look at yourself objectively, & recognize the truth about yourself.  The more you do this, the more you’ll learn to reject the terrible things your abusers have told you about yourself & the healthier your self esteem will become.  If it helps, write things down.  Maybe write down what they have said about you, & what you observed about yourself.

Learn to stop explaining yourself.  Your abusers don’t deserve to know why you do or don’t do things.  It isn’t their business.  If you feel you must offer an explanation, keep the explanation to a minimum, such as comments like, “I already have plans.”  The less information narcissists have, the less they can use to hurt or control you.

Learn about boundaries.  When you grow up with narcissistic parents, you have absolutely no concept of boundaries.  Narcissistic parents & their children often blur together.  Their children are merely extensions of their parents.  That is terribly unhealthy!  Make healthy changes & learn about boundaries.  Learn where you end & other’s begin, & what is & is not your responsibility.  Narcissists hate boundaries because they make a person much harder to control, so at first the narcissist in your life may fight your new boundaries.  Keep learning & growing though!  Your mental health will appreciate it!

Learn about Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  You can’t possibly fully understand it, I don’t think anyone can.  You can get a decent grasp as to what motivates narcissists & what they do, however, which will help you to cope with them.  You will learn what to expect from them which will help you to figure out ways to deal with the behavior when it happens.  And, when you get a revelation on the fact that they have some serious problems, you won’t take their abusive behavior as personally.  You will recognize that they act as they do because they have issues.  This makes their behavior hurt less, & makes you less easily manipulated.

As a bonus, learning about Narcissistic Personality Disorder also helps you when it comes to the narcissist’s flying monkeys.  I firmly believe many flying monkeys are narcissists since they display so many narcissistic behaviors.  Plus, whether or not they are, when you realize that people are blindly supporting someone as wicked as a narcissist, that also gives you a new perspective on them.  You realize their opinions on your life are worthless because anyone who would want you to maintain such a horrible, destructive & dysfunctional relationship clearly doesn’t care about you.

Breaking free of the family scapegoat role can be intimidating at first, but I promise you, it is well worth the effort you put into it!  You can’t help abusive people live their lives in a healthy way, but at least you can prevent them from putting their dysfunction & abuse on you!

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Grooming

One very common tactic of narcissistic abusers, parents in particular it seems, is called grooming.

Grooming is a two fold process….

Narcissists work very hard to groom their victims.  In other words, they convince the victim that he or she is to blame for all of the problems in the relationship.  If the victim would just do *fill in the blank* then the narcissistic abuser wouldn’t do whatever it is that upsets the victim.  So many of us have heard such ridiculous statements from our abusers as, “You made me hit you!” or, “If you wouldn’t have done what you did, I wouldn’t have had to do what I did.”  On my seventeenth birthday, my mother destroyed the gifts my now ex husband gave me.  She blamed me for making her do it because, according to her, I was “acting snotty.”  The fact is, I knew she hated him & would be angry he gave me gifts.  I didn’t want to take those gifts home, but I had no other choice.  I was quiet when I got in her car after school that day, because I was blindly terrified of my mother’s rage.  In her mind, my fear was “acting snotty” & an excuse to do what she did.

Grooming victims also means that the victim will feel guilt & even shame for making the relationship with the narcissist so incredibly unhealthy.  They will do their best to fix this relationship & please the narcissist.  Grooming makes victims very easy to manipulate & abuse.  After all, if someone truly believes that they are the problem, they will do whatever they can to make the relationship better.  They also will listen to whoever has convinced them that they are the problem, because obviously, in their mind anyway, this person knows better than they do how to fix things.

Narcissists also do their best to groom other people.  This means that they convince other people that the victim is the real problem in the relationship.  This works well for narcissists, because so long as other people believe this lie, they will never believe that the victim is anything but a problem.  The victim is the reason the narcissist acts the way she does.  The victim provokes the narcissist, or lies about the narcissist, or at least that is what is told to other people.  This insures that the victim is not believed when he or she decides to speak up about the narcissist.  These people always believe the victim to be nothing but trouble, so they won’t believe anything this person has to say about the narcissist.  The narcissistic abuser can do whatever they want & no one will believe the victim about how awful this person is.

In either case, the victim is not believed, so the abuser can continue their reign of terror without fear of anyone believing that she is the evil monster that she is.

Unfortunately, no victim of narcissistic abuse can avoid grooming or convince others that the narcissist is lying about the situation.  The only ways that I have learned to deal with this awful behavior are as follows..

Ignore those who believe the narcissist over you.  Yes, it hurts.  Yes, you’re going to lose people you thought were on your side.  However, one good thing is that you will learn who truly loves you.

Anyone who does not blindly believe what the narcissist in your life says about you is on your side.  Normal people question things, & do not blindly believe anything, in particular stories told of people they are close to.

Anyone who gets angry upon hearing the lies the narcissist says about you is also on your side.  Loving people are protective of those they care about, & also have no patience for people lying about them.

If someone is willing to share anything you say with the narcissist or tell you why what you feel is completely wrong, these are also red flags.  These red flags are signs of a flying monkey, someone who cares only about the narcissist, & nothing about you.

And, never forget to stand strong in the truth.  You know what has happened.  You also know what the narcissist in your life has said happened.  Stick to the truth, what really happened.  Remember narcissists lie a LOT, & do not believe the lies!

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When Your “Good” Parent Is A Covert Narcissist

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Regaining Your Inner Strength

In a previous post, I mentioned that I found some notes my father wrote concerning the abuse my mother inflicted on me.  He had put them in the Bible he wanted me to place in his casket upon his death.

Since reading those notes, I hadn’t thought too much about them.  It hurt too much & made me angry.  Basically, from what I gathered from his notes, knowing him & what God spoke to me about the situation, it boiled down to my father let my mother abuse me because he felt unable to protect me.  He didn’t have the inner strength to protect me, let alone himself.  While it’s true he also got a degree of narcissistic supply from the situation, in this post, I want to focus on the lack of inner strength only.

Narcissistic abuse can sap a person of so much, including their inner strength.  You can feel as if there is no point in trying anything, because anything you do is wrong, according to the narcissist.  They also tell victims things like no one else will ever care about them like the narcissist does, you can’t trust anyone else, & you’re lucky the narcissist loves you because no one else would.  These statements can destroy any sense of hope in a victim.  Without hope, there seems to be no point in trying to escape the abuse or even protect yourself from it.  If you have children with the narcissist in your life, it also seems hopeless to protect them.

As difficult as it is, please try to regain your inner strength!!  No one deserves to be treated the way a narcissist treats their victim, & that includes you.  I’m sure the narcissist told you that you deserve whatever they do to you, or that you make them act the way they do, but that is not true!  It’s a lie to justify their abuse.

If you continue to tolerate this abuse, there is also the chance it could make you suicidal.  Many victims have experienced that, including me.  That is a terrible place to be, & one where you don’t deserve to be.  You deserve to be happy & living a life free of abuse, not one where you’re planning your own death.  I know it can look like the only escape you have, but that isn’t true!  There are ways out, & you can find them!

If you have children, think about them.  One of your jobs as the parent to protect them, & that includes protecting them from any abusive person, even if that abuser is their other parent.

