Category Archives: Christian Topics and Prayers

All things Christian. Prayer requests are welcome.

Strong People Are Abused Too

Most people who hear of someone being abused think of someone weak.  A small child, an adult with low or no self esteem who isn’t very intelligent or even mentally or emotionally stunted.  Maybe someone who has a very gentle nature, lacking the  strength & courage to stand up to an abusive person or thinks that tolerating abuse is the Godly thing to do.

While it’s certainly true that people like this are sought out by abusers, they aren’t the only ones.  Highly intelligent, strong & confident people are also sought out by abusers.

Have you ever heard a story about a wealthy person being charmed by someone who stole most if not all of that person’s money?  Or, maybe a strong person ended up abused, & turned into an empty shell of their former self not long after marrying their abuser.  That person isn’t someone you would consider weak, but even so, they clearly were abused.

The natural response most people have is to wonder how this sort of thing happened?  They think that person was too smart or too strong to be in this situation, & it doesn’t make sense.  Their opinion of that person often drops because they feel that person must have been weak or stupid, in spite of how they appeared to be.

Such thinking couldn’t be further from the truth!

Abusers are often like prey hunting animals.  Sure, they’ll hunt the wounded, young & easy prey sometimes.  It’s there & they need a meal/victim so why pass that up?!  But, that doesn’t mean they have an aversion to the more challenging prey.  If a lion is hungry enough, he’ll hunt that healthy & strong antelope even though getting that antelope is a lot of work.

The same thing goes for narcissists.  They don’t have an aversion to abusing a victim that is more of a challenge.  In fact, they enjoy it.  Easy victims are good, but conquering someone who is strong, confident & successful is big time narcissistic supply.  That challenge makes them feel very powerful.  It makes sense in its own dysfunctional way.  It shows the abuser they are able to destroy the un-destroyable.  They must be powerful to accomplish that, right?!

 

If you are someone who has suffered abuse, that doesn’t mean you are weak.  It means the person is an abuser, & often abusers seek out a challenging victim.  If you were sought out, that means there is something about you that appealed to the abuser.  Your strength, success, intelligence, kindness, faith… whatever it was, it was a good thing to make such a horrible person want to destroy you.

And, if you know someone who has been abused, this also applies to them.  That person must possess some very good qualities if that awful person worked so hard to destroy them.  That doesn’t mean there is something wrong with the victim.  Quite the opposite – there is something very right with that person!

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Having A Healthy Perspective

If you have survived narcissistic abuse, then you know how badly it can mess with your mind.  One thing it does is it can skew a person’s perspective in all kinds of ways.  It can leave a person feeling badly about themselves, such as believing they are ugly or stupid when nothing could be further from the truth.  It also can make a person overly pessimistic, because he or she has had so many bad things happen to them.  Or, it can turn a person overly optimistic, because either he or she has decided not to be so negative like the narcissist who abused them or he or she is  trying so hard to distance from the abuse in every possible way.

In any case, neither being too pessimistic or optimistic is good.  Pessimists are often depressed because they only see the bad things in life & expect only bad things to happen.  Optimists are often depressed, too, because they constantly expect good things to happen.  When something happens that isn’t so good, they are shocked & saddened.

Being realistic yet slightly optimistic seems to be the healthiest way to think, in my opinion anyway.  You accept things as they are, whether good or bad, & if there is a way to glean good from it, you do it.

It can be tricky to get your thinking more balanced after being so out of balance for a long time, but it is still possible.  It takes time, patience, understanding with yourself, focus & help from God.

Prayer truly is the best place to start.  Ask God for whatever it is you need, such as helping you to be more aware of unhealthy thoughts so you can change them.

I recommend too, focusing on God.  If your relationship with Him isn’t particularly close, then work on it.  Drawing close to your Heavenly Father really helps to bring comfort, peace & joy.

Also try to focus on what you think about.  Many times, people just think things & don’t even realize what they are thinking about.  Slow your thoughts down & pay attention to the things that cross your mind.  Acknowledge them & accept them without judgment.

Question those thoughts, too.  Is it possible that your expectations of this person/situation are unrealistic?  Ok, so this situation is pretty bad.. is there something good that you can take away from it?

If you tend to think too emotionally, then try to interject some logic into your thoughts.  If you have trouble doing this, try imagining your situation not as yours, but as that of a friend who has come to you with this situation, looking for advice or comfort.  How would you feel about it as an outsider?  What would you think of your friend’s feelings?  Thinking this way can help to detach you some emotionally so you can look at situations more objectively.

Although it may take some time, you can learn to have a healthier perspective on life.  It will be well worth your time & energy when you are a happier & more peaceful person.

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For Anyone Who Has Gone No Contact With An Abusive Parent

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My Ebooks Are On Sale For The Entire Month Of July

My ebook publisher is having a sale on my books for the entire month of July.  25% off!  Check it out at the link below

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

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To My “Family”..

Since my mother’s death in April, I have received some written communication from my “family” (using that term VERY loosely).  Others have called my mother’s home.  I can only assume that is some lame attempt to contact me.  I have long since blocked their phone numbers so they can’t reach me, & why else would anyone call that number knowing its owner is dead?

Rather than speaking to these people, I figured since many are nosy enough to read my work, I’ll send a message via my blog.  I may even add this as a page to my website since I know they also frequent it, not sure yet.

Anyway… onto what I have to say.

If any of you who are attempting to contact me are looking for some sort of handout, that is NOT going to happen.  I will NOT enable your bad behavior (like your greed & poor money management skills), nor will I be anyone’s doormat.  Find someone else to use.

If you want something that belonged to either of my parents: you need to realize the nastier, more demanding or manipulative you are to me, the less likely the chances I will give you anything.  It doesn’t matter if my mother once told you that you could have some specific item when she died.   What matters now is what is written in her will, & specific items aren’t listed.  Since she assigned me as her personal representative, this means everything is now mine to do with however I see fit.  I am boxing up some items to send to people she was close to.  I will send them when I get the time.  There is no need to contact me or to rush me.  Showing up at my home or my parents’ home will result in me calling the police to have you removed from the property.

If you’re trying to contact me so you can share your opinions on how I am handling this situation, because I didn’t have a funeral for my mother or even because I had no relationship with my parents since 2016, I really don’t care what you think.  Your opinions mean nothing whatsoever to me, & I won’t listen to them.  Trying to contact me to share them is a waste of your time & energy.

If you harass me, some of you should know, I have saved evidence of your previous harassment.  For one relative, I have  plenty of documentation of your harassment dating back as far as 2013.  I have plenty of evidence from the past, & will save any & all new evidence.  I will involve the police if you force my hand.

To that one “special” cousin who showed up uninvited & unwelcome to my mother’s private burial just to give me grief, cause your big scene & refuse to leave, you astound me.  You truly have NO class.  You clearly also have zero respect.  Obviously no respect for me which you’ve already made abundantly clear, but also none for yourself or my mother.  You claimed to be at the burial for my mother, yet you yelled at & treated me like dirt AT HER GRAVE.  No respect!  Count your blessings I have the common decency not to act like trash at a burial, because that is the only reason I behaved as well as I did towards you that day.

I also want to say to my family: leave me alone.  I have nothing to say to anyone, nor do I want to hear anything from anyone.  All I want is for my so-called family to leave me alone.

No doubt by now some smug, “holier than thou” people are  reading this & judging me for being angry.  No doubt you also think that makes me bitter, unforgiving, a fake or a “bad Christian” as my family has called me before.  It doesn’t.  Even Jesus got angry.  Several times his anger is documented in the Bible.  Maybe if you actually read a Bible instead of twisting the few Scriptures you know to fit your agenda, you’d know this.  You really should try reading the Bible sometime.  You might learn something.

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To Those Who Have Gone No Contact With Abusive Parents

Those of us who have gone no contact with abusive parents most likely have heard the same invalidating, nonsensical comments.

  • “But that’s your MOTHER!”
  • “Your father can’t help it… that’s just how he is!”
  • “You need to let what they say roll off your back.”
  • “You need to forgive & forget/honor your parents!”
  • “You only get one set of parents!”

Statements like this make me cringe.  People who say such utterly moronic comments truly have zero clue what it’s like to be in the position of feeling no contact is the only option left to protect our sanity.

