Category Archives: Christian Topics and Prayers

All things Christian. Prayer requests are welcome.

Asking God For Justice

Did you know that it is acceptable to ask God for justice and expect Him to provide it?  It is.  It is actually in the Bible…

 

 

  • Job 11:20“But the eyes of the wicked will fail, And they will not escape [the justice of God]; And their hope is to breathe their last [and die].” (AMP)
  • Job 36:6“He does not prolong the life of the wicked, But gives the afflicted their justice.” (AMP)
  • Psalm 11:7“For the Lord is [absolutely] righteous, He loves righteousness (virtue, morality, justice); The upright shall see His face.”  (AMP)
  • Psalm 37:28“For the Lord delights in justice And does not abandon His saints (faithful ones); They are preserved forever, But the descendants of the wicked will [in time] be cut off.” (AMP)
  • Psalm 70:2“Let those be ashamed and humiliated Who seek my life; Let them be turned back and humiliated Who delight in my hurt.” (AMP)
  • Isaiah 1:17“Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.”
  • Amos 5:24“But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream”
  • Luke 18:7-87And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (NIV)

In Psalm 7, King David very eloquently asked God to protect him from his enemies as well as to get justice for him:

Psalm 7:

1 O Lord my God, in You I take refuge;

Save me and rescue me from all those who pursue me,

2 So that my enemy will not tear me like a lion, Dragging me away while there is no one to rescue [me].

3 O Lord my God, if I have done this, If there is injustice in my hands,

4 If I have done evil to him who was at peace with me,

Or without cause robbed him who was my enemy,

5 Let the enemy pursue me and overtake me;

And let him trample my life to the ground

And lay my honor in the dust. Selah.

6 Arise, O Lord, in Your anger;

Lift up Yourself against the rage of my enemies;

Rise up for me; You have commanded judgment and vindication.

7 Let the assembly of the nations be gathered around You,

And return on high over them.

8 The Lord judges the peoples;

Judge me, O Lord, and grant me justice according to my righteousness and according to the integrity within me.

9 Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous [those in right standing with You];

For the righteous God tries the hearts and minds.

10 My shield and my defense depend on God,

Who saves the upright in heart.

11 God is a righteous judge,

And a God who is indignant every day.

12 If a man does not repent, God will sharpen His sword;

He has strung and bent His [mighty] bow and made it ready.

13 He has also prepared [other] deadly weapons for Himself;

He makes His arrows fiery shafts [aimed at the unrepentant].

14 Behold, the [wicked and irreverent] man is pregnant with sin,

And he conceives mischief and gives birth to lies.

15 He has dug a pit and hollowed it out,

And has fallen into the [very] pit which he made [as a trap].

16 His mischief will return on his own head,

And his violence will come down on the top of his head [like loose dirt].

17 I will give thanks to the Lord according to His righteousness and justice,

And I will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.”  (AMP)

(Notice how David asks for justice, not revenge.  There is a big difference between the two.  Justice is a correct punishment for a wrong done to a person.  Revenge is inflicting suffering on someone.)

I am not saying you have to ask God for justice, that it will make people suddenly behave properly or you will no longer hurt by anything they have done.  However, if you want to, there is nothing wrong with asking God for justice in your situation if you feel so inclined. Maybe it would help you somehow to do it, and if it would, then it is absolutely worth doing.  Besides, maybe when God sends them His justice, they will learn that their behavior was wrong, and not behave that way any longer.  It is certainly possible.  All things are possible with God!

When my father was dying & I was abused daily by the flying monkeys, I did not ask for justice at first.  It took me a couple of months before I prayed for justice.  I also asked that when His justice happened to these people that they would learn never, ever to treat anyone else the way they treated me.  I also only prayed this prayer a couple of times.  It certainly is not a part of my daily prayers.  It did help me to feel a bit better to pray for justice those two times, though.  I am not a vengeful person at all.  I am however, very tired of people getting away with hurting innocent people without consequences.  It is not right, and people need to know that they cannot simply treat anyone however badly they feel like without consequences.  Since talking to these people would do no good, I believe that praying for justice for what they did to me is the next best thing.  God can get through to them like no mere mortal can!

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Spiritual Abuse

Narcissists abuse their victims in many ways –  emotionally, mentally, financially, physically & sexually.  Some also abuse their victims spiritually.

Spiritual abusers aren’t only those who are preachers, deacons or others who are active in their church.  Anyone can be a spiritual abuser.  When my mother’s abuse peaked when I was in my late teens, she became very spiritually abusive.  She frequently told me that I was going to hell for the terrible way I treated her.  She never was active in a church or taught me anything about God.  In fact, she always said she hated Christians.

If you’re wondering if the narcissist in your life is abusing you spiritually, there are some signs to look for.

 

  • Twisting Scripture around or eliminating parts of it to suit their agenda is a big red flag.  A narcissistic parent who tells their child the commandment says to honor your parents, yet never considers where the Bible says parents shouldn’t exasperate their children is guilty of this behavior, as is the narcissistic husband who says wives should submit to their husbands while conveniently forgetting the rest of the verse says husband should also submit to their wives.
  • Narcissists also may lie to the victim, saying they are doing God’s will by abusing the victim.  This can do a tremendous amount of damage to a victim.  It can turn someone against God, or destroy their faith in Him.  I did not believe in God as a child, since I had no real teaching about Him, but my mother using Him as a weapon to hurt me made sure I didn’t want to know anything about Him either.
  • Someone who reminds victims of the imperfection of human nature as an excuse to abuse is being spiritually abusive.
  • Claiming a victim shouldn’t get angry because it’s not Godly is spiritually abusive.
  • Anyone who tells a victim to “forgive & forget” the abuse, to stay with an abuser no matter what or gets angry when a victim gives an abuser consequences is being spiritually abusive.
  • Some narcissists are quite active in their church, making themselves very valuable to the church with their service.  They will recruit enablers who are also in the church, so when their victim speaks out, they shun the victim.  The logic is something like, “He couldn’t be like she says!  Look at all of the good things he does for our church!”
  • They also may tell people that the “good” people at church are disappointed in the victim for behaving so badly, whether or not this is true.  This can leave a victim feeling unable to reach out for support.

 

Coping with spiritual abuse isn’t easy, but it can be done.

 

  • Do you know Jesus as your personal savior?  If not, I really suggest you turn to Him now because you truly need help!  There is information available on my website at this link: Salvation Through Jesus Christ.
  • Learn what the Bible has to say.  Use an easy to understand translation like the Good News or New King James version.  The more you learn & the closer you draw to God, the more truth you will see & the more you will see the narcissist has been lying to you.
  • Question things the narcissist says to you.  Not necessarily out loud, but to yourself at least.  “How does this coincide with the Bible?”  “Is there Scripture that backs up what he/she is saying?”
  • Pray.  Pray often & pray a lot.  Ask God to show you the truth & to give you clarity.  While God is holy, He is also a very loving & gentle Father.  He will guide, teach & even correct you while never making you feel badly about yourself.
  • Do you have good Christian friends?  If not, it’s time to find some!  If you know someone who has been a Christian for a while, & is actively trying to be a good example of their faith, this person can help you to keep focused on the truth.  If the narcissist prevents you from having friends (as so many do), see what you can find online.  There are many online forums & groups.  You can find friends there that the narcissist doesn’t know about.
  • Never forget that your Heavenly Father loves you a great deal.  He does NOT want you suffering & miserable.  He does NOT condone abuse nor does He want victims to suffer in silence.  Speak out & protect yourself.

 

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When You Don’t Know What To Say To Someone Who Is Suffering

It seems like when someone is suffering in some way, the majority of people have no clue on what to say.  Rather than saying nothing or admitting they don’t know what to say, most people make insensitive, hurtful or even invalidating comments….

  • “You should be glad your grandmother died.. she’s not suffering anymore.”
  • “I know you’re sick.  I had that same problem & it was horrible.  I ended up in the hospital & in more pain than I thought was possible!”
  • “The reason you have this problem is you just don’t have enough faith!”
  • “You should be grateful it’s not worse!  Other people have it much worse than you do!”

Comments like these are invalidating & hurtful.  They also make the person with the problem feel as if they are whining about some petty little problem instead of the crisis they are facing.  These are the last things a person needs to feel but especially at this time!

If someone you know is having a problem, then please, PLEASE seriously think about what you say to that person.  You don’t want to make them feel worse than they already do.  Also, a good idea is to ask God to give you the right words to say.  He will be glad to do so.  Luke 12:12 says, “The Holy Spirit will give you the words to say at the moment when you need them.” (VOICE)  

Don’t forget too that people are individuals.  Even if you have experienced the exact same problem as your friend, you both will handle it differently because you’re individuals.  Just because your friend feels differently than you did or is handling the situation in a different way than you did doesn’t mean that friend is wrong.

Remember, the situation is about your friend, not you.  Even if you experienced the exact same problem, keep the main focus on your friend, not you or what you did.  It’s fine to share that information if your friend asks, but the main focus should be on your friend.

