Category Archives: Christian Topics and Prayers

All things Christian. Prayer requests are welcome.

Being A Joy Thief

So many people are quick to squelch the things that bring other people joy.  Granted, narcissists seem to have cornered the market on this behavior, but other people do it as well, & often without even realizing how discouraging their behavior is to others.

Here is one example of joy thief behavior I can give from my life.  Years ago, I shared a picture of some shoes I really liked on Facebook.  I’m not a big fan of shoes like many women, but these were an exception since they were simply gorgeous & unique.  As soon as I did, two of my aunts attacked me for my supposed poor taste.  Immediately, the moment of joy I felt at seeing these lovely shoes was ruined.  Thank God for good friends though, because a wonderful friend of mine came to my defense immediately, which made my aunts back off quickly.

Another way people do this is by showing holier than thou type behavior.  When a person thinks something is an answer to prayer, others can be quick to point out it isn’t exactly what the person asked for or it’s something rather unique, so it probably isn’t really an answer to prayer.  Or maybe you are like me & believe that there is nothing wrong with asking God for signs.  When telling some folks I got a sign, some people have told me, “You know that’s not really from God, right?” or, “Nowhere in the Bible are there any examples to support He would send a sign like that.”  Such comments are so discouraging & can make a person doubt they heard from God properly.  They can even damage a person’s faith, in particular if they are new Christians.

While these events are hardly the most traumatic a person can experience in their life, they still shouldn’t happen.  People deserve to experience their joy without the unnecessary shaming from other people.  There is no good reason to rain on another person’s parade.

What harm could possibly come from someone enjoying something that you dislike?  No harm could come to humanity because one person prefers autumn & another prefers summer, one person dislikes holidays while another listens to Christmas music in July or even one person prefers tea to coffee.  Seriously, issues like this are silly & not worth arguing about.

Even when it comes to someone’s faith, many issues aren’t worth disagreeing over.  Every Christian is at a different place in their walk with God.  While you may be further along than another, you are still well behind yet another person.  You don’t know everything, so why act like you do?  If someone believes something that you disagree with, unless you can back up your belief with Scripture, let it go.    Romans 14:12 & 13 in the Amplified Bible have this to say…  “So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.  Then let us not criticize one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block or a source of temptation in another believer’s way.”  

Please consider your behavior & avoid being a joy thief.  It will be good for your relationships as well as for your peace of mind.  Being burdened with trying to change other people only makes both people in this situation miserable.  Why behave that way?  Enjoy your life instead & allow others in your life to enjoy theirs as well.

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When People Must Share Their Opinions With You, Whether Or Not You Want Them To

I’ve noticed many people feel they must share any & all opinions, no matter whether or not other people asked them for those opinions & no matter how negative those opinions are.  Probably this is due to social media, & the ability to say anything without fear of any real repercussions from most “friends”.  Whatever the reason, it is highly annoying!  It seems nothing is a safe topic of discussion anymore.

If you think about it, you probably will realize how many folks share their less than encouraging opinions freely, no matter the topic.  Mention your thoughts on children, for example, whether or not to have children, your feelings on abortion or child rearing.  People will come out of nowhere to tell you how wrong you are & why you should think the same way they do.  Some folks tell those who have children things like they weren’t a real parent because they only had one child, they have too many children if they have more than one, or they were wrong for bottle feeding over breast feeding.  Then there are others who are adamantly against abortion because they say life is precious, yet these same people have no problem discussing their disdain for so called dirty or dumb animals & insulting vegetarians or vegans.

It amazes me that people think that their opinions are so incredibly important that they must be shared freely & with every single person they meet!

Chances are you will be subjected to this obnoxious situation at some point in your life.  And, if you’re a victim of narcissistic abuse, it can be very upsetting.  After experiencing the constant criticisms of a narcissist, you easily can become completely fed up with hearing such negativity.  That is understandable!  After experiencing this situation though I realized some things, & I want to share these things with you today.

You may never be ok with such behavior.  For one thing, it can trigger the same emotions you felt when the narcissist in your life tried to hurt you by telling you how terrible your feelings, opinions, thoughts, & everything about you were.  Early in healing, this behavior is very hard to handle because of that.  The more you heal though, the better you learn to handle triggering behavior of other people.  You see it for what it is, & handle the situation accordingly.