If you have gone no contact, Dear Reader, then this post today is to remind you of some things.

First, no one has the right to tell you how to feel about anything, let alone your abusive parent’s actions.  You know how it feels to you, & that is all that matters.  Just because it may not bother someone else so much doesn’t mean you’re automatically wrong.  It means you two are different.

Second, no one has the right to dictate how you should handle the relationship with your abusive parent.  They aren’t in the relationship so they don’t need to have an opinion on it, let alone share that opinion with you as if it was the Gospel.

Third, just because you are no longer speaking to your abusive parent doesn’t mean you aren’t honoring that parent.  There is absolutely NO honor in tolerating abuse.  See this article for more information: What It Really Means To Honor Your Parents

Forth, you have every right to protect yourself from abuse from anyone, including your own parent.  There is nothing Godly or holy about tolerating abuse.  Nothing.

Fifth, remember that the person saying these things has absolutely zero clue of all the heartache you have endured, all the tears shed, all the prayers & begging God to change things & to show you what to do.  This person is talking out of sheer ignorance, & is NOT someone whose advice you should listen to.

Sixth, many people who say such invalidating nonsense come from their own dysfunctional backgrounds.  You facing your pain reminds them of their own pain that they are trying to ignore.  Seeing you face your pain makes them feel cowardly for not facing theirs.  Or, it threatens their denial.  If they had a decent relationship with your narcissistic parent, you clearly showing the truth about your parent threatens their delusion that your parent is a good person.  Either way, they want to shut you down because of their own issues & lack of courage.

Lastly, if you have doubts about whether or not you’ve made the right decision to go no contact with your parent (which we all do at some point), ask God to tell you.  He will tell you nothing but the truth & it will help you greatly.  Some time back, I was starting to have doubts about being no contact with my mother.  Elderly, widowed & on her own for the first time at almost 80 years old, it’s natural I felt badly for her.  I asked God one morning if I should resume contact.  Immediately, I knew what would happen if I did.  I could see it kinda like a movie playing in my mind.  At first, she was nice & not very demanding.  As time wore on though, she expected me to come by a couple of times a week, then three times a week, then daily.  I would be forced to be at her beck & call, unable to take care of my own family & home, & even my writing would be neglected.  I knew in my heart God was right, & this is exactly what would happen, because it happened before.  My mother’s mother was this same exact way.  Physically & mentally, there is no way I could handle this, plus I can’t allow my calling & family to suffer just to provide someone with narcissistic supply.  God helped me to stay on the right track, just like when He told me it was time to go no contact with my parents in the first place.  He can do the same for you.  All you have to do is ask.

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Wise Thoughts On Honoring Parents

A lovely lady in my Facebook group by the name of Ella Jane Gamberi shared some extremely wise & insightful thoughts on the topic of honoring one’s parents recently.  Since so many of us with narcissistic parents have been subjected to judgmental people criticizing us for not honoring our parents, I believe her words may help others as they helped me.  I’m very happy to say that Ella allowed me to share her insight.

Check this out…

Hi. This is my first post here. I wanted to let you all know that I have studied some on this honouring abusive parents thing. Proverbs says “honour is not fitting for a fool”. If your parent is also an atheist which mine were they qualify for fools as a fool says in his heart there is no God. Look up some other characteristics of fools and you might be surprised who qualifies. God is not mocked. Nobody who treats the weak and lowly like trash gets away with it. In my opinion children, new mothers and many others qualify as vulnerable. God both loves and keeps those who cry out to Him against injustice. Remember the widow and the judge! God bless.

How much sense does this make?!

I’m embarrassed to admit I never connected the passage about honor not being fitting for a fool in relation to honoring one’s parents.  Thank God this lovely lady did though!  Isn’t this helpful?!

Dear Reader, if your parents are like the majority of narcissists & don’t believe in God, He considers them fools & unworthy of honor.  Personally, I don’t think He means we can treat our parents any old way.  As children of God, we are to glorify Him & part of that is being good to people.  That being said though, we can rest easy knowing that having boundaries with our parents, not blindly bending to their will & yes, even going no contact aren’t signs we are being dishonorable to our parents, hypocrites or “bad Christians”.  There is nothing wrong with any of the above!

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Warning Signs Of Those Who You Shouldn’t Tell About The Abuse In Your Past

Finding the courage to set boundaries on being abused & even to end a toxic relationship isn’t easy.  It takes a tremendous amount of courage & strength to do such things.  One of the few things that is even more difficult is to tell other people your story.  Part of the reason for this is the victim blaming & shaming that is so common in society.

Many people simply don’t want to hear anything negative.  They are so obscenely positive it’s just ridiculous.  If something is less than positive, they don’t want to hear it, & will shut that person down quickly when they can.

Even more common is those who have been abused themselves, yet refuse to face their pain.  When they see someone facing their pain & conquering it, it makes them feel uncomfortable for two reasons.  First, it reminds them of what they are trying so hard to forget.  Second, it makes them feel inferior for not doing the same thing.

There are also those who enable abusers.  For whatever bizarre reasons, they pity abusers & hate victims instead of the other way around.  They have no tolerance for anyone who dares to speak out against abuse.  They label these people troublemakers, liars, attention seekers, drama queens & more.

Often, people like this are easy to spot.  They are the loud ones who call victims names, harass them & even send them vicious hate emails, texts & voicemails.  The one plus about these people is you can have no doubt about what kind of awful person you’re dealing with when they act this way.  The problem is when people are much more subtle in the way they try to shame & shut down victims.  Below are some warning signs that someone is not safe to tell your story to.

If someone refers to your relationship as one where both you & your abuser are at fault for its demise, this person isn’t safe.  We all know that no one is perfect.  Everyone makes mistakes.  However, when a person is abusive, it’s not an innocent mistake.  It’s a deliberate choice to harm another person.  Any functional person should recognize that!

All victims need understanding & empathy.  Even if a person hasn’t been in an abusive relationship, anyone should be able to grasp that it’s not a pleasant experience & feel badly that anyone experienced that.  Someone who can’t clearly lacks empathy & is a toxic person.

Avoid anyone who trivializes the abuse.  One of my aunts once referred to the abuse I experienced as, “childhood hurts.”  That truly hurt me & it destroyed our relationship.  Luckily, it happened well into my healing journey.  If it happens to someone new to their healing, an invalidating comment like this can be devastating!

Those who make excuses for abusers should be avoided.  People who do this are as toxic as the abuser!  They invalidate the victim’s pain & suffering, & even make the victim feel ashamed for not being understanding, or being too sensitive & such.  The truth is there is NO good reason to abuse, period.

People who judge a person’s healing are toxic.  Everyone heals differently & at a different pace.  Many toxic people try to rush a victim along with comments like, “You need to let this go.”  “It’s been how many months since you left him?”  “You told me this already.”  This does no good!  To process & heal from abuse, it takes a lot of time, energy & sometimes even telling the same story over & over in an attempt to make some sense of it.  A person who doesn’t understand that is toxic.

Anyone who uses a person’s faith as a reason they should tolerate abuse is incredibly toxic & should be avoided at all costs.  While God didn’t promise this life would be easy, He never said anywhere in the Bible that tolerating abuse is good & holy.  Yet, there are many who think it is the “good Christian” thing to do, tolerating abuse.  I’m no theologian, but I do recognize that tolerating & enabling abuse is not only wrong, it’s not God’s will.

If you come across these kinds of people, remember, not everyone needs to know your story.  Refuse to discuss it with them.  You don’t need to be abused even more than you already have been!

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What Is Happening Since My Mother’s Death, part 2

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What Is Happening Since My Mother’s Death, part 1

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What’s Been Happening Since My Mother’s Death

I thought I’d share some things that have been happening since my mother’s death in April in the hopes someone reading this can glean some useful information from it.  I’m going to make this post into a YouTube video (well, probably a 2 part one) in the near future since not everyone who follows me on YouTube reads my blog (& vice versa).

