Category Archives: Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Seeing Through The Lens Of Victim-hood

When a person has been abused, they tend to see the world differently than other folks.  People like this aren’t as trusting as the average person, & with good reason.  They have survived some pretty terrible stuff!  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, considering how many untrustworthy people there are in the world.  However, it can become a bad thing.  A good friend of mine once called it “seeing things through the lens of victim-hood.”  I thought the term made perfect sense.

When a person sees others as out to hurt them with little or no evidence to prove this is happening, it’s a bad thing.

Or when a person reads so much into every small comment or action that they see others as out to get them, this is a bad thing.

Unfortunately, it can be very easy to turn out this way after surviving abuse. It can be especially easy to see problems online over face to face contact.  Once you’ve been badly hurt, you obviously want to avoid it again.  It’s very easy to become hyper-vigilant, seeing abusive behavior everywhere.  A person looks at you a bit odd or cracks a joke that isn’t like your sense of humor & suddenly you think they’re out to hurt you when nothing could be further from the truth.  This is no way to live!

Rather than succumb to this miserable lifestyle, change yourself!  It is possible!  I was this way & managed to change.  If I can do it, so can you.

As always, I recommend prayer as the place to start.  God can & will help you to make whatever changes you need.  He also will show you what you need to do.  Why not let Him?

Also slow down when a situation happens.  Respond, don’t react.  Responding isn’t instantaneous.  It requires time to consider the situation.  Reacting is instantaneous & done in the heat of emotions.  Reacting often happens when seeing situations through the lens of victim-hood.  Give yourself time to consider the situation before you respond.

Don’t automatically assume that your knee-jerk reaction is correct.  Consider it.  Question it.  Slow your thoughts down for some time & ask yourself why you think the way you’re thinking.  Is there evidence to back up what you believe is happening?  What is that evidence?  Are there red flags that show you this person isn’t safe, such as a lack of empathy for example?  Write it down if it helps.  Writing can help you to see things clearly, often more clearly than speaking or thinking about things.

Think too about the person in question.  If this is someone you know well, you will know what this person is & is not capable of.  You know if this person is safe or not.  Ask yourself, is it likely this person is out to hurt me or not?

If you want advice, don’t talk to someone else about the situation in a way that will get them assuming the worst about this person.  If they believe you, they will only feed your fear.  They’ll automatically respond to your fear with fear, especially if this is someone you’re close to.  If you want to talk about your situation with someone safe, that’s totally fine.  An objective opinion can be a truly great thing!  Just make sure you say things in such a way that the person who you’re speaking with can form their own opinion.  Say things like, “I think this person is looking to hurt me in some way.. what do you think?”  then state the facts without emotion.  Let this person form their own opinion if you want their best advice.

Just remember, Dear Reader, not everyone is abusive.  Not everyone wants to cause you pain & suffering.  Pray & seriously consider the situation so you can respond to it appropriately, rather than reacting because you’re seeing it through the lens of victim-hood.

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Accepting Your Parent Is A Covert Narcissist

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Don’t Let Anyone Silence You!

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Personality Traits That Narcissists Don’t Like

I recently read an amazing article entitled “11 Signs Your Personality Is So Intense That It’s Intimidating To Others“.  Later on, I thought about the article & realized that many other victims of narcissistic abuse share many if not all of these qualities.  It’s no wonder narcissists have issues with us!  It’s also proof that we are some pretty amazing people, in my opinion!

#1 in the article is “you’re honest to a fault.”  And what a fault honesty is to narcissists!  They want victims to be willing to lie to & for them, to pretend they’re perfect & to protect their reputation.

#2, “You’re a problem solver, not one to wallow.”  This is another big no no to narcissists, because that means a person like this won’t tolerate abuse indefinitely.

#3, “You aren’t afraid of intimacy.”  Many people when they hear the word intimacy think sex, but actually it can be much more beyond sex.  Two people who are open with each other, & love, trust & respect each other can have a very intimate relationship with or without sex.  If this is something you want, chances are excellent you’ll see behind the narcissist’s mask before he or she is ready for that to happen, which means you won’t be a good victim.

#4, “You’re intense in all that you do.”  Intense people don’t settle for things that aren’t intense.  They want passion & deep relationships.  They don’t want superficial anything, which is yet one more problem for narcissists.  They do want superficial relationships.  Deeper would mean they might actually have to do some self reflection, which is one of their biggest fears.  Even narcissists don’t want to see what’s truly behind their masks.

#5, “You ask a lot of questions.”  Narcissists demand blind trust from their victims.  That doesn’t come from someone who asks lots of questions.  They will trust, but they want to know beyond a doubt they can trust before doing so.

#6, “You refuse to waste your time waiting around for others.”  Narcissists MUST be in control of victims, & that even includes when they spend time with people.  My mother is perpetually late, unless it’s with someone she wants to impress.  Being late is her way of forcing someone to wait on her, so basically she’s in control of that person even if only for a short time.

#7, “You’re like a human lie detector.”  Definitely a very, very big turn off for any narcissist.  They want to be able to lie to their victims & get away with it indefinitely.  Someone who won’t put up with lying is going to call them out on their actions, & we all know narcissists don’t tolerate that well.

#8, “You’re incredibly open minded.”  Another problem as far as narcissists are concerned.  If you’re open minded, you might *gasp* think for yourself at some point.  No victim of any narcissist is allowed to do that!  It’s an unpardonable sin to them.  Narcissists want their victims to think however the narcissist wants them to think, period.  Independent thought may lead to victims realizing that this abuse they’re enduring is wrong, & figure out a way to escape it.

#9, “You always have a clear picture of what you want.”  Another problem according to narcissists.  If you know what you want, you also have a good sense of boundaries & you know what you aren’t willing to tolerate.  This means you may be too tough to manipulate & control for a narcissist.

#10, “You’re a creature of habit.”  Another no no for narcissists.  Victims need to be pliable so their narcissist can control them.  If you have & like your routine, you won’t be open to a lot of change, which is a sign you’re not pliable.  This simply will not work for a narcissist!

#11, “You have no interest in shallow relationships.”  Narcissists love shallow relationships because they aren’t demanding & don’t require much of them.  People who like deeper relationships come across as highly demanding & unreasonable to narcissists.  How dare you expect the narcissist to care about your feelings, thoughts, family, job, etc?  That means the spotlight would be off the narcissist, & we know that narcissists can’t handle that.

If you share any of the qualities on this list, then enjoy them knowing that they make you unattractive to narcissists, so enjoy these qualities & wear them proudly!

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Anger In Survivors Of Childhood Narcissistic Abuse

Many survivors of childhood narcissistic abuse grow up showing virtually no anger.  Even when they have valid reasons for being angry, they don’t show anger, in particular anger at their abusers.