This brings me to another point.  Don’t offer advice unless asked for it.  A lot of times, people just want to vent or talk about their problem to help them get some clarity.  They aren’t looking for you to solve it.  They’re looking for you to listen & offer empathy.

Don’t go too far with positivity.  Sometimes being too positive comes across as invalidating.  When I survived carbon monoxide poisoning in 2015, I nearly died.  It was tough to come to terms with.  Upon telling one person that I came very close to death, that person said, “But you didn’t die!”  That comment came across as something was wrong with me for being upset instead of only being grateful I survived.  “I’m so glad you didn’t die!” would’ve been a much better response.  That response would have shown the person accepted that the situation was bad & they care about me rather than basically shaming me for being upset as any normal person would’ve been.  Being positive can be a good thing but sometimes it’s also ok to admit something is very wrong, & to respond accordingly.

There are also some situations where you simply have no clue what to say.  When a person loses someone they love, for example, there is nothing in this world you can say to make their pain go away.  Rather than try, simply be honest.  Admit that you don’t know what to say, but you’re there for them if they need anything.  When my father was dying, a couple we’re friends with stopped by our home one day.  Neither had said anything so I wasn’t sure if they knew about my father or not.  I mentioned it along with the abuse I received from the flying monkeys at the time during our conversation.  They said, “We saw you mentioned it on Facebook, but honestly, we had no clue what to say.  We’re sorry all this is happening.”  That may have been the best thing anyone said to me at that time.  They were honest, non-judgmental & not critical at all, which was just what I needed.

Lastly, don’t forget to offer to pray with & for your friend.  I’ve noticed even people who don’t share my faith appreciate the offer a great deal.  Prayer seems to offer comfort to most people, no matter their religious beliefs.  However, if the person in question is angry with God or adamant in believing He doesn’t exist, this is not a good thing to say.  Nothing says you can’t pray for that person when not in their presence though…

Dear Reader, please keep these things in mind when someone you know is suffering.  These simple tips will help your friend & maybe even strengthen your relationship.

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Simple Answers Are The Best

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The Closer You Get To God, The More Challenges You May Face

Have you ever noticed sometimes that the more your relationship with God improves, the more bad things seem to come your way?  Suddenly it seems like everything is going wrong, & the things that are going wrong are big challenges.  If only they were simple ones like having a flat tire.

This is because the closer you get to God, the more the devil hates you & wants to steal your peace & joy.

I have seen this in my own life recently.  A couple of weeks ago, I spent a good part of my day in tears & praying about a big problem happening in my life.  That afternoon, one of my wonderful, Godly friends texted me.  She reminded me that with God, all things are possible & that He loves me.  The amazing part of this is that I didn’t tell her anything that was happening until after she sent me the text & I explained why this meant so much to me that she did that.  This incident caused my faith in God to grow by leaps & bounds.  Since then, I’ve been experiencing more nightmares & flashbacks than usual which causes my health to be worse, my husband & I have been getting along worse & even my cats have been fussing with each other a lot which is highly unusual for them.

If things are suddenly going badly in your life, this may be why.  Did you have some sort of spiritual breakthrough recently?  Are you feeling closer to God than usual due to an answered prayer or display of His favor & love?  That may be why things suddenly took a turn for the worse in your life.

During these trying times, I’ve learned that as hard as they are, there can still be peace.  On the outside, nothing has really changed in my life at all.  Things are still challenging.  However, I know beyond any doubt that God is still in control.  He still loves me, He still has my back.  Even during the bad times, He is still with me.

That goes for you too, Dear Reader.  Even when it doesn’t feel like it, & it seems like God is a million miles away, He’s still with you & taking care of you.  And, the only reason things are going badly at the moment is the devil is mad that you’re closer to God.  He’s trying to destroy your faith, to make you think things like, “If this is what happens when I get close to God, I’m done believing in Him!”  Don’t give him what he wants!  Stick even closer to God!  It makes a big difference!  Maybe not in your circumstances immediately, but you’ll be better able to handle the bad things, you’ll have more peace & less anxiety & depression.  One thing that helps me too, is to remember Psalm 23:4

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” (NKJV)

I have found these Scriptures to be comforting & helpful as well…

Psalm 33:8 “Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.”  (NKJV)

Psalm 33:18 “Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy, ” (NKJV)

Proverbs 8:13 “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate.” (NKJV)

Remember, you are NOT alone, Dear Reader!  God is in your corner with you, no matter what.  xoxo

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December 25, 2018 – January 1, 2019, Many Of My Ebooks Will Be On Sale!

My ebook publisher is offering a sale that I am participating in.  From December 25, 2018 – January 1, 2019, my ebooks on Smashwords.com are going to be 25% off.

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

 

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Ways To Identify Controlling People

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Thoughts On Anger While Healing From Narcissistic Abuse

Recently I wrote this post about the time my mother tried to kill me, & the tough time I’m having regarding this incident.  I wondered something.  Why now?  Why this year?  Every other November 28 since 1990 when it happened hasn’t been this hard.  Difficult sometimes, sure but not like this.  So what is going on?!

A thought crossed my mind that answered that question.  

A couple of weeks ago, my husband & I went to dinner at this little local bar/restaurant we like.  As we ate, someone started playing the juke box.  The song “Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line” by the Kentucky Headhunters came on.  It immediately made me think of a story I told in this post last year.  The abridged version is this… 

The day of my father’s funeral,  I asked my Amazon Echo Dot to play music by Wham! since I wanted something light & fun, but instead it mysteriously played Waylon Jennings’ song, “Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line”.  I just knew in my heart that God & my father wanted me to know that song is kinda how my father felt – trapped & unable to protect me from my mother.  I thought about my father’s notes I’d found documenting some of the abuse my mother inflicted on me & terrible things she said about me as I listened to the song.  I read them that day & it was pretty overwhelming to say the least.

Anyway… when the song played at the restaurant, immediately I felt transported back to that experience.  It triggered a ton of intrusive memories of abuse & naturally a big C-PTSD flare up.

Later, I prayed about it all & asked God what was that about?!  He clearly spoke to my heart & said, “This was a gift from your father.  He knows you have a lot of anger inside, & rightfully so.  He wants you to face it & heal.  He knows you’re strong enough to do that.  I agree.”  

Since then, I’ve been getting very angry about things as they come to mind, & my mother’s attack on me is no exception.  I never realized before that I hadn’t been overly angry about it.  Why?  Because I felt I had to be more concerned with how others were affected.  

My father complained about my mother locking him out of the house when he left the night she attacked me.  His keys were in his pocket!  He could’ve let himself back in at any time!!!  But that was what was wrong with the situation, not my mother trying to kill me.  Years later, my father complained to me about having to fix the wall my mother threw me into.  He expected me to apologize.  That did NOT happen & I told him it never would.  Not my fault she broke the wall with my back.

When it happened, my ex husband was upset about it, but not because I’d been hurt.  It was more because it upset him that she did this, rather than her actions causing me harm, if that makes sense.

Both my father & my ex wanted me to comfort them.  As a result, I did (I was only 19 & knew nothing of NPD obviously), & ignored my own anger.  That anger is now at the surface after 28 years & it’s time to face it.  

I’m seeing more & more how valuable anger can be.  Yes, we should forgive, not be full of anger or try to get revenge on people, but at the same time, anger has its place!  It is an excellent motivator for change.  It is also a big part of the healing process, & should NEVER be ignored!  The only way to heal from anger that I know of is to get angry.  Feel it.  Yell, cry, write hateful letters you never send, or whatever works for you, but feel that anger & get it out of you.  Then you can release it fully.

Forgiving too easily or early is an issue, like it was with me.  Once I became a Christian in 1996, I heard a lot about forgiveness.  I thought I forgave my mother for her attack, but what I really did was just ignore the anger that I felt.  I think many victims of narcissistic abuse do the same thing.  

I believe one of the best things you can do for yourself when trying to heal from narcissistic abuse is to decide early on that you will forgive your abuser, then face your anger head on.  It’s miserable to do, I know, & scary when you’ve never really felt anger before, but you have to do it.  Remember that anger is from God like all of our emotions, so that alone proves it is valuable.  Feeling it helps you to cope with injustices done to you & motivates you to make appropriate changes.  It also helps your self esteem when you get angry about what was done to you because it’s like it shows you that you are valuable!  You deserve to be treated right!

 

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My New & Improved Websites!

After a couple of months of struggling & attempting to drive myself crazy, my new websites are now live!!

I’m going to guess there are still some bugs in there because I never seem to make a website without a bug or two once it goes live, but I’m working on fixing any & all bugs as soon as I’m aware of them.  Please bear with me!

I added a lot of information about NPD to my site as well as other things such as some pictures.  I enjoy photography even though I’m not particularly good at it, so I thought why not add some pictures?  Beauty is always a nice distraction from NPD anyway…

Come check out my site at www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com

Don’t forget my companion website, www.TheButterflyProject.CynthiaBaileyRug.com

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Simple Answers Are Often The Best Answers

Matthew 5:37  “But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’ [a firm yes or no]; anything more than that comes from the evil one.”  (AMP)

One common sign that you grew up with a narcissistic parent is the need to over explain everything about yourself.  For example, if someone asks you to go with them & you don’t want to, you feel you must give them a very valid reason why you can’t rather than say “I don’t want to go there” or even simply “No.”