It’s been such a strange, strange time to say the least.  God has been blessing me big time by enabling me to take care of everything I need to do.  I was able to bring my parents’ cat home without having to trap her & add to her trauma.  She’s still learning that this new home is a safe & loving one.  He’s given me the ability to figure out just what my parents would want done with their belongings, too.  He even got me through the horrific day of my mother’s burial.  As if burying her wasn’t enough to deal with that day, the cemetery made a huge mistake.  Long story short, they had to exhume my father & rebury him in the plot beside where he was before they could bury my mother.  On top of that, one of my cousins showed up at the burial solely for the purpose of attacking me, & refused to leave.  She was the one who was the cruelest to me when my father was dying.  Not a pleasant day, but I got through it & everything else surprisingly well, thanks to God carrying me.

In spite of the blessings, it’s still been hard.

The death of a narcissistic parent is bizarre.  Normally when someone you love dies, you miss them terribly & it’s incredibly painful.   Very hard of course, but it’s not complex.  Not so with a narcissistic parent.  There is the sadness of course, but not always because you miss them.  It can be because you miss not having a healthy relationship with your parent, because your parent stole your childhood or because your parent went to their death never admitting any wrong doing.

There’s also the relief & freedom you suddenly feel knowing that you are finally free from your parent’s abuse.  It’s such a wonderful feeling!  At least it is until the guilt for feeling that way kicks in.  Even when you know that your feelings are totally normal, most people still feel some degree of guilt.

In some cases, like mine, your narcissistic parent dies alone because you are no contact.  I hadn’t spoken with my mother for almost 3 years to the day when she died.  The theory is my mother died on her birthday & 3 days later is when the police performed the wellness check & found her.  I can’t describe the guilt I feel for this.  Yet, I know beyond a doubt I couldn’t have maintained the relationship any longer with her or my father for that matter.  I also know it was for the best for my parents that I wasn’t in their lives.  That is what finally got my father to turn to God for the first time.  It may have worked for my mother that way, too, but I’m not sure yet.  Even knowing such things, there is still guilt.  My mother died alone in a filthy house with very little food because she had only limited help.  How can I not feel some guilt for this?  Anyone with any compassion would.

Even knowing such things, the guilt is powerful.  If you end up in a similar situation, Dear Reader, please be forewarned of this.  Understand that feeling guilt is very normal & understandable, but that doesn’t mean it is right.

There is also the matter of going through my parents’ home.  I had to find financial information such as bills, bank accounts & investments.  I also have been trying to sort out things to send to various relatives.  While it’s just stuff, it’s stuff that can bring back a lot of memories, good & bad.  Being inundated with memories is so hard!

It’s also strange going through my folks’ home.  My parents were no different than other narcissistic parents in that they kept secrets.  I’m discovering some of those secrets, which makes an already challenging task even more challenging.  I’m learning more about my parents than I felt prepared to.

I think what I’m learning from this entire experience is this…

Like I said when my father died, you simply can’t be fully prepared for the death of a narcissistic parent.  You can learn all you can & pray, but still, you won’t be fully prepared.  What you learn & your prayers can help you a lot, but don’t expect to be 100% prepared.  Your emotions are going to be all over the place.  You’ll experience hurt, anger, disappointment, relief, grief & more.  Or, you may be numb.  Or, you may bounce back & forth between overly emotional & numb. In any case, you’re going to be very surprised by all that you experience, & there isn’t any amount of preparation that can stop that from happening.

If you’re the one chosen to be the personal representative or at least to clean out your parents’ home, it’s going to be brutally hard on you.  Seeing their possessions will trigger lots of memories, probably good as well as bad.  When you have PTSD or C-PTSD, this is especially difficult to deal with since it also can trigger flashbacks or intrusive thoughts.

Going through anyone’s personal belongings also shows you a great deal about who that person is.  Much more than you can learn by being in a relationship with them or even living with them.  I learned that my parents wrote down a lot, including things like how miserable they were with each other.  That was not new to me but seeing their most intimate thoughts in writing about such a topic is pretty difficult to say the least.  Since it’s too much for me to handle, when I find anything in my parents’ handwriting, I glance at it to see what it’s about.  If it’s one of those “I’m miserable with you” papers, I put it aside without reading further. You are going to learn things you wish you’d never learned about your parents like I have.  While you can’t be prepared for what you learn, you can be prepared in the sense you know you will learn painful things.   You also have the right to protect your mental health like I’m doing.  Put things aside until you feel equipped to deal with them.  Or, have someone safe that you can trust to go through such things for you.

If you are the one responsible for writing the obituary, you can always ask the funeral director to do that if you aren’t up to it.  The one who took care of my mother did her obituary & it turned out wonderfully.  Not overly gushy, just simple & nice.  Some folks in such situations write honest obituaries, detailing some of the abuse their parent inflicted on them.  It seems to be quite therapeutic for them.  That may be another option for you.

Whether or not your parent had a will, chances are excellent that it’ll take quite a bit of time to get their estate settled.  While that can be a challenge, having this situation hanging over your head for what feels like forever, it’s also a good thing in a way.  This means there is no rush to sort through their things.  Take your time.  Take frequent breaks too.  You’ll need those breaks for the sake of your mental health.

You’ll also find out most people have no idea what to say or how to deal with you after the death of your narcissistic parent.  If you had a good relationship with your parents, they would send sympathy cards & say the usual, “sorry for your loss” type comments.  Since you didn’t, many people won’t know what to say or do.  This may make some folks avoid you.  If they don’t avoid you, they may avoid talking about your parent in any context or they say things that hurt you even though they don’t mean to.  It will hurt & disappoint you, even when you know that wasn’t their intention.  After someone close to you dies, no matter the relationship, many people are rather emotionally raw for a while.  This means you’ll be oversensitive, & hurt much easier than you normally would be, which is why their comments hurt you.

Most importantly, lean on God as much as humanly possible!  You are going to need His love, strength & support more than you ever expected to.  He will carry you through this!

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Don’t Judge Other People’s Pain

I really think my mind is much like a Lazy Susan. It just kinda spins & I’m not always sure where it’ll stop.. lol For some reason, a few minutes ago it stopped on 2 people I was close to who both died from cancer.

The first lady died in 2009. She faced cancer I believe it was five times before she passed away. You’d think after having gone through so much pain & misery, she would’ve been bitter, but she wasn’t. She was always kind, loving, caring. Even when she felt horrible, she never failed to ask me how I was doing or what was happening in my life. She genuinely cared about my life. Even if something small but disappointing happened like I got a paper cut, she would offer sympathy.

The second lady died five years later. She also experienced cancer multiple times before it took her life. However, she was much different than the first lady. She lacked compassion. In fact, she came across like if you didn’t have cancer, she thought your problems weren’t important. Even if you had a different life threatening disease, it wasn’t cancer, so it was no big deal to her.

Thinking about this, I realized something. It isn’t just physical problems that can make people act this way. It’s all kinds of problems. I’ve seen similar attitudes in adult children of narcissists. Some who had siblings look down on those of us who were only children. They think we had it easy because we didn’t have siblings. Some who never developed C-PTSD or PTSD act like those of us who do have one of those disorders are weak. After all, *they* didn’t develop it & they had narcissistic parents too. Sometimes this attitude is even evident in those who write about narcissistic abuse. They are the ones who expect their readers to be in the same place in healing they are, or they tell their readers to “just go no contact.. I did it & it worked for me!” without knowing anything about their situation.

Dear Reader, I want to encourage you today not to act that way! Examine your behavior & if you are acting like other people’s problems aren’t as bad as yours, change your behavior. Ask God to help you to see if you’re acting inappropriately in this area.

Also remember, just because something might not traumatize you doesn’t mean it’s not traumatic to someone else. People are very different & this means we respond & react differently. Two people can grow up with the same parents, experience many of the same things, & they will tell stories of their experiences much differently. One may be upset or even traumatized while the other talks about his or her happy childhood.

Romans 12:15 says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice [sharing others’ joy], and weep with those who weep [sharing others’ grief].” (AMP) If you notice, it doesn’t say we should judge their situations or how they feel about their experiences. it just says we should share in their joy or sadness.

Even if you don’t understand why someone feels the way they do, you still can be kind to that person. You can offer to listen to them if they want to talk, to take them to lunch or some other outing to cheer them up or to pray with or for them. Small gestures like these can help a hurting person a great deal, definitely much more than trivializing or even invalidating their pain.

Please think before you speak when someone is trying to tell you why they are hurting. It will do you both good. The person who is hurting won’t be further hurt by what you say & you may become less judgmental & more compassionate.

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Just So Everyone Knows..