If you think you should stay with your narcissistic partner “for the sake of the children”, think about what kind of example you’re setting for them by doing so.  You’re showing them that they should tolerate abuse, & that people can treat them any old way they want to.  They also see your partner abusing you, which sends them the message it’s ok to abuse you.  This can lead to children who become angry at their parent for failing to protect them & treat the parent badly, even abusively.

If the narcissist in question is your children’s grandparent, I want you to think about something.  Do you remember how your parent made you feel when you were your child’s age?  Your parent is inflicting that same pain on your child.  Do you really want your child to feel as miserable & hopeless as you did?

To help you regain your inner strength, think about things that inspire you to be strong.  Sometimes a song makes me feel strong, other times it’s Scriptures in the Bible.  Even internet memes can be surprisingly inspiring sometimes.  I also read previous entries in my journal to remind me of things I’ve overcome since that helps strengthen me.

Most of all, I have found a close relationship with God to be the best thing to increase my inner strength.  I ask Him to give me strength & to help me as I need it.  Before my parents died, I asked those things often when I had to deal with them & God never failed to give me just what I needed at the time.  He will do the same for you.  Let Him help you, & do what you need to as well.  Before you know it, you’ll have your inner strength back.

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Signs Of Surviving Child Abuse In Adults, & Ways To Cope

There are some very clear ways to identify a survivor of child abuse.  These symptoms also are detrimental to the mental health of said survivors.  If you recognize these behaviors in yourself, then please don’t beat yourself up.  We’ve all been there!  Try to accept them as nothing more than a sign of having experienced some really terrible things, then find ways to heal from them however work best for you.

  • Blaming yourself for what happened.  Children seem to take the responsibility on for their parents’ bad behavior rather than face the fact that their parent has done something pretty terrible.  It’s totally normal!  However, it isn’t helpful once you’re an adult.  It’s ok to admit your parents were less than perfect, & yes, even cruel.  No child can make any parent abuse them, including you.  Abusive behavior lies squarely on the shoulder of all abusers, never their victims.  ALWAYS!
  • Accepting what your parents said as the gospel truth.  Abusive parents lie.  Period.  They also convince their children that their lies are the truth.  Not only that the abuse was the child’s fault, but that the child is unlovable, stupid, ugly, useless, no man/woman will ever want to marry that child & more.  It’s time to start challenging those false beliefs as they rise up in you.  Ask yourself, what evidence is there that what your parent told you is true?  I would guess there is no real evidence at all!
  • Unhealthy coping skills.  Watching too much TV, emotional eating, sex, shopping, drugs or alcohol.  Whatever coping skill used is unimportant.  The fact is the person using such coping skills is trying to avoid the pain inside.  Although these coping skills may have served you for some time, it’s time to retire them & face the pain.
  • Being a people pleaser.  Growing up afraid of rocking the boat where your parents are concerned can create a habit of people pleasing.  This is so unhealthy!  Of course, it’s good to care what people think.  When that rules your life & makes you do things that you disagree with or hurt you, however, there is a big problem!  Learn to say “no”.  It’s perfectly ok!
  • Lack of good self care.  Self care isn’t all bubble baths & eating ice cream.  Self care also involves taking good care of your physical & mental health, resting when tired, not overworking, & having good boundaries.

If you’re wondering where to start changing these behaviors in you, the best place I know of is what I always recommend.  Prayer.  Ask God to help you to be healthier & to heal from the trauma you have experienced.  He truly will!  One thing I do is when something comes up, I ask Him to tell me the truth about it.  “Am I right to feel *insert feeling here*?  Why or why not?” & listen for His response.

Read about the type of abuse you experienced.  Chances are, you’ll find other survivors experience similar things to you.  Learning there are others out there going through what you are can be extremely validating.  It also will help you to learn how to cope with what you’re experiencing when you see how other people got through it.

Do you keep a journal?  If not, now is the time to start!  Seeing things in writing can be so validating & clarifying.  It also can help you to keep track of the truth.  Abusers, narcissists in particular, love to reinvent the past, & lie about the present.  Having written documentation helps you to keep track of the truth so you don’t get lost in their lies.

I truly wish you the best, Dear Reader.  Facing pain & changing dysfunctional behavior isn’t easy.  However, it is worth it when you’re healthier, happier & behaving in a much more functional way.

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Three Likely Scenarios That May Happen After Going No Contact

Ending any type of relationship with a narcissist is always a challenge.  Whether that person is a friend, romantic partner or relative, it seems like the same basic actions happen often.

A person severs ties with the narcissist in their life.  The narcissist is upset, which of course is natural.  No one is happy that someone no longer wants them in their life.  The problem though is how narcissists handle the situation.  Most folks walk away, respect the other person’s boundary & move on however works for them.  Narcissists aren’t most folks.  Rather than simply walking away, they create chaos.

Many narcissists harass their victims after no contact has been implemented.  They don’t leave quietly with their dignity in tact.  Instead, they demand to know why the victim ended the relationship.  Victims usually tell narcissists why, but they don’t listen.  Instead they claim they have no clue why the victim is upset.  They may cry or beg the victim to come back.  They may rage in an attempt to scare the victim into coming back.  If the victim will not speak to them, narcissists have no problem calling, texting, emailing, etc. non stop in an attempt to wear down their victim so he or she will come back to them.  Having been on the receiving end of this, I can tell you it can be incredibly unnerving.  Anyone who spends so much time focused on making another person’s life miserable in an attempt to force that person to come back to the relationship clearly is not mentally stable.

There is also the notorious smear campaign.  Everyone has someone in their life that they don’t have the nicest things to say about.  Chances are though, that ruining that person’s reputation isn’t exactly a top priority with you even if that person did you very wrong.  Narcissists however, will not hesitate to tell anyone & everyone how terrible their victim is.  If they don’t have anything that is negative & true to say, they have no problem creating things to say.  They in particular seem to love claiming their victim is mentally unstable.  If someone tells you that they have crazy exes, for example, that can be a warning sign you’re dealing with a narcissist.  Pay attention to their behavior & you will figure out soon enough whether or not this person is a narcissist.

Narcissists also love to send out the flying monkeys.  Their devoted, wicked enablers are more than happy to carry out whatever wishes the narcissist has.  This often includes trying to “talk sense” into victims to make them return to the relationship or telling them how horrible they are for doing what they have done to the narcissist.

There is something interesting about all of these scenarios.  Not a bit of it makes any sense!  Why would anyone want to resume a relationship out of fear or guilt?  Yet, narcissists do these things anyway, fully expecting their victims to return to the horrible relationship.

If you end a relationship with a narcissist, you need to be aware that these situations are very likely to happen.  Their behavior is often shocking, even when you know it may happen.  Narcissists take things to such extremes, it’s hard not to be shocked.

If the narcissist in your life subjects you to these behaviors, remember to block all contact they & their flying monkeys have with you, document everything in case you need it to file charges, & don’t respond to the smear campaign no matter how hard it is.  Any acknowledgement that the narcissist is affecting you makes them feel powerful, so they will do the thing that made you react as you did more often.  Show them no reaction, block all access & enjoy your life without the narcissist in it!