 

Rather than get in touch with their anger, they often stuff it deep down inside & make excuses for their abusers.  “If only I hadn’t done…”  “It’s not his fault, he had a bad childhood.”  “She was right, & I’m oversensitive.  I always have been.”

 

Sometimes, abused children grow up depressed.  They aren’t necessarily depressed though.  They may be incredibly angry about the traumas they endured.  Repressed anger can manifest as depression.

 

Anger really is a scary thing when you’ve never been allowed to express it, & even more when you were shamed for feeling anger by your parent.  The only anger that was allowed in the home where I grew up was my mother’s.  If I showed even a bit of frustration let alone anger, she shamed me for having “that Bailey temper.”  It took me until well into my 30’s before I could express any anger at all, & into my 40’s before I got comfortable with it.

 

 

Anger really isn’t a bad thing at all, Dear Reader.  I know so many people say it is, Christians in particular, but it truly isn’t.  Anger is simply an emotion & emotions are from God.  Would He give a bad gift?!  Matthew 7:11 “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (NIV)

 

What is bad about anger is when you do bad things with it.  You shouldn’t let your anger motivate you to get revenge, for example.  Romans 12:19 “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.”  (NIV)

 

What is good about anger is it can let you know when you’re being mistreated.  If someone treats you well, you won’t feel anger, but let that person steal from you for example, & you WILL feel anger!

 

Anger also can motivate you to make positive changes.  No one ever started a diet who was happy with the state of their body.  They started it because they were fed up with not wearing a smaller size, getting winded walking up the steps or because they were having health problems.

 

So how can you learn to feel & express your anger in a healthy way?

 

You need to accept that you have the right to be angry sometimes.  Every single living being has the right to feel anger about some things, & that includes you.  Hiding it as a child was no doubt a very useful survival skill, but you’re not that child anymore.  You are an adult who has every right to feel it & express it in healthy ways. Remind yourself of that & do so often.

 

 

 

You also need to gain a good understanding of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  It helps in so many ways, but one way that helps you is because you understand projection.  A narcissist who shames you for being angry or having a bad temper is simply projecting their bad temper or anger issues onto you.  Their cruel comments are absolutely no reflection on you.

 

You need to recognize that you have the right to be angry at your abuser(s).  During the abuse, you obviously couldn’t show your anger.  Now that the abuse is done, get angry!  Let out all that old anger you stuffed inside you for so long!  It’s hurting you physically & emotionally to hold it in so let it out.  It’s long overdue!  It’ll help to free you of shame, guilt & feeling worthless to do so.

 

**I’m not saying that by getting angry at your abusive parents you need to confront them.  That is entirely your decision.  All I am saying is you need to feel & express that anger.**

 

Everyone has ways to deal with anger that work for them, & you need to do the same.  You can journal, get a punching bag, punch pillows, yell when home alone… there are all kinds of different ways you can cope.

 

 

Don’t think that if you decide to forgive your abusive parents, the anger will vanish.  I made that mistake early in my healing, & thought there was something really wrong with me for still feeling angry with my parents after deciding to forgive them.  I didn’t realize that deciding to forgive them wouldn’t make all the anger I felt magically disappear.  I believe forgiving & getting rid of anger are two separate things.  At least they have been for me.  I make the decision to forgive those who have done me wrong immediately, but even so, it takes time to work through & release the anger.

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Emotional Incest, Covert Incest, Parentification, Parentalization

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Miserable People Are Often The Most Abusive

Have you ever noticed how miserable narcissists are?  It seems like the higher on the spectrum a narcissist is, the more miserable that person is.

 

I think this is because narcissists do not have the skills or wisdom to know what to do to improve their situations.  In typical narcissist fashion, rather than try, they opt to make others just as miserable as they are or gain attention for their misery.

 

If you think about the narcissist in your life, how many times were you in a good mood, then that person did or said something that sent your mood rocketing downhill?  I bet that has happened a lot.  It has with me.  Narcissists cannot stand seeing other people happy, especially if they are unhappy.  If they can make you unhappy it makes them feel good, because they have power over you.  If they can control your emotions & have a strong effect on you, they think they must be powerful.  There is also the simple fact that they enjoy causing pain.  Making you unhappy is a win/win for the narcissist.

 

Narcissists enjoy misery so much, they even will cause their own misery.  I bet there are many, many narcissists unhappy in their marriage partly due to their own making.  Many times, my parents came to me complaining about the other & how miserable they were together.  Yet, when I saw simple changes they could have made to improve their situation, they refused to do those things.  They would say that was a bad idea, make excuses why it wouldn’t work or say things like, “I do too much already!  I’m not doing that for him/her too!  He/she is the one who needs to change!”

 

My late ex mother in-law used to tell me about her own mother, “She’s not happy until she’s miserable!”  That seems to be the same case for narcissists.  If they’re miserable, they can garnish sympathy, concern & attention.  If they appear to be a victim, then they also can gain pity.  And, if they can make you as miserable as they are, that’s an added bonus.  All of these things provide them with narcissistic supply.

 

When the narcissist in your life tries to ruin your good mood or trivialize your good news, just remember these things.  They are simply looking for narcissistic supply.  Do your best not to let them have it by remembering what they are up to.  That can help you keep your joy.  If they are miserable, that is their problem, not yours.

 

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My Ebooks Are On Sale

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

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

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About Dreams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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You Are Much Stronger Than You Realize

Have you ever stopped & thought about how strong you are?

Being raised by at least one narcissistic parent, you are naturally all too aware of your faults (real ones & the imaginary ones your parent put on you).  Even if you haven’t had contact with that parent & have healed, chances are you’re still very aware of every flaw you have, yet very unaware of the good things about you.  One of those good things that all victims share is great strength.

Think about it.  Narcissistic abuse is the psychological equivalent of walking through a minefield.  You don’t know where to turn that is safe.  Sometimes you’re going to step on a land mine (incite narcissistic rage by some imaginary slight) & it’s going to devastate you.  Narcissistic rage is as unavoidable when dealing with a narcissistic personality as stepping on a land mine in a minefield.

Yet, in spite of all of the abuse & the gaslighting, you survived.  Wounded, like a person who has escaped a minefield, but still, you survived.  That is pretty darned impressive!  And, you ended the cycle!!  YAY YOU!!  You aren’t a narcissist!  So many children with narcissistic parents turn into narcissists, but you didn’t!  That is awesome!!

Here you are, being good to other people, loving your kids (furry or human), & living life on your own terms.  You aren’t living to please your narcissistic parent, which shows you have great courage.  It takes a lot of courage to break away from that, since they make their children’s lives so miserable when they are disappointed.  Sure, you still have some issues from childhood, who doesn’t?  Maybe you even have PTSD or C-PTSD.  But, you didn’t commit suicide like many have.  You’re still here & doing pretty well for yourself.  And, you’ve done it all on your own.