Maybe this is because our narcissistic parents made us so afraid of upsetting them, we learned early always to have a reason that they could accept.  Anything beat facing that scary narcissistic rage!

In any case, there is rarely a valid need to explain yourself, & definitely no need to over-explain yourself anymore.  Even the Bible says in Matthew 5:37 to keep it simple.  It doesn’t say you should go into great detail.  In fact, it says anything more comes from the “evil one.”

I don’t believe that this Scripture means you are evil if you over explain yourself.  I think it tells us that if you feel the need to do so, that someone evil or at least influenced by evil is putting that need in you.  If you think about it, mentally healthy people may ask for an explanation, but they don’t need a lot of details & they accept it even if they disagree with it.  Narcissists, however, require much more.  Let me provide an example..

Years ago, my late covertly narcissistic mother in-law asked me if I could do something for her in a few days.  I said no because I had an appointment that day.  (Granted, I could’ve moved things around & helped, but frankly, I didn’t want to- she was awful to me every single time we were alone.)  At this point, a mentally healthy person would’ve said, “Oh ok..” & figured out someone else to ask for help.  Not my mother in-law.  She obviously was upset I wouldn’t help her & wanted to know what I had to do that was more important to me than help her.  She asked what I had to do & I ignored her question.  She said, “Are you doing something for your parents?”  I said, “No.”  She said, “Well, it must be awful important if you can’t help me…”  (nice attempt at guilt, no?  lol  It didn’t work.)  I forget the other things she said, but until my husband & I left her home about 20 minutes later, she continually tried to get me to tell her why I wasn’t able to help her rather than simply accept the fact I had something else to do.  (On a funny note: Refusing to give her the information she wanted infuriated her.  But, she couldn’t admit that without looking bad in front of my husband & father in-law who were in the room with us.   It was hilarious to me, watching her get more & more frustrated & unable to do anything about it as I stayed calm.  Not sure how I didn’t laugh in her presence, but I held myself together until we were in the car & away from her home.)

This is typical narcissistic behavior- they feel they have the right to know every tiny detail about you when the truth is, they don’t have that right.  My no should have sufficed.  She truly didn’t care about me or what was going on in my life.  She only wanted to know what I was doing that day so she could use the information to criticize me for not helping her (“You think that is more important than me?!  That’s so mean!!  What’s wrong with you?”) or blab to her whole family my personal information.  Is that behavior not evil?

I think it is a good idea to use the reaction of a person to your “yes” & “no” as a gauge to see how safe a person is.  Safe people may sometimes ask you why you said what you did, but are satisfied with a simple explanation such as, “I have an appointment at that time & can’t make it.”  Unsafe people will respond as my mother in-law did- refusing to simply accept your answer, & doing their best to get you to explain in great detail why you responded to them as you did.

 

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The Consummate Victim

Some covert narcissists are what I think of as the consummate victim.  They are the ones who are always wronged, always the victim, & never at fault for anything.  Some examples of their behavior are as follows.

 

The narcissist says something cruel.  You get angry, & rightfully so.  She claims she never meant to hurt your feelings.  She was just trying to help & had no idea what she said would upset you.  She then stops speaking to you for weeks, even if you apologized.

 

The narcissist tries to manipulate you into doing something you don’t want to do.  Naturally, you refuse to do it.  She claims you don’t love her.  How could you refuse to do this one little thing for her, especially after all she’s done for you?!

 

The narcissist is your elderly parent who expects you to come at their beck & call.  You tell your parent you only are available one day a week to do what she needs.  She tells your family how you refused to help her, & they attack you for being a bad daughter, ungrateful, a spoiled brat & more.

 

Narcissists who claim life is so unfair to them or that they are mistreated when people confront them on their abusive behavior are also consummate victims.  There are also those who blame their victims for their abusive behavior.  They are also consummate victims, as are those who complain about their problems, yet refuse to do something to change the situation.

 

Dealing with these people is incredibly frustrating, I know.  My late father & late mother in-law were both covert narcissists & consummate victims.  I repeatedly asked my father not to call after 9 at night.  When I refused to take his call when he called at 10 one evening, he called my in-laws & a cousin who lives almost 500 miles away.  He told both he was so concerned about me for not answering the phone, & asked them to have me call him immediately.  Another time, I was angry with my mother in-law because she had snooped through my purse yet again.  She asked my husband why I was angry, & he told her.  I overheard the conversation.  She claimed not to know what she did would be upsetting to me.

 

Both situations were similar.  As a result of my father’s & mother in-law’s actions, my husband & I got into an argument about his mother & my cousin & I argued about my father.  Being the typical consummate victims, their obnoxious behavior caused problems for the real victim while making themselves look good.

 

There are some things that you can do that can help you if you must deal with this behavior in covert narcissists.

 

Always rely on God to help you in this situation. He will be glad to help you discern the truth & strengthen you to do whatever you need to do!

 

Remember the type of person that you’re dealing with.  No matter what you do, this person will twist the situation around to make you look bad & them look like the innocent victim of your cruelty.  Expect nothing else because this person has no desire to behave any other way.

 

Also remember that there is nothing wrong with you setting boundaries or confronting this person on their abusive behavior.  Both of those are good things to do.  They are healthy & show you have self respect.

 

Consummate victims are very skilled at recruiting flying monkeys.  When you set those boundaries or confront the narcissist about her behavior, no matter how gently & reasonably you do so, it’s a safe bet someone will tell you how cruel, unreasonable, wrong, etc. you are.  When this happens, ignore whatever these flying monkeys have to say.  They don’t know the truth, only what the narcissist has told them.  Also, it’s best to refuse to discuss the narcissist with them.

 

Lastly, it’s also important to remember that consummate victims may project their status on their real victims.  It can be easy to believe their lies since narcissists are talented actors who give very convincing performances.  To avoid believing their lies, remember that you are NOT a consummate victim if you are angry about being abused, setting healthy boundaries or refusing to be manipulated.

 

If you are faced with a covert narcissist who portrays herself as a consummate victim, you can cope.  You have the knowledge & strength to handle this ugly situation.

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Forgiveness After Narcissistic Abuse

One thing that every adult victim of narcissistic parents I have spoken with has struggled with is forgiving their parents.

So many people, particularly Christians, think that these victims need to forgive & forget.  They often quote Ephesians 4:26 which says, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:”  When victims struggle with forgiving & forgetting, they are shamed & even shunned by the very people who should support them, creating even more pain, guilt & shame in the victim.

I want to give you a new perspective on forgiveness that I think can help you today.

If you look at the definition of forgive, nowhere does it say you don’t feel anger.  According to Merriam-Webster.com, to forgive means:

1 : to cease to feel resentment against (an offender) : PARDON; forgive one’s enemies
2a : to give up resentment of or claim to requital for; forgive an insult
b : to grant relief from payment of; forgive a debt

It’s possible to forgive someone while still feeling anger for them.  What I mean is when you forgive someone, you decide that they don’t owe you an apology or repentance. You won’t try to collect that “debt” from them.  You have released that person from paying you the debt that they owe you.  This is what I try to do any time someone mistreats me- give up expectations of an apology immediately.  That way, I have forgiven that person, as God wants me to do.  Yet, even forgiving quickly doesn’t mean I may not still feel some anger for that person for a while.  See what I mean?  You can forgive while still feeling anger.

I also firmly believe that releasing the anger you feel can be a process.  If the waitress makes a mistake on your order or a clerk is rude, those minor incidents are easy to forgive.  Big issues though, it takes time to work through the anger.   Processing anger from years of abuse takes a lot of time & work, especially if you learned early in life to ignore your anger which is the case with most children of narcissistic parents.

There is also the fact many people think to forgive your abusive parents is a one time thing.  You just forgive everything in one fell swoop & *poof* you’re not angry & you never will be angry again with them.  As anyone who has tried to forgive their narcissistic parents knows, that isn’t how it works.  You have to work through many different traumas individually, not lump them all together as one big trauma.

I honestly can say I have forgiven my narcissistic parents.   However, there are still some times I feel anger at them.

When a repressed memory comes back to mind, I feel anger at my parents about the incident.  When I have flashbacks, nightmares, the anxiety & depression get bad, I also feel  anger.  It’s their fault I have C-PTSD, after all.  Plus, when I told my father about having it, he ignored me then changed the subject.  Sometimes I also feel anger when others talk about what a great relationship they have with their parents.  I wanted that with mine, but wasn’t able to have it, because their narcissism was more important to them than me.

Do you think this means I haven’t forgiven my parents? If so, I’d have to respectfully disagree.  I have released my parents from any responsibility to apologize or make amends with me, which is the definition of forgiving.