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Using Christianity As A Means To Justify Abuse

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Doing Weird Things After Narcissistic Abuse

I’ve done something for so long, I didn’t even realize I did it until recently.  When I drive past a building with big glass windows or some sort of reflective surface, I look at myself driving.

Recently I caught myself doing this & thought, ok, I’m weird.  I’ve known this for years & accepted my weirdness.  This looking at myself driving thing though.. wow.  I don’t even like looking at myself in a mirror when I put on makeup or looking at pictures of myself.  Making my YouTubes is a big struggle for me, so why am I doing this?!

Suddenly it hit me… because when I was a teenager, I had to fight my mother terribly to get a driver’s license.  My friends were driving at 16, & their parents often bought them their first car.  Their parents put everything in their name to keep insurance costs down.  Meanwhile I had to fight my mother badly to get a license.  She wouldn’t even let me see my birth certificate.  She showed it to the employee at the Motor Vehicles Administration after shielding me from seeing it.  When I failed the first test, she told me she knew I would because I wasn’t ready to drive.  When I got my permit & wanted to get myself a car, she told me she’d take me shopping one day so I could see how stupid I was for thinking I could afford a car.  She picked a car out for me that I absolutely HATED.  It was ugly & over priced.

A month or so later, I picked out my first car & got my license.. here is a picture that my mother took of me with that special & I still think absolutely adorable little car..

Cyndi & Baby, November, 1989.jpg

This is me in 1989 with Baby, my 1978 Buick Skyhawk that I hope to restore one day.

I realized something recently…

The reason I still ogle myself driving when I can isn’t just because I like my pretty cars.  It’s because I never take driving for granted.  I had to fight hard to get my license.  I paid for my first car, insurance, maintenance & everything by myself.  I worked hard & accomplished what I wanted to.  No one can take that away from me.  My first car in particular is a symbol of that which is why she’s special to me &  I hope to restore her.  Driving any car reminds me of what I managed to accomplish on my own though, no thanks to my parents.  I’m proud of that, & seeing myself behind the wheel of a car, in particular my own, is a reminder of that.

I mentioned this to my husband recently & was rather nervous about admitting it.  He shocked me by understanding completely & said “You should be proud of that!  Celebrate it!  Enjoy driving!  Take pictures of yourself behind the wheel!”  That helped me to see that maybe I’m not as weird as I thought I was..

Is there anything “strange” you do that is like what I do?  If so, I want to encourage you to embrace that.  Don’t think of it as weird like I have done with looking at myself when driving.  Instead, celebrate it!  Be proud of whatever it is you have accomplished in spite of your narcissistic parent.  You did something on your own without the help of a narcissistic parent.  That isn’t an easy feat when you consider you have had a narcissistic parent or two trying to keep you down your whole life.  Be proud that you overcame that & still did whatever it is that you did.  It’s ok to be proud of yourself!  You deserve to feel that way!  xoxo

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When People Call Victims Of Narcissistic Abuse Abusive

Please pardon my goof at the beginning of this video!! Didn’t realize until I went to publish it that I said “This victim is about..” rather than “This video is about..” Quite frankly, I had no clue how to fix it other than redoing the whole thing & I didn’t want to! lol

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Signs You’ve Moved On After Your Narcissistic Ex

Ending a romantic relationship with a narcissist is tough.  Months or years of the constant gaslighting & abuse destroy a person’s self esteem while somehow leaving victims to feel as if they should appreciate the narcissist settling for loving them.  By the time a person ends such a relationship, their thinking is damaged, but they do realize that the narcissist was abusive.  At the same time, there is often a lot of guilt & doubt involved for ending the relationship.  I experienced it myself for quite some time after divorcing my ex husband.

After the relationship has ended though, you will feel so much better.  Time & distance from a narcissist give a person clarity & make room for healing to take place.  You may be wondering what signs you can look for that you have moved on from your narcissistic ex, & this post will explain some of them.

If your narcissistic ex tries to contact you, you have no desire to respond.  Narcissists are known for attempting to “hoover” their victims, in other words, lure them back into the dysfunctional relationship.  If you cringe when you see your ex’s phone number or email address rather than get excited, this is a big sign you have moved on.  And, if your ex reaches out to you constantly to the point of harassment, be sure you document everything.  Harassment & stalking laws are changing, & you may need that documentation if you have to get the law involved.

Having no desire to know what is happening in your ex’s life is another sign you’ve moved on.  It can be common when a couple first breaks up for at least one person in the relationship to want to know what the other is up to.  They may discreetly check out their social media or ask mutual friends about them.  Losing the desire to do these things shows you’re over that ex.

Another sign of moving on is when you no longer compare yourself to anyone that person is dating or has dated.  Narcissists love to compare their victims to others they deem more attractive, smarter, etc.  Being romantically involved with someone who does this, it can make you feel as if you have to not only measure up to their other romantic partners, but be much better than them.  Losing that baggage is incredibly freeing!

Their opinion of you means nothing to you anymore.  While it’s normal to some degree to want an ex to think you’re doing well without them, it can be easy to fall into the trap of wanting your narcissistic ex to think you’re doing a thousand times better without them.  When you stop thinking that way & couldn’t care less what he or she thinks of you, you have moved on.

Severing ties with toxic people is another sign you’ve moved on from a narcissistic ex.  After dealing with someone so toxic in such a close relationship, it’s easy to become tolerant of toxic people.  Deleting them from your life is a very healthy move in any case, but if it’s done after breaking up with a narcissist, it’s also a sign that you have moved on.

Gaining self confidence is another sign of moving on.  Narcissists do their best to obliterate their victim’s self esteem.  They even destroy their victims’ ability to trust their instincts, feelings & perceptions through gaslighting.  Learning to trust such things takes time, & is a big sign you have moved on.

When you end a relationship with a narcissist, you may feel like you’ll never get better, but you absolutely will!  Be patient with yourself & don’t try to rush your healing.  As time passes, you’ll notices these things happening, & they can reassure you that you are going to be just fine.

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Some Ways To Cope With Triggers

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Myths About Abusive People

Many people believe utter nonsense when it comes to abusive people.  This post is about dispelling those myths.

“He/she is a good person.  There’s no way he/she could be abusive towards anyone!”  Definite myth.  Abusive people can be active in their church, work with the homeless, donate a lot of money to charity & even foster children in dire straights.  Narcissists are extremely concerned about looking good, & such actions make a person look good.  They will do whatever they can to look good.  It doesn’t mean they are good people.

“I’ve never seen this person abuse anyone.  They can’t be abusive!”  Abusers hide their actions from all but their victim.  Abusers can appear kind, caring, charming… it doesn’t mean that they aren’t trying to destroy their victim behind closed doors.  Again, they are concerned about looking good, so naturally they will hide their abusive ways from everyone but their victim.

“That person has always been nice to me!”  Of course he or she has always been nice to you!  Abusers don’t abuse every single person they come into contact with.  They are selective when choosing their victims.  Those they choose not to abuse, they are nice to so they don’t think the abuser could be abusive, & the victim’s claims of abuse won’t be believed.

“But he/she is a pastor, doctor, teacher, police officer, etc!”  Helping professions such as those are very appealing to narcissists because they attract admiration from the general public.  Being a pastor, doctor, teacher, etc. doesn’t make someone immune to being abusive.  Many people in those professions are good, caring people, but not all are.