You, Dear Reader, are incredibly strong.  You should be very proud of yourself!

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How To Prevent A Narcissist From Wanting To Resume The Relationship With You

Severing ties with a narcissist is never easy.  Not only due to the simple fact that ending any relationship is hard, but also because of the fact they don’t exactly handle this well.  While no one likes to have someone end a relationship with them, it can become devastating to a narcissist.  They will do about anything to get their victim to return to the relationship, often only so they can later discard their victim on their terms.  This article will help you to avoid behaviors that can encourage a narcissist to want you back.

Naturally, do your best to avoid any interaction whatsoever with the narcissist after no contact.  Narcissists don’t think like normal people, obviously, so they are prone to taking any interaction after no contact as a sign the relationship has been resumed.  Take away their hope in that area if at all possible.

Sometimes even when doing your best to avoid a narcissist, they find ways to interject themselves into your life.  One way they do this is by stalking & harassing their victims.  They inundate victims with constant phone calls, text messages, social media messages & even postal mail.  Or, they may show up places they know you frequent such as your favorite coffee shop.  This can be incredibly unnerving.  I’ve been on the receiving end of such behavior from two narcissists in my life, & I found it terrifying.  I also learned that narcissists often know stalking & harassment laws well, so they stay just barely legal.  This means getting a restraining order is very difficult, if not impossible.  The most effective ways I know how to handle such behavior are never to respond to anything they send you & to block the narcissist at every pass.  Granted, he or she probably will find ways around your blocks, such as creating new email addresses or social media accounts, but block them too.  Keep blocking.  If they have flying monkeys who tell you to talk to them, block them too.  Do NOT engage either the narcissist or the flying monkey at all.  Ever!

If you can’t avoid the narcissist completely, always remember the Gray Rock method.  In other words, provide zero narcissistic supply.  You know this person well, so naturally you know what makes him or her happy.  Deprive this person of it.  Provide no praise, no complements, no offers to do things for him or her.  Also share absolutely no personal information about yourself.  If she asks what you’re doing later, say you have plans & leave it at that.  How is your job going?  “Fine.”  One or two word answers are the best.

Show no emotions to this person.  You aren’t happy, sad, angry… anything.  You are completely neutral in his or her presence.  Emotions feed narcissists.  If you’re happy, they can destroy it so you’re as miserable as they are.  If they make you sad or angry, they feel powerful, so they’ll do that thing again to get their “high”.  Deprive them of that feeding.

Show no remorse for anything you have done, including no contact.  If you show you feel any sadness, guilt, or regrets, the narcissist will pounce on you like a hungry lion.

Do not give in to anything the narcissist tries to make you do.  I don’t care if it’s something silly like passing them the salt shaker over lunch, don’t do it if it can be avoided.  If not, do it perfunctorily.

By doing these things, you are essentially making yourself very unattractive to the narcissist in your life.  They want people who will prop up their egos, blindly obey them & make them the center of their world.  People who refuse to do such things are of no use to a narcissist, so a narcissist will leave them alone.

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What To Expect From Yourself After Going No Contact

Going no contact with a narcissist is an incredibly challenging thing to go through.  As if the agonizing over whether or not to do it wasn’t enough, there is also the likelihood of the narcissist refusing to accept your boundary, & making your life miserable.

Once the narcissist has gotten bored with trying to lure a victim back into the relationship, the victim is left to move on with their life.  Although in a way that life is so much simpler without the constant influx of narcissistic abuse, that doesn’t mean all the victim’s problems are over.

After severing ties with my parents,  I had more nightmares & flashbacks than usual for quite some time.  I believe this is because when there is a narcissist in your life, that person basically takes up all the room in the relationship.  You’re so focused on keeping them happy & avoiding their abuse that you have little time to think of anything else.  When the narcissist is out of your life, your brain finally has time to think of other things.  Since it constantly processes everything in life, it naturally wants to make sense of what happened with the narcissist.  It tries to make sense out of the nonsensical.  When it happened to me, I realized this was going to happen, like it or not, so I tried to make it work in my favor.  I coped with whatever came up as it came up.  It ended up being a time of quite a bit of healing for me.

After experiencing stalking & harassment, even after it stops, you still may experience a feeling like, “What’s next?”  When your day is filled with constant messages that you don’t want, it can really shake you up!  Plus, with many narcissists, they stop but start up again, which puts a person in a state of being on high alert.  Even if the narcissist hasn’t contacted you in months, that doesn’t mean he or she won’t start up again.  How can you relax knowing that is possible?  The best you can do is block all access the narcissist has to you, & save all evidence in case you need it to pursue legal charges against him or her.

Even if the narcissist in your life hasn’t stalked or harassed you, he or she may still send you Christmas or birthday cards as a way of attempting to keep their foot in the door with you.  These little reminders can be surprisingly upsetting to a victim.  They can make you start to wonder if you made the right decision by going no contact, make you feel guilty for not spending this holiday with the narcissist & bring up a plethora of conflicting, confusing feelings.  Unfortunately this is very normal.  When it happens, I urge you not to make any rash decisions.  Just because the narcissist sent it to you & expects you to read it doesn’t mean you have to read it.  Put it aside & pray.  If you then believe in your heart you need to read it, & have no doubts, then read it.  Otherwise, it is most likely best not to read it.  You can throw it out, return it to the sender or even save it if you feel you want to read it in the future.  Also, just because it is a special day, doesn’t mean the narcissist has changed.  The narcissist is simply using an opportunity to attempt to hoover you back into the relationship.

Even if the narcissist doesn’t try to contact you, doubts after no contact are very normal.  Ending a relationship is always hard.  Never forget what made you decide to go no contact.  Writing it out can help tremendously.

Remember, if you are considering going no contact with a narcissist or have recently done so, don’t expect no contact to mean your problems are over.  Yes, many of them will be, but there are some new ones that will come up.  You can get through them!  A bad day without a narcissist in your life is still better than any day with a narcissist in your life!

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What To Expect From A Narcissist After Going No Contact

Narcissists are an incredibly difficult bunch.  Usually, the best way to deal with them is not to deal with them.  You see it everywhere, “Go no contact.”  Sadly, that often is the only solution victims face if they want to protect themselves from the vile narcissistic abuse.  However, severing ties with a narcissist is often very complex, & the problems don’t end just because you told this person you want him or her out of your life.

Narcissists don’t exactly handle rejection well, in any form.  Many narcissists will lash out in all kinds of ways when their victim ends their relationship.

The smear campaign may be the most common tactic narcissists use after someone as ended a relationship with them.  They tell everyone what a terrible person the victim is, how unreasonable, crazy & yes, even abusive the victim is.  Overt narcissists most likely will use those words, but covert narcissists are much more discreet.  Rather than say something obviously bad, they disguise their insult under a veil of concern.  This way, they not only get to insult the other person, but people think they are kind for caring about someone who obviously was so mean to them.  For example, they won’t say, “She’s crazy.”  Instead, they may say something like, “Poor Sue.. I worry about her mental health.  Things were getting really bad before she left me, & when she left, she didn’t even tell me what the problem was.”