Yes, there are times I still feel anger at them, as I admitted, & I think it’s very normal.  I also work through the anger & release it quickly.  That is the best I can do, & I know God honors that I am trying.  That’s all He asks of us, to try our best.

If someone tells you you’re wrong for not forgiving your narcissistic parents, Dear Reader, please remember what I said in this post.  If you don’t expect your parents to apologize or repay you for the trauma they inflicted on you, you already have forgiven them.  The more you heal, the less anger you’ll feel towards them.  It just takes some time.

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Is Confronting Abusive Parents Biblical?

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Encouraging Your Faith & Offering Comfort Regarding The Death Of A Loved One

One year ago, I shared this post about the miraculous & wonderful events that surrounded my father’s death.  If you haven’t read it, please do.

I still am absolutely blown away by the events of that time.  Talking about the goodness of God doesn’t begin to explain just how loving, good, kind & merciful He truly is, & those events proved it to me.

It’s been quite the emotional roller coaster since my father’s passing last year, & my faith has grown tremendously too.

While I don’t believe the dead actually come to us in dreams, I do believe because God knows how much certain people mean to them & they mean to us, He allows us to have dreams to convey messages from them.  That being said, I’ve had a couple of dreams about my father since his passing, although he rarely actually makes an appearance in them.  At first, I knew the dreams were to tell me that he was sorry for everything & loves me a great deal.  I also knew he didn’t want to appear in my dreams often because of the things that happened in our relationship- he was afraid it’d upset me.  Recently though he showed up in a dream & it was lovely- we were talking & laughing, & he was telling jokes.  It was fun since we shared the same skewed since of humor.  I believe that dream was to let me know that he appreciates all the prayers that not only I said for him, but my friends said as well, & now he’s enjoying Heaven because God answered those prayers.

I wanted to share these events with you to (hopefully!) encourage your faith & comfort you are losing someone you love.  God truly can save everyone who wants to be saved.  Never give up hope or give up praying for them, Dear Reader, even when it looks hopeless.  It may happen at the very last minute like it did with my father, but it can still happen.  Keep praying!!

Also, if you’ve lost a loved one, draw close to God.  Allow Him to help you to get through & to comfort you.  He truly will!  I’ve even asked Him if it’s ok, please tell my deceased loved ones I miss them, are thinking of them or even happy birthday.  I know as Christians, we aren’t supposed to try to contact the dead, so obviously I won’t seek out a medium or grab a Ouija board.  But, I see nothing wrong with asking that sort of thing of God.  Besides, if He didn’t want it to happen, He wouldn’t do it ^ would tell me it’s wrong!  He also has told me little things that they wanted me to know, & of course there have been many dreams.  Sometimes during the hardest times, I’ve dreamed about my grandfather, & the dream helped comfort me.  On February 26, 2016, the night before the one year anniversary that I survived carbon monoxide poisoning, I had a dream of going four-wheeling with my grandfather.  It was so fun & helped me feel much less depressed about that anniversary.  God can bless you in the same way.  He is no respecter of persons, so what He does for one, He can do for another.

I guess my thoughts are a bit scattered on this post, but I do hope they help & encourage you anyway.  xoxo

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When Your Narcissistic Parent Dies

One year ago today my father passed away.  It’s been quite a year to say the least.  It’s also been a real learning experience.

When my narcissistic grandmother died in 2001, I gained a pretty good idea of what it’d be like to lose a narcissistic parent.  When she died, I felt such a relief that the abuse was finally truly over, & the normal guilt that comes with that feeling.  I went through a lot of anger & sadness things were as they were with her.  I was prepared for that when my father died.  I was NOT prepared for other things.

I was woefully unprepared for the constant inundation of attacks from flying monkeys who thought I should go see him & the incredibly cruel & stupid things they had to say in an attempt to force me to do their will.  I also was unprepared for their dogged determination to get around all the blocks I had in place (on social media, blocking emails, phone numbers, etc).  When they continued their harassment, I was stunned & frustrated that I couldn’t seem to get rid of these monsters no matter what I did.

I also didn’t expect to end up in a state of shock that lasted for months because of the flying monkeys, or that the shock would prevent me from experiencing any grief over losing my father.

I was also unprepared for the incredibly strong & constant need to pray for my father’s salvation at that time.  I’d been praying for him for some time, but his final few weeks, I felt I had to pray often & hard about it & ask friends to pray with me.  Thankfully, God answered those prayers, & I shared that story here: Some Recent Miracles That I Believe Will Encourage You

I also didn’t realize the lack of support that I would have.  Truthfully, I’m only very close to a few people, but I do have a larger group of friends who I’m simply not as close to.  In theory, I should’ve been surrounded by support at that time, but I really wasn’t.  Those closest to me checked on me often, but those who aren’t as close to me didn’t.  Only a couple even offered any sympathy when my father died.  Yet, when my father in-law died last June, many of those same people offered their condolences to my husband, even ones who don’t know or barely know him.  When this happened, it made me mad.  I felt hurt.  Why was his father’s death worthy of sympathy but not mine?!  I finally realized.. it’s because they didn’t know what to say or do.  They weren’t being hateful, it wasn’t that they didn’t care.  They simply didn’t know what to say.  Most people will avoid a situation rather than admit they don’t know what to say.

The reason I’m telling you these things, Dear Reader, is that if you’re facing the death of your narcissistic parent, you may experience similar things to me.  The experiences I mentioned are very common among adult children of narcissistic parents.  You need to be prepared for these things as best you can be.

I wrote a book about my experiences entitled, “When A Narcissistic Parent Dies”.  If you’re interested, it’s available on my website at www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com 

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Simple Ways To Set Boundaries With Narcissistic Parents

As I’ve said many times, my heart goes out to those in the position of being unable or unwilling to go no contact with their narcissistic parents.  You’re in a tough, tough place, & I understand since I’ve been there.  I want to help you if I can, & that is what today’s post is about.

There are some small, easy ways you can set boundaries with your narcissistic parent while not eliminating them from your life entirely.

For starters, reduce the amount of time you spend with your narcissistic parent.  Don’t visit or have your parent visit you as often.  Stop taking their calls every time they call.  Ask yourself if you feel up to dealing with your parent, & if not, don’t take that call or visit.

When you must visit or speak with your parent on the phone, set a time limit.  Don’t allow your narcissistic parent to waste half your day when that is so hard on you!  Set a limit, then say “I have to go” & go.

Also if you visit your narcissistic parent, have a way out.  Plan something to do so you only have a limited time to spend with your parent.  If you can’t think of something, say you just remembered something you have to take care of & go.  It’s not a lie- you remembered you have to take care of yourself!

Remember to keep the conversation away from you.  Your love life, in-laws, job, troubles & even your mental & physical health should be off the table for topics to discuss with your narcissistic parent.  Giving any narcissist personal information is just asking for trouble such as criticism & unasked for, useless advice.  Change the subject if your parent wants or demands to know something personal about you.  If all else fails, ask your parent about something that matters to her.  Chances are excellent she’ll drop the matter at the opportunity to talk about herself.

If you’re dependent even slightly on your narcissistic parent financially, find ways to put an end to it.  Narcissists love controlling their adult children with money, so remove that tool if at all possible.  If not, then at least find ways to reduce the amount.

If you have pets or kids, have strict boundaries in place.  It is your job to protect them & that includes from abusive & narcissistic parents.

When it’s time to set boundaries with your parent, remain calm.  Show no emotion, simply state the facts.  Any signs you are upset will fuel your narcissistic parent’s behavior.  Stay calm, state your boundary & the consequence of your parent not respecting the boundary, then enforce it if necessary.

If you’re friends on social media, unfollow your narcissistic parent.  You will remain friends, but you won’t see her posts which can reduce stress.

If you must go somewhere with your narcissistic parent, drive separately.  That way, you are free to leave at any time if need be.  Also, cars are a great weapon for some narcissists.  There is no escape- you have to put up with whatever they do when you’re in a car together.   My mother loved having me trapped in her car, & used it to scream at me when I was a kid or belittle me as an adult.

Always remember the Gray Rock Method.  Think about what gives your narcissistic parent narcissistic supply, & refuse to provide it.  Basically, you need to be boring to her.  Don’t admire her.  Don’t praise her.  Don’t get angry at her so she can portray herself as the victim.  Don’t coddle her.  Don’t share anything personal about yourself that she could use against you or as fuel to spread lies about you.  Don’t empathize with her if someone has hurt her.  Show no real interest in her problems.  If she needs your assistance with something, do the bare minimum, don’t go above & beyond.  Gray Rock can be hard at first because every tiny thing can provide narcissistic supply, but the more you do it, the easier it gets.

Lastly, pray & pray often.  Ask God to help you cope with your narcissistic parent, to give you the right words to say, & to give you effective, creative ways to cope with her behavior.  He will NOT disappoint you!

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Changes Happening With My Website

I have recently changed my website domain registration & hosting to a new company.  It’s going through those changes as we speak.  From what I see, it may take about a week for things to change then possibly add in more time for me to learn the new website building software & get it back up & running.