It’s also highly insulting when someone criticizes things that are important to you.  Insulting behavior isn’t something anyone should be ok with experiencing!  That being said though, the more you heal, the less it bothers you.  As you heal, you care less & less what other people think of you.  You realize their opinions are just that.  Theirs!  You also realize what they think is best for you isn’t necessarily what truly is best for you.  Only you know what is best for you.

What becomes more offensive than the opinions of other people is the fact that they are comfortable being disrespectful to you.  It can be very helpful to recognize why this person feels this way.  They may simply recognize you as a safe person for venting their anger or frustration at themselves on, which is why they mistreat you.  Or, this behavior may realize this person is a narcissist.  In any case, whether the person’s intentions towards you were malicious or not, it’s important to exercise healthy boundaries.  You don’t deserve to be mistreated.

Recognizing why they treat you this way can be very helpful too, because you see that their behavior isn’t about you.  It’s about them & their own dysfunction.

Unfortunately, many people seem to think they must have & share opinions on everything.  Although that is a waste of time to more functional individuals who recognize that they don’t need to have opinions on everything, let alone share them with everyone, dysfunctional people don’t see that.  Learning to deal with these people in a healthy way is a very useful skill to help you live a peaceful life.

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

God Plans Our Lives With Love

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

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

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

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

Romans 8:28 AMP

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

A Wonderful Idea

I use the Nextdoor app to see what is going on in my town.  It’s really an interesting app.  It reminds me a bit of Facebook, but is for people in your town only.  Your neighbors share all kinds of stuff on there!  They sell stuff, share stories of happenings such as flea markets or concerts, they discuss any criminal activity & much more.  It’s a great way to keep up to date on all the interesting stuff in your town.

Recently I was reading Nextdoor & saw an older post on there entitled “What do you need?”  The post asked people to share a need they have for something that they simply can’t afford right now.  Those who could meet those needs were encouraged to reply.  I thought it was a lovely idea.  Reading through the comments was heartwarming.  So many people shared their needs, big & small, & they were met.  Some asked for food for their pets & others offered to drop some food off or order it online & have it sent to their home.  One asked for a recommendation for a physician who uses naturopathic cancer treatments & that person got some recommendations.  Another asked for moving boxes & got that need met.  One person needed new brakes on their car & was given the name & number of a very reliable mechanic as well as coupons for the parts.  Yet another mentioned hosting Thanksgiving dinner & invited anyone who wanted to come.  Some people said they were not in any need & were grateful for what they had.

This post was really a lovely conversation!  It was heartwarming seeing so many people willingly help each other out, & also to see the new friendships that were formed.

While this post was created during the month of November due to being inspired by the holiday season, I think it’d be a lovely idea to create such a post during any time of the year.  People seem to be more generous during the holidays, but we should be generous during the entire year.  It is good for the giver & the receiver when someone is generous & giving.  In the Amplified Bible, Proverbs 11:25 says, “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].”  Luke 6:38 says, “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over [with no space left for more]. For with the standard of measurement you use [when you do good to others], it will be measured to you in return.” & 2 Corinthians 9:6 says, “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].”

If you are in a difficult season of not having much to spare, don’t worry!  Whatever you give, no matter how little, is just as important & valuable in God’s eyes & no doubt to the recipient of your kindness as well.  2 Corinthians 8:12 says, “For if the eagerness [to give] is there, it is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.”  And, Mark 12:41-44 tells the story of Jesus praising a poor widow who only gave a small amount because she was willing to give what little she had. 

I hope you were inspired by the “What do you need” post & will consider doing something similar.  There are so many ways to be a blessing to other people!  Obviously creating this type of post is one way, but you also could donate your time or money to food pantries or soup kitchens, visit those in nursing homes, set up a table with free food such as canned goods or build a small “take one leave one” library of sorts in your yard.  The possibilities are really endless!

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Boundaries Are Always Necessary, Even With Other Christians

Many people assume that being a Christian means you have no real boundaries.  You’re nice & helpful to everyone, & if you aren’t, you must not be a “real” Christian, whatever that means.  That isn’t even close to what being a Christian means however.