Narcissists also may try to lure their victim back into the relationship.  They try to accomplish this in various ways.  One way is what is known as love bombing.  The narcissist will inundate the victim with gifts, promises of change, sweet words pledging their undying love & more.  This can be very difficult for a victim to resist, because the narcissist appears to have changed back into the good person the victim thought he or she once was.  It’s very important to remember that this is most likely nothing but a ploy!  Narcissists rarely see the error of their ways & improve their behavior.  If this is happening to you & you’re wondering if the narcissist has changed, seriously examine their behavior.  The narcissist should admit their behavior was wrong & accept responsibility for what they have done.  They shouldn’t make excuses or blame you or anyone for what they did to you.  They should be willing to do whatever it takes to gain your trust back, & be willing to wait as long as it takes to do that.

Another common ploy of narcissists is to stalk &/or harass a victim.  If they can’t lure a victim back with sweet words & fake promises, narcissists aren’t above trying to wear down or scare a victim into coming back to them.  They will overwhelm a victim with calls, texts, cards, letters, & social media messages.  They may show up at places they know their victim frequents such as a favorite coffee shop or at work.  The volume of their contact can be absolutely overwhelming & even terrifying.  It’s no wonder many victims return to a narcissist at this point.  Unfortunately, that is the biggest mistake a person can make, however!  If this happens in your situation, ignore all contact.  Block the narcissist’s phone number, email & social media accounts.  When he or she creates a new one to contact you, block that one too.  Keep blocking!

Lastly, another common ploy narcissists implement after a victim has gone no contact with them is their beloved flying monkeys.  They send their wicked minions to talk to you on their behalf, to “talk sense” into you about how you should return to the narcissist.  After all, she misses you so much, or he doesn’t mean those things he says- it’s just how he is.  The best way to handle this situation is to refuse to discuss the narcissist in any capacity with this person.  Flying monkeys are only loyal to their narcissist, not you.  They don’t care how miserable the narcissist makes you, so this means they aren’t worth listening to.

Whatever the narcissist is doing to you after you implement no contact, I truly wish you the best.  You can handle this situation.  God will get you through it!

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Thinking Of Writing A Book?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thinking Of Starting A Blog?

Many people I talk to mention that they want to start a blog about their experiences & what they have learned about narcissism.  Today, I thought I’d write a post for those of you in that position.

Before you get started, you need to think long & hard about this.  Writing a blog isn’t hard, but there are things that need to be considered.

As always, I really recommend prayer as the place to start.  Ask God to show you if you should or shouldn’t do this.  If you believe He wants you to, ask Him guide you on this, to help you to write about whatever He wants you to write about, to reach those He wants you to reach, he courage to do this & anything else you can think of.

Where do things stand with your narcissistic parents?  How would you deal with it if they found out about your blog?  That could be a very ugly situation since narcissists want their abuse to stay hidden.  Are you prepared for whatever might happen if they found out what you write about?

Do you feel strong enough to send your words out into the world?  Although writing a blog is pretty much like writing in your private diary, unlike your diary, anyone can read it.  Some people may think you’re making things up & invalidate you because of that.  There are also “grammar nazis” out there who nitpick posts over silly little things like saying “it’s” over “its”.  They can be really irritating since they miss the point of the post just to correct a simple typo.  While this isn’t necessarily a big deal, early on in healing, it can really hurt simply because you’re pretty emotionally raw & sensitive.

How often do you think you’ll be able to write posts?  I have settled on every other day.  It’s often enough to keep my writing in people’s minds, yet not overloading them (or pressuring me!) with my work.  Other bloggers write daily posts, yet others write only a couple of times a month.  You need to decide on what kind of schedule will work for you.

Have you looked into slander & libel laws in your state?  They vary from state to state, so you need to be aware of them in your particular state.  They are why when I write, I never mention names & only use general terms.  I will mention my parents or my ex husband, not my parents’ or ex’s names or where they live.  Giving the people you’re writing about anonymity is a good move, because it shows you aren’t trying to ruin anyone’s reputation.  You also can use fake names or change the relationship.

What about a pen name?  Is that something you feel strongly about?  Then use it!  Get creative though.  If your name is Mary Smith, don’t use Mary Smythe as a pen name.  Use something very different from your real name to protect your identity.  Don’t use a family name either since again, it wouldn’t protect your identity well.  If you don’t use a pen name, be prepared.  Your narcissistic parents & their flying monkeys most likely will read your work at some point.  If they’re anything like mine, they’re too nosy not to read it, then try to hurt you with what they read.

Now that you’ve decided you definitely want to write this blog, you need to look into various blogging websites & decided which one to go with.  Compare features & see what sounds good to you.

Obviously, I like WordPress.  It has a lot of really cool features.  I love that I can schedule posts, I don’t have to write & publish posts immediately.  In fact, I have almost 6 months of posts scheduled so that way anytime I need a break, I can take it without worrying about my blog falling behind.  WordPress also has a sharing feature that I adore.  You can connect your social media accounts to your WordPress account, & every time a blog posts publishes, it automatically puts a link on your Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc. pages.

Lastly, you may have a fear like I did when I first started blogging of running out of things to write about.  I can assure you, so long as there are narcissists, you’ll have plenty of material to write about!  lol

I wish you the absolute best on your new endeavor!  xoxo

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

When No Contact Isn’t An Option

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Why Do Narcissistic Parents Side With Their Child’s Abuser?

My mother hated my ex husband from the moment she first saw him.  She barely tolerated him after we got married… until he hit me.  At that time, my mother saw me injured a couple of days after, with my ex’s hand prints still bruised on my wrists.  She told my father she couldn’t imagine what I’d done to him to make him hurt me.  Months later, I learned my parents saw my ex around town & were friendly with him.  Around 18 years later, my mother called one day & said my father told her my ex hit me.  She asked if this was true.  I said yes.  She told me how if she would’ve known, she would’ve contacted a lawyer & pursued it.  I also realized during this conversation that seeing me battered meant nothing to my mother, & she forgot it happened.

Sadly, my story is not unique.  Narcissistic parents often side with their child’s abuser.  The facts don’t matter.  According to narcissistic parents, the abuser is right & their child is wrong.  This behavior can be one of the most painful & baffling of the many abusive behaviors of a narcissist.

I have some clues as to why narcissistic parents behave in this manner.

When someone upstages a narcissist in any way, it’s bad in the narcissist’s eyes.  People pity another person covered in bruises or wearing a cast, which means there is less attention for the narcissist.  To a narcissist, this means that person should be punished, & what better way to punish someone than to side with the person who hurt them?