 

I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause!  It’s unavoidable, though- my last website host & domain registrar went out of business without telling its customers.  In order to make any changes to my site, I had to make a change.  I really think it’s for the best though- this new company has no limits on how big my site can be or how many visitors it has each month!  Pretty cool, really.. just the change that isn’t so cool.

 

Anyway hopefully within the next 1-2 weeks, my site will be back & better than before at www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com .  Thank you, Dear Reader, for your understanding & patience!  xoxo

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Consequences- A Necessary Part Of Life, Even For Narcissists

2 Thessalonians 3:10  “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.”  (KJV)

 

So many of us raised by narcissistic parents grew up believing it was our job to protect our parents from consequences.  No matter what our parents did to us, we weren’t supposed to be upset about it or confront them about being abusive.  We were supposed to tolerate everything they did with a smile rather than take the chance in upsetting them.

 

Sadly, this awful belief often is such an ingrained belief, it follows us into adulthood.  Our narcissistic parents can continue abusing not only us but our spouse & children as well without fear of consequences.

 

The fact is that this belief & behavior goes against God’s will.  God is a firm believer in consequences.  The Scripture at the beginning of this post is evidence of that.

 

Dear Reader, if you’re suffering at the hands of your narcissistic parents, you are well within your rights to set boundaries & give your parents consequences!  Doing so won’t make you a bad person or bad daughter or son.  In fact, it means you are following God’s will.

 

The same is true if you have gone no contact with your narcissistic parents.  Although many people will attempt shame you for doing so, going no contact after years of abuse & attempts to improve the relationship is NOT a bad thing.  Yes, it’s sad when a relationship comes to such drastic measures, especially when it’s a close relationship such as parent & child, however, it is also often the only resort left for a victim who wishes to be free of abuse.  The person in this situation has absolutely nothing to be ashamed of or to feel guilty about.

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About Not Tolerating Abuse

Psalm 101:5 in the Amplified translation of the Bible says, “Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will silence;
The one who has a haughty look and a proud (arrogant) heart I will not tolerate.”

This verse has come to my attention quite a few times recently.  It find it VERY interesting.  Don’t you think that it describes some aspects of narcissistic behavior?  Narcissists have NO trouble slandering others.  They also have the haughty look & an arrogant heart.  What is even more interesting to me than the description of these behaviors is that God has no tolerance for them.

Yet, narcissists’ evil minions, also known as flying monkeys, love to tell victims of narcissistic abuse that we are being cruel, unloving, & even ungodly if we set boundaries with the narcissist in our lives.  They tell us invalidating & horrible things like, “You only get one set of parents!”  “He won’t be around forever yanno!”  “But that’s your MOTHER!!!” & more.  If the flying monkey claims to be a Christian, they also like to throw in their version of Scripture to prove that your behavior is terrible, such as you aren’t honoring your parents or “God hates divorce” if your narcissist is your spouse.

Awful statements like these can make a victim feel ashamed for not tolerating the abuse or even feel enough guilt to resume the dysfunctional, abusive relationship as it was & abandon all attempts of self protection.

This should not be!!!

If you have been subjected to the inane ramblings of flying monkeys, you need to know some things.

First, the people saying these things are abusive.  Invalidation is abusive.  Encouraging someone to return to an abusive situation is also abusive.  Attempting to force someone to do something is controlling & abusive.  You have every right to protect yourself from these awful people.

Second, I’ve come to realize that many flying monkeys are simply covert narcissists.  Narcissists only care about what is best for them, no one else.  Why would you take the advice of someone like that?!

Third, you also have the right to protect yourself from any abusive person, which includes your narcissistic parent(s) or significant other.  There is nothing holy, good or loving about tolerating abuse.  Anyone who thinks there is has some seriously warped beliefs, & obviously they know nothing of God or His ways.

Fourth, the Bible says in Matthew 5:48, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  (NIV)  One duty all Christians have is to become like God.  While we can’t be just like God, of course, we can love as He loves, & treat people as He does.  So, keeping this in mind, if God does not tolerate certain things, like narcissistic behavior, this means we shouldn’t tolerate it either.

And lastly, as I said, there is nothing holy, good or loving about tolerating abuse.  Doing so encourages a person to behave poorly.  It keeps them indulging in sinful behavior, hurting other people & even themselves.  How can this be good for anyone?!  It’s impossible!

On the opposite side of that coin, refusing to tolerate abuse is a good & loving thing to do.  It sets boundaries that give consequences for a person’s bad behavior.  If they wish to avoid those consequences, they will behave better.  (While no one can force another person to change, boundaries at least create circumstances that can make a person want to change. )  Helping a person to be the best version of themselves that they can be is a loving thing to do.

Refusing to tolerate abusive treatment also removes the opportunity for the abusive person to sin, at least where you’re concerned, & that is a good thing.  Tolerating abuse not only allows the abuser to sin but practically encourages it.  After all, why should the abuser stop being abusive when they don’t have any reason to?  And no, for narcissists, knowing they’re hurting someone else isn’t enough of a reason to stop abusing.

Dear Reader, the next time someone criticizes you for not tolerating abuse from the narcissists in your life, please remember what I’ve said.  There is absolutely nothing good about tolerating abuse for you or the abuser.  You have every right to protect yourself however you see fit, whether it’s by setting boundaries or even ending the relationship.  Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise!  xoxo

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When Narcissistic Parents Expect Their Children To Be Their Parent

Narcissistic parents often expect their children to care for them rather than the normal course of events where parents care for their children.  They expect their children to meet their emotional needs, listen to their woes, make them happy when they are sad, fix their problems & more.  This is called parentification, parentalizing, emotional incest or covert incest.  (For simplicity sake, we’ll use parentification in this article.)

 

While parentification may not sound all that bad, its effect on children can be devastating.  Children feel responsible for their parents, which burdens them with the false belief they are responsible for everyone in their circle as adults.  That type of responsibility is incredibly stressful, no matter a person’s age, & as everyone knows, stress can cause a plethora of physical ailments.

 

It also robs children of their childhood.  Parentified children aren’t allowed to hang out with their friends.  They have their parents to take care of instead.  Basically these children are living an adult life in their childhood.

 

Parentified children also are depressed.  They often feel like failures for not being able to fix their parents’ problems, & narcissistic parents only make this feeling worse by blaming their children for not being able to accomplish the impossible.

 

These children often carry a great deal of anger inside, too, yet are unable to express it.  To be angry at their parents feels so wrong since their parents have made it their job to protect these parents.  Since expressing that anger is wrong, as far as the children are concerned, the anger gets stuffed inside & often manifests in very unhealthy ways.  It can come out as self destructive ways (such as addictions) or other destructive ways (becoming abusive towards other people).

 

Parentified children have a right to be angry.  They have been subjected to an incredibly cruel & insidious form of abuse by their own parents.  And, to make matters worse, unknowing people compound their pain.  They tell the children how lucky they are to have such a close relationship with their mother or father.  Some people compound the guilt & responsibility on their child by saying things like, “I don’t know what your mom would do without you.”  “You have to be strong for your dad- he needs you.”  These kinds of things only make a child feel ashamed for having any complaints about the relationship, extra responsible for the parent they shouldn’t be responsible for in the first place & angry that they have been forced into this position.

 

If this describes you, you are NOT alone!  Many people have been the victims of parentification, in particular children of narcissistic parents.  I’ve been through it myself & sympathize with your pain.  My parents came to me ever since i can remember with complaints about each other & even wanting me to fix their disagreements.  I still have moments when I think of it that I get angry.  And you know something?  It’s ok!  Being abused in any way, shape or form isn’t right.  It’s ok to be angry about the unfairness of abuse & being forced to live with the painful effects, such as PTSD or C-PTSD.

 

The best way I’ve learned to cope is to go to God, & tell Him about what I feel.  He truly understands & gives me a lot of comfort.  I also have friends who have been through the same thing & understand.  Sometimes one of the most helpful things for me is when they get angry over something I went through.  That can be so validating!  What my parents did wasn’t right, but, as a typical child of narcissists, I’ve always felt guilt for being angry with them.  Although it’s diminished a great deal, it’s still there a little.  Someone else getting angry about what my parents did helps me to understand that it’s ok to be angry about what they did & to realize just how wrong it was.

 

If you’re still in a relationship with your parent who indulges in parentification, you are not in a good place.  Until such time as you decide to end this relationship, if you decide to take that step, you will need to learn ways to cope.  Narcissists don’t accept boundaries like normal people, so you will need to get creative.  Whatever you do, do NOT tell your parent, “It hurts me when you talk about/do that.  Please don’t do it anymore.”  Statements like that are like throwing gas on a narcissist fire.  They will mock you for being oversensitive or do the behavior more often just to hurt you.

 

Instead, try changing the subject.  Since narcissists love to talk about themselves, you can use that to your advantage.  Ask your narcissistic parent something about herself.  How is her job going?  How did her last doctor visit go?  Has she talked to her favorite cousin lately?  It’s really not that hard to get a narcissist to talk about themselves.  Why not use it in your favor?