I’ve decided to take a hiatus from writing books for a while.  Dealing with my mother’s estate is a lot of work, & with my mental & physical limitations, also excessively stressful.  Writing is a lot of work, so I don’t feel I can write & deal with that at the same time.  Or, if I could, I doubt I’d do either all that well.  So, writing books is going on the back burner for a bit.

I’m still going to keep up with this blog & my YouTube channel though.

Since I have some really wonderful readers, I know you’ll understand & I thank you so much for that understanding.  xoxo

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Setting Simple Boundaries With Narcissistic Parents

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Mother’s Day, 2019

Those who are of the “But that’s your MOTHER!!!  She wouldn’t hurt you!” mentality, please leave quietly now.  This post is for those who are suffering through this day due to having a narcissistic mother.  No doubt it will irritate you, & those for whom this post is written don’t want or need to hear any judgmental comments.  Thank you.

Now that that’s out of the way….

For those of you with narcissistic mothers, I know this is one of the worst possible days of the year.  For many weeks prior, the message of loving mothers is everywhere.  “She’s your mother- she would do anything for you.”  “She loves you more than life itself!”  “Don’t forget to idolize your mother today!!”  When your narcissistic mother has tried to kill you, either physically or mentally, there aren’t exactly a lot of warm feelings associated with Mother’s Day.  How could there be?

Many people at least are sympathetic to our pain, even if they can’t understand it.  God bless these people!  Then there are the others.  Those who say shaming things like, “But that’s your MOTHER!”  Often these people are narcissists themselves, flying monkeys who help their narcissist abuse their victims.  Others are people who have suffered abuse & refuse to acknowledge their pain.  Their goal is to shut down anyone who faces their pain.  Witnessing someone face their pain reminds them of their own & makes them feel cowardly for not facing theirs.  Rather than make healthy choices, they opt to shut down healthy people instead.

Understanding things like this can help to take some of the pain out of their heartless comments, because it proves that the comments are about the dysfunction of the person saying these things.  However, it’s still going to sting a bit, even knowing that.

Being raised by a narcissistic mother is painful.  There are ways to cope, however.

I firmly believe it’s necessary to grieve.  Grieve for the fact you didn’t have a good childhood.  Grieve because your mother never has been or will be a loving mom.  Grieve what you missed out on by your mother not being a healthy, functional mom.  Grieving such things helps you to accept your situation & heal.

On Mother’s Day, if you have children, spend time with them when possible.  Enjoy your family & celebrate this gift God has given you.

Don’t forget to acknowledge those wonderful women who were like mothers to you.  I had a friend I called my adopted mom.  She was about 20 years older than me, & a wonderful lady.  Kris was nurturing, kind, loving, a natural mom & a devoted Christian.  Unfortunately it wasn’t until after she died that I realized I should have celebrated her on Mother’s Day.  Don’t make the same mistakes I did!  If you have a wonderful mom figure in your life, wish her a happy Mother’s Day.  Give her flowers or a card.  Take her to lunch.  Do something together to show her how much you appreciate her.

If you absolutely must deal with your narcissistic mother on Mother’s Day, before you see her, pray.  Ask God to show you what you should do.  He will help you to know the best ways to cope!

Don’t forget, you also have the right to set limits on your time spent with your mother.  Don’t spend the entire day with her if you don’t want to.  Set aside an hour or two for her & no more.  If you know you’ll have trouble leaving when you want to, arrange something to do so you have to leave her at a certain time.

Take care of yourself on Mother’s Day & every day, Dear Reader.  You deserve to be loved & cared for, especially by yourself.  xoxo

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More About The Death Of My Mother

I’m really exhausted as I write this post, so I’ll just apologize in advance if it’s a bit hard to follow.

The time since my mother was found dead on April 19th has been pretty bizarre to say the least.  I still feel like I’m functioning in a state of shock, but it’s dissipating some anyway.  God’s enabling me to get through it all & do what I need to do, which is a miracle in itself.

Today (I’m writing this on Saturday), has been a tough day.  I found a note from one of my mother’s relatives from about a year ago.  Apparently my mother wanted advice & this person wrote back about how she felt about the situation & what she thought should happen.  Ugh..the narcissism!  This shouldn’t be surprising since she also called me when my father was dying & let my phone ring for 10 minutes straight one evening, which is why I blocked her number as soon as my phone stopped ringing.  Anyway apparently my mother had asked this person for advice & that was her purpose of writing the letter to my mother.  In it, she mentioned something about how she needed to get a lawyer because “you know Cyndi won’t help you.”  As I read it, I  somehow could feel the hate for me coming off the page.  Not a nice feeling to say the least.  Truly what this person thinks of me means nothing to me but it did get me thinking about something that made me mad.

My father stopped speaking to his father a year or two before he died.  It was over some changes Granddad made to his will.  My father didn’t even attend his funeral.  Not one single person said a peep about this.  Not.  One.  Yet, I stopped speaking to my parents & relatives lost their minds, like the one who showed up at my mother’s burial to give me grief.  Why?!  How does any of this make any sense?!  My father & his had a difference of opinion & no contact was fine.  My parents were detrimental to my physical & mental health yet I’m supposedly wrong for protecting myself from that.  UGH!

I’ve also been going through paperwork trying to find the information I need to take to my mother’s attorney soon.  I have found a LOT of stuff, & not just what I need.

My mother wrote out pretty much everything.  To do lists, notes about broken things that she had repaired & more.   I found some letters she wrote to my father, telling him how miserable she was.  (I have yet to read them other than enough to let me know what the paper was.  It feels too personal & not my business.)  She wrote out her feelings when she was 40 years old about how awful her life was & how she had no idea what to do about it.  Heartbreaking!  After finding that, I found a list of things she wrote that she had to do after her mother died.  In it, she mentioned how she “had to give me money from her inheritance.”  She didn’t sound amused.  Well, the reason she had to do this was because I’d found evidence that she stole my inheritance.  I threatened to go to the police unless I got my money.  I also found out she made a rather significant investment without my father’s knowledge several years ago.  Today, I found a text on one of her old cell phones from someone I don’t know who told my mother to stop calling her as they had nothing to talk about.

Things like this have been such an emotional roller coaster!  I feel sorry for my mother, then get mad at her, feel confused because I apparently knew little about her.  Often I feel these things within the span of only a few minutes.

Aside from venting, I do have a point in sharing this.

Dealing with the death of a narcissistic parent is incredibly difficult.  It’s challenging, confusing & complicated.  But, if you are in the position that I am of having to settle that parents’ estate, it gets even more challenging, & I don’t just mean the legal & financial aspects of it.

Whatever your relationship with your narcissistic parent, when that parent dies, I would guess you’ll find out you didn’t really know your parent at all, as I have.  That can set off confusing & conflicting emotions.  I keep feeling angry.  It seems my mother had good qualities, but I wasn’t fortunate enough to see them.  Why??  That makes me angry because it’s utterly unfair.

I also realized apparently my parents were proud of me to some degree.  I truly had no idea.  If this happens to you, I’d bet you’ll feel the way I have about it.  I wonder why they didn’t tell me & it hurt me that they didn’t.

The death of a narcissistic parent also shows you who your friends really are & aren’t.  I am blessed with wonderful friends who understand how awkward & painful the situation is.  But, there are also others who think I’m the scourge of the earth for not having a relationship with my parents, such as the awful relative who showed up unexpectedly at my mother’s burial solely to harass me.  The bad ones aren’t entirely unavoidable, unfortunately, so you most likely will have to deal with at least one or two at some point.  Remember to avoid these people.  Walk away, hang up the phone, block their phone number & email.  Heartless people like this thoroughly enjoy kicking a person while they’re down, & you do NOT need their abuse on top of everything else.

And lastly, Dear Reader, remember that no matter what, you can’t be fully prepared to deal with the death of your narcissistic parent.  You can try your best to be & learn all you can, but even so, there are going to be surprises along the way.  When things get hard, remember to turn to God.  Let Him strengthen you & comfort you.  He will get you through this as He is doing for me!  xoxo

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My Mother Has Died

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How Childhood Trauma Affects Adults

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Miracles Are Happening!

Since my mother died, I’ve been concerned about her Salvation or lack thereof.  I’d been praying for her for years now, but saw no evidence of any change. I asked God for a sign last Saturday if she was saved. No signs happened & I was discouraged.