If their child doesn’t have physical evidence of abuse, their parent doesn’t believe them.  Narcissists lie & assume everyone else does.  It’s projection.  So unless their child has evidence of abuse, their parent won’t  even believe they were abused.

Narcissists believe they are the only ones worthy of attention, so when another person, in particular their “lowly” child gets attention, they get angry.  With narcissists, any attention is good attention.  All they see is someone got attention that they didn’t get, & that makes that person bad.

Narcissists don’t want to accept that abuse is wrong, because then they would be wrong.  Rather than face truth, it’s better in a narcissist’s mind to normalize abuse & make the victim bad.

If the abuser was the other parent, making the abuse ok means it was  also ok that they didn’t protect their child.  Remember, with narcissists, everything is about them.  If they can spin your trauma around to how hard it was on them, denying knowing it happened, or denying it happened at all, it makes their lack of protecting their child acceptable.

The abuser is someone a narcissist admires & they’re afraid the victim will make them look bad.  Narcissists care what people other than their victim think of them & certain people’s opinions they value above all else.  If that person hurts their child, their primary concern is still how that person sees them.  As an example, my mother believed my in-laws’ were a big happy family.  When I told my parents my mother in-law was abusive, even siting examples, my mother didn’t believe me.  Until our relationship ended, my mother asked my husband often how his mother was, sent his parents Christmas cards, then bragged to me about sending them cards.

Jealousy is another reason narcissistic parents side with abusers.  In cases where a narcissist’s adult child is being stalked &/or harassed, most narcissists act like the abuser really must love their child rather than realizing the abuser has serious control issues.  This makes them jealous.

Narcissistic parents are often lazy.  Just because they have a child doesn’t mean they want to parent.  They get angry if they have to care for their child, & take the focus off of them for any length of time.

Covert narcissistic parents like to rescue their child.  Coverts gain narcissistic supply from appearing good & kind, so if they can wait until their child is terribly abused, then rescue him or her in some way, it’s  supply to them.

Whatever the reasoning, remember when your narcissistic parent sides with someone who has hurt or abused you, it is just more evidence that your parent is the one with the problem, NOT you!  Normal people don’t side with abusers over victims!  xoxo

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Narcissistic Mothers Abuse Their Daughters About Their Weight

Many narcissistic mothers have issues with food & weight, & in typical narcissistic parent fashion, they pass those issues on to their daughters.

My mother told me how fat & ugly I was so often in my childhood that I went through anorexia at age 10, & later bulimia in my teens.  She continued to insult my weight very harshly until we stopped speaking when I was 45 years old.  Many other daughters of narcissistic mothers I have spoken to have similar stories with their mothers.  Even if they didn’t develop a full blown eating disorder, their mothers convinced them that they were ugly because they are too fat or too thin.

I think this is often because insecurity the reason many people became narcissists.  Insecurity is at the root of their behavior, so everything they do is an attempt to make them feel better about themselves.  The more a narcissist can beat someone down, the more this builds up the narcissist.  They love having the power to destroy another person’s self esteem.  It’s a “high” to them.

Narcissists also like to project their issues & insecurities on others.  In other words, they accuse other people of thinking or acting like they do, even when it’s very obvious that the victim is doing nothing of the sort.  Projection allows them to be angry about their own issues while at the same time not admitting their flaws, accepting any responsibility for them or making appropriate changes in their thoughts, beliefs & behavior.

Also, narcissistic mothers look at their daughters as competition.  If the mother is overweight or underweight, but her daughter has a good figure, it is a guarantee that she will do her level best to make her daughter feel badly about her figure & her appearance in general.  The narcissistic mother can’t handle thinking her daughter is better than her in any area, so in her mind, her daughter must be punished for this.

Narcissistic mothers also want to control their daughters, & one way for them to accomplish this task is to obliterate her daughter’s self esteem.  A person who thinks poorly of herself is easy to manipulate & control.  That person doesn’t believe she is smart enough to know what is right, so she’ll rely on someone else to tell her these things.  She also doesn’t believe she deserves to be treated well & will tolerate some pretty terrible abuse.

If this describes your situation with your narcissistic mother, please remember these things! The things she has said to you are a lie! She is only saying those things to hurt you so she can feel better about herself. DO NOT LISTEN TO HER!!!

Never forget to run to God with your problems.  Ask Him to tell you the truth. Ask Him if what your mother said is accurate or not, then listen for His response.  It may be an audible voice, or it may be a knowing in your heart.  Or, you may hear nothing at the time, but at a later time, you hear a song or read a passage in a book or your Bible that somehow speaks to you, & you know beyond a doubt it is God sending you a message.

I know it can be hard to do these things, but you need to!  You don’t deserve to feel badly about yourself or have eating disorders, especially because of someone else cruelly putting their own issues on you.  You are fearfully & wonderfully made, according to God’s word in Psalms 139:14.  You deserve to love your body, not hate it, especially because of someone else has issues.

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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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Encouragement For Those Still In A Relationship With A Narcissist

I’m writing this post for those of you who are currently  unwilling or unable to go no contact with a narcissist.

Almost every article out there regarding victims of narcissistic abuse says the same thing – “just go no contact.”   The tone in many of these articles & even some fellow survivors can be downright shaming.  They make it sound like being unable or unwilling to go no contact means you’re weak, stupid or something is very wrong with you.

No contact is almost always the best way to deal with a narcissist, but that still doesn’t make it an easy solution.  It always hurts to end a relationship, even when the person with whom you’re ending it is abusive.  The closer the relationship the more it hurts, too.  If you’re ending a relationship with your parent, that is going to hurt a great deal more than ending it with someone you have dated only a month.  Narcissists usually abuse those closest to them.   This is why the most abusive relationships with a narcissist are close relationships, such as parents & spouses.

There is also the fact that narcissists are able to behave & treat people right (they just prefer acting the way they do because it gets them what they want).  When they behave, they can be so very good & loving!  Seeing that, it’s hard to want to leave them because you can’t help but hoping that good part of them will stick around for good.

Not wanting to end a relationship with a narcissist doesn’t mean something is wrong with you or you’re weak.  It means you’re normal!

It often takes a lot of time to work up the inner strength to be able to go no contact.  Narcissists beat their victims down so badly, they can utterly destroy their victim’s self esteem.  Even when you learn what is happening, it still takes time to repair your self esteem & to build up enough strength to sever ties.

Or, maybe you believe in your heart that the timing isn’t right just yet  for no contact.  That happened to me with my parents.  I wanted to go no contact with them for well over a year before I felt God was saying it was time.

A lot of times, a victim who lives with a narcissist is financially dependent on that narcissist.  Narcissists love using money as a means of control, so often they take away any access a victim has to money, even if it’s his or her own paycheck.   It takes time to be able to find means of supporting oneself in these situations.