 

Suddenly have to go.  You just looked at the time & you have to go.  You don’t owe any explanations- you just have to go.

 

Ask if your parent has talked to someone else who has been through something similar about this situation.  After all, that person knows a lot more than you do & no doubt can help your parent more than you can!  Let them think that you’re only suggesting this because it helps them in some way, not you.

 

Whatever your situation with parentification, I truly wish you the best.  I pray you find effective ways to cope with your parent or are able to release any false guilt you may feel for no longer being in that situation.

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Schedule Time To Talk

At the end of July, my husband & I had a disagreement.  Not even really a fight, just a disagreement.  During the course of working things out, we began talking about our relationship in general.  We realized that when stressed, we both tend to withdraw into ourselves.  Both being major introverts (he’s INTJ, I’m INFJ), it’s hardly a surprise.  It’s also not good for our marriage, because when he withdraws it triggers me to withdraw from him & when I withdraw, it triggers him to withdraw from me also.  We tried to figure out ways to cope with this when we came up with a good solution, & I believe it’s beneficial for any marriage.

We now have daily time to talk with each other, minus tv & computer.  Maybe music but that is iffy.  In fact, we have the Amazon Echo Dot, & I have a daily reminder on there for her to tell us to talk so we are sure not to forget this time.

Every evening at 9, our Dot tells us “This is your daily reminder.  It’s talk time.”  At that time, we turn off the tv & computers, ignore the phone & talk.  The topics vary daily.  Sometimes he talks more than me, sometimes I talk more than him.  We also don’t have a set time we must talk, so sometimes it’s only 10 minutes, sometimes an hour or more.  There are also times we do it earlier in the day because maybe there’s a tv show we want to watch coming on at 9 or we’re really tired & want to get some extra sleep.  We also had an evening where one of our cats got sick & had to go to the emergency vet about 9pm, so talk time obviously was postponed that day & rescheduled for the next few days while he was in there to adapt to our spending time at the hospital.  There are no rules & there is absolutely NO pressure about talk time other than spend time together.

This ritual has been super beneficial for our marriage!  I’ve noticed we are withdrawing much less & being a lot more open about everything.  My husband used to hold a lot in about his difficulties at work but now he is talking about them.  Even when it isn’t “talk time,” he’s opening up about work more often.  He used to hold his frustrations in so this is a very good thing!  So much healthier!

We also are closer than we once were.  Focusing on each other daily has increased the intimacy in our marriage.  We are more open with each other & know we can talk to each other about anything.  I’ve felt safer to bring up topics that could start arguments because both of us are more patient, considerate & understand with each other since we started with our daily talk time.  It seems like we slow down & really think about things more during talk time.

I think we also have begun to have even more in common than we once did.  By focusing so much on each other during our talk time, it seems to have enabled us to see things from each other’s perspectives more than we once did.  We used to butt heads about how money should be spent, as one example, but now we agree on it.  Granted that area improved the longer we’ve been together, but  since we started this ritual, we’ve gotten to be a lot more on the same page.  We rarely disagree on financial things anymore.

I wanted to share this discovery with you, Dear Reader, because I think this talk time ritual can help any marriage.  I know, life can be so busy, but like I said, it doesn’t have to take long.  Even just a few minutes each day where you & your spouse focus on each other can be a good thing.  If you opt to try this in your marriage, then please do as we have done & keep it as low key as possible.  I really think pressure would make it into a burden rather than something to look forward to each day.  Schedule a time that works for you but be flexible enough to change it if circumstances dictate.  Don’t worry about having a time limit either or specific topics.  Just hang out with your spouse & talk about whatever topics come up.  The point is to have fun, relax or work through a problem.  Just go with the flow & see if your marriage doesn’t improve like mine did.

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A Bit About Marriage

Genesis 2:24 “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”  (KJV)

 

Most people have at least heard of Genesis 2:24, but I wonder how many people truly understand it.  Since tomorrow is my 20th wedding anniversary, this Scripture has popped into my mind & I figured the timing to discuss it was good.

Being close is one thing, but being enmeshed is very bad.  No doubt many of my readers know about enmeshed families.  Narcissistic families often have enmeshment down to an art form, since their families are very cult-like.  When one member gets married, this often means trouble for the new in-law.

When my husband & I first met, it didn’t take me long to learn he was very involved with his family.  Enmeshed, really, although I didn’t know the term at the time.  Coming from my own dysfunctional past, I thought at first that it was good they were so “close.”

My mother in-law hated me from the day we met, which was before my husband & I started dating.  Once we started dating, it got a lot worse & it was worse after our marriage.  Because she felt this way, her two daughters did as well, although one hid it for a few years.  Over the years, they subjected me to many cruel comments & actions letting me know I was not good enough to be a part of their family.  Yet, at the same time, I was told that I would be there on special days like Christmas & there was no acceptable excuse not to be in attendance.  They also had ideas of the type of person I should be & look like, which became incredibly annoying to me since I’m not anything like they wanted me to be.  This all created a tremendous amount of stress in my marriage which lead to me considering divorce many times.

And sadly, I felt  completely alone.  I honestly thought no other woman went through what I was going through.  How wrong I was!  As I began to write about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I learned a LOT of other people had almost identical experiences with their in-laws.  It seems this must be common with narcissistic families, to treat the in-law more like an outlaw,  make demands of them & have unrealistic expectations of them & causing problems in the marriage.

I firmly believe situations like this are why God wrote Genesis 2:24.  When a couple is married, whether they’ve been married 2 weeks or 40 years, they need to be a COUPLE, not have others involved in their marriage.  Even if the people in question are good people, it’s just inappropriate & causes problems in a marriage to have the intrusion of other people.  Feelings will get hurt, someone will feel put upon or left out, arguments will happen.. it’s just not good!  Couples needs to keep their marriage their top priority after God, & not pay attention to what other people’s opinions are.

It’s also very inappropriate for a married person to discuss the intimate details of their marriage with their parent or child.  They don’t need to be privy to that information.  All it will do is cause tension between the partner being discussed & the other person, plus if a child knows such information about their parent, it puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the child.  Children often take things personally, even things that shouldn’t be taken personally.  The child may feel to blame for the parent’s bad behavior or the marital problems.  The child may even feel it’s his or her duty to fix the problem when clearly nothing could be further from the truth!

If you’re in the situation of someone else being involved in your marriage, please talk to your partner!  Remind him or her of Genesis 2:24.  Ask God to give you the right words to say so your partner will understand the importance of this issue.  Suggest marriage counseling, perhaps.  It’ll be very challenging but you can get through this!

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Compassion Fatigue

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When People Believe You Need To Think As They Do

I’ve noticed that many people think others should believe as they do.  People really can be downright shaming if you don’t share their passions.

Quite a few years ago, I said something to one of my football watching aunts about the fact my husband likes football & I hate it, always have.  She verbally jumped me for not trying harder to like it, & she also said I needed to watch games with him so we can enjoy football together.  It was surprising to me because I wasn’t complaining or looking for some solution- I just made a simple statement.  I also remember thinking, “I love knitting.  I don’t see you scolding him & telling him he needs to learn to knit so we can buy yarn or knit together.”  I wish I’d said that- it might have helped her to see how ludicrous & over the top her reaction was.

I’ve experienced similar reactions from people who are extremely focused on politics when they learn I’m not.  In fact, the topic doesn’t interested me in the slightest.  I also don’t have the desire in me to learn enough about candidates to make an informed decision on who to vote for, so I don’t vote.  This apparently infuriates some people who are deeply interested in politics, & some have been downright shaming & nasty to me because of this.  Not that I would do it, but it makes me want to be equally shaming & nasty to them for not helping to raise awareness of narcissistic abuse or help victims.  It’d only be fair, after all, wouldn’t it?

I used to be upset by my aunt & the other people who were equally nasty to me.  Then I realized something.

Not every cause can be your cause.  People believe differently & have varied interests.  That doesn’t mean something is wrong with one person & right with another because they think differently.  It simply means they’re different.

There are many valid causes that need support, awareness & activists out there.  No one can support them all though!  That would leave no time for people to do anything else, like work or sleep.  It’s much better to focus on what means the most to you than to spread yourself too thin by supporting many causes.

And, every person is unique, right down to our fingerprints & DNA.  It is only natural that the causes we support & things that interest us also would be unique.

If you’re in the position of someone shaming you for not sharing their interests or supporting their causes, ignore them!  They aren’t worth your frustration.  They have no right to tell you what to think or how to feel.  You do what is right for you.  You have your own path to walk in life, & the approval of other people is NOT required to do it.  What you do & what you believe in is ultimately between you & God, not you & other people.