“All parents love their children.  Parents don’t abuse their children.”  Just because someone is biologically able to become a parent doesn’t mean they automatically are good, loving parents.  Some people are incapable of loving anyone in a healthy way, & that includes their own children.

“Your mother/father always brags about you.  He/she must love you!”  Another fallacy.   Narcissists want people to envy them as much as they envy others.  Bragging about their super talented, attractive, etc. children can garnish envy from others.  It doesn’t mean the parent actually believes their children are as wonderful as they make them sound.

“But he/she said he/she was a Christian!  That means this person can’t be abusive.”  People can say anything they like.  I could tell you right now that I’m of Korean heritage.  I may even participate in Korean customs, but one look at me shows my lineage is primarily German & Irish.  I can claim what I like, but the truth is easy to see.  The same goes for so called “Christian abusers.”  They may claim to be good Christians.  They may be active in their church & know the Christian lingo.  Their abusive actions however prove they are nothing like what they claim to be.  And, many abusers hide in the guise of being religious.  People assume someone who claims to be religious or is active in their church is a good person, so that person is usually not watched carefully for signs of being abusive.

“He/she says you’re lying.”  No abuser is going to admit their horrible behavior unless they absolutely have to, & then, they’ll offer up excuses.

“It wasn’t abuse.  You two just weren’t a good match.”  There is a big difference between a poorly matched couple & an abusive relationship.  Poorly matched couples realize that fact & go on their way.  One person doesn’t abuse another because of being poorly matched.

If someone tells you that they are being abused, do NOT fall for these myths!  Look at the situation objectively rather than assuming the person they claim is abusive is too good to be an abuser.  Or, if someone has told you these things regarding your abuser, feel free to show them this post if you think it will help.  xoxo

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Abusive Behaviors Normally Not Considered To Be Abusive

Narcissists & their flying monkey enablers have a very skewed view of what is ok & what isn’t ok, what’s abusive & what isn’t abusive.  Narcissists are an extremely entitled bunch & they lack empathy, so in their minds, whatever they want is all that matters.  Hurting others isn’t important.  And, their flying monkeys agree wholeheartedly.  So what if someone gets hurt?  The narcissist is the important one, after all.

These people act like certain abusive behaviors are completely normal.  In time, this can make victims think the narcissist is right, that they are wrong for being upset about something that is supposed to be so normal.  More subdued abusive behaviors often fall into this category.

Also, many abuse victims develop a very thick skin when it comes to abuse.  This comes from being abused repeatedly.  If an abuser isn’t screaming at them or physically assaulting them, they sometimes don’t think they are being abused.  Unfortunately abuse isn’t always so easy to spot.  It can be subtle, but equally abusive.  This post will describe some of the subtle ways a person can abuse.

Taking or relocating your property.  When you live with someone, chances are excellent you will move each other’s property at some point.  My husband moves my purse if it’s in his way, for example.  But when someone hides or even gets rid of something that belongs to you, that is abnormal!  It is also abusive if the person blames you for forgetting that you moved or got rid of the item when they are the one who did it.  That is gaslighting!

Controlling behavior.  Telling you what to say, how to act, how to look, what to wear, hiding your car keys so you can’t go anywhere are all abusive, even if there are no physical threats to go along with the control.  No one has the right to control another person.

Sexual violations.  Someone who uses guilt & shame to force you to perform a sexual act that is something you really don’t want to do or causes you pain is just as guilty as the masked man who rapes you at knife point.  Just because a weapon wasn’t used doesn’t make this ok.  It’s not ok if you’re married either.  Being married doesn’t give anyone the right to be sexually abusive.

The silent treatment.  While the silent treatment isn’t usually considered abusive, it actually is.  If you don’t know what the person’s up to, the silent treatment can make you do almost anything to win the favor back of the person not speaking to you.  It sets you up to be controlled & manipulated while damaging your self-esteem.  Once you understand what the silent treatment is about though, it can be a pleasant respite from the abuse.

Being confusing & unreasonable during a disagreement.  Most people try to work together to a solution when involved in a disagreement, even if things are heated.  An abusive behavior is instead of working on a solution, talking in circles, trying to focus on something other than the issue at hand, projecting their flaws onto you, bringing up past arguments, & gaslighting.

Please remember not to normalize or excuse abuse.  Behavior like this is NOT normal & there is no excuse for anyone to act  this way.  Even if it happened “only once”, there is still no excuse for it.  Instead, admit the truth, that such actions are abusive & terrible.  You also need to accept that you have done nothing wrong, & you did nothing to deserve such treatment.  You have every right to be upset about what was done to you.  You also have every right to protect yourself from further abuse so set those boundaries & take good care of yourself!

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Enabling Is NOT Loving!

It seems to be a common false believe that giving someone everything they want, enabling them to do anything they want without consequences is loving & even Godly behavior. 

So many people I spoke with in my family were downright cruel to me because I wouldn’t see my father at the end of his life in 2017.  The barrage of phone calls, social media messages & emails was intense.  I barely read any of the messages, because after reading a couple, I knew how incredibly toxic the rest would be.  I thought it wiser to protect my mental health by saving the messages without reading them as evidence for police if I opted to take that route.  Anyway after my father’s death, I learned that because I refused to say goodbye, he finally turned to God!  In spite of my fears it wouldn’t happen, my father gave his heart to Jesus at the end of his life, & is now in Heaven.  (That story is on my website at: http://www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com if you’d like to read it)

While none of us knew it at the time, me not saying good bye to my father was for his benefit.  My family clearly thought I was a cold hearted witch who stayed away out of spite.  I knew in my heart God wanted me to stay away & going would have had terrible consequences, but I didn’t know any further details.  Me not going made him reach out to God for the first time in I don’t know how long.  If I had gone, I firmly believe he wouldn’t have turned to God.  So as strange as it may sound, not saying my final good byes to my father was the most loving thing I could do in that situation.

Although many situations are different, the basics are similar.  Someone wants you to do something that you know is not in their best interest.  It may even cause you pain or problems to do that thing, yet it is expected of you to do it.  If you do it, your actions are applauded & if it caused you problems, those problems ignored.  If you don’t do it, you’re criticized & even shamed for being selfish or unreasonable. 

This is utterly WRONG!

Yes, it’s good to do for other people.  Some people genuinely need help & sometimes you are exactly the right person to give that help.  But doing anything a person wants isn’t always a good thing.  Look what 1 Corinthians 10:23 says:


All things are lawful [that is, morally legitimate, permissible], but not all things are beneficial or advantageous. All things are lawful, but not all things are constructive [to character] and edifying [to spiritual life].  (AMP)

1 Corinthians 6:12 is similar & just as informative:

Everything is permissible for me, but not all things are beneficial. Everything is permissible for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything [and brought under its power, allowing it to control me]. (AMP)

Just because you can do something doesn’t mean it’s for the best that you do it, either for you or for someone else.  People who are accustomed to getting everything they want are spoiled, entitled, selfish & often feel that they don’t need God.  By saying no sometimes, it actually benefits people.  They learn to be more self sufficient, they don’t become entitled, selfish jerks.  And yes, they may recognize everyone’s need for God in themselves.    