The Bible contains verses stating that as Christians, we should separate ourselves from others who claim to be Christians yet who act in toxic ways.  Matthew 18:15-17 says, “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens and pays attention to you, you have won back your brother. But if he does not listen, take along with you one or two others, so that every word may be confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he pays no attention to them [refusing to listen and obey], tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile (unbeliever) and a tax collector.”  And, 1 Corinthians 5:11 says, “But actually, I have written to you not to associate with any so-called [Christian] brother if he is sexually immoral or greedy, or is an idolater [devoted to anything that takes the place of God], or is a reviler [who insults or slanders or otherwise verbally abuses others], or is a drunkard or a swindler—you must not so much as eat with such a person.”

Clearly, boundaries are a necessary part of life.  Even in healthy relationships, they are necessary because without them, people can become enmeshed & unhealthy.  If boundaries are vital in healthy relationships, doesn’t it stand to reason that they are even more vital with unhealthy people?

Not setting boundaries isn’t being unloving, unkind, selfish or even a “bad Christian.”  Boundaries protect love, Godly love, because it means we are standing up to things that can damage or even destroy love.

We can & should set limits with those who behave badly in particular those who claim to be Christians, because they can be especially dangerous.  They are the ones who claim their toxic behavior is Godly which can lead people away from God. It is completely reasonable & even Godly to limit your time spent around someone who doesn’t behave in a healthy way.  It also is Godly to sever ties with someone who refuses to acknowledge the pain their behavior causes & change their ways.  Someone who doesn’t care that their behavior hurts other people or who even enjoys causing pain is toxic, & eliminating toxic relationships from your life is far from a bad thing to do!  Matthew 10:14 says, “Whoever does not welcome you, nor listen to your message, as you leave that house or city, shake the dust [of it] off your feet [in contempt, breaking all ties].”

Boundaries aren’t controlling, so please don’t think setting & enforcing them makes you a controlling or manipulative person.  Healthy boundaries are set & enforced to protect yourself, not change other people.  They are left with the choice to respect those boundaries or not respect them & deal with the consequences of their lack of respect.  Basically, that is what God does.  He doesn’t force people to do anything.  He has ways that He wants people to follow to have their best life, but rather than force people into obedience, He gives people the freedom to obey or disobey.  If they obey, they enjoy a close relationship with God.  If they disobey, they suffer consequences.  If they see the error of their ways & want to change, He certainly will forgive them & allow them into relationship with Him.  God displays the perfect model of how people should behave with each other.

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My New Alexa Skills

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

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

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

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

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15% Off All My Print Books!

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

My print books can be found at this link…

my spotlight on Lulu

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

What Can Happen When You Initiate Divorce Rather Than Your Spouse

People treat people getting a divorce very differently.  Often the one who didn’t initiate the divorce gets plenty of support & sympathy.  Those close to this person often shun the spouse who wanted the divorce & may even try to fix up their friend with someone new. 

The spouse who initiates the divorce usually gets no similar treatment.  This person is not only on the receiving end of rudeness from their soon to be ex spouse’s friends & family, but they receive very little support from those close to them.  It seems to me that most people think if divorce was your idea, then it isn’t hard on you.  In their mind, you’re simply ending your marriage & going on with your life as if nothing happened.

The truth however, is whichever side of the divorce you’re on, it can be incredibly painful.  Since there is very little information available for those who initiate divorce, I’ll be addressing them today.

I have been in your shoes.  My divorce to my first husband was my idea.  I was miserable, & as I wasn’t a Christian at the time, I had no hope.  I also was falling in love with my current husband who I was friends with at that time, so divorce was the only logical option in my mind.

I sincerely tried to be as good as I could be to my ex as we worked towards our separation, but it was pointless.  I was labeled the ungrateful, cheater who was leaving a great guy for no reason whatsoever.  People who had been our mutual friends suddenly got a snide attitude whenever they saw me, if they spoke to me.  Only one mutual friend of ours & his wife stayed friends with me while the rest abandoned me. 

My scenario is pretty typical, sad to say.  If you have experienced something similar because you opted to divorce your spouse, I want to let you know that you are NOT alone!  There are many of us out there!

I also want to give you hope today.  When you go through that situation, it hurts.  You feel so lost & alone.  You have doubts about your decision.  Even if your spouse was abusive like mine was, doubts are normal.  Divorce is a big decision & creates so much change.  All those feelings are normal, & you need to remember it.  You’re not overacting, crazy or whatever else people act like you are. 

You also have every right to be upset about getting a divorce!  Just because you initiated it doesn’t mean you have lost that right!  Clearly there was something bad going on to make you decide divorce was your only option.  Whatever that was clearly was bad, & you have every right to be upset about that.