Monday, hubby & I went to the funeral home to settle things.  The guy who owns the place is a Christian.  In his office, I saw a small model boat on a bookshelf.  The boat’s name was Bailey.  I thought that was interesting.. something felt strange though when I noticed that.  I couldn’t put my finger on that feeling.

We had a nice long chat about our faith.  As he was talking, he suddenly said, “The Lord is putting something on my heart. He wants me to tell you your mom accepted Him.”   I had told no one I’d asked for a sign, but that was a big one!

A few minutes later, he said, “He wants me to tell you too, that everything is going to work out somehow.  Trust Him.  Everything is going to be just fine.”  I left feeling a lot better than when I arrived.

And, I decided against a funeral.  The people my mother was emotionally the closest to are physically far away.  They’re also in failing health or elderly or both, so they won’t be able to attend.  She only wanted a graveside service anyway, but still, there isn’t a point in having that for only a few people.  My mother was practical so I believe she’d have been fine with my decision.  Family members, however, I didn’t think would be.  I was afraid of telling them of this considering how awful these people treated me when my father died.

Thank God, among all these awful people, He blessed me with a couple of good ones.  One of my cousins said he would take care of telling my father’s family what happened & tell them they are NOT to contact me.  So far, not a peep…

As for my mother’s family, I remembered I had an email for one of her cousins.  That was the only contact information I had, so I used it.  We’ve been talking & she’s been quite helpful.  She’s dealt with my mother’s side of the family, so I haven’t needed to.  The best part is when I explained there wouldn’t be a funeral & why, she said she thought it was the best solution since so many of her friends & family wouldn’t be able to attend.  Whew…

God is truly working in this situation & blessing me beyond description right now.  My mother’s salvation being the biggest blessing of all!

I hope this encourages you, Dear Reader.  All things truly are possible with God!  If my mother could turn to Him, that alone is proof all things are possible!

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My New Project

I recently had an idea.  I am going to create a series of small books that focus on only one facet of narcissism & narcissistic abuse at a time.  Each book will be maybe 1/4 the size of my regular book & naturally much cheaper.  I think this is a unique way to get information out there & hopefully it will help raise awareness too.

I’ll be releasing a few in the near future,  I’m thinking maybe 3 or so, & I’ll post about it when that happens.  I don’t want to release a series that contains only one book, yanno?

When the books are available, they will be available on my website at:

www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com

And also at my ebook publisher’s website at:

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

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Dealing With Guilt Trips

One very popular weapon in the narcissistic arsenal is guilt.  Covert narcissists in particular are very fond of using guilt as a means of control.  It’s understandable it’s such a common weapon considering how very effective guilt can be.  It also is unfair & even cruel.

So how can you cope when your narcissistic parent uses guilt trips?

First, pray.  Ask God for wisdom & discernment so you understand when guilt is being used on you & ways to cope with it.

You also need to recognize what is a guilt trip & what isn’t.  You need to know when someone is saying something to manipulate you or to help you to change & improve yourself.  Statements like, “It hurt my feelings when you said/did….” can help you.  Statements that simply make you feel guilty like, “After all I’ve done for you, this is how you repay me?” however aren’t to help you, but to control you.

You also need to be aware of the fact narcissistic supply is at the root of every single thing a narcissist does.  Guilt trips are a part of that.  Being able to control someone via guilt provides supply as does seeing that person upset about the guilt.  The more you allow the guilt trips to work on you, the more the narcissist will use them on you.  The best thing you can do is to pretend not to notice the guilt at all when you’re in the narcissist’s presence.  Later, when away from her, vent to your heart’s content of course, but when in her presence or even on the phone with her, pretend you didn’t notice a thing.  If she realizes guilt trips don’t work on you, she’ll stop using them since she sees they aren’t effective.

Don’t justify yourself or your actions.  If you do, you’re only making yourself look guilty, which could mean the narcissist will get meaner.  Probably my most successful interaction with my late covert narcissist mother in-law involved guilt from her.  She wanted me to do something for her one day but I had plans.  Granted, I could’ve changed them, but I didn’t want to.  Not for someone who hated me & treated me so poorly.  She kept trying to find out what my plans were.  She said things like, “You sure must have something important to do if you won’t do this for me.”  “I guess you’re doing something for your parents since you won’t help me…”  Rather than explain my plans (which weren’t her business!), I ignored her.  Since I didn’t tell her, she got mad, but couldn’t be mad at me without looking foolish in front of her husband & mine.  By not justifying my actions, I protected my privacy, avoided more nastiness from her & she never tried to guilt trip me again.  In fact, I found the entire thing funny because her behavior was so ridiculous.  Much better to laugh than to be angry or hurt!

Remember, if you have done something wrong, you should feel some guilt since it will help you to improve your behavior.  However, if you haven’t done anything wrong, then do NOT allow the guilt trip to work on you.

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Some Red Flags That Actually Sound “Christian” At First

I have the comments on my blog set up so that anyone who has commented previously can post comments with no problem.  Anyone who hasn’t, their comments must be approved by me.  Their comments are emailed to me & I either can select “approve” or do nothing & the comment sits in my “pending” folder until I approve or delete it.  It’s a wonderful feature!  It helps me eliminate spam or even abuse by my “lovely” family.  It also helps me to eliminate the garden variety narcissist, flying monkey or invalidating person, which is the point of this post.

So, a few years back, I posted this post about how I was angry with my narcissistic mother.  If you read the post, you’ll see that the reason for my anger was valid & even normal.  The comments on the post show several people understood & validated my feelings.  One person apparently did not agree with my feelings when reading the post a few months ago.  This person hadn’t commented on any of my posts before, so it was a comment I had to review to approve or not before it would post.  I read it & didn’t approve it.  Only recently did I realize it was still in my “pending” folder.  I approve almost every comment so there’s rarely a need to visit that folder, which is why this comment sat there for so long.

Upon realizing said comment was still in my pending folder recently, I was surprised.  I figured I’d deleted it long ago.  Oops.. yea, my memory is really bad.  My first thought when I realized it was still there was to just delete it, but then I realized this could be a good teaching tool.  Why not use it as such before deleting??

Without further ado, here is the comment….

I do not know you, or your family all. I found you through a search asking, “how a Christian can honor our narcissistic parents”. And the first article with that title I thought was kind of helpful—but I got a whiff of anger there. So, I went to your next article. And I just have to say that I’m not really seeing a Christian response. I am seeing a very human response. And I understand that response, believe me! My friend, I don’t believe you are walking in the victory I was hoping to find. I believe you are very bitter, and very angry. This blog post shows, now I’m being very honest here, because I do not know you, and I’m coming at this from the outside, you wrote the article—-and yet I do not believe that you are portrayed very favorably in this article! Not showing your mother the common courtesy of answering her greeting, does not seem Christlike. The Bible tells us to bless our enemies. Jesus said to bless our enemies and turn the other cheek. In that context I believe we must choose not to be offended, period. We answer to God for what we do in this life. Not for what was done to us. You are angry, (a sin according to Jesus himself) at everyone in this story, and bitterly vindictive. In your eyes you are the only faultless victim. We know what that thinking reflects when those around us act in that manner. Your whole life, certainly all your writing, seems to revolve around a passive/aggressive “outing” of all our family’s faults. In studying narcissism, I have read that this is a symptom of the disorder. When we become a Christian and except Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior over our lives, we give him our rights—because He put aside all of His rights to be the atonement for our sins. Now we belong to Him. We were bought by His precious blood! We give him our human frailties, and ask for the Holy Spirit to come into our hearts and make us a new creature! This way we can have God‘s Holy nature, which is much stronger than our human nature; —the nature that is full of bitterness and anger. And then we can love people and see them the way God sees them. And the Holy Spirit can heal our hearts! And here is something you might not know: God is able to cure even a narcissist! I pray for you, that you can move on and out, away from anger and bitterness and accept your healing, and love like Jesus loves! Please pray for me too!

This sort of thing happens when you have survived narcissistic abuse. So many of us have heard it all before.  Unfortunately, many of us also have internalized the faulty messages, which is unhealthy.