There are also some narcissists who are pretty low on the spectrum.  Yes, that person causes problems but they aren’t over the top in their behavior.  In cases like this, some people would prefer to learn ways to deal with these people than end those relationships, & it is their right to do that.

None of the above situations make a person weak or flawed.

For those of you who are in situations like these, I want to encourage you today.

It’s very difficult at best being in a relationship with a narcissist, I know.  Until the time comes when you are ready & willing to go no contact, there are some things you can do to make your relationship with this person a little easier.

The first thing you should do is ask God to show you creative & effective ways to cope with this person & also to enable you to go no contact if that is your desired result.

Always remember that narcissists are all about gaining narcissistic supply.  It’s the motivation behind everything they do.  Any attention or reaction you give them, good or bad, provides supply.  Learn to be as boring to the narcissist as possible.  Show them no anger, sadness or happiness.  Be calm & collected in the presence of the narcissist.  Offer simple answers without explanations.  Provide no personal information.  This is known as the Gray Rock method.

Don’t forget to question whatever the narcissist says.  They are masters of gaslighting & manipulation, so basically almost everything they say needs to be examined.  Ask yourself if what they say is true or not.  You also can question the narcissist directly.  If you opt to do that, do it calmly in your best gray rock way.  “Why do you think that?”  “Explain how that makes sense.. I don’t follow you.”  Logical & calmly asked questions can throw a narcissist off balance.  They show her that you’re onto her.

Never forget to keep & enforce healthy boundaries.  You have every right to tell the narcissist no & to expect to be treated with respect.  Don’t explain your boundaries either, as the narcissist will tell you why your boundaries are wrong, & may make you doubt yourself.  Or, if you feel you absolutely must explain something, remember to stay gray rock & keep all explanations minimal.

Never forget that whatever any narcissist is doing isn’t about you.  It’s about them.  Everything is always all about them!  Yes, that person is hurting & abusing you, but it’s because it makes her feel better.  It’s not because you have done something to deserve it.  Also, nothing that person says about you is true.  Narcissists project their own flaws onto their victims.  It doesn’t mean you actually are whatever the narcissist says you are.  In fact, if you listen to what the narcissist says about you, you can learn a lot about that person.  If she calls you a liar, it’s because she lies often.

If your goal is to go no contact in the future, low contact may be an excellent option for you.  It’s as the name describes – you are in low contact with the narcissist.  You don’t take phone calls or visit  often, but only when you feel able instead.  Low contact can be a really good stepping stone to no contact.

While there are no easy, one size fits all solutions for narcissists, these tactics can help you at least.  And, don’t forget – there is nothing wrong with you for being unable or unwilling to go no contact.  It’s a very big decision, & every person has to do it only when & if they feel equipped to do so.

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Types Of Flashbacks & How To Cope

I would guess about everyone has heard of flashbacks, but I don’t think all that many people realize there are different types of flashbacks.  This post is going to explain them.

The first flashback is the type everyone knows.  It’s where the person having the flashback feels as if they are reliving a traumatic event.  It’s much like you’re watching a movie in your mind, but it seems so real, it can be very hard to differentiate between reality & the flashback as it’s happening.

There are also emotional flashbacks.  Instead of feeling as if you’re reliving a traumatic event, you feel the emotions of a traumatic event flooding back to you.  Something seemingly unrelated can trigger this, such as someone using a phrase your abuser used during the traumatic event or speaking to you in a similar manner to your abuser.

Both types of flashbacks also can trigger a sort of body flashback where you feel physical pain that you felt during a traumatic event.  As an example, I’ve told the story before of how my mother threw me into a wall when I was 19.  I had back pain for 10 years after that, then God healed me.  Although God healed me over 18 years ago at this time I’m writing this, if I have a flashback of the night that happened, or sometimes if I just think about it, my back starts to hurt.

Having had all three types of flashbacks, I’ve learned some ways to cope with them that help me, & I hope will help you too.

During the flashback, I find it extremely important to keep myself grounded.  People do all kinds of things to make that happen.  Some clap their hands loudly, stomp their feet hard or hold an ice cube.  I prefer touching something with either a very coarse or very soft texture.  Smelling something with a strong scent is helpful too, such as lavender essential oil.  A bonus of lavender is it has anti-anxiety properties to it, so not only does it smell lovely but it helps calm you naturally.  I actually keep a small vial of lavender essential oil near me at all times just in case I need it.  Whatever you choose to do, it needs to be something that basically “assaults” your senses to override the flashback & keep you grounded in reality.

It’s also a very good idea to remind yourself that this is only a flashback.  It isn’t real.  There is nothing that can hurt you happening right now.  You’re completely safe.

Also try not to focus on anything else as the flashback is happening.  Instead, focus only on getting yourself through it.  Nothing else.

Once the flashback has subsided, chances are you’re going to feel tired.  They take a lot of energy, physically & emotionally.  That is totally normal.  Try to take it easy if you can, & get some rest.

When you have recovered & feel able, I really recommend thinking about the topic of your flashback.  If it was reliving a traumatic event, what was the event about?  If it was an emotional one, do you know why this flashback was triggered?  What happened that made you feel the way this event did?

From there, you can begin to deal with the event however works best for you.  Pray, journal, talk to a close friend, a pastor or therapist or a combination of these things.  Don’t forget to really feel the emotions connected to this event.  You’re allowed to cry or get angry about it!  In fact, you need to do so.  Feeling the emotions will help to get the out of you & help you to heal.

A wonderful thing will happen as you heal from this painful & traumatic event.  It will lose much of its power over you.  It won’t hurt so much to remember it anymore, & it’s likely you won’t have a flashback about that particular event again.

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When Narcissists Ignore Their Victims

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After The Divorce

Today would have been my ex husband’s & my 28th wedding anniversary.  Naturally, realizing that made me think about our relationship.  I thought I’d share my random ponderings with you, since many of you who read my blog have been divorced as well.

When I decided to end my first marriage, although I wasn’t yet a Christian, I still felt terrible for breaking my vows.  I took them very seriously.  I also felt like a total failure for not being able to make that marriage work.  No matter what I did, that marriage was still not good & he was never happy with me.  I was never good enough for him.  I also felt incredibly guilty.  Guilty for not being able to fix the marriage, for never being able to please my ex, for doing everything wrong, for wanting the divorce & more.  I felt that intense guilt for a long time, for at the very least, a couple of years after we separated.

Looking back now, I realize how wrong I was.

While marriage vows should be taken seriously, they should be taken seriously by both partners, not only one.  If one doesn’t take them seriously & mistreats or even abuses you, there is nothing wrong with breaking the vows to protect yourself & your children if you have them.  There is nothing good or holy about tolerating abuse from anyone, period!