Maybe situations in your life aren’t as dire, but still, if you know that doing something for someone isn’t in their best interest or yours, don’t do it!  The good will far outweigh the bad!

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Socially Acceptable & Unacceptable Trauma Responses

Have you ever noticed there are socially acceptable & socially unacceptable responses to trauma?  There are.  The especially interesting part is the socially acceptable ones are the most unhealthy trauma responses & encouraged.

Some socially acceptable trauma responses are:

  • being a workaholic.
  • focusing on career over family.
  • never taking breaks.
  • being over scheduled or too busy.
  • sleeping too little.
  • excessive exercising.
  • under eating.

Some socially unacceptable trauma responses are:

  • taking time off to relax.
  • crying or being angry about the trauma.
  • admitting that it still upsets you, even years after the trauma.
  • taking anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medication.
  • seeing a counselor.
  • severing ties with an abuser.
  • discussing the abuse.

When you live with PTSD or C-PTSD, trying to heal is tough enough.  It’s not easy, even under the best of circumstances.  It’s much worse though when you have people telling you that your healthy coping skills aren’t healthy, & insisting you instead use unhealthy coping skills.

Having been through narcissistic abuse, I can vouch for the insecurity that comes from it.  It takes a conscious focus on my part not to assume someone’s criticism of me is right & to consider what is said before assuming I’m wrong, & frankly I’m not always good at this.  When someone tells me I should use one of the unhealthy trauma responses instead of my healthy ones, naturally I figure they’re right & feel shame.  No doubt many of you reading this experience the same type of response.

You can learn to deal with the dysfunctional response in these types of situations.

Remember, the world thinks quite skewed in the area of mental health.  No one bats an eye at someone who goes to a doctor with a broken leg, yet many of those same people claim someone is weak for seeing a counselor for their mental health problems.  That is just one example of this skewed thinking.  Anyway just because so many people think this way doesn’t mean they are right.  What others think about how you heal isn’t important.  What is important is that it works for you.

Use logical thinking.  When someone criticizes you for how you approach your emotional healing, ask yourself if what they say makes sense & why.  For example, if someone says you’re being lazy, you need to keep busy instead of taking time off, think about this statement for a moment.  How would keeping busy benefit you?  Sure, you might be busy enough not to think about your problems for a bit, but that won’t last forever.  Besides, ignoring emotions means they will come out in unhealthy ways later.  So many addicts became addicts because they tried to avoid facing their own traumas.  Considering all of this, do you really think this person gave you good advice?

Another thing to consider is people view things through the lens of their own experiences.  Many people who are the quickest to judge others’ healing journeys are ones who also have been abused, but refuse to deal with that.  Rather than be inspired by someone else facing their pain, they get upset by it.  They often think because they aren’t facing their past trauma, they are over it.  They’re functioning just fine while someone else is suffering with C-PTSD.  In their mind, clearly that person is weak & could learn a thing or two from the person without C-PTSD.  They honestly think they’re helping by telling the other person what they do, which involves their socially acceptable trauma responses.

Remember, just because some people think your approach to healing is wrong doesn’t mean that is true.  You have to do whatever works best for you.  What others think shouldn’t matter.  All that should matter to you is that what you’re doing helps you to heal.

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Some Life Altering Symptoms Of C-PTSD

Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or C-PTSD, is a rather new mental health diagnosis.  It is common among those who have survived repeated traumas, such as those who endured child abuse or domestic violence.

C-PTSD shares many of the same symptoms of PTSD.  It also includes other symptoms that make C-PTSD more, well, complex than PTSD.

Moodiness to the extreme.  Moods can be difficult to control for anyone at times.  A person with C-PTSD has a much more difficult time controlling them on a regular basis, & sometimes is unable to control them.

Difficulty trusting people.  A person with C-PTSD has seen the  worst of people, & only naturally has a great deal of difficulty trusting people.  It takes a lot for someone with C-PTSD to learn to trust anyone.  It also doesn’t take a lot for someone with C-PTSD to lose trust in people.

Flashbacks.  There are three types of flashbacks.  The typical flashbacks where a person feels as if they are reliving a traumatic event.  There also is emotional flashbacks.  They don’t feel as if the event is being relieved per se, but the emotions of a traumatic event are being relieved.  Emotional flashbacks are extremely common with C-PTSD.  Lastly there are somatic flashbacks.  They are similar to emotional flashbacks, but rather than dealing with the emotions connected to trauma, they deal with the physical pain connected to trauma.

Toxic shame.  Toxic shame is extremely common among those who have survived abuse, in particular those who survived child abuse.  Their parents told them the abuse inflicted on them was their fault, which instilled a root of toxic shame in them for supposedly making their parents do the terrible things they did.

Dissociation.  A survival tactic, dissociation emotionally removes a person from a traumatic or abusive episode.  Many survivors of sexual assault in particular describe it as feeling as if they are not in their body as the assault happened.  It also can lead to extensive day dreaming when not in a traumatic situation or even Dissociative Identity Disorder in some extreme cases.  DID is especially common among child abuse survivors.

Hyper-vigilance.  Hyper-vigilance can take two forms.  One is when a person is extremely aware of their surroundings.  Even in a crowded place, those with C-PTSD are aware of a person heading to the restroom or leaving the building.  Another form of hyper-vigilance is when the body is constantly in a state of preparedness for attack or trauma.  This often leads to constant pain.

Suicidal thoughts.  The most serious & potentially life threatening aspect of C-PTSD is suicidal thoughts.  Those who have  C-PTSD frequently battle with severe depression, even to the point of suicidal thoughts.  Sadly, suicide seems like the only escape from the pain in the mind of many people with C-PTSD.

While these symptoms are very common with C-PTSD, their seriousness shouldn’t be underestimated.  All are life altering, & suicidal thoughts obviously can be life ending.  They can be managed, however.  I find prayer to be my most effective help when these symptoms flare up.  Journaling about them is also very useful.  It can help you to see what causes the symptoms to flare & figure out ways to cope with them.  Another helpful tip I have found is to remind myself of what is happening.  I remind myself that whatever is happening is merely a symptom of the disorder, nothing more.  I’m safe, nothing can hurt me.  Grounding can be very useful during flashbacks, & it needs to be something that is very extreme to the senses.  Smelling a strong scent like lavender or touching a scratchy blanket help by distracting your mind away from the flashback.

Lastly, when your symptoms flare, they’re showing you where you need healing.  They actually do have a purpose, so use them to help you.

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Preventing Narcissists From Wanting You Back

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“You Can’t Love Someone Until You Love Yourself”

One cliche I’ve heard my entire life was “You can’t love someone until you love yourself.”  My mother said it periodically when I was growing up, & somehow it never felt right to me even when I was just a little kid.

As an adult, I have come to realize how wrong this is, & how shaming as well.

Wrong because just because a person has low or no self esteem, doesn’t mean they are incapable of love.  It only means they don’t love themselves.  People who feel this way are very capable of loving others, & it shows when they love their spouse, children, family, friends, pets.   I was this same way for many years.  I absolutely hated myself, yet absolutely adored certain people in my life as well as my pets.  They all meant the world to me & I would have done anything for any of them.

