Category Archives: Christian Topics and Prayers
My publisher is offering a 15% discount on all print books until July 3, 2020. You can find my books at the following link: https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug
My ebook publisher is offering a sale on all of my ebooks from July 1-31, 2020. They will be 25% off. They’re available on my website or use this link to go to the site directly: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CynthiaBaileyRug
I decided to try something new.. podcasts. The idea popped into my head recently, even though I know nothing of podcasts. It felt like God was leading me in a new direction, so I decided to give it a try.
To get started, I’ve decided to use the audio from my YouTubes. Yes, it’s a repeat of information having it on podcasts, YouTube & in this blog, but not everyone learns the same way. Some are visual learners & love YouTube. Some learn best from reading & others prefer learning audibly. I doubt many people will benefit from all three formats, so by doing them, it enables more people to (hopefully!!) learn from my work.
If you’d like to check them out, here is the link:
I only have a few out there at the moment, but I’ll add more as time goes on. I was hoping to get all of them done asap, but yanno something? I can’t get them done quickly. Not with my mental health. So, I hope you’ll be understanding & patient with me taking my time in adding more podcasts.
I get a daily email from the funeral home that took care of my mother when she died. It sometimes has good & interesting emails. Sadly though because our relationship was so abnormal, & it’s aimed for people with normal relationships who are grieving, it isn’t usually particularly helpful.
I just read the first email I truly disliked. Even so, I think it can be a valuable teaching tool, even for those in relationships with narcissists.
The email quoted a book written by a young woman whose sister died. She said her mother cried non stop. She wore headphones constantly so she wouldn’t have to hear her mother cry, & her father worked very long hours for the same reason. The commentary on this brief story said that as someone grieving, you should consider how your actions affect others. You should keep your home life as normal as possible. People who love you will be upset to see you suffering. It ended with take time to share your feelings & not isolate yourself.
When I read this, it bothered me.
Not talking things out isn’t healthy. Whether you’re grieving as the lady in this article or suffering at the hands of a narcissist. you have to talk about things. You can’t ignore things & hope they’ll go away because they won’t. The same goes for toning bad things down when you do talk about them. It’s wise to share only with people you know are safe of course, so I’m not saying talk to just anyone. Only aim to talk with safe people who won’t judge, criticize or invalidate you. Can you imagine how much better the lady in this article would’ve felt if she had someone to talk to?!
Also, it seems to me the family in this article split up rather than pulling together with their shared loss. That isn’t healthy! The family in this email would have been so much better off if they would have spoken to each other about what each one was feeling & supported each other. Whether you are grieving a death like the lady in this article or are suffering at the hands of an abuser, you should come together with people who are experiencing a situation similar to yours. That way you can help each other to get through. Finding that common ground with another person also can be incredibly validating! If you don’t know anyone, there are countless online forums & groups on social media sites where you can meet such people.
The final sentence bothered me, too. It seemed to me that taken in context with the rest of it basically said, “Let people know you’re upset, but not *too* upset.” That is just wrong. If people truly care about you, naturally they don’t want to see you upset of course, but they also won’t expect you to hide your feelings just to appease them. They would rather see you bawl your eyes out or yell than plaster on a fake smile & pretend everything is ok. They probably would see through the fake smile easily anyway. I know my friends would. If you’re suffering at the hands of a narcissist in particular, I know it can feel sometimes like no one cares, but that isn’t true! That is only what the narcissist wants you to think, so you won’t discuss the abuse with anyone. There will be people who genuinely care & want to help you. Let them!
In the midst of suffering, it really can feel like there is no escape, like you’re all alone & no one cares. Don’t believe that! People do care & you can get through this. And most importantly, there is a God who loves you so much & will be there for you no matter what. Don’t forget to turn to Him & let Him help you to get through!
When you first start to open up about the abusive behavior the narcissist in your life has inflicted on you, it can be very hard. You were told to keep everything a secret. My mother used to tell me, “Don’t air our dirty laundry!” as a way to keep me quiet. It didn’t work though. At that time I was only 17, living through sheer hell due to her abuse & didn’t know what to do. I told others in the hopes of finding someone who could give me advice on how to cope or make my mother treat me better. Obviously that didn’t work. I did learn about what happens when a victim starts to open up about narcissistic abuse though.
When you begin to divulge what the narcissist has done to you, the narcissist will be horrified. After all, you’re not supposed to tell anyone anything! The abuse is supposed to remain a secret between the two of you, no one else. Naturally, the narcissist is going to be angry with you, because that is what they think. They don’t think about the fact that you are a human being with feelings & needs & even the right to discuss your own life with whoever you wish.
The narcissist also is going to be very angry at you for making him or her look bad when you talk about the abuse. Narcissists clearly don’t think like normal people, so they won’t consider their actions are what make them look bad. Instead, they’ll lump all the blame on you for making them look bad.
Narcissists feel betrayed when victims tell others about their abhorrent behavior. They all seem to think victims will tolerate their abuse indefinitely, never protesting it, & are shocked & horrified when that isn’t the case. This so called betrayal can trigger their rage.
It also can trigger a myriad of unhealthy coping skills. One of which is reinventing the past. Many narcissists convince themselves that they are awesome people, & never would abuse anyone. After my mother’s death, I learned she knew what I write about in spite of my efforts to prevent that from happening. I also learned she must have convinced herself that I was lying & she didn’t do anything I said she did.