You also have every right to be upset about your failed marriage.  It’s a loss, & loss is tough even when it is necessary or unavoidable.  The divorce being your idea rather than your spouse’s doesn’t negate that fact.  Nothing does. 

Never forget, that you have a Heavenly Father who won’t desert you like people have.  He will love you no matter what, & help you to get through this painful time.  He certainly did me.  I became a Christian a few months after my ex & I separated, & I am so grateful to God for helping me through that terrible time!  Not only did He offer me comfort & wisdom for healing, but He sent me new friends that were wonderful.  Much better than the ones I had originally.  Truly, I came out much better off without my ex & with God in my life.  What He has done for me, He can do for you too!  All you have to do is lean on Him & trust that He will help you however you need.

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News About My Apps

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

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

Thank you for understanding everyone! xoxo

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

For Those Who Lack Joy During The Holidays & Are Judged For It

Many people struggle through the holiday season for a range of very valid reasons.  Dysfunctional families causing unnecessary drama & misery, suffering loss through failed relationships or deaths of loved ones & financial struggles are some of the most common reasons, but there are many more.  Yet in spite of the validity of these reasons, many people are quick to shame these poor people, making their pain even worse.

My heart goes out to such people.  As I’ve written about plenty of times, I struggle through the holidays as well.  And, as many others have experienced, I’ve been shamed for that as well.  I’ve heard the usual comments like, “Focus on the positive!”  “It’s the most wonderful time of year!”  “Everyone is so happy.  Why can’t you be happy too?”  “Don’t be so negative.  It’s Christmas!!”  It’s no surprise, but comments don’t help. 

What people who make comments like this fail to realize is saying such things doesn’t make a person automatically feel better.  In fact, they only make a person feel worse.  It’s much like how saying, “cheer up” doesn’t cure depression or, “stop worrying!” doesn’t cure anxiety.

When you are faced with these overly judgmental people, it will be upsetting.  There is no avoiding that.  It does help to remember that some people simply aren’t very understanding others.  They either can’t or won’t try to understand the position of another person & unfortunately, they are everywhere.  This is how they are & they have no desire to change that about themselves. It has nothing about you that makes them act this way. 

There is also the fact that so many people have their own issues that they refuse to face.  Some people have come from their own dysfunctional, abusive pasts & rather than admit that fact & face their demons, they prefer to think only of happy things.  Traditionally, holidays are supposed to be a time of joy, so they are a great time to justifiably be focused on only happy things.  Or maybe holidays were the only time of joy they had in their childhood, so as adults, they cling to them to bring them joy as they once did.  Holidays also allow dysfunctional families to gather together & pretend that they are functional & happy.  Those from these families may enjoy this charade because even if only briefly, they can believe that they have a happy family.

One final thing to consider.  Colossians 2:16 in the New Living Translation of the Bible says, “So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths.”  Notice that even the Bible even states that people aren’t to judge others for how they celebrate special days.  Celebrating certain ways & certain days is traditional, but it isn’t necessary for anyone, even professing Christians.  God gives people free will to do as they please, & that includes how they celebrate special days.  If He won’t judge you for what you do or don’t do during the holiday season, then there is no reason to accept the judgment of human beings.  Do what makes you comfortable, & ignore the petty criticisms of people who don’t know your situation. 

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Year End Sale On ALL Of My Ebooks!

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

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

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

Narcissistic In-Laws

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Perspective Of Good & Bad Experiences

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Empathy vs Codependency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I wish you the best with making these healthy changes!

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The Phrase, “Hurting People Hurt People”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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For Male Abuse Victims

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Some Ways Victims Of Abuse Are Re-Victimized

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Another Reason People Side With Abusers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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When People Refuse To Choose Sides

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Saying “I Love You”

Recently I learned that an old friend of mine passed away suddenly & unexpectedly.  We met not long after I got my first computer in 2000, on an aol message board.  We emailed frequently.  Although we only met once in person & spoke on the phone only a handful of times, I cherished her friendship.  She was the definition of a southern belle – gentle, gracious, thoughtful, loving & most of all she had a strong faith in God.

Naturally, losing this lovely lady has caused me to think a lot about relationships & life in general.  One of the things that crossed my mind was our final conversation.  She wasn’t feeling well, so it was fairly brief, unfortunately.  I remember our last words before hanging up though.. “I love you.”