One person also can’t save a relationship.  It takes two to make any relationship work.  It’s impossible for a relationship to work when only one person is trying to make that happen, especially if the other person is a narcissist.  They will do their best to sabotage your efforts & refuse to give you what you want or need.  So, if you couldn’t fix your marriage, welcome to the club!

Although I still don’t like that I hurt my ex, there really was no other choice.  He hurt me plenty as well, which is why I wanted a divorce in the first place.  I certainly didn’t decide to divorce him because things were going well!

Does any of this sound familiar to you, Dear Reader?  If so, I want to encourage you to change your thinking like I did.

Remind yourself that did the best you knew to do at that time.  How can you be mad at yourself for not knowing then what you know now?  It doesn’t even make sense.  That would be like being angry at a year old baby for not knowing multiplication.  We all learn as we go, even as adults.

Narcissists are also fantastic actors, so even if you knew about narcissism & married this person anyway, you still can’t beat yourself up because of what fantastic actors they are.  We all can get fooled sometimes, no matter how much we know about narcissism.  It doesn’t mean you’re stupid – it just means they are ridiculously good actors!

Don’t forget – if you grew up with narcissistic parents, you also were wounded because of your upbringing, which means you didn’t have the ability to make the best decisions. Unfortunately, this happens!  You’re learning, growing & getting healthier now & that is what matters most.

Also, never hesitate to go to God.  Ask Him to tell you the truth.  Were you stupid to marry that person?  Are you a failure for your divorce?  He really will answer you & you know what He says is the absolute truth.  Let Him help you!  He will do so & gladly!

And never, ever forget – while you may not have been the perfect spouse, that doesn’t mean the divorce is absolutely, completely your fault.  Narcissists would have their victims believe that, but it’s not true.  Wanting to escape the torture & abuse isn’t a bad thing!  In fact, quite the opposite.  It shows you love yourself enough to know you don’t deserve this kind of treatment.

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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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Anger After Narcissistic Abuse

One topic that I haven’t seen a great deal of information on is anger after narcissistic abuse.  It’s a pity too because most victims face a great deal of it, & rightly so!

Not long ago, as I was praying, God spoke to my heart & said that I have a lot of anger inside.  He was not accusatory, simply stating a fact.  He also said it’s time to face it.

I was less than thrilled with this.  Like all other victims I have spoken with, anger was just one more facet of myself I ignored rather than face my mother’s ridicule or shaming for my terrible temper.  It’s only in the last couple of years I’ve begun to recognize & face when I get angry, & it’s not fun!  I’m still not used to it.  Even so, God’s been helping me.

He showed me why this happens in victims, why so many of us stuff our anger.  It isn’t only due to the ridicule & shaming from the narcissists.  It’s also because in many cases, we had two narcissistic parents, & when the overt was abusive, the covert turned the situation around to him or her, & how painful it is for that parent.  As children, we comfort that parent rather than face our anger regarding what was done to us.

There is also the fact that most narcissistic parents don’t give their children time to recover from one abusive incident before inflicting another.  There simply isn’t time to process the anger!  The victim is too busy trying to survive, so emotions get pushed aside so survival instincts can work.  This becomes a habit, even into adulthood, & victims ignore their emotions without even realizing it.

Often, people don’t want to hear our stories.  “It’s in the past”  “Let it go”  “Stop wallowing” “You need to forgive & forget!” & other callous phrases show victims it isn’t safe to talk about their experiences & emotions, so they continue ignoring their emotions.

We can’t forget the flying monkeys, either.  Prior to learning about narcissism or in the very early stages of learning about it, it’s easy to buy into their nonsensical logic.  “That’s your mother!”  “You only get one set of parents!”  “They won’t be around forever yanno!” Such gibberish can make a person feel guilty for their feelings, & resume the dysfunctional lifestyle that is so familiar.

While these situations are understandable, that doesn’t mean they need to be permanent!  Dear Reader, maybe it’s your time to face your anger too!

I know facing anger is scary, especially when you haven’t done it before, but it is also necessary for your mental & physical health!  Holding it in can cause all sorts of physical & mental problems such as high blood pressure, kidney problems, pains without a physical cause, depression & more.  You deserve better than that, don’t you agree?

Once you decide to start facing it, pray.  Let God help you through this difficult process.  I found He guides me to what I need to face & only allows things in small doses.  The anger isn’t overwhelming that way.  I also talk to Him a lot about what I feel, which helps so much in getting it out of me.

Journaling about it is also very helpful!  Seeing your story in writing can be shocking at first, but it also reminds you that yes, this happened, yes it was awful & no it was not something you deserved.

Talk to safe, non judgmental friends.  They can be a gift from God!  They’ll understand, support & validate you, all of which are so very important!

As you work through your anger, you may feel like suddenly you’re angry about all kinds of things that never bothered you before.  I firmly believe this is normal.  I believe facing the unfairness of the awful things done to you seems to make you more aware than you once were of just how many awful or even simply wrong things have been done to you.  I don’t mean things like someone stealing your parking space.  I mean things like how you are usually the one to compromise with your spouse.  Maybe you’ve just always done it, but suddenly you’re seeing that isn’t right & your spouse could do some compromising too for a change.  Just work through that anger like the rest, & have a talk with your spouse when you are able to do so calmly.

You can get through this ugly process, Dear Reader, & you will be so much better for doing so!  You’ll feel freer & more peace & joy than ever.  xoxo

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Shock & Abuse

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Doubts After No Contact

I think it’s a very safe assumption that almost everyone who has gone no contact with a narcissist, in particular a narcissistic parent or other family member, has had more than their share of doubts.  Ending relationships is tough, but especially when the relationship is a close one such as in the case of family.

 

What makes the doubts worse is when after not speaking for some time, you learn through the grapevine that the narcissist is sick, lost their job, or going through some very difficult situation.  Considering this is someone you were once very close to, it’s only natural to want to help them & to feel bad they are in this situation.  Those desires may make start to override the terrible things that made you sever ties in the first place.

 

Today, I want to tell you.. DON’T DO IT!!

 

No, I don’t know you or the narcissist personally, but I do know a lot about narcissists & have more than a little experience with them.  I have learned that once you end a relationship with a narcissist, resuming it will only cause you heartache as it did me.

 

At first, the narcissist will behave, & probably even be respectful & caring.  This lulls you into thinking this person has changed.  All is right in the world now.  Yet, nothing could be further from the truth!

 

In time, little things will change.  Maybe a comment here or there about how you shouldn’t have left in the first place.  Or, instead of 10 complements a day, it’s dropped to 9 & a nasty criticism.  Everyone has a bad day sometimes, so you rationalize the comments as nothing more & let it go.  After all, things have been going so well.

 

Gradually more things change.  Things get worse.  There are more criticisms.  Now there are also some manipulation attempts too.  “I never did that.”  “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”  There are also guilt trips about you “abandoning” the narcissist in the first place.  They may even have their friends or family mention how hard it was for them when you weren’t in their life.  You begin to feel guilty for hurting the narcissist, so you go along with what they do.