When the narcissist becomes enraged & acts in this way, it can be scary. Some scream. Some harass or stalk. All engage in a smear campaign & are often successful at turning those you love against you or at least damaging some of your relationships. This is a terribly painful place to be, I know. It may even make you think you’re wrong for opening up. Life seemed easier when no one knew what the narcissist did to you. I can tell you something though.. although it may seem easier, it isn’t.
In some ways, not discussing the abuse is easier because the narcissist is appeased. When they’re appeased, they aren’t ruining your relationships or at least your reputation. No one is telling you what a terrible person you are. But, you are unhappy. You’re trying to do everything perfectly so as not to upset the narcissist, which means you’re under intense stress & utterly miserable. Everyone is happy except you, & the people who are happy clearly have no concern for your mental health.
Tell your story. John 8:32 says the truth will set you free. Let it! The more you discuss the abuse, the more you’ll heal. If the narcissist doesn’t approve, that isn’t your problem. Besides, think about this: if what he or she did was truly ok, if it was all your fault & their abusive actions were totally justified, why are they so determined to keep it a secret?
“You can’t get mad. He just doesn’t know any better.” I think all of us who have been victimized by a narcissist have heard this statement at some point. It’s said by those who either have absolutely no understanding of Narcissistic Personality Disorder or those flying monkeys who enthusiastically enable narcissists to abuse.
This statement can be very unsettling. You can feel so angry by the abuse but then you stop in your tracks. Maybe the person who said this is right, & the narcissist truly doesn’t know any better. You feel badly for being angry with someone for doing something they don’t know is wrong.
Long before I learned about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I was in this situation. I had problems with my now deceased mother in-law from about the moment we met. Obviously I didn’t know what to do since I knew nothing of narcissism. I decided to talk to my husband in the hopes he would have ideas on how to help me get along with his mother. When I first told my husband about the problems I had with his mother, he said that she didn’t know any better. He truly believed it, & I thought maybe he was right. His mother gave the impression of being very naïve, after all. I also knew her mother in-law never liked her. Maybe the problem was that she had no other experience beyond the negativity between her & her mother in-law, & being naïve, she didn’t know how to act better towards me. Logically, it made sense, & I felt terrible for being so upset with my mother in-law for quite some time & silently tolerated her abuse. Yet, “she doesn’t know any better” didn’t sit right with me.
Eventually I realized why the ignorance plea felt wrong. I realized she wasn’t ignorant, she was malicious. I thought I’d share those realizations with you today so if someone tells you that the narcissist in your life doesn’t know any better, you won’t suffer needlessly as I did.
If someone is truly ignorant of their actions, they won’t hide their behavior. Why would they? If they aren’t aware that what they’re doing is wrong, there’s no need to hide it. Someone who is knowingly doing something wrong is going to hide their actions. My husband never once saw his mother say or do anything inappropriate to me. Not once in the eight years she was in my life before I walked away. We saw her often, too, but she never slipped up. If she truly didn’t know that she was treating me badly, why would she have hidden her behavior towards me? She would have treated me the same no matter who was around.
A malicious person doesn’t listen. A person who is told that their actions are hurting someone yet repeats the actions over & over is malicious. By continuing to hurt someone, they are proving by their actions that they either don’t care that their actions cause someone else pain or that they enjoy deliberately causing pain. However, if you confront someone who is truly unaware of the pain their actions cause, they will change their behavior, apologize & even try to make it up to the person they hurt if at all possible. They also won’t repeat the hurtful behavior again.
An ignorant person doesn’t change their actions just because another person enters the room, but a malicious person does. A malicious person will change their behavior if someone whose opinion they value comes along so that person continues to think well of them. Ignorant people won’t think that way because they don’t think their behavior is something that can be construed as bad or wrong.
When in a situation where you are told the person mistreating you simply doesn’t know any better, please consider these three scenarios. They should help you to realize quickly if the person in question truly is ignorant of the pain their actions cause or if they are deliberately mistreating you.
People who aren’t terribly familiar with Narcissistic Personality Disorder often can be tricked by the “disorder” part of the name into thinking that narcissists are sick. They cannot control their behavior because they have a mental illness, so you have to give them a free pass. This is completely WRONG!
You see, there are differences between sick & evil.
A sick person cannot control their symptoms. Look at a person with PTSD, for example. Flashbacks happen & the person having them can’t stop them. It doesn’t matter if the person is driving, at work or sitting on the couch watching a movie. However, if you look at a narcissist, he or she can control the symptoms quite well. I remember in my late teen years, my mother would scream at & berate me, but if the phone rang, she could switch that behavior off to speak to whoever was calling her.
Another difference is someone who is sick hurts someone, it isn’t intentional. They clearly get no thrill from causing pain & suffering, & they feel genuine remorse for their actions. They apologize. They try to make it up to the person they hurt when possible. They also do their best not to let that happen again. Evil people behave nothing like this. They enjoy causing pain & suffering. It’s rather like a high to them because they feel powerful that they can affect someone so strongly. They feel no remorse for their actions. They don’t apologize but instead offer excuses, blame the victim, say the incident didn’t happen as the victim remembers it or it didn’t happen at all.
In spite of these very clear differences, it seems many people don’t acknowledge that sick & evil are very different things. I think there are a couple of reasons for this.
Maybe this is because it is easier for people to write off abusive actions as sick. Knowing that someone you love has chosen to inflict physical &/or mental pain on you is very difficult to accept. That person loves you.. how could they want to hurt you, after all.
Another possible reason is sickness can be cured or at least managed. Give someone the proper medication & their symptoms will be either cured or at least controlled. There isn’t a pill to control or cure evil. The person must want to stop doing evil things, & very rarely does an evil person want to change. Clinging to the hope that the evil person is simply sick gives the victim hope of change.