If you’re actively in this situation, try changing the subject.  A reasonable person will be fine with that.  If the person isn’t reasonable, then you can tell them you don’t feel comfortable discussing this topic with them & if they continue, you’ll hang up the phone or leave the room.  If they ask why, you can tell them the truth- because they are being disrespectful, nasty, etc. on this topic.  If the person you’re speaking with is truly being obnoxious, you could try logic.  Comments like, “Because you feel/believe that way means I should too?  Why?  Give me a good reason.”  or, “That has never interested me, & I am well aware of that fact.  Why should I do something I have zero interest in?”  Statements like this can often shut a person down pretty quickly, because they realize how ridiculous their behavior is.

In conclusion, just remember there is nothing wrong with you for having the interests you have or not having the ones you don’t.  God made you to be unique, so be unique & enjoy it!

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Is Confronting Abusers Biblical?

Many people tell victims of narcissistic abuse things like “You need to be the bigger person & let it go.”  “You just don’t understand- she had a bad childhood!”  “You just need to forgive & forget.”  “The Bible says to honor your parents.  If you call your mother/father out on their behavior, God doesn’t approve of that!”  Such statements are often said for the following reasons…

 

  1. The person has come from an abusive past, & refuses to face the pain.  You talking about it reminds that person of his or her pain.  That person wants to shut you down so you stop making that person uncomfortable.
  2. The person knows the narcissist, & like all flying monkeys, is protective of that narcissist.  If the narcissist is related to this person, this is a very likely scenario.  Families are extremely protective of narcissists.  You can see a post I wrote on the topic here:  How Families Protect Their Narcissist

 

Whatever the reasons these ludicrous statements are said, they not only hurt, they confuse & frustrate victims.  As if it’s not bad enough we’ve been abused by the narcissist, now other people are being abusive as well by invalidating our pain as well as judging & criticizing us for speaking up to the abuser.

There is a verse in Isaiah that can shut down the argument that a victim shouldn’t speak up:

Isaiah 1:16-17  “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, REBUKE THE OPPRESSOR; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow.”  (NKJV) (emphasis added)

Notice the part in all caps.  “Rebuke the oppressor.”  God said that!  I just capitalized it for emphasis.  Pretty cool, huh?  According to God, we are not only allowed to confront someone about abusive behavior- we are supposed to do it.  Do you really think God would’ve included that in the Bible if He didn’t want people to do it?  Also notice- it doesn’t say, “Rebuke the oppressor, unless the oppressor is a parent.”  There are no exceptions in this verse!

Now I realize with narcissists, many times it’s easier to let them do something than confront them.  They love turning things around where the victim is the blame or telling others how mean & unreasonable a victim is for not tolerating their abuse.  It’s frustrating but such behaviors mean that sometimes we shouldn’t confront them.  But, even so, there are times that we know in our hearts we need to speak up to them no matter what they do.  During those times, you can rest assured you are doing the right thing.  It’s even in the Bible, in the book of Isaiah!

If anyone judges or criticizes you for speaking up to the narcissist in your life, although it can be painful, try to ignore it.   If God Himself has said we are to rebuke an oppressor, who is any mere human to tell you it’s the wrong thing to do?  You do what you know that God would have you to do, even if that includes confronting a narcissist, & you do it secure in the knowledge God approves of what you’re doing.

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Narcissists Love When Victims Suck Up To Them

Narcissists love to have power over their victims.  To hurt someone either mentally, physically or sexually gives them a feeling of power.  Possibly the only thing that makes narcissists feel even more powerful is watching their victim suck up to them.

When a victim is genuinely repentant & will do anything to make it up to their abuser, this is a huge power trip for the narcissist.  They know they can make that victim do anything at this point.  There also is the added bonus of the victim accepting responsibility for whatever the narcissist did.  This means the narcissist doesn’t have to take any blame at all.  (Not that they would anyway, but at least in this situation, they don’t have to work to pawn that blame off on someone else).

Narcissists are incredibly good at manipulation & gaslighting- making a person doubt their own thoughts, feelings, perceptions & even sanity.  Because of this, it’s no wonder many victims in the midst of narcissistic abuse continually apologize & suck up to their abuser.  I certainly have done my fair share of it before learning about narcissism.  (If you have too, there’s nothing to be ashamed of.  I doubt there is one victim of narcissistic abuse that hasn’t apologized to their abuser at least a couple of times.)

If you’re still in a relationship with a narcissist, I’m sure you’re faced with the scenario at least periodically, where the narcissist is angry with you & demands that you apologize.  Or maybe she prefers suddenly to stop speaking to you, with no explanation whatsoever, in an attempt to make you rush to her side, begging for her to speak to you again.

Having been there, I learned something.  Don’t do it!!!

If you have done something wrong, then by all means, apologize.  It’s just the right, mature thing to do.  Say you’re sorry, make things right if you can, & move on.

If you haven’t done something wrong, then do NOT apologize!  If you do it once, the narcissist will demand you do it again & again.  She will use you & wear you down to get you to make it up to her for whatever horrible thing you supposedly did.

If a person can’t behave like a mature adult by trying to work out a problem, then don’t treat them as if they are one.  Let that narcissist pout like the bratty child she’s acting like while you ignore her ridiculous display.  If she’s trying to make you feel guilty, pretend not to notice.  If she hints for an apology, also pretend not to notice.  Learn to enjoy the silent treatment if you’re on the receiving end of it.  It’s a reprieve from unnecessary drama- why not enjoy it?

Stop trying to make it up to a narcissist who isn’t telling you what you’ve done wrong or who blames you for them abusing you!  It only provides them with narcissistic supply, & the more you provide, the more they will demand from you.

Making it up to someone you have hurt is one thing.  It should be a normal thing for a person to do as well as the one hurt to expect.  However, when someone constantly expects another person to make it up to them without trying to talk things out, or because they abused their victim, something is very, very wrong with this situation.

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Believing & Spreading Lies

I have a major pet peeve that has developed as I’ve gotten older.  When people blindly accept whatever they are told as truth.  Even worse is when they repeat it to others.  It simply makes no sense to believe everything you see or hear!  It’s just not wise!  The Bible states in Matthew 10:16 “I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. Be as wary as serpents and harmless as doves.”  (TLB)  I firmly believe that is a very smart way to live your life, wary as serpents & harmless as doves.

This may be the most bothersome to me in the perspective of people believing what narcissists tell them.  So many blindly accept anything their narcissist says as if it’s written in stone, especially their lies about their victims.  When I was growing up,  my mother’s friends liked me.  In my late teens when my mother got more & more abusive, suddenly, they no longer liked me.  In fact, they wouldn’t even make eye contact with me.  It wasn’t hard to figure out she was lying to them like she did to everyone else about me.  It really made me wonder two things… 1- What on Earth did she tell these people about me?!  2- They knew me pretty well.. why on Earth did they believe her lies?!

I still wonder these same things today about anyone who blindly believes things they are told about other people & spread such stories.

Rather than doing those things,  there are some things you really should consider…

When someone accuses another of bad behavior, remember that Revelations 12:10 says Satan is “the accuser of the brethren.”  It’s possible that the person being accused didn’t even do what you’re being told that person did.  The accuser simply could be doing Satan’s work by attempting to make this person look bad or ruin that person’s friendships.

Ask yourself not only if this person really did something, but if they indeed did the act, why would they do it.  Look at my situation as an example.  I have no contact with my elderly, widowed mother.  That looks pretty bad.  However, if you know my reasons, it makes sense.  There is always more than one side to every story.  Sometimes someone’s actions that look bad actually have a very good reason behind them.

If you are told something bad about another person, try taking it as a sign you need to pray for that person.  Even if you don’t know exactly what to pray for, you can ask God to meet that person’s needs, save them if they aren’t saved, & let His will be done in the person’s life.

The Bible also clearly speaks against gossip & slander, so don’t participate it.  The following Scriptures also could be an excellent reminder to a person who wants to talk badly about another person.:

  • Jeremiah 9:8 “Their tongue is a deadly arrow; it speaks deceitfully; with his mouth each speaks peace to his neighbor, but in his heart he plans an ambush for him.”  (ESV)
  • Proverbs 11:13  “A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.”  (NIV)
  • 2 Corinthians 12:20  “For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.” (NIV)
  • Romans 16:17-18 “17 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. 18 For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.”  (ESV)

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Narcissistic In-Laws & Exes

Since I’m working on a book about narcissistic in-laws, it’s certainly gotten me to thinking about them.  Not exactly a fun topic since I’ve been through a LOT at the hands of narcissistic in-laws, but it’s also a topic that needs to be addressed.  I’ll share a blog post when it’s published as well as add the link to my website at: www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com

 

One thing that recently has come to mind about these dreadful people is how they are with exes.  I’ve heard of & read so many stories of narcissistic in-laws who keep in touch with their son’s or brother’s ex, even after he has moved on to another woman & there were no children created in the relationship.  They may even have the ex’s picture hanging up in their home or a picture of him with her when they were together.  They may invite her to family functions, whether or not the new lady is present.