I decided to throw out some thoughts on these comments for your consideration…

Anger is not a sin.  Ephesians 4:26 “Be angry [at sin—at immorality, at injustice, at ungodly behavior], yet do not sin; do not let your anger [cause you shame, nor allow it to] last until the sun goes down.” (AMP)

Even Jesus was angry at people who behaved badly.  Matthew 21:12-13 “12 And Jesus entered the temple [grounds] and drove out [with force] all who were buying and selling [birds and animals for sacrifice] in the temple area, and He turned over the tables of the moneychangers [who made a profit exchanging foreign money for temple coinage] and the chairs of those who were selling doves [for sacrifice]. 13 Jesus said to them, “It is written [in Scripture], ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbers’ den.'” (AMP)

Discussing abuse isn’t a bad thing or sinful.  Ephesians 4:15 “But speaking the truth in love [in all things—both our speech and our lives expressing His truth], let us grow up in all things into Him [following His example] who is the Head—Christ.” (AMP)

Forgiveness doesn’t mean “forgive & forget.”  While Jesus did suggest we “turn the other cheek,” He also said this which proves that forgiveness doesn’t mean giving someone a free pass to be abusive: Matthew 18: 15-17 “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. 16 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. 17 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.” (AMP)

Jesus didn’t tolerate things quietly & spoke openly of wrong doings.  Matthew 3:7 “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the [divine] wrath and judgment to come?”  (AMP)
Matthew 12:34 “You brood of vipers, how can you speak good things when you are evil? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.”  (AMP)

By sharing this comment & my thoughts, I’m not trying to “out” the person who made the comment.  If I was, I’d share the person’s name wouldn’t I?  I’m also not being “passive/aggressive” or anything else.  My purpose to this post was simply this:  When a good example of something bad comes along, why not use it to help yourself & others when possible?!

When comments like this are made to a victim of narcissistic abuse, they can sound really good.  Scripture was referred to, which can make any Christian rethink their actions.  I certainly did when I first read it.  After some prayer & thought though, I realized this person twisted Scripture around to use it in a bad way.  And that, Dear Reader, is a very common tactic used by flying monkeys & other narcissists.

If someone says similar things to you that this person said to me, then please, don’t blindly accept it!  You need wisdom & discernment!  Consider the Scriptures used as they are in the Bible, not as a stand alone verse as the person uses them.  Pray.  Ask God to show you the truth.  Think about what makes sense to you.  Trust your instincts too.  If something doesn’t feel quite right, then it most likely isn’t right.  Even the most well meaning people can make mistakes.  And, even the most innocent acting narcissist can be extremely manipulative.

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The Truth About Being The Bigger Person

Have you ever been discussing the abuse from the narcissist in your life with someone who has told you that you need to be the bigger person & let this go?  I have.  Lots of times.  So have many other victims of all kinds of abuse.

Recently, this came to mind for some reason.  I thought about it & realized that this never felt right to me.  It seemed somehow patronizing, invalidating, manipulative & shaming but I was unsure why I felt that way.  After thinking about it, I think I figured the reasons.

If a victim is told they need to be the bigger person, it’s shaming.  It basically says, “Something is wrong with you for being upset about this! Get over it already!”  Shaming can be utterly devastating to victims of narcissistic abuse.  Nothing can shut down a victim faster than shame, in my opinion.  Saying, “You need to be the bigger person!” is an easy way for someone to stop a victim from discussing their abusive situation & pain.

Some people who have survived abusive relationships absolutely refuse to face their pain.  They ignore it, or even pretend the abuse didn’t happen or that it wasn’t really abusive.  When someone discusses their abusive history, these people are determined to shut them down immediately, because they don’t want any reminders of their own pain.  They may not be acting out of malice as some people do.  They simply don’t have the strength or courage to face their pain.  Telling a victim to be the bigger person is an effective way for them to shut the victim down without sounding harsh.

If the person who says this is also a narcissist, that puts an interesting spin on the situation.  That person probably sees no problem with the abuse, since they act in a similar way.  When the victim points out it’s wrong, that could be offending this narcissist’s sensibilities.  He or she wants to shut down the victim so he or she can go on acting terribly without any remorse.  Not to mention, it’s not about the narcissist, so the narcissist couldn’t care less.  Narcissists also lack empathy, so the narcissist doesn’t want to be bothered with what he or she sees as your petty problems. Or maybe the person could be a flying monkey of the original narcissist, & simply trying to shut the victim down & force the victim to continue to tolerate the awful & abusive behavior from their narcissist.

“You need to be the bigger person!” also shows that the person saying it thinks that the victim has the ability to be mature.  They aren’t saying it to the abuser, after all.  That can be flattering, & as victims, most of us aren’t used to someone believing anything good about us.  It can be a good way for someone to shut down a victim while assuring the victim won’t get angry with the person saying this stupid phrase since it can sound flattering.

I truly believe that someone saying, “You need to be the bigger person!” basically boils down to a way that people try to silence victims by using shaming while simultaneously making victims feel they should not be angry at the person who is attempting to shut them down with this phrase.  And in many cases, the person saying it also is trying to convince the victim to tolerate the abuse.  It’s a lot packed into one phrase, isn’t it?

If someone says this to you, please take it as a red flag!  This person isn’t safe for you to open up to about the abuse that you’ve endured!  Of course you should talk about it not only to help yourself heal but also to help raise awareness of the horrors of narcissistic abuse.  However, not everyone is safe to talk with about your experiences.  Use wisdom in choosing who to open up to.  Anyone who tells you to be the bigger person is NOT someone you need to open up to!

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Narcissistic Grandparents

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Accepting Your Parent Is A Covert Narcissist

I remember when I first realized that my mother was a narcissist.  Although it was painful, I was glad finally to understand why she treated me as she did.  The raging, the silent treatments, the manipulation & control.. suddenly it all made sense.  She blamed me for all of it, but the truth was it wasn’t me.  It was her!

It was another few years before I realized my father was a narcissist as well.  It took me so long because he was a covert narcissist.

My mother being an overt narcissist made it obvious something wasn’t right.  Normal mothers didn’t keep their daughters from getting to know their extended family.  They also didn’t scream at their teenage daughters daily, often multiple times in a day.  They didn’t accuse their daughters of completely uncharacteristic behaviors, such as having sex with their entire high school football team, especially when there was no evidence to support this wild claim.

My father was nothing like this at all.  For most of my life, I was convinced he was my one nice, normal parent.  I was wrong.

While my father didn’t scream at me or accuse me of outrageous behaviors, he abused me nonetheless.  He didn’t protect me from my mother.  In fact, when I told him of some of her abusive behaviors, he would tell me how hard this was on him, & how there was nothing he could do to protect me.  In spite of my pain, I often ended up comforting him after my mother abused me.

Compared to my mother’s constant criticisms & rages, I didn’t think this was a problem.  He told me he loved me, unlike my mother who stopped saying it when I was in my teens.  My father also complemented me, & bragged about me to other people.  My mother didn’t do either.

As an adult, married with my own home, I finally noticed some subtle changes in my father’s behavior.  He became critical.  Nothing obvious like my mother at first, but still critical.  He became more critical over the years.  He also became more controlling in subtle ways.  If I didn’t answer his call immediately, the next time we spoke, he would tell me how he thought I must be mad at him since I didn’t answer the phone.  If I said I wasn’t home at the time, he didn’t believe me.  Or, he would call folks we both knew, asking them to contact me & have me call him immediately because he was worried about me.

Eventually, I realized my father was a covert narcissist, & that fact truly hurt.

My situation is quite similar to that of many adult children of narcissistic parents.  Accepting the overtly narcissistic parent is abusive is difficult, but it can be done.  Accepting their covertly narcissistic parent is abusive is a much more difficult task, & can be impossible for some people.

The nature of a covert narcissist’s abuse is what makes the abuse so hard to comprehend.  There is no obvious abuse.  They don’t hit or scream.  Their abuse is so much more subtle.  They use guilt, disapproval, silence & portraying themselves as innocent, naive, in need of saving or protection.  They also can turn a situation around to where they look like the innocent victim instead of the abuser, rather than the other way around as it should be.

This creates a cognitive dissonance in victims.  In other words, the victim often may see the truth, but doesn’t want to accept it because it’s so painful.