When I first learned about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I got stuck on the term “disorder”. I thought that meant that my parents’ actions were beyond their control. If they couldn’t help themselves, then I shouldn’t be angry with them for hurting me. It wasn’t intentional, I thought. I would guess many people have thought the same thing. If someone who is abusing them has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, it can be very easy to believe at first that these problems are called disorders because the abuser can’t control their abusive actions. That also is much easier to accept than the fact that your abuser is deliberately choosing to abuse you.
There is also the fact that if this is sickness as opposed to evil, everyone has an excuse to do nothing about the abuse. After all, if it’s a sickness, no one but a doctor can fix that, right?
Claiming evil people are simply sick people does no good to anyone! What people don’t realize is they are giving the evil person free reign to abuse. They offer the abusive person no consequences for their actions, which means there is zero chance that abuser will want to change. Why should they when they know they can do anything they want with no repercussions?
They also don’t seem to realize (or at least don’t want to admit) that this also invalidates & can further traumatize victims. Victims who are trying to escape abuse or have escaped know the truth. It hurts them to be told their abuser was just sick & they were wrong for being angry with him or her.
Just remember, Dear Reader, you know in your heart whether your abuser is sick or evil. If you have any doubts, look at their behavior, & you’ll see the truth.
So many people seem to admire others who are constantly busy. If you don’t believe me, you can see this for yourself. If someone asks what you’ve been up to lately, notice their reaction to your answer. If you say, “Not much,” most people look a bit disgusted with that answer. However, if you say, “I’ve been really busy,” most people look pleased with your answer.
Keeping busy isn’t always the good thing many people think it is though. Constantly going takes a toll on your physical, emotional & even spiritual health. Physical because you aren’t taking the proper time to rest like your body needs you to. Emotional because you aren’t allowing your mind to relax or giving it time to process things you need to process. Spiritual because you aren’t taking time to spend with God, so He can restore you, heal you or simply love you like you need.
Keeping busy is also a trauma related response. Many people who have experienced trauma throw themselves into activities or work rather than take the proper time to face & heal from their trauma. Think about it. How many people after the death of someone they love, for example, suddenly get more active in work, volunteering, working at their church or other activities? A lot of people do this. They also will frequently say something like keeping busy helps them not to think about their departed loved one so much. Whether or not they realize it, they are trying to avoid the pain of missing their loved one by being so busy, they don’t have time to think about that pain.
As hard as it can be to stop this behavior, it really is important to do so. If you are too busy, I’d like to encourage you to pray about it. Ask God to help you let go of activities that aren’t beneficial to you, to help you streamline your life so you will have more free time, & to give you the courage & strength you need to face the issues you have been avoiding.
Also, seriously examine your activities. Are there things you do that aren’t bringing you any joy or benefiting your life in any way? Then it may be time to abandon them if possible. Or, if you can’t fully abandon them, how about reducing the time, energy & finances spent on those activities?
Use technology to help you. I lean heavily on Google Calendar. It took some time to set it up, but once I did that, it’s become a life saver! All important dates are on it, such as birthdays & anniversaries. I also added dates our monthly bills are due (including notifications for a week or two before to remind me they are coming up soon so I can plan accordingly), & have them recur each month. My husband & I both have Calendar on our cell phones, so we know when we have plans, when we have free time & when our bills are due.
Another useful tool is paying bills online. Most companies save your payment information so if you pay the bill once, you can return each month, click a couple of buttons & pay your bill. If you are financially able, another useful feature is automatic payments. Most companies allow customers to schedule their payment so it automatically comes out of the bank on the same day each month.
Decluttering is another way to free up time. Yes, it takes time to do, but once it’s done, it’s a wonderful thing. My Grandmom had an aversion to clutter, & would say more stuff is only more stuff to clean & maintain. She was right. Less stuff to clean & maintain means more free time for you.
Use common sense, & you no doubt will see activities you can stop or do a different way to free up some time in your life. You’ll enjoy your life a lot more when you have plenty of time to spend in prayer, reading, or whatever other ways you like to spend your time. You’ll also be much less anxious & more able to face whatever issues you need to face. xoxo
Anyone who knows me knows I am deeply into music. Although I love all kinds of music, one of my favorite bands ever is the famous rock band, Queen. Their unique sound & ability to mix all types of sounds to make music is absolutely incredible to me. “Normal” music bores me so the uniqueness that always has been Queen is super appealing to me.
Anyone who knows me also knows my way of thinking is a bit skewed from what normal people think. That ties into my Queen fandom, so please bear with me….
Recently I was listening to my favorite Queen song, “The Show Must Go On.” The song was written by Brian May, the band’s incredibly talented guitarist & by the way also an astrophysicist, for the band’s singer, Freddie Mercury as he was dying from AIDS. The band members were incredibly close friends, & this song was his gift to Freddie. The story goes, at the time they were to record it, Freddie was quite ill & the other band members weren’t sure he would be able to sing long enough to create the single. Upon hearing their concerns, he slammed down a shot of liquor & said he’d do it… then proceeded to create the vocals in only one take. Pretty impressive especially for a dying man, don’t you think?
Yet, this isn’t something that was un-typical for the magnificent singer.
An extremely shy man, Freddie Mercury created an on stage persona that was very different from his true personality. His fans loved the extrovert he was on stage, yet in spite of that, when he was off stage, he stayed true to his true shy nature. His private life stayed private as much as possible.