This phrase is shaming because it makes people feel that they lack this one basic skill any human being has, to love.  Victims of narcissistic abuse already have enough shame to deal with thanks to the narcissists in their lives.  They don’t need any more false, toxic shame heaped onto them.

What can be true, although certainly is not true in all cases, is if you don’t love yourself, you can’t love others in a Godly & healthy way.  In cases where someone has been abused in childhood, that person may not yet know how to love someone in a healthy way.  They may think if they love someone enough, they can fix their abusive ways.  In fact, this may seem good or even Godly to the dysfunctional person.  Sadly, many people support such dysfunctional thinking, encouraging the unhealthy behaviors.  Some folks even will quote Scriptures that are taken totally out of context to validate their beliefs.

A dysfunctional person also may think boundaries are selfish & unloving, so they think telling someone no is a bad thing.  Out of good intentions, they allow other people to come first in their lives, even if it costs them their health, finances, or peace.  They mistakenly hurt themselves under the delusion they’re being loving.

Similarly, a dysfunctional person may think that giving a person whatever they want is the most loving thing they can do for someone.  They fail to realize that sometimes, people need to struggle for what they want in order to learn to appreciate things.

Many dysfunctional people also think that if they are just nice enough or good enough, they can make an abusive person love them.  They don’t realize that is impossible, because abusers are incapable of true, Godly love.  They also fail to realize that the harder they try, the more abusive an abuser will become, because they see this person as weak & willing to please them at any personal cost.  I experienced this first hand.  My late mother in-law hated me.  Being young & naive, I wanted her to like me, so I tried hard to make that happen.  Nothing I did was good enough, & our relationship only got worse.

The fact is, to love others, we must learn what true love really is.  It is wanting what is best for another person rather than what we want from that person.  It is wanting them to succeed in life, & enjoy their life.  It is wanting them to live whatever their best life is, even if it goes against something we would like for them.  Mostly, it is wanting others to have a close personal relationship with their Heavenly Father.  Any person can want these things for other people, even when they don’t love themselves.

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Breaking Free From Being The Family Scapegoat

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Changes On My Website

As I mentioned not long ago, I decided to stop creating YouTube videos in favor of podcasts. It’s easier for me to do podcasts & I am seriously focusing on making my life easier!

I decided to do one other thing.. I have made available on my website (www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com) my notes that I used in my podcasts & YouTube videos. Since some folks have issues with sensory processing or just prefer to read rather than watch a video or listen to a podcast, I thought I would do this for them. The notes are all on this link. Feel free to download as many as you like for your personal reference. As I add new podcasts in the future, I’ll naturally add the notes to this page. If you lose the link, simply visit www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com & look at the list of links at the top of the page. You’ll see it there.

Also, I added a search bar to my website, so you can find information on there easier now. Rather than read through lots of pages, you can simply type in your search critera & it will bring up results. Enjoy!

Thank you to everyone who has been so encouraging about the changes I’ve decided to make. I truly value your input. 💖

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Parentalization, aka Parentification, aka Emotional Or Covert Incest

Many adult children of narcissistic parents treat their children more like partners than their children.  These parents expect their children to take care of all of their emotional needs, but some also add in their physical needs (such as cooking or doing housework well beyond what they should be doing at their age) & even sexual needs.  This phenomenon is known as emotional incest, parentalizing or parentification.  For simplicity’s sake, we’ll call it emotional incest in this article.

Narcissists often turn to their children for support rather than their partner for various reasons.  Narcissistic supply can be one reason.  People see the narcissist’s relationship with her child as very close, not realizing it’s actually very sick, & praise this “wonderful relationship” which provides narcissistic supply.  Or, maybe the narcissist is simply unhappy with her spouse or single status, & since the child is convenient, she turns to her child with matters that should be discussed with her spouse or a close friend.

No matter the reason, emotional incest has a devastating effect on a child.  The child subjected to this abusive behavior feels a tremendous amount of responsibility for the parent’s emotional state, as well as possibly also the parent’s physical or sexual needs too.  This child grows up with a tremendously overdeveloped sense of responsibility not only for the abusive parent, but everyone in her life.  This can lead to codependency, depression, anger, anxiety & more.

The child who is abused also feels guilty for growing up, leaving home & wanting to have her own life.  When I was 19, I moved out of my parents’ home & my mother was livid.  She made her disapproval painfully obvious, & even told me I’d never survive on my own.

Emotional incest also can lead to a child having very unhealthy romantic relationships as an adult.  The child is taught from an early age that the parent’s needs come first, no matter what.  A person married to an adult child of an emotionally incestuous environment is going to be a lower priority to that adult child than that child’s parents.  Whatever the parent wants will be more important than the spouse.  If the parent wants holidays spent together, that is what will happen even if the spouse doesn’t want to be a part of them.  If the parent has a need (either real or imagined) on their adult child’s wedding anniversary, the adult child will deal with it rather than the anniversary.

If you are in this dysfunctional situation, then you need to break free of it!  It won’t be easy but it will be possible.

As always, the first step should be prayer. Ask God to show you what to do to help break the cycle.  And, ask Him to help you to have the strength & courage to do it.

Also, start changing the subject with your narcissistic parent.  Both of my parents indulged in emotionally incestuous behavior for my entire life, until I ended the relationship with them, & the best way I found to end it was simple subject changes.  Asking them about something else related to themselves worked best.  Since narcissists enjoy talking about themselves more than any other topic, it makes sense that is their favorite subject change.

Sometimes subject changes don’t work & the narcissistic parent keeps changing the subject back to the topic.  If at all possible, end the conversation.  If you’re in their home or they are in yours, it can be challenging.  Try to have a friend on call, so to speak.  Have the phone number of someone you can trust ready so you can dial the number quickly & discreetly or take your phone with you to the bathroom if need be.  Tell that person ahead of time that if you call their number & it only rings a couple of times & you hang up, that means they need to call you & say they need you to come to them immediately.  Or, if you’re on the phone with your parent & want to end the conversation, ring your doorbell or knock on your door.  You can then say, “The doorbell rang.. I have to go.”  If you have a dog who barks when they hear the doorbell, this is an added bonus- your parent will hear the dog & know that your doorbell rang.  You also can use your cell to call your house phone or vice versa & then you can tell your parent that the call waiting beeped & you need to go.  Sneaky?  Yes, but not dishonest.  Your doorbell rang, your call waiting beeped & you do need to go!

I also learned that saying, “It hurts me when you talk to me about Mom/Dad like that” was a recipe for disaster.  Not only did it not stop their behavior, since they knew it hurt me, they did it even more.  This is typical of narcissists, so learn from my mistake- DO NOT ADMIT IT HURTS YOU!!!

Always remember, the problems your parent is telling you about are NOT your responsibility.  You have no obligation to fix them.  Tune your parent’s words out if it helps you.

Lastly, limit your contact as much as possible with your narcissistic parent.  If you aren’t so available, they may feel forced to find someone else to listen to their woes & you need the reprieve.

Emotional incest is a very painful thing to deal with, but you can handle it!

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Reasons Why Being The Black Sheep Is A Good Thing

When someone mentions the black sheep of their family, the common mental image people get is someone who is very different from the rest of the family.  Maybe the black sheep is the one person in the family who is in trouble with the law or is a surly type.