There is also the fact that it’s hurtful enough to accept that one parent didn’t love you.  Accepting both parents didn’t is even more so.  Even when you understand it’s because they’re narcissists, knowing both of your parents didn’t love you can make you feel unlovable.

If this describes your situation, I’m so sorry, Dear Reader.  You are in an extremely painful situation.  Pray, journal, talk to safe people… do whatever you have to do to help you face this ugly truth & to heal.  It will help you in the long run to face this awful situation.  You can do this!

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Toxic In-Laws

I’ve been working on a book for a while now about toxic/narcissistic in-laws.  I’m struggling to write it for a few reasons.  I’ve been really distracted by things going on in my life since I started this book 2 years ago.  I also felt that I needed to put it on the back burner to write other books.  The topic is such a hard one for me to write about too, because I honestly have been through hell because of some of my husband’s family, & I’m still healing.  And, in spite of taking frequent breaks, I’m pretty burned out on all things narcissism.  These issues make this one tough book to write.  That being said, I believe the topic is an important one so I will finish it.  It just may take some time.

Since my book is delayed, here is a post to help identify whether or not your in-laws are toxic.  I will write from the perspective of a daughter in-law with a toxic mother in-law, since that is the bulk of my experience as well as the bulk of the experiences of people I’ve spoken with.  The information is good for toxic sisters in-law, fathers in-law, etc. though.

Does your mother in-law ignore you?  The purpose of this behavior is to show you that you mean nothing to her.

Does she refuse to accept responsibility for treating you badly?  Rather than say something like, “I shouldn’t have said that.. I’m sorry,” does she make excuses for her words or actions or deny them completely?  This is a big red flag.  Functional people accept responsibility for what they say & do.

Does your mother in-law have a different personality depending on whether or not you are alone with her or others are around?  Another big red flag!  Any abuser will behave differently to their victim depending on whether or not there are witnesses.  They want to hide their abuse from other people.

Does she expect you to be blindly devoted to her family, even to the point of rejecting your own family & friends?  Many toxic mothers in-law remind me of the Borg from the tv show “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”   They expect their son’s or daughter’s new spouse to become completely enmeshed in their new in-law family.

Like the Borg, toxic mothers in-law expect their new sons or daughters in-law to adapt to their opinions, religion, way of life, etc.  Individuality is highly discouraged by toxic mothers in-law.  I once told my late mother in-law I hate to cook.  I do it, but hate it.  For Christmas a few months later, she & her 2 daughters gave me nothing but cookbooks, utensils, food & other cooking paraphernalia.

Toxic in-laws show no respect.  Toxic in-laws show no respect for personal space, choices, likes/dislikes, parenting, & even boundaries.

And speaking of a lack of respect, your mother in-law makes it clear to you that she doesn’t like you.  Unless you abuse your mother in-law’s adult child or your children, if your mother in-law had any respect whatsoever for her child, she would be civil to you no matter how much she disliked you.  The inability to be civil even only for the sake of her adult child proves she is toxic.

Is she manipulative & controlling?  Toxic people, in particular narcissists, must be in charge.  Chances are, your mother in-law controls her spouse & children.  Since you married one of her children, she expects you to be as control-able & easily manipulated as everyone else.  When you say no, she is NOT happy.

If your toxic mother in-law is nice to you, it’s short lived & in front of others only.  Very few people are cruel 100% of the time.  Toxic people bring out their nice side when it can be advantageous to them.  Being nice sometimes will make their victim want to see it more, so they work harder to please the toxic person.  Also, being nice to a victim in front of others helps the toxic person prove to others that if you complain about the relationship, you are obviously the problem.

Mothers in-law like this care nothing of their adult child beyond what he can do for her.  They clearly have no respect for him either, since they treat the person he chose to spend his life with so badly.  His marriage is nothing more to this kind of mother than an embarrassment, & she would like it simply to go away.  Since she can’t file for divorce on his behalf, she becomes extremely destructive to the adult child’s marriage with her abusive ways.

Your spouse no doubt suffers greatly from his mother’s abusive behavior, yet tolerates it anyway.  This is because he is accustomed to how his mother behaves.  This is his norm & many adults in this situation have accepted this as their permanent reality.  By complaining about his mother’s behavior or even confronting her, this threatens his norm.  Facing the truth can be incredibly painful for many in this position, which is why many refuse to face the truth.  This feeling is known as cognitive dissonance.  Rather than face this miserable feeling, many people in this situation will do their best to shut down their spouse.  They don’t want to hear about the bad things their mother is doing, so they will tell their wife they don’t believe her, she is over sensitive, she just doesn’t understand Mom, that’s her problem so she needs to leave him out of it & more.  They refuse to confront their mother on behalf of their wife.

Naturally, the wife in this position feels rejected, unloved & hurt.  She wants to fight for her marriage, but it seems whatever she does is wrong, & whatever his mother does is right.  Her trying to save her marriage only causes more problems.  The reason for this is she doesn’t know that when you’re dealing with a narcissist, normal ways to cope don’t work.

For anyone in this position, you need to think of this situation more like a game of strategy than a relationship.

As always pray.  Ask God to help you to know what to do & to give you whatever you need to enable you to do it.  Pray for your husband to see the truth & for God to enable him to be able to cope with it, too.

Cope with your emotions as best you can by journaling, talking to a safe friend, pray.. whatever works for you.  Whatever you do, don’t hold in your emotions!

Don’t focus on your mother in-law’s bad behavior when it can be avoided.  Instead, focus on being the loving wife that you are.  Don’t neglect to remind your husband how much you love him.  If he complains about his mother to you for any reason, don’t join in.  Listen quietly to him & give him objective advice if he asks for it.  The reason being, the mindset of many people in this situation is they can complain about Mom, but if anyone else does, they jump to her defense.  This would only cause more problems in your marriage.

Along those lines, if you discuss his mother’s behavior with him, stay calm.  State your issues in a matter of fact way, lacking emotion.  If you rant & rave, that too will make him feel he must defend his mother, which only will hurt you & possibly your marriage.

Limit your exposure to your mother in-law as much as possible, but especially alone.  No narcissist wants to abuse their victim in front of the person they want to think well of them, so stay glued to your husband’s side as much as possible.

Keep your emotions in check around your mother in-law.  Narcissists love to twist a victim’s normal reaction around to prove how mentally unstable or even abusive the victim is to other people.  In her presence, stay calm.  Vent later when you’re away from her as needed though, so you don’t hold in all the bad emotions.

Having to deal with toxic, narcissistic in-laws is tough.  I know, I’ve been there.  But, with prayer, love, patience & wisdom, you can survive it with your marriage in tact.

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My Ebooks Are On Sale

From March 3-9, 2019, my publisher is having a sale!  All of my ebooks will be 25% off.

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

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About Dreams

I am a firm believer in understanding dreams.  They can teach us things about ourselves.  They can show us areas in which we need more healing.  They can help us to process things that are incredibly difficult to process.  They also can bring us comfort when we need it most.

Tomorrow, it will be 4 years since I survived Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.  It was the most traumatic episode of my life, which considering my life, is really saying something.  As a result of that plus the brain damage, I no longer have control over intrusive thoughts, so each year as February 27 approaches, I think a LOT about the day I nearly died.  It has improved some, thank God, because the first year anniversary was the most difficult.

For weeks, I couldn’t stop thinking about what happened, & how close I came to death.  I was shaken up badly & nothing seemed to comfort me.. until a dream I had on the night of February 26th, 2016.  In it, I was at a local library where I worked as a teen.  They were closing, so I walked out the door & lo & behold, there was my granddad!  I asked what he was doing here.  He smiled & said, “I came to show you my new car.”  His new car was a pretty burgundy Jeep Rubicon.  I said it was nice & he told me to get in, because we were going for a ride.  We went four wheeling!  We rode over boulders & into deep valleys.  It was so much fun!  When I later woke from the dream, my mood was drastically improved.

(As a side note, I don’t believe the dead technically visit us in our dreams.  I do, however, believe they still care about their loved ones they left behind, & sometimes ask God to tell us something which could mean they show up in our dreams.  Or maybe my dream was God knowing I needed something to comfort me, so he gave me a dream of my favorite person.  I’m not sure which it was, but in any case, it was great!)