In spite of being known for being shy, Freddie Mercury had a healthy self esteem. Many people assume being shy means having low self esteem, but that isn’t always the case. He recognized his talent as well as his shortcomings. As a result, he also was very accepting of others & non-judgmental.
Freddie Mercury was comfortable with who he was. Ok, he was not perfect, but who is? Even so, this man was clearly comfortable in his own skin.
Also, he wasn’t afraid to step out of the box. He did many unique things. The opinions of others really weren’t important to him. That isn’t a bad thing at all! Everyone should have such confidence in stepping out of the box!
Thinking of these things, I was reminded yet again that Freddie Mercury is quite the role model. Yes, I know, he had issues. But honestly.. don’t we all have some issues?? He was true to himself & that is a wonderful thing! We should strive to be true to ourselves as well.
I think most of us can learn a thing or two from this amazing man!
Naturally as Christians, we need to keep God first in our lives. That being said though, it sure wouldn’t hurt any of us to learn a few lessons from Freddie Mercury.
Whatever you do, stay true to yourself, be comfortable in your own skin & don’t be afraid to step outside of the box. What other people think isn’t important. And yes, this is aimed at those who survived narcissists! You take care of yourself, be true to yourself & don’t be afraid of trying anything different. If you want to dye your hair pink or blue or purple, then by all means, DO IT!!! Get that tattoo, change your wardrobe into something entirely different from your normal. Don’t let the opinions of other people determine what you should & shouldn’t do. I know this can be so hard when you were raised by narcissistic parents, but it’s so important to break away from their mindset. They don’t know you as the person God created you to be. They don’t understand His will for your life. And that is fine. You know these things & you know that you need to do God’s will for your life. Do it & enjoy every single moment!
So many websites & authors make no contact sound like an easy decision & once you go no contact, all will be right in your world. Nothing could be further from the truth!! While no contact is often the best & even the only solution, that doesn’t mean it’s an easy one.
If you’re considering no contact with a narcissist in your life, in particular one in your family, you need to be aware of some things. I am not writing these to make you change your mind about no contact, only to help you prepare for the potential aftermath.
- No one has the right to abuse you, not even your family.
- You are under no obligation whatsoever to tolerate abuse from anyone & yes, that includes family.
- Cutting toxic people out of your life doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you someone who cares enough about yourself not to tolerate abuse.
- Just because you severed contact with someone doesn’t mean you hate them. You can love someone but still not be able to be in a relationship with them because they’re abusive.
- No one can fully prepare for what may happen after no contact because all people are different. When I went no contact with my mother, she ignored me & kept her distance. When I went no contact with my father, he continually tried to force me to talk to him, including getting his family to try to force me to talk to him. It’s hard to predict how the person on the receiving end of no contact will handle it.
- You will be depressed for some time after going no contact. No matter how sure you are that you did the right thing or how much you know you had no choice but to do this, ending a relationship especially one with a family member is TOUGH! It hurts!
- You’ll also feel very guilty for a while, even though there isn’t a valid reason to feel that way. This is simply because that is how this person trained you. Their feelings are more important than yours & how dare you put your feelings ahead of theirs, at least that is what they want you to believe. Remember, this person is the reason the relationship fell apart. Yes, you walked away but only after you were pushed into doing so to protect your mental health. There is no reason to feel guilty about this!
- You’re going to have doubts. It’s only normal. Remind yourself of how much thought & prayer went into your decision when this happens. Also remember what led you to make this incredibly difficult decision. Doing so helps a great deal.
- Not everyone is going to understand. Some people are going to judge you very harshly. Those people can be incredibly hurtful & cruel. No matter how convicted they are in their beliefs, it doesn’t mean they are right. Don’t let them make you doubt your decision or tolerate their abusive words.
- Of those who judge you, you will be surprised by who is doing it. Some folks you were convinced were on your side will turn on you, & it is going to hurt badly! You also may be surprised by acquaintances & even strangers who attack you for going no contact. It’s shocking when someone you barely know or don’t even know at all thinks they have the right to tell you what they think you should do with your life.
- Those who don’t understand also will try to guilt or shame you into reconnecting. Don’t let that happen!! Again, remind yourself of what led you to making this decision. Also remind yourself that these people don’t know the whole story, so their input is useless to you.
- Often, these people who attack you are going to be your own family. Family is often the most abusive in these situations. Mine certainly has been. Various members have attacked me like they were starving lions & I was vulnerable prey. Sadly this is pretty normal in narcissistic families. Family members often delude themselves into thinking they’re a happy, normal, functional family. They will do anything to protect their delusions, including attack someone who tells the truth. If they can quiet the truth teller, then their delusions can remain in tact. To them, attacking their own kin is worth it if it protects their delusions.
- You may think if you just did something they wanted you to do or loved them enough, the abuse would have stopped. That is not true! A person changes because they want to. To make an abuser want to change is nearly impossible. They get what they want from being abusive & they lack empathy. This means they see no reason at all to change.
- You also may have days where you miss this person. You may be tempted on those days to rekindle the relationship. You may even want to apologize for going no contact. DON’T DO IT!! Once someone has gone no contact then later returns to the relationship, it gets much worse than it originally was. It may start out good, but it won’t take long before the mask comes off again. When that happens, the person underneath is even uglier than they were before.
- You won’t be functioning in survivor mode anymore, so you may feel much different. You may feel very vulnerable & over sensitive. Little things can make you cry or make you angry that never bothered you before. You may have more nightmares than usual. You may experience changes in anxiety levels by either becoming more anxious in general or less anxious but when you do get anxious those times are harder than they used to be.