More often than you would think, this isn’t the case though.  Instead, the black sheep is nothing like their bad reputation.  The only thing they are guilty of is not being like the rest of their family, aka the White Sheep.  In these cases, this is usually a very good thing!

As I’ve mentioned before, I think of dysfunctional families much like the Borg from “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”  The Borg were all alike & only focused on what was best for the Collective.  Individuality was not tolerated.  This is exactly like a dysfunctional family.  Individuality is discouraged & all that matters is the Collective, aka the family. 

Dysfunctional families are the same way, so when a member is different, they aren’t pleased.  They are even less pleased if there is abuse in the family & someone discusses the abuse openly.  It is a guarantee that person will be labeled the Black Sheep, referred to as mentally unstable, oversensitive & more.  Their traumatic experiences will be invalidated or even denied. 

This has been my experience as a black sheep in my family & my in-law family.  The good part though is although it hurt at first, it taught me a lot.

People who treat someone who has been abused this way are cowardly.  They have no integrity either, because they would rather do nothing than stand up for what is right.  I’m glad not to be like them!  I’d rather be a person of integrity who is willing to help others than be a coward!  If being labeled the black sheep means I’m someone with integrity, I’m absolutely fine with the label!

When you consider your situation, chances are good you’ll realize that the opinions of the White Sheep really aren’t important as I did.  Why should you care what they think of you?  Just because they’re family?  That isn’t a good reason!  The only people whose opinions should matter to you are those who genuinely love you & want what is best for you, whether or not those people are related to you.  People who want you to fit inside their little box of what they think you should be, like the Borg, don’t love you God’s way, nor do they want what is best for you.  Why should their opinion of you matter?   Being weighed down by the opinions of other people is exhausting, especially when their opinions of you are so restrictive!  It’s truly a blessing & freeing not to have to worry about such things. 

White Sheep family members often think the Black Sheep of their family has nothing in common with them.  They often are right about that!  That being said though, it doesn’t mean they’re right & you’re wrong.  You’re simply different from them.  Different does NOT equal bad!  That is a very important thing to realize!  Different can be a wonderful thing.  People who think differently invented all kinds of great things, heal others mentally & physically & more.  Besides, the world would be incredibly dull if we all thought the same!

The things that make you unique also could be something that makes the White Sheep envy you.  Did you ever think of that?  They could be labeling you out of simple envy.  Many people do this rather than try to improve themselves. 

Or, they could be too afraid to face their own issues & are trying to shut you down because you facing yours makes them feel badly.  This is something God told me that my own family has done to me.  It’s better in their mind to shut me down than to face their demons.

Whatever the case, I want to encourage you to embrace your Black Sheep label.  Being a Black Sheep requires courage & strength.  Be proud of yourself for possessing such wonderful qualities, & don’t try to please the White Sheep.  You get this one life to live.. you should live it in a way that pleases you, not others.

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My Ebooks Are On Sale!

Just a friendly reminder that all of my ebooks are still 25% off until July 31, 2020. They can be found at this link:

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

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Reinventing The Past As An Unhealthy Coping Skill

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Things Adult Children Of Narcissists Wish People Wouldn’t Say

Growing up with narcissistic parents is a horrific experience.  Neglect & abuse abound, resulting in a child who grows up with little or even no self-esteem, doubts about their sanity, no real identity beyond what their parents told them they were & other horrible traumas that often result in Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or C-PTSD.

In addition to this trauma, many of these children are met with disbelief & even blame for the way their parents treated them.  Sadly, this treatment comes mostly from family members.  Even as adults, this invalidation often continues & can be even more heartless & painful.

You may find some of these phrases I mention in this post sound familiar to you.  If you do, & if you think they will help the person who said them to you see the error of their ways, feel free to show this to them.  However, know many people who invalidate victims of narcissistic abuse are also narcissists, which means they only will use the information to hurt you further.  You need to use your best judgment on this.

“Why not just talk to your parents.  Tell them how you feel.”  Normally, this isn’t bad advice.  Two functional people often can create solutions to problems by discussing them.  This is impossible with narcissists, however.  They lack empathy & feel entitled to do or say anything they want.  The way people feel about their words & actions, in particular their children, mean nothing to them.  Unless they feel they can gain something by impressing someone by caring about their feelings, no one’s emotions mean anything to them.  Narcissistic parents often view their children’s feelings as selfish, unreasonable, stupid, or trivial.. that is if they even notice their feelings at all.  Many narcissistic parents don’t even notice their children’s feelings no matter how upset they are.  They also are highly likely to use their children’s emotions against them to humiliate, shame or manipulate them. 

“You need to find a way to fix this relationship!”  My aunt once told me how I needed to get into therapy to find a way to fix things with my parents, & “don’t dare tell her it won’t work!”  I thank God I was far along in my healing journey at the time she said this, because such words could’ve been devastating if I wasn’t!  I tried to do as she said when I was 17, & even saw a few therapists.  No matter how much therapy I got, no matter what I did, I couldn’t fix the relationship with my parents.  While one person can destroy a relationship, one person can never fix a relationship.  It takes two to make a relationship work.  Putting the burden of fixing it on a victim is simply cruel & stupid. 

“How do you think your behavior makes your parent feel?”  After setting boundaries or going no contact, the flying monkeys love to slither out of the wood work & tell victims how wrong, evil, selfish, & stupid they are along with them being terrible sons or daughters for acting the way they are.  They make these adult children sound like spoiled rotten little brats who are throwing a hissy fit because they don’t want to eat their vegetables at dinner.  People who say this fail to realize that child of a narcissistic parent or two spend their entire lives are spent considering their parents’ feelings!  Every single little thing is about the parent & nothing has to do with them.  No wonder the parent is upset about that child setting a boundary or even going no contact.  The parent probably never expected this to happen.  That doesn’t mean boundaries or no contact are wrong, however!

“Have you ever thought about how you make your parents feel by talking about this?”  They may add 1 Peter 4:8 that in part says “love covers a multitude of sins” to make it sound as if God Himself is ashamed of the victim for discussing the abuse.  This is incredibly shaming & cruel!  Narcissistic parents instill in their children a very large dose of fear about discussing the abuse.  Being open about it is incredibly difficult & brave.  If those parents wanted their child to discuss them in a positive light, they shouldn’t have been abusive. 

“Parents always love their children.. it’s a shame children don’t always love their parents.”  This is an utter LIE.  There are plenty of parents who lack the ability to love their children.  Narcissists may love the narcissistic supply their children provide but truly loving their children in a healthy, Godly way is beyond their abilities.  Not to mention, there are plenty of children of narcissistic parents who love them.  In fact, almost every adult child of narcissistic parents I have spoken with loved their parent a great deal.  It’s the parent’s behavior they hated.  I’m the same way.  I love my parents, I just couldn’t tolerate the abuse, which is why I went no contact.  It wasn’t done out of hatred for them.

“You kids always blame your mother & don’t take any responsibility for yourself.”  The fact is children naturally deny bad parts about their parents or find a way why their parent’s bad behavior is their fault.  It’s probably a survival skill.  If the child can deny the parent doesn’t love them or is abusive, they stand greater chances of receiving care from their parents.  These children work harder & harder to please their abusive parents, so the parent will give them some care at least.