When I was growing up, my paternal grandparents always did this too.  We never parted company either in person or over the phone without saying, “I love you.”  It’s something that I believe is important to do with those close to me.  Honestly, no one knows when the time comes that they may leave this earth or even when a relationship may end unexpectedly, so why not be certain that your last words to those good, special people in your life are “I love you”?

Doing this means that there will be no regrets over last words said if the relationship stops.  That can make a big difference in a person’s peace!

The last words my grandfather & I said to each other before he died in 2003 were, “I love you.”  Although I don’t remember much of the conversation, I do remember that.  It brings me comfort during those times I miss him to remember how much we love each other.

The last time I saw my father before going no contact several months before he died, our parting words were “I love you.”  As much as I hated his narcissistic behavior, I did love him, & am glad I told him so. 

I know this isn’t exactly the most cheery topic in the world, & for that I apologize.  I feel it’s something that needs to be addressed anyway.  People seem to think saying I love you should be reserved for romantic relationships only, but really, it should be said in all kinds of healthy relationships.  Children need to know their parents love them & vice versa.  Grandparents & grandchildren should hear a heartfelt “I love you” said freely & often.  Even friends need to hear it.  I love my friends dearly, & tell them often. 

It’s common knowledge that falling in love with someone releases “feel good” chemicals in the brain, but I can’t help thinking that knowing you are loved by someone you love, whatever the nature of the relationship, has the same effect.  Hearing the words, “I love you” said with sincerity certainly draws people closer together & feels good, whether the person saying it is a romantic interest, friend or relative.

I believe that it’s time to normalizing telling those you love, that you love them.  Why not start today?

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About My Print Books

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

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

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

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

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Warrior For Truth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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How Close Is Too Close In Families?

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

Some examples of being too close are as follows:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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20% Off Print Books Until November 5!!

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

My books can be found at the link below…

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

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Valuable Knowledge For Victims Of Narcissistic Abuse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Please Help! Thank You!

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

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

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

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Encouragement For Those Who Pray For The Narcissists In Their Lives

Praying for people you love is easy & comes naturally as a Christian.  Praying for people who have done bad things to you is much harder.  Praying for a narcissistic parent who tried to destroy you is about a hundred times harder.  If you have taken it upon yourself to pray for your narcissistic parent, I want you to know that I truly get how hard it is.  I want to offer you some encouragement today to keep doing it, even when you don’t want to.

For many years after I became a Christian, I prayed for the salvation of my narcissistic parents.  Matthew 5:44 says we are to pray for our enemies, so I started praying for them out of obedience to God.  Honestly, my heart wasn’t really in it though.  Even before learning about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I realized their behavior was that of people who didn’t think they needed God in their lives in spite of saying they prayed & loved God.  Praying for them seemed pointless.  Not because God was unable to reach them, but because they clearly turned their backs on Him.  No matter what He did, if they didn’t want to hear or acknowledge His voice, they wouldn’t.  I got more lax in my prayers for them for a while.

As they got older & their health began failing, I stepped up my prayers more.  It was obvious they weren’t going to be around for a long time, so in spite of my lack of hope, I prayed for them daily.

The day my father died, a former friend of mine got a vision from God about my father.  The story is readily available on a link on the menu at the top of my website at http://www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com if you would like to read it.  Rather than repeat it here, suffice it to say that my father turned to God at the very end of his life.

Almost exactly eighteen months later, my mother died.  During the conversation with the funeral director, he asked my husband & I about our religious views.  Turned out he too was a Christian.  As we were discussing the final arrangements, he suddenly stopped.  He said God told him to tell me that my mother was with Him in Heaven!  A short time later, I found a tiny Bible in my mother’s house.  Apparently it was a gift to her when she was only 9 years old.  Printed towards the end was the Sinner’s prayer.  My mother signed it!  I believe that was proof that the funeral director was correct with the message he told me!

The reason I’m sharing these stories with you today is to encourage anyone who struggles with praying for the narcissist in their life.  I know it’s hard.  I also know that if you can do it, often you feel like a hypocrite because your heart isn’t in it.  There were plenty of times when I prayed for my parents I told God, “I don’t want to do this.  I don’t even care anymore what happens to them.  I’m only doing this because You want me to.”  Terrible, isn’t it?  Yet, not once did He make me ashamed of how I felt.  In fact, He understood that & was glad that I was praying for them in spite of not wanting to.  Clearly, He honored even those awful sounding prayers!