 

I’ve been down this road.  A woman my husband broke up with in 1991 is still a bigger part of my in-law’s family than I ever have been.  In 1997 at an in-law family party, my two sisters in-law spoke a LOT about her (when it was just the three of us together, no witnesses, of course), talking about what a great person she was & how they should hang out with her soon.  They never wanted to hang out with me, mind you.  Not long after we were married in 1998, my mother in-law told me how disappointed she & my father in-law were that my husband married me instead of this person.  Over the years, I learned that at least one of the sisters in-law not only kept in close contact with this ex, but kept my husband abreast of what was going on in her life.  Then, when we ran into her in a store two months to the day after my husband’s father died, I saw how comfortable & friendly she was with my husband.  It was painfully obvious she’d seen him recently, so I later asked what was going on with her.  Turns out not only had she been to my father in-law’s funeral, but also my mother in-law’s & took one of her sons to visit my mother in-law in the hospital.  She also lives only a few miles from my late in-laws’ home & attends the church they attended.

 

As if all of this isn’t awful enough, I also realized when we saw this woman that she obviously is still very attracted to my husband.

 

This whole situation got me to thinking about these types of situations.  If you’re in it, you’re going to need a lot of wisdom on how to cope with it.

 

I’m not saying all friendships between people & their exes or even their family & their exes are bad.  Sometimes they work out just fine or are necessary because of children or other ties to each other such as owning a business together.  When narcissistic in-laws are involved though, it’s a whole different situation.  This relationship isn’t because these people were genuinely fond of each other.  Like everything else, there is a self-serving purpose in it.  Never ever doubt that!  Your spouse may think his family’s behavior is normal but it isn’t!

 

If you wonder, watch how this relationship is handled.  Your feelings should be considered.  Your in-laws should not flaunt this person to you.  This person shouldn’t be frequently discussed fondly in front of you or her picture shouldn’t be in a predominant space in the in-law home (especially if it also includes your spouse).

 

How do they handle this relationship regarding your spouse?  Do they keep your spouse up to date on his ex’s life?  If your spouse wants no parts of the details of that ex, do they force him to listen anyway?  Do they forward her emails to him so he not only knows but has her email address as well?

 

These behaviors are all red flags, & you are going to need a lot of wisdom on how to handle this situation.

 

As always, I recommend prayer as the best place to start.  Luke 12:12 says, “For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.” (KJV) & James 1:5 says, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (KJV)  Seems to me prayer is the best place you can start!

 

Also never give your spouse an ultimatum.  People who do this almost always end up losing because no one wants to feel controlled or manipulated.

 

Stay calm when you must discuss the situation.  If you act angry or hurt, chances are your spouse will discuss the conversation with someone in his family.  From there, it would be very easy for your in-laws to convince your spouse that you’re unreasonable, paranoid, even crazy.  And, no doubt if he sees his ex, she is on good behavior.  She will look even better to him & you even worse.  So stay calm during the discussion for the sake of your marriage!

 

Do NOT tell him what you think his family is up to.  Coming from a narcissistic family does quite the number on a person’s psyche as most people know.  One thing I’ve noticed is men in these situations have a lot more trouble facing the truth about their family than women.  (No guys, I don’t hate you or think you’re stupid.  It’s just an observation.)  If you’re in this position with your spouse, I know it can be frustrating.  You see the truth so clearly but your spouse doesn’t.  Don’t work hard trying to convince him of the truth.  You telling the truth will come across to him as you criticizing his family, which in turn will make him very protective of them & angry at you.  It will drive a huge wedge between you two.

 

You can, however, gently, let your spouse know that you are very uncomfortable with this situation.  Tell him how you feel, & don’t be afraid of being vulnerable.  Better for your spouse to see that side of you than the angry side, because it won’t make him defensive.  He will be more willing to listen to you & relate to your perspective if you aren’t angry.

 

Also, what about the ex?  Is she obviously still attracted to your husband?  This is tough, I know.  I really feel your pain.  The best I know to do with this is to focus on your spouse.  Make sure you don’t stop doing things that he loves or finds attractive about you.  Do nice little gestures for him to show him you love him, like slipping love notes into his lunch box, sock drawer, coat pocket or even taping them to his steering wheel while he’s in the shower.   If you tell him what a terrible person his ex is instead, you’re only making him defensive of her & angry at you.  Yes, I know this one is HARD.  After seeing my husband’s ex, every fiber in me wanted to say exactly what I think of her & his family.  But, I knew that he wouldn’t believe what I said & would end up passionately defending them while simultaneously being very angry with me.

 

Lastly remember, all of this isn’t about you.  It’s about some pretty dysfunctional people doing what dysfunctional people do.  If the ex is still interested, well, she should have tried harder to keep him & is being foolish for not giving up.  He moved on & she should too.  As for your in-laws, they are getting something out of this relationship.  They probably want to split you & your spouse up or at the very least cause trouble between you two.  Maybe they think because she’s wealthy or in some sort of position in society, she makes them look good.  Who knows?  But you can be sure of one thing… whatever sick mess is happening in this relationship, it has nothing to do with you.

 

I wish you the absolute best in this situation!  xoxo

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My Newest Book Is Now Available!

I have published my most recent book!  It’s called, “When Love Hurts: Loving A Narcissist”.  This one is about being romantically involved with a narcissist.  It teaches the reader how to determine if his or her partner is a narcissist, about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, the best ways to cope with a narcissistic partner, how to help your children & more.  I pray it will bless everyone who reads it.

 

Want to know something interesting?  This book came to be because of a dream I had last spring.  Strange, huh?  Three ideas came to me in that one dream- a book about covert narcissists (which I wrote last year), another about narcissistic in-laws (I got a start on it & I think it will be my next book to publish) & this one about being romantically involved with narcissists.  It was one more confirmation to me that dreams are important- we need to pay attention to them!  You never know what God may show you in your dreams!

 

If you’re interested in this book, it is available in both print & ebook versions on my website at: www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com

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Being Too Positive Is As Unhealthy As Being Too Negative

Lately I’ve noticed something.  So many people are just over the top positive. They can find something good in every single situation, no matter what.  While that may sound good, I really don’t think it’s entirely good for a person’s mental health.

If you’re very positive, you expect nothing but good things to happen.  Since life isn’t always perfect, bad things do happen, & when they do, overly positive people can be devastated.  A realistic person hopes for the best, but  also prepares for the worst.  When something bad happens, they aren’t usually overwhelmed, because they knew it was possible something bad might happen.

Very positive people also can unintentionally invalidate others, which damages their relationships.  Look at these typical scenarios:

  • You’re recovering from a potentially life threatening illness.  The overly positive person says, “At least you’re still alive!”  Well, yes, but that comment makes you feel like you don’t have the right to be upset about the fact that you could have died, when in fact you most certainly have that right!
  • A soldier with PTSD saved his friends’ lives by killing an enemy soldier who was running at them, guns blazing.  A positive person might say something like, “You did a brave thing!  Look at the lives you saved!”  While that’s true, how about asking how he feels about the incident, or offering him comfort because he had to kill another human being & is having difficulties coming to terms with it?
  • You tell the overly positive person of trauma in your life such as your parents’ abusing you, being the victim of a mugging or maybe being in a terrible car wreck.  The overly positive person says, “Other people have been through much worse!”  Or, even worse, they don’t so much as acknowledge what you said.
  • You were adopted as a baby.  As an adult, you’re frustrated because you don’t know your family’s history, how many siblings you may or may not have, why you were given up for adoption or even what name your biological mother wanted to give you.  Or, maybe your adoptive parents abused you.  An overly positive person might tell you how lucky you were & how grateful you should be to be adopted, making you feel guilty for not feeling so lucky or grateful.

I’m not trying to say being positive is all bad.  It certainly has its place.  It can help you in tough times to focus on the good, such as remembering the good times with your loved one after he or she has passed away.  I do believe though that there must be balance.

Being too positive means a person doesn’t deal with their emotions in a healthy way.  They ignore the anger, hurt or sadness & put on a happy face.  That is never a healthy thing to do!  Emotions demand to be felt, so if they aren’t felt in a healthy way, they’ll find a way to manifest in an unhealthy way.  This can lead to physical health problems such as high blood pressure as well as angry outbursts or depression.

It also can lead to deep insecurity.  If a person feels bad about themselves for feeling a negative emotion, chances are, that person will shame themselves for what they feel.  Their self talk will be awful.  They’ll tell themselves things like, “You’re so stupid for being mad/sad about that!”  Negative self talk can damage self-esteem, which is never a good thing.

You can be positive yet realistic at the same time, Dear Reader.  If something bad happened, there is nothing wrong with admitting that event was bad.  As I’ve mentioned before, in 2015, I nearly died from carbon monoxide poisoning.  Good has come from it- my personality changes have worked well for me.  I’m happy to say I no longer have patience for abusive people, I’m better with self care than ever before & I finally will stand up for myself.  But, at the same time, I don’t like the fact I get tired so easily, I have constant head, neck & body pain, sometimes my moods swing like crazy, & my memory & comprehension are seriously damaged.  See what I mean?  I have found the positive, but at the same time, I admit the negative.  You can do this too, & I firmly believe when you do, you will be much happier than if you are overly positive.

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