 

Before you know it, the relationship is as bad, if not worse as it was before you went no contact in the first place.

 

Maybe you’re thinking this won’t happen to you but I can tell you, the chances of it happening to you are excellent.  I was fooled into thinking that myself in three very different relationships.

 

One was a friendship.  Upon meeting, she told me we were going to be best friends.  I was young, naive & knew nothing of narcissistic personality disorder, so I blindly obeyed, & became her good friend.  The friendship ended a couple of years later, then a couple of years after that, resumed.  At first, things were good.  We had a lot of laughs together.  Then things changed.  She constantly demanded my attention.  I spent a lot of time with her, no matter what I had going on.  She expected me to watch her small kids while with her too, which is something I’m not good at doing.  I ended that friendship again after about a year & a half.

 

One was my first marriage.  I broke my engagement to my ex husband because I realized I wasn’t happy with him.  While we were apart, he insisted we remain “friends.”  We spoke often & he told me how miserable he was.  Our mutual friends told me the same.  We got back together, & married a few months later.  I knew that although he was acting better, I shouldn’t marry him but I did.  He made me feel like I owed it to him.  In fact, when he proposed again, he said, “I’m not letting you go this time.”  We separated a bit over 4 years later.

 

The other one was my mother.  In 2001, I had enough, & finally cut ties with my mother.  In 2007, my father told me that she needed heart surgery.  I said I’d pray for her.  Once she got home, she called me to thank me for praying for her.  I honestly believed at that the change in her personality was from facing a near death experience.  The more time passed, the more she regressed into the abusive person she’d always been, which is why when I went no contact in 2016, I determined this time, it’s forever.

 

My stories are very typical, Dear Reader.  I told them because you need to know that if you have doubts about being no contact, they need to be ignored.  Take care of yourself.  Your mental health is very important!  Resuming a toxic relationship does no good to you or the toxic person in question.  It simply enables their awful behavior while you sacrifice yourself.  There is NOTHING good about that!

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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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November 28, 1990 Was A Day I Never Will Forget.. Even Though I’d Like To

This day is a difficult one for me.  On November 28, 1990, my mother physically assaulted me.

It was the day before Thanksgiving.  I got home from work & as soon as I walked through the door, I could tell my mother was itching for a fight.  No idea why.  My father could see it too, so he quickly said he got a new model airplane & wanted me to see it (we shared a love of models).  I practically ran downstairs.  I knew it was best never to give in when she was in that mood, so I was grateful for the means of escape.

We were downstairs for a few minutes when my mother stood at the top of the steps, yelling at me.  I’m not proud of it, but I finally had enough when she called my car “a hunk of junk” or something like that.  I snapped & cussed her out.  It just happened.  I don’t think the words went near my brain – they just came out.  This enraged her, & she started yelling at my father.  “Did you hear what she just said to me!?  Are you going to let her get away with that?!”  My father quietly went upstairs, & left the house while my mother raged at him.

Meanwhile, I went into my room to grab my keys & purse so I could do the same.  As I walked back down the hall to get to the door, my mother stepped in my path.  She told me she wasn’t going to let me leave.  I told her get out of my way before I make you do it.  She blocked the doorway by putting her hands & feet against it.  I pushed her aside (not knocking her down, just knocking her a bit off balance so I could rush past her).  I ran to grab my shoes & by then she was steady on her feet again.  Before I knew it, she was in my face, & slammed me into the wall beside the front door, & held me there.  My head was the only part I could move.

Two things went through my mind at that moment…

 

  1. The pain was intense as my back popped from my tailbone to my neck.  It was this incredibly loud POPPOPPOPPOP sound that felt like it went on forever.
  2. My mother’s eyes had turned BLACK.  Jet black!  I’d seen that before & it always terrified me.

 

Suddenly I blacked out, I assume from the intense pain & fear.  When I came to a moment later, I was biting her on the arm.  She & I were both shocked at what I had done.  My shock wore off a bit faster than hers, so I ran out the door & to my car & sped off in a cloud of tire smoke.

I believe my mother wanted to kill me, & if I wouldn’t have blacked out like that, she probably would have succeeded.

Interestingly, I caught up to my father at a traffic light.  We pulled over & I told him what happened.  We then went to my now ex husband’s parents’ home since it was nearby.  My father later went to his parents’ home in Virginia.  I moved in with a friend’s parents that night, & got my things from my parents’ home a couple of days later.

Naturally, my mother never accepted any responsibility in this.  In fact, when I had to quit working a few months later, she told people I was just lazy & faking back problems to get out of working.  And, in 2014, my father mentioned this incident..  He told me it’s ok, I didn’t have to apologize for busting up his wall.  How kind, right?!  I never even thought of how the wall was damaged, but he said it was really bad.  He fixed it though, so I didn’t need to apologize.  I told him I had no plans on doing so!  Not my fault my mother broke it by slamming me into it!

This incident along with having extremely selfish in-laws who have demanded my husband & I spend the day with them no matter what (I spent it alone when I refused to go) is why I absolutely hate Thanksgiving.  Kinda hard to feel warm & fuzzy about the day when  there are memories like this assault & years of jerky acting in-laws associated with it.

I honestly thought I was ok with this incident.  (Well, as ok as one can be when they think about their mother trying to kill them & father abandoning them to an obviously raging lunatic.)  What makes it even harder, I think, is this year, the dates have fallen on the exact days they fell on in 1990, so in some weird way, I almost feel like I’m reliving that time of my life.  I feel some of the same shock & anger I felt when it happened, just to a much lesser degree.  I feel disappointment too.  In my father for abandoning me that night, in my ex for making it all about how he felt about the incident & not caring about my pain (I think he even spent Thanksgiving with his family out of state the following day, if memory serves correctly), & my friend’s father who found it hilarious I bit my mother. I’m even disappointed in my mother for not only attacking me but using it as one more weapon to trash me to other people then expecting me to act like it never happened.  I’m also disappointed in myself for failing to press charges against my mother.  The thought never crossed my mind until not long ago when I friend mentioned it.

I’m also less than thrilled that thinking about this has made my C-PTSD flare up.  Hardly surprising though.  So if there are spelling or grammar errors in here, please pardon me.  I tried to catch them all a couple of days after writing this, but it doesn’t always happen with flare ups.

I don’t even know why I’m writing all of this as a blog post.  I do promise to keep my writing real but even so, this isn’t like me.  Usually things like this I write in my journal, maybe sharing details later once I have had some time to come to terms with whatever the trauma was.  For some reason though, I felt I needed to write this in my blog instead. Maybe someone who reads my blog needs to see this.  If that describes you, Dear Reader, I really hope this post helps you somehow.  ❤

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