“You need to get over it.  That’s in the past.”  When you have C-PTSD as a result of being raised by a narcissistic parent or two, the past is always a part of your present.  Flashbacks, nightmares & intrusive thoughts are triggered very easily & they don’t go away simply because we want them to.  If only it was that easy!  Even medication can’t stop such things.  It takes time & dealing with each event as it comes up to get any semblance of control over it interfering with the present, & even then, it may not go away entirely.  I still have flashbacks & nightmares once in a while about events I have dealt with to the best of my ability.  It’s rare, but it still happens.

“Your parents have always been so nice to me!”  Narcissists work hard to create an image of perfection to those who aren’t their victims.  It’s not uncommon for narcissists to have a friendly & pleasant conversation with someone, then once the person is out of their presence or they hang up the phone, they attack their victim.  People who haven’t seen behind the narcissist’s mask often have a hard time believing that the person you claim was an abusive parent is anything but the good person they see. 

To help those who suffered at the hand of a narcissistic parent or two, if you don’t know about narcissistic abuse, you will need to learn about it.  You also will need to remember not everyone has a functional family, & accept that some families are extremely complex & dysfunctional.

If you’re a victim of narcissistic parents & someone says comments like this to you, please remember what they say is wrong.  It comes from their own dysfunctional beliefs, not reality.  Try your best not to take their words to heart.

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Nit Picking & Changing Goals- Abuse Tactics Used By Narcissists

Narcissists all love to control their victims.  Many use two tactics simultaneously to get what they want.  Those tactics are nit picking & changing goals.

These evil tactics work very well together to make a victim feel not good enough, & willing to work harder & harder to please the narcissist.  As an example, at the time my ex husband & I were together, I felt I was morbidly obese & disgusting.  Looking back though at old pictures now, I see I was a normal weight.  Not skinny, not fat.. normal.  However, he constantly hinted that I needed to lose weight so I could look better.  Our marriage was a nightmare, & I thought that if I just could lose weight, I could fix it.  I know, this was very naive on my part but I was young & unaware of the kind of person I was dealing with at that time.

Anyway I lost weight.. 23 pounds to be precise.  I fit into a size 6 comfortably & some size 4’s as well.  Considering my frame & height, I was too thin, I think, but it still wasn’t good enough for my ex.

During my weight loss journey, my ex did not complement me or encourage me.  The closest thing he said to a complement was, “Well your butt finally looks better.”  He also made me feel like I needed to lose more & more weight in order to please him.  As thin as I was at that time, I still felt that I was disgustingly fat & like if I didn’t lose some more weight, my marriage would fail because of it.

My ex husband’s nitpicking & changing the goals in that area gave me a very skewed view of not only my appearance which damaged my already fragile self esteem, but also my responsibility in our failing marriage.  I felt as if I was completely to blame for the problems in our marriage, even though now I know I was not.  This is basically the goal of a narcissist who employs nitpicking & changing the rules.  If the narcissist can make their victim feel badly about themselves, they are easy to control, which of course is a great thing to a narcissist.  And, if the narcissist can convince the victim that something is their fault, they will work hard to please the narcissist.  The victim also will be so focused on trying to please the narcissist, they won’t realize that the narcissist is to blame, so the narcissist gets away with their abusive tactics.  And, this builds up a tolerance to abuse in a victim, so a narcissist can do more awful things & get away with them.

No matter the relationship, all narcissists seem to use nitpicking & changing the goals as a way to abuse their victims.  Parents use this tactic on their children even into adulthood, spouses use it, co workers & friends use it as well.  It is wise to learn to recognize this abusive tactic, understand it & find ways to cope with it.

Recognizing it is pretty easy.  When someone is excessively critical, even when said with feigned concern, & if the person also changes what they want from you often, these are big red flags.

You also need to keep in mind that this is not about you, it’s about the narcissist’s need to abuse & control you.  The things they criticize aren’t necessarily flaws.  Probably they are things you’re insecure about, so the narcissist uses your insecurities as a means to abuse you.

As for ways to cope, recognizing what is happening & remembering what the reasoning behind it is will help you tremendously.  Stick to your boundaries, too.  If you give a narcissist an inch, they’ll take 100 miles, so don’t give them what they want.  Also, I firmly believe in praying, asking God to give you creative ideas to deal with a narcissist is always a very good move.  He will give you effective ideas that you never would’ve thought of on your own.  Let Him help you!

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Why Anxiety Is Worse After Leaving Narcissistic Abuse

Severing ties with a narcissist is a very difficult thing to do.  Not only telling the person you are done with the relationship, but the aftermath.  It can come with a plethora of challenges.  One of them for many people is extreme anxiety.

Many people who have left a narcissistic relationship have discovered that once they are safely away from the narcissist, their anxiety gets much worse for a while.

On the surface, this doesn’t make sense.  They’re safe, the narcissist hasn’t tried to contact them in ages.  They haven’t even seen the narcissist in passing at the grocery store or on the road.  Why would anxiety be bad when it should be so much lower?  I think this happens for a few reasons.

When in a relationship with a narcissist, you learn to function in survival mode out of necessity.  Your entire universe consists of thoughts like what can I do to please the narcissist, what can I do to make sure the narcissist doesn’t get angry with me, what needs does the narcissist have that I can anticipate in the hopes of gaining some favor from this person.  When you think this way, it’s as if there is simply no room in your mind for anxiety.  All the space in your brain is taken up with those thoughts, & there is no room for anything else.  I really believe narcissists do their best to keep their victims busy in this way so they don’t have the opportunity to see the abuse is wrong or plan their means of escape.

If you were romantically involved with a narcissist then begin to get involved with someone who isn’t a narcissist, that can create a lot of anxiety at first.  It feels so foreign to be with someone who is healthy when you are so accustomed to abuse & dysfunction.  You also naturally can feel like you did with the narcissist, waiting for the next bad thing to happen.  When it doesn’t, that can be unnerving simply because of what you were accustomed to in a relationship.

If the narcissist in your life was a parent, then you grew up in an extremely abnormal environment, which means you grew up to be a bit abnormal.  You couldn’t see life as a normal child does when growing up.  You have a skewed view of the world.  When you escape your narcissistic parent, you suddenly have to function in a very different environment.  Even though it’s healthier, it’s still different than what you are used to.  This can create anxiety, even though it’s a good thing.

You also grew up with this way of thinking like, “I’m supposed to do this thing, so I’ll do it.”  No further thought happened.  As an adult free of that abuse, now you see things as you should have seen them as a child but did not have that opportunity.  It can  create anxiety, & sometimes even shame for the things you did simply because you were told to do them.

The best way I know to deal with anxiety like this is with reassurance.  Ask God to reassure you & to help you with the anxiety for starters.  Also, talk to yourself.  Remind yourself that the danger has passed.  Those terrible things that once happened to you are no longer going to happen.  That abusive person is out of your life, & you’re safe now.  If you’re dating someone, remind yourself that this person isn’t the narcissist, but an entirely different person.  You can’t expect the same behavior from this person that you got from the narcissist, because healthy people do NOT act like narcissists.  And thank God for that!

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An Announcement About My YouTube Channel

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