- You may feel oddly lost, too, like you don’t know what to do with your life. When in a relationship with a narcissist, they seem to take up all the room in the relationship, even down to including all the room in your brain. Without them, what is there to think about?! It can take some time to feel less lost after survival mode is over.
- At some point, you are going to feel so much better! You’ll experience freedom & enjoy that feeling immensely. If the narcissist in your life was a relative, guilt will come attached to enjoying your new freedom, but in time it will get less & less, until it disappears.
- You’ll also experience peace, possibly for the first time in your life! No more unnecessary drama. No more narcissistic rages. The peace is glorious!!
- You won’t feel on edge all the time, worried about what to say or do to appease the narcissist so he or she won’t rage at you. You finally can relax & not focus all of your energy on this person. It’ll feel like a giant weight is lifted off your shoulders.
- You also will start to enjoy little things more than you used to. When you’re life is totally focused on a narcissist, it’s hard to enjoy subtle things like a bird singing, a beautiful full moon or even a great song on the radio. It can feel almost like you’re reborn, I think is the best way to describe it.
In time, you’ll learn that no contact was absolutely worth it. In spite of all the pain, the tears, the doubts & the attacks from horrible people, it truly was worth it. You will survive it, & be better & stronger for it!
My ebooks are currently on sale until May 31, 2020. Check them out at the following link:
Recently I was speaking with a fellow blogger, Linda Lee at https://ablogabouthealingfromptsd.wordpress.com (it’s a great blog! Check it out!). We were talking about how we don’t believe God created people for things like surviving abuse & losing someone we love which is what makes coping with such things so incredibly hard. During this conversation, she told me something very interesting. Some time ago, she spent time under the care of the well known Meier Clinic. In fact, she was blessed enough to be under the care of Dr. Meier directly! After a lifetime of abuse & bad mental health diagnoses, this was an incredible blessing! What he told her made so much sense in her situation, but I believe in other people’s situations as well. It sure fit mine! It probably will fit your situation too!
“You are NOT mentally ill. What you have is called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Although PTSD is classified as a mental illness for insurance purposes, the reality is that having PTSD after experiencing overwhelming trauma is perfectly normal — no less normal than it is to bleed, if somebody cuts you with a knife. You see, God did not create us for abuse. God is love, and He made us in His spiritual image, which means that we were created for kindness and love, not for abuse and hatred. God created us to love and be loved. But when we get hate instead of love, when we receive abuse instead of kindness, we are damaged by that. Being damaged by abuse does not mean that you are weak or crazy. The strongest, sanest person in the world will develop PTSD, if they go through enough trauma and abuse. Just as the strongest man in the world will bleed, if you take a knife and cut him. Human skin was not created to withstand the sharp blade of a knife. In the same way, the human soul was not created to be traumatized and abused.”
I have beat myself up a LOT since learning I have C-PTSD. I’ve told myself I’m so weak & other people had it worse & all kinds of heartless, invalidating things. It doesn’t help when other people’s words & actions re-enforce such things. I have found that sometimes those who have suffered abuse yet don’t have C-PTSD can be as judgmental as those who lack empathy for those who have been abused.
Anyway I find Dr. Meier’s words to my friend so comforting!! Having C-PTSD or PTSD is a very normal response to a very abnormal situation! These disorders aren’t a sign of weakness. They are a sign of being normal.
Also, notice that he said. “The strongest, sanest person in the world will develop PTSD, if they go through enough trauma and abuse.” That tells me that no one is immune to traumatic responses. Every single person has a breaking point, a point where enough is enough, & the trauma they experience will cause their brain to develop PTSD or C-PTSD. Everyone’s breaking point is different, so there is no point in judging others who have one of these disorders. No one is immune!
The next time you’re feeling weak or like a failure for living with PTSD or C-PTSD, I hope you’ll remember what Dr. Meier said. Print them out. Save them somewhere on your computer or phone. Share them on Facebook. Whatever you do, please remind yourself of them! I certainly plan to do so & do so often! It can get too easy to go down the rabbit hole of thinking you’re a failure for having such a problem & that isn’t right! No one is immune! They are natural reactions to highly abnormal circumstances, nothing more!
Recently, I was watching an episode of “The Walking Dead.” I’m not sure if any of you who follow my work are also fans, but if not, you still might find this interesting.
In this particular episode, Neegan was talking to the daughter of a woman he had killed. Alpha was a horrible woman & was basically a cult leader in my opinion. Anyway, the daughter was calm at first, realizing he killed her because it was necessary. He kept saying she needed to get her feelings out though. It wasn’t healthy to hold them in. The girl insisted she was ok. Eventually, the young woman broke down though. When she did, she said something interesting. “I want to hate her but I can’t!”
This really hit home with me. I think many of us with narcissistic mothers feel the same way. I realize not everyone does. Some dislike or even hate their narcissistic mother. I truly hope this post doesn’t make you feel something is wrong with you. Everyone is different! I’m simply writing this to help those who feel like I do.
It’s a very strange feeling when you know your mother did the most horrific & unspeakable things to you, destroyed your self esteem, destroyed your identity even, yet on some level, you still love her. It makes no sense at all to the logical mind to feel that way. If anyone else did these things to you, chances are excellent you wouldn’t feel any love for this person at all. Why feel differently towards your mother? She’s the one person in the world that never should intentionally hurt you, yet she did. Over & over again in fact.