I have had so many other interesting dreams that have proven to be very helpful.  For example, for years I had a similar dream about having to repeat high school, & relying on my mother to take me to school,  but she got me there late or would yell at me about how she was doing me a big favor (just like how things were when I actually was in high school).  The more I began to heal from her abuse though, the less frequent the dreams became.  They also started to change, such as I realized I had my own car & didn’t need to rely on her or I remembered I’ve been through high school & had no need to repeat it.  Eventually after going no contact with her, the dreams stopped.  Those dreams helped me to gauge my healing.

The reason I’m telling you about these dreams is to show you the value that can be had in dreams.  I know a lot of people think they have no purpose, but they really do!  Acts 2:17 says, “‘And it shall be in the last days,’ says God, ‘That I will pour out My Spirit upon all mankind; And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see [divinely prompted] visions, And your old men shall dream [divinely prompted] dreams;” (AMP)  I believe this is happening now.  Everyone needs to pay attention to their dreams!

The brain constantly processes information, good, bad or indifferent.  It continues to do so even when we sleep, which can be what our dreams are.  As I mentioned, they have helped me to gauge my healing, which was incredibly helpful.  There are other times when I don’t remember many of my dreams, & I firmly believe that is the brain processing things that simply aren’t important enough to remember.

When I don’t know what a dream meant, I pray, asking God to show me what that meant.  I also check out a good dream dictionary site I like, www.dreammoods.com.  I look up everything I can think of in the dream, such as objects, people, colors, emotions.  I write things down & then look at the information I gathered as a whole.  Usually then, I understand what the dream was about.  I believe God gives me that clarity when I need it.  If I don’t understand it, I figure it is simply my brain processing things & I don’t need to know what it’s about.

Dear Reader, I want to encourage you to start paying attention to your dreams.  They really can offer you insight, understanding & even comfort.

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A Really Amazing Story To Encourage Your Faith

Recently, hubby & I have been looking into changing our car & homeowner’s insurance company to a place where we can get a fairer rate.  We found it, I’m very happy to say!  It also got me thinking of something I haven’t shared in a while…

Some of you know, my beautiful ’69 Fury once belonged to my wonderful granddad.  He gave the car to my father in 1976 when his car was stolen.  In 1979, the transmission & rear end were going out, & he didn’t want the expense of replacing them both.  My father sold the car to a local junkyard instead.  I was only 8, & still remember the day this happened.  My mother followed him in her car to the junkyard.  He talked with the guy there briefly, & gave him the keys.  Then he got into my mother’s car & we drove off to pick up his next car from the dealer.  I remember staring out the window, watching the Fury get smaller & smaller in the distance.  I’ve always loved cars, & for some reason, that one in particular, so it made me sad.  My father even gave me a spare set of keys that I kept for years.. possibly they’re still in my parents’ house, I don’t know.

Anyway in 2005, my husband & I went to a local flea market.  After parking, as we crossed the parking area, we saw this gorgeous green 1969 Fury!  I was excited & told him it looked just like my father’s & granddad’s!  My husband said, “Why don’t you leave a note on the car?  Maybe the owner wants to sell.”  On a whim, I did.  A couple of days later, the owner called me & said he was considering selling the car for about 2 weeks.  He sold me this beautiful car.

Shortly after, my father came by my house.  He looked at the car & said, “This is my car!  I remember this bit of silicone on the windshield trim.. I never could get rid of that.  There’s that dent in the back bumper where a guy on a motorcycle rear ended me!”  I thought that is impossible.  His car had to be crushed years ago.  Still, it’s very interesting…the same exact dent in the bumper?  Silicone on the chrome in the same place?  And, come to think of it, the keys the seller gave me said “Taylor” on them like my father’s keys did.  They weren’t the original Plymouth keys, but copies.  It got him & I both thinking.

After going home, my father called me.  He found the maintenance records he had for his cars.  Although he got rid of the ones for his Fury, he still had the VIN that he wrote down when he had the car during the latter part of the 1970’s.  I compared it to the VIN on my car.  It was an exact match!!!  I was the proud owner not of a twin to my father & granddad’s car as I expected, but their exact car!  Check this out.. the above VIN is what my father wrote down in the 1970’s.  The bottom is the VIN off my car that I wrote down…

Christina's VIN

I know a lot of people who read my work probably aren’t car buffs like I am.  But, I do believe many of you can appreciate this story anyway.  This amazing car is such a wonderful display of God’s kindness & love!  Getting this beautiful car is not something I ever expected to happen.  It never even crossed my mind.  It crossed God’s though.  He was working on this back in 1979 apparently.  The guy at the junkyard easily could have simply crushed the car, but he didn’t.  He repaired the transmission & rear end.  In fact, in 1990 I remember seeing the car at a traffic light, & wondering if that was the same car I had known.  Apparently one former owner also had engine work done, so the engine is in fantastic shape.  The car was also painted & the interior reupholstered.  I not only got the same car, I got the same car in great condition!

If God could orchestrate all of this just to get this car to me & in such great shape, I think that is proof of how incredible He is!  I mean, this plan was in place for 26 years, & all just because I always loved this car.  Isn’t that mind blowing?!  And, the Bible says in Acts 10:34 that God doesn’t show partiality, so this means if He can do something so amazing for me, He can do something amazing for you, too.  xoxo

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Thinking Of Writing A Book?

Since I recently wrote a post for those who are considering writing a blog, I though it’d be a good idea to write another post focused on those who are considering writing a book since I hear from quite a few people who have thought of doing just that.

Quite a few people who have experienced narcissistic abuse want to tell their stories to the world.  They are tired of the secrecy, of hiding things that they never should have had to hide.  They also want the world to know about narcissistic abuse so other people don’t suffer like they have.  I understand how that feels, but still, writing a book isn’t for everyone.

You need to be absolutely positive you can handle your story being able to be read by anyone in the world.  This includes your narcissistic parents & their flying monkeys.  Is this something you think you can handle?  If they find out what you wrote, it could be a very ugly situation, so you need to be emotionally & mentally prepared to handle this possible scenario.  I always prayed my parents & their flying monkeys wouldn’t find out what I wrote about, & thank God, they didn’t until after no contact.

Like with writing a blog, you also need to be aware of the slander & libel laws in your state.  The last thing you need is a legal battle with a narcissist.  Do your best to protect your abuser’s identity.  Use fake names.  Or, use a pen name for yourself that is nothing like your real name so no one knows it’s you.

There is a lot involved with writing a book.  Not only is it a lot of work to write, there are a lot of details involved.  How good are you with handling details?  How are your writing skills?  If they could use some work, a writing class may help you.  Read work by authors whose style of writing you like.  It may help you find your writing voice.

There are different ways to publish books, too.  Many authors like using a traditional publisher.  The author writes a book, & hands over the manuscript to the publisher.  From there, the publisher edits it, designs the cover & takes care of marketing.  The author is under a contract (terms vary from author to author) & usually has an agent to help negotiate the contract terms.

There are also print on demand publishers, sometimes also called self publishers or vanity publishers.  There are no contracts or agents involved. In addition to writing the book, the author also edits it, designs the cover & takes care of marketing.  Or, the author can pay someone to edit, design the cover & market it.

Which route you opt to take depends on your goals & personality, I think.  I use print on demand, because I have physical & mental limitations.  Not only do I not do well under pressure, but thanks to brain damage, there are days that I can’t write at all.  I need to be able to write on my own schedule, not on someone else’s.  I also edit my books which means some editor isn’t going to change my book around.  Some editors make such drastic changes, a book is barely recognizable to its author.  That would bother me to no end!  I had to learn to format my books to look good in various print formats, which took some trial & error.   As far as the covers, I have a ridiculously talented cousin who designs some of my covers.  Marketing is my weakness, but even so, I take care of it the best I can.

What I do may not work for you at all, & that’s fine.  You need to do whatever works for you!

There are also ebooks.  I create them along with print because so many people like reading on their kindle or nook.  I really recommend doing the same.  Ebooks are a great way to get your work out there.

You also need to figure out what is best- to create your writing as a business or not.  Look into it to decide if you wish to incorporate or not.  I haven’t, & one plus is it keeps my income taxes are very simple.

Whatever you opt to do, I wish you success in your endeavors!  Writing a book isn’t easy, but especially when the topic is such a difficult & painful one.  You’re brave for doing it & should be proud of yourself for taking this step!  xoxo

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