I also realize that it can be so disheartening to pray & see no improvement or hope that things will change.  Even so, please keep praying anyway!  All things truly are possible with God.  Just look at what happened with my parents.  And, just because you haven’t seen any change yet doesn’t mean that change won’t happen.

Please remember too, that you may never see the results of your prayers.  I didn’t.  When my father died, I hadn’t spoken to him in months.  When my mother died, it was just under 3 years since we spoke.  Just because I didn’t get to see the results of the prayers in this lifetime didn’t mean they didn’t happen!  Clearly, they did!

Lastly, if it seems as if God is taking too long answering your prayers, I know that can be frustrating!  Please don’t give up though!  Some people are very stubborn & close their hearts to God.  It can take a long time or something drastic to happen to break through that.  An answer delayed doesn’t necessarily mean an answer is denied.  2 Peter 3:9 in the Amplified Bible says,  “The Lord does not delay [as though He were unable to act] and is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is [extraordinarily] patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”

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Print Book Sale!!

From now until October 22, 2021, my publisher is offering a sale on all print books. Simply use code SPOOKY15 at checkout & get 15% off your purchase.

Visit the link below to see my print books:

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

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Ways The Spirit Of Fear Can Manifest

No matter how deep a person’s faith, we all make mistakes sometimes.  But, when a person’s actions don’t match their proclamation of faith more than they do match, it can be very hard to believe they are truly Christians.  In praying about this topic, God showed me some very interesting things.

A person truly can be born again, yet not act the part sometimes.  They can trust in the Gospel message, yet not trust that God wants to help them in their day to day life.

This can happen with someone who has serious health issues.  I once belonged to a traumatic brain injury support group online.  I wasn’t in the group long, because I noticed many members were intensely selfish, even ones who claimed to be Christians.  They weren’t obviously out to use & abuse other people like narcissists are, but clearly if something wasn’t about them, they weren’t interested. 

Christians also may not behave like Christians if they have a distrust of parent figures.  When a person was raised by at least one narcissistic parent, they most likely have a deep fear of all parental figures.  When you grew up with parents who were not only unsafe, but blatantly cruel & had no concern for your own needs, you will not trust God to be the loving father He claims to be in the Bible. 

Both of these issues can make even a Christian behave badly, & they both boil down to fear. 

Whether someone is sick, handicapped or raised by abusive parents, their core issue with God is they don’t trust Him.  When a person has serious health problems, they become self absorbed.  They suddenly have to consider their needs often & have to rely on other people to meet certain needs for the first time.  It can be very easy to become afraid of these needs not being met.

Or, they may feel that their earthly mother or father didn’t care about their needs, so why would anyone, even their Heavenly Father?  After all, He’s a parent & parents are selfish & don’t care about their children.  They fear others not being there for them or loving them, & often don’t even realize they feel this way.

When not confronted, fear can open the door for the spirit of fear.  2 Timothy 1:7 in the Amplified Bible states, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].”  Considering this verse gave me some insight into why some professing Christians don’t act like Christians.  They function with a spirit of fear.

I noticed after surviving carbon monoxide poisoning I was heading in this direction.  I had no idea what to expect from my health, thanks to the doctors giving me no information.  I also realized quickly that I had brain damage.  I had to learn quickly what was happening.  The more I learned, the more afraid I got.  The more afraid I got, the more selfish I got & the more afraid I got & the cycle continued.  Thankfully joining the TBI support group I mentioned previously made me realize how I felt, & how that was not how I wanted to be.  I spent more time in prayer, got closer to God & changed my ways.  I also learned to accept & work with my health issues.

Maybe you know someone in a similar position.  Someone operating with a spirit of fear can be incredibly painful to deal with, I know, but before you end the relationship, please consider what I have said.  Talk to the person.  Maybe they will see the problem & make appropriate changes.  If not, they may be too consumed with this spirit of fear.  Pray for them, asking God to free them from this spirit.  Reassure the person you love them & are there for them.  Granted, some people are too comfortable in their dysfunction to want change.  Some folks are also narcissists who refuse to change.  But, the average Christian person who is gripped by fear may respond very well.  Give it a try!  You can help them & also your relationship with that person.

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