The one year anniversary of my mother’s death is fast approaching & I’m realizing I feel the same way. I want to hate my mother, but I can’t. I’ve been thinking about this & this episode of “The Walking Dead” got me thinking about it more. I thought I’d share some thoughts as to why this happens sometimes.
Many children of narcissistic parents are naturally loving & kind. They aren’t people who hate easily & often not at all.
Many narcissistic mothers were the engulfing type. Children grow up feeling as if she is the only safe place for them because their mothers make them feel that way. Hating that safety net of sorts feels impossible.
Often, there were some good times, too, not only bad. Very few abusers are abusive 100% of the time. They are nice & loving periodically to bond their victim to them. This trauma bond can be extremely confusing! You want to hate the abuser, but you also know that they can be very kind & loving at the same time. It feels impossible to hate someone kind & loving even when you know that they are capable of unimaginable cruelty.
The nature of relationship is another factor. You only get one mother. You shared her body with her for nine months. This can’t be said of any other human being on the planet. This naturally makes a child share a unique & exceptionally close bond with her mother, no matter what kind of mother she was. Hating one’s mother is unnatural. Of course it is possible & many people do feel that way, but not everyone is capable of hating their mother.
If you feel like there is something wrong with you because in spite of it all, you still love your narcissistic mother, please know there is nothing wrong with you. When it comes to surviving narcissistic abuse, there are no one size fits all solutions. Everyone is different. Everyone processes emotions differently. Everyone also had different experiences. I really don’t think there is anything wrong with how anyone feels who survived a narcissistic mother. The only wrong that I’m aware of is when someone repeats the pattern with their own children, & continues the cycle.
Many people have issues with setting boundaries or even severing ties with a narcissistic parent. They say you are being mean, unreasonable, selfish. In religious people, they may also throw in that you aren’t honoring your parent, & they quote Exodus 20:12 that tells us to honor our parents. Or, in Asian cultures, they mention filial piety, which is respecting & caring for one’s parents being the highest of virtues.
People who say this sort of gibberish are either completely clueless or they’re narcissistic enablers. Yet, in spite of that, sometimes victims are convinced that these imbeciles are right. They stop using their boundaries, continue to tolerate the abuse, & are completely miserable.
If you are reading this & in this place of either wanting to set boundaries or go no contact with your narcissistic parent, but feel you are being selfish, mean, etc., you need to know that you are wrong! I promise you that, & will show you why.
Although I don’t know much about religions other than Christianity, I do know that many of them seem to share one common belief, which basically boils down to, “you reap what you sow.” Just look at what the Bible has to say about that…
- Proverbs 11:25 “The generous man [is a source of blessing and] shall be prosperous and enriched, And he who waters will himself be watered [reaping the generosity he has sown].” (AMP)
- Proverbs 19:19 “A man of great anger will bear the penalty [for his quick temper and lack of self-control];
For if you rescue him [and do not let him learn from the consequences of his action], you will only have to rescue him over and over again.” (AMP)
- Proverbs 22:8 “He who sows injustice will reap [a harvest of] trouble,
And the rod of his wrath [with which he oppresses others] will fail.” (AMP)
- Obadiah 15 “The day of the Lord is near for all nations.
As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head.” (NIV)
- 2 Corinthians 9:6 “Now [remember] this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows generously [that blessings may come to others] will also reap generously [and be blessed].” (AMP)
- 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)
These Scriptures prove that whatever a person does, good or bad, there are consequences. It’s a natural part of life.
I realize as the child of a narcissistic parent or two, this feels so foreign. After all, the child never should upset the parent, burden them with “trivial” things like their needs or let the parent face consequences of their terrible behavior. However, this is so wrong! God has made sure this reaping & sowing wisdom is mentioned repeatedly in His Word. This has to be important to be mentioned many times, wouldn’t you agree?
If you think about this, I’m sure it’ll help you to realize that your boundaries or no contact aren’t you being an awful person, but simply the natural course of events. That is what happened with me. I felt bad for setting boundaries with my parents & going low contact. God reminded me of Galatians 6:7-8. I thought about it & realized it made sense. Every time I so much as started to feel guilty, I remembered that Scripture. It was very encouraging! So much so that I was finally able to go no contact with my parents. I felt mostly sadness because this wasn’t how things should be, which I think is totally normal, but very little guilt. Without realizing the principle of sowing & reaping, I don’t know if I could have gone no contact. If I had, no doubt the guilt would have been about crippling!
Please consider this post if you are struggling with setting boundaries or going no contact with your narcissistic parent, Dear Reader. You aren’t wrong, selfish, unreasonable, mean or anything else. You have every right to do these things!
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Those who don’t have flashbacks usually have no idea what a flashback truly is. They sometimes think those of us who have them are exaggerating or being dramatic about something we remembered, & have little patience for us because of our “drama queen” ways.
People who think like this need to understand something. Flashbacks aren’t the result of someone being overly dramatic. They also aren’t simple memories or even repressed memories. They are much different. They’re intense & complicated.
Flashbacks aren’t as simple remembering a traumatic event. All of your senses kick in & you see, hear, smell, taste & feel the same things you felt when the event originally happened to you. It literally feels as if you’re reliving the traumatic event, even though logically you know you aren’t. It can be very hard to tell the difference between reality & the flashback.
If you’re very lucky, when a flashback happens, you still maintain enough composure to remember to ground yourself somehow. Touching something with an extreme texture, such as burlap for example, can help. Or, smelling something with a very strong scent like lavender also can help. The trick is to override your confused senses with something real in order to get them to focus on something other than the flashback. Grounding yourself like this can be quite effective in helping you to get through the flashback. Even so, remembering what to do in the midst of a flashback is something else entirely. It’s incredibly hard to have focus on anything when your mind & body are trying to convince you that this horrible memory isn’t just a memory, but it’s happening to you all over again.
As if all of this isn’t quite enough, once the flashback is over, you’re drained both mentally & physically to the point of exhaustion. I have described it as feeling like I was hit by a huge truck. The anxiety of it tenses your muscles greatly. When it’s over, those muscles can ache badly for a while. Your heart races during the flashback & it takes time for it to slow back down once the flashback dissipates. Chances are very good your stomach will be upset & you’ll have a nasty headache for a while as well.
In addition to the physical side of flashbacks, there is also the mental ones. Flashbacks are utterly depressing. It’s so unpleasant remembering traumatic events under any circumstances, but it’s even worse when you feel as if you just relived it. They also can make you feel ashamed for not being healed from the trauma by now, embarrassed if it happened in front of another person or other people, & they take away your hope of having a normal life without flashbacks.
They also make you incredibly anxious because you wonder when is the next one going to strike? Will it be just like this one or will it involve another traumatic event? What if it happens when I’m driving? What if it’s worse? Is it possible to get stuck in the flashback & never come out of it?
If you’re one of those folks who never has experienced a flashback, I’m telling you, count your blessings! Thank God for this!
If you know someone who has flashbacks though, I hope you will remember this information & treat your loved one accordingly. Remember that this person isn’t seeking attention or being overly dramatic. They are dealing with a very difficult & painful mental illness. They have experienced something or some things so traumatic that their brain physically broke! It isn’t your loved one’s fault they have flashbacks, & chances are excellent if this person could find a way never to have them again, they would. So please, be patient & understanding with anyone you know who suffers with flashbacks. A little gentleness can help us more than you know.
Not everybody thinks about their words before speaking. They just blurt things out. Those thoughtless comments can do a surprising amount of damage.
Some thoughtless comments are listed below…
- “You’re just like *insert disliked person here*” Often a person tells you how crazy, bad, stupid, etc. that person is prior to telling you that you’re just like him or her. Even if you love that person, the person telling you that you’re just like someone they think is crazy, bad, stupid, etc. hurts!
- On the opposite side of the same coin… “Why can’t you be more like *insert person’s name here*?” This can make you feel not good enough.
- “*insert someone’s name here* has it worse than you do.” This can make you feel guilty, ashamed or just plain wrong for being upset in the first place.
- “You’ve always had it so easy!” “You’re spoiled!” “You’ve never had to work hard for anything!” Really? I seriously don’t think there is one person who has ever lived that hasn’t struggled in some way, shape or form. This can make you feel like you should be ashamed of yourself if you’re struggling with something or if you’re given something.
- “You’re depressed? What do you have to be depressed about?!” (or anxious or have PTSD) or, “Think happy thoughts.” So many people think mental disorders are only about a person not thinking positively enough, not appreciating what they have or some other simple solution. While yes, you can think wrong thoughts & make yourself depressed or anxious, many people have actual physical problems with their brain causing depression, anxiety & even PTSD. No amount of “thinking positive” can fix those problems!
- “It’s all in your head!” regarding mental illness. Well, technically it is! It’s in the name- mental illness. People that say this often mean you’re imagining the symptoms & need just to get over whatever is causing those symptoms.
- “Don’t be so selfish!” Narcissists in particular love this one. Thinking of your needs & having boundaries isn’t selfish. Neither is prioritizing yourself over demanding self centered people. “Don’t be selfish” coming from a narcissist is nothing more than projection. If someone you don’t think is a narcissist says it, it could be a red flag. Pay attention to what this person says & does to determine if the person is a narcissist or if they’re actually right & you are being selfish somehow.
- “You’re so shy/quiet!” This shaming statement can make you feel wrong or broken for being an introvert. People fail to realize the world needs talkers & listeners. If everyone talked a lot, who would listen?! Everyone would be too busy talking to listen to each other!
- “But that’s your MOTHER!” (or father or whichever random relative you’ve gone no contact with) People say this like we’ll respond by saying, “OH! I hadn’t thought about that! You’re right! I’ll go fix everything right now!” We *know* this is our mother or whoever. In fact that reason is precisely why they have hurt us to the point they have. Obviously we care more about those close to us than total strangers. No contact was a very painful decision to come to, & this comment can make us feel ashamed & wrong for choosing that option.
- “Are you sure you want to do that? I mean, it’s a lot of work..” This could be about anything- painting your home, going back to college, changing careers or starting a family. In any case, it comes across as if the person saying it doesn’t think you’re capable of doing that task. Hopefully it’s said without malicious intent & only with concern for you. Sometimes though, it’s said with malice in order to instill doubts in you & make you feel incapable.
- After someone has died.. “You should be glad she’s not in pain anymore.” Really? Ok, we’re all glad that someone’s suffering has ended when they died. If we’re both Christians, we’re also glad we’ll see them again one day in Heaven. However, how about letting us have some time of grieving because we miss that special person? Grief is normal when you lose someone you love & no one should shame you for it!
Of course there are plenty more thoughtless statements but these are just some examples.
When people say such nonsense, I find it useful to remind yourself that not everyone is compassionate. Some people are also simply thoughtless. No, they aren’t deliberately mean spirited- they just don’t think that much about how their words affect other people. Others may be having a bad day & were too preoccupied to consider what they were saying at that specific time. And, some people are narcissists. They simply enjoy hurting you as much as possible or they’re so self-absorbed, they don’t even think of how what they say will affect you.
In any case, what people say isn’t your fault or a reflection on you. Also, you can’t count on people to be validating at all times. You have to learn to validate yourself. It’s one of the best gifts you can give yourself!
Over the course of my life, I have dealt with quite a few narcissists. They taught me many ways to deal with this personality.
One way I learned to deal with narcissists pretty successfully is to stump them. How do you stump such a highly illogical person whose thinking makes no sense? With cold, hard logic.
Narcissists feed off of the emotions of their victims. It gives them such a feeling of power to control another person’s emotions! That is why the Gray Rock method is so successful, it deprives the narcissist of feeding off the emotions of their victims because the victim keeps all emotions hidden from the narcissist. This is what cold, hard logic does as well.
A person who is very logical doesn’t reveal what they feel. They deal instead with nothing but the facts. This can be very useful with narcissists.
As an example, let’s say the narcissist in your life wants you to do something that will create a financial burden for you yet not benefit you in any way. The narcissist insists you need to do this & hand over your bank card right now. But, what if rather than saying “no” outright you said something else? What do you think would happen if you said, “I don’t understand something… how is this supposed to be a good thing? Clearly, I’ll end up with a debt I’ll have trouble repaying. Yet, I don’t see how this debt will benefit me. Am I missing something here? Please tell me how doing this will be a good thing.” How would the narcissist in your life respond to this? I would guess like many narcissists, he or she would be baffled.
Doing this can make a narcissist angry, naturally. Going against their wishes always carries that risk. That being said though, even the most malignant narcissist doesn’t want to look foolish. They realize that raging against someone who is making sense can make them look foolish, so usually they won’t rage extremely. They may throw out a few nasty comments, but that is all. The good part is, their behavior can change, & it often does.
If you wish to try using logic against the narcissist in your life, I would encourage you to give it a try! Some folks are very emotional & not as logical by nature. This may be a bit tricky for you, but you still can do it. If it helps, think of your situation as if it wasn’t you involved, but instead was a friend who came to you complaining of this problem & looking for a solution. What would you tell that friend?
Here are some phrases that can help you to get started being logical with the narcissist:
- I get that if I do that it helps you, but I don’t see how it helps me. Not trying to be selfish here, but I don’t think it’s a good idea for me to do that.
- So you just said/did that thing that you know bothers me & you’re mad that I’m upset about it. I don’t see why you have the right to be mad at me but I don’t have the right to be mad at you for doing something you know bothers me. Would you explain that to me?
- I’m really confused. I don’t see how that is a good thing. Can you explain it to me again in a different way so I can see things from your perspective?
These suggestions are simple, but they can be surprisingly helpful. And with time & practice, no doubt you’ll figure out even more phrases that will be beneficial.
Many people I have dealt with seem to misunderstand what no contact really is. Since others have experienced this too, I decided I would share some thoughts today on what no contact is & is not.
First of all, & yes, this is directed specifically at those who have said this nonsense to me.. no contact is NOT un-Christian. Enabling bad & abusive behavior is un-Christian. Tolerating abuse silently is un-Christian. Never confronting someone about their abusive behavior is un-Christian. If you don’t believe me, open a Bible. As Christians, we are to love people. Part of loving people is wanting what is best for them & helping them to be their best. When someone doesn’t listen to another’s complaints, they need consequences to make them want to improve their behavior. When normal consequences don’t work, no contact is a very viable option, even for those closest to a victim such as their own family & yes, even parents.
No contact isn’t about being unforgiving. A person can no longer speak to someone & have forgiven them for their abusive ways at the same time. Protecting one’s mental health has nothing to do with unforgiveness.
No contact isn’t taking the easy way out. Far from it! Anyone who has gone no contact with someone they love has suffered a great deal not only due to the abuse, but also making the decision to go no contact & living without that person. If you disagree, consider my story. I went no contact with my parents several months before my father died & almost three years to the day before my mother died. Doing that & not being there for them when they needed me at the end of their lives was horrible. If you think that was easy, you are very sadly mistaken!
No contact isn’t about trying to change someone. Yes, you are giving that person consequences for their actions, but that doesn’t mean you are trying to manipulate them into behaving better. You set that stage & it’s up to them to do with it as they want.
No contact also isn’t about not accepting someone. It’s about accepting that person as they are, yet knowing you can’t have a healthy relationship with that person.
No contact has nothing to do with being disrespectful. Rather it has everything to do with self respect, with respecting one’s self enough to detach from an abusive relationship.
No contact isn’t about hate. Just because you have ended a relationship doesn’t mean you hate the other person. You can love someone a great deal yet not be able to be in a relationship with that person. Some people I’ve spoken with assumed I hated my parents because of being no contact with them. Far from it! I loved my parents a great deal. It was how they treated me that I hated.
No contact isn’t about creating conflict or being dramatic. Every single person I’ve spoken with who ended an abusive relationship, no matter who that relationship was with, wanted the exact same things I did: no further abuse, peace & a conflict & drama free existence. When a narcissist’s flying monkeys go after someone who has gone no contact, fewer things can be more stressful & upsetting. We try to avoid that at all costs!
I doubt there is anyone who truly wants to end a relationship with someone they love, even when that person is abusive. That being said though, there are times when it’s necessary. Some people are so toxic there is no other solution other than no contact. Sadly, this even happens in families. As I said, I ended the relationship with my parents. They were simply that cruel & toxic. It happens, unfortunately, so if it has happened to you as well, know you’re not alone. Many of us understand!