Category Archives: Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Why It’s Important To Stay No Contact

So much information preaches no contact.  They say it’s the only solution for dealing with a narcissist & you’re naive if you think otherwise, so just do it already!  It fixes everything!

 

To a degree, this is true.  Usually no contact is the only solution since it’s not like narcissists are prone to change or willing to work on creating a mutually beneficial, healthy relationship.

 

There is one thing no one mentions though- that no contact needs to be done only after you are 1,000% sure you can do it indefinitely, no matter what.

 

If you go no contact with a narcissist then later resume the relationship, things will NOT go well with you!  Sure, they might for a short time, but it won’t last.

 

If a narcissist is able to lure you back into the relationship, you are showing that you’re weak & have no boundaries.  She sees you as easy prey.  The same thing goes if you initiate contact again after a period of no contact.  Once you go no contact, you need to stay no contact for good, no matter what!

 

In 1993, I went no contact with my mother.  It was a foolish move on my part.  I gave into the frequent pressure of my ex husband & told her to get out of my life during an argument.  It wasn’t a well thought out move on my part.  A few months later I ran into my parents at a local mall & when my mother told me I needed to come to her home soon after, I blindly obeyed.  It was a huge mistake!  My mother knew I had no boundaries to speak of & she could treat me like dirt without repercussions.

 

In 2001, I went no contact with her again.  This time, it lasted until 2007 when I allowed my mother back in my life.  It was better at first, but that is because I’d been working on my healing.  I also had learned about boundaries.  Even so, it wasn’t long & my mother was back to treating me terribly.  The verbal abuse was much more intense, more so than it had been prior to going no contact.

 

I’ve heard similar stories of this happening from many people.  They went no contact, then resumed the relationship & although it may have been nice for a short time, it quickly turned even worse than it once was.

 

If you’re considering going no contact with the narcissist in your life, I would like to urge you today to seriously consider it.  I’m not saying don’t do it, & stay in the relationship, of course.  That decision is yours & no one should tell you what to do in that regard.   I’m just saying be absolutely 1,000% positive that if you opt for no contact, once you do it, nothing can lure you back into the relationship.

 

Think about all aspects of being no contact.  What if the narcissist suddenly became an invalid or terminally ill- would you have the strength to continue to stay no contact under such circumstances?  What if flying monkeys come at you from every direction- do you feel you could withstand whatever they throw at you or would you cave in, & contact the narcissist?  If the narcissist in your life is a parent or other relative, could you handle seeing that person at family gatherings & avoiding a scene if she starts one?  You may lose relationships with those people you & the narcissist both know- will you be OK with that?  You will be betrayed, unfortunately- it’s a given.  Some people you think love you & will understand won’t understand.  Can you cope with that kind of pain?  Can you protect yourself however necessary if the narcissist begins to stalk & harass you, or has the flying monkeys do it?

 

I know these topics are incredibly difficult to think about, but you absolutely need to do so before deciding on no contact.

 

Sadly, no contact often the best choice you can make.  However it should never be done lightly.  If you’re considering going no contact, don’t do it after a big fight or even after an especially pleasant conversation with the narcissist.  Think & pray about it after you’ve had some time apart from the narcissist so you can think clearly.  Ask God what you should do & listen for His answer.

 

If you feel you want to go no contact but are unable to at this time for whatever reason, that’s fine.  Listen to God- His timing is always perfect!  In the meantime, do your best with refusing to provide any narcissistic supply (also known as the Gray Rock Method) & enforcing healthy boundaries.  While a relationship with a narcissist is incredibly difficult, it’s better to hang in there for a short time longer than to go no contact & be lured back in at a future date.  I promise you that!

 

So, Dear Reader, if you’re considering going no contact, please consider what I’ve said in this post.  Pray & think long & hard about going no contact before you do it.  Think about all kinds of scenarios that could arise, even down to the death of the narcissist.  And, know you may still be surprised by the lows of the narcissist & her flying monkeys, no matter how thoroughly you try to think things out.  It’ll be hard to do but it really will help you in the long run.

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

The Importance Of Validation After Narcissistic Abuse

A recent conversation with my husband gave me an interesting revelation.

 

He said when I talk about the traumatic things I’ve been through, it’s almost always what my parents did rather than how I feel or how things affected me.  He’s right.  I immediately chalked that up to having C-PTSD.  The disorder means sometimes I have to talk things to death to come to some sort of terms with them.  However, I felt there was something I wasn’t realizing about this.  God revealed to me what it is.

 

Surviving growing up with narcissistic parents instills a need for constant validation in a person.  That is why I talk more about the things they did rather than my feelings.  I can handle my feelings just fine on my own.  What I need help with is understanding exactly how bad my parents have been to me.

 

When you’re raised by narcissists, your reality is much different than real reality.  In my case, I learned my mother was always right & should get whatever she wants even if that means hurting me.  I learned my father is very helpless, & couldn’t do anything to take care of me or protect me from my mother’s abuse.  I also learned very early in life that my parents’ emotional needs were my responsibility.  I was to have no needs or feelings of my own since that could be a distraction from them & their needs & feelings.

 

Pretty messed up, huh?

 

Thankfully, as an adult, I’ve learned how wrong, dysfunctional & abusive these things are.  Even so, I still battle them to a degree simply because these beliefs were very deeply instilled in me.  If I tell someone about some awful thing my parents did to me & they get angry & say things like, “That was terrible!  It was wrong to do that to you!” their outrage helps to validate my pain & tear down those false beliefs.  An objective third party seeing that they were wrong & I wasn’t to blame (as I always was with my parents), is a huge help to me!

 

Are you like me?  When you discuss the abuse, do you discuss more about the events than how you feel about them?  Or, do you seek validation frequently by asking people if your perception or feelings are OK?  If so, know there is nothing wrong with you, even though it may feel that way.  It’s just one more thing that narcissistic abuse can cause in a person.  Don’t beat yourself up about it.  Accept it for what it is, & ask God to help you heal.

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How God Helped My Self Doubt

Lately, I’ve been having a problem.  I’ve been doubting myself.  A LOT.  Am I really doing God’s will by writing about narcissism?  Am I even writing the things He wants me to write about?  Is my information accurate?  Am I wrong for being no contact with my parents, even though I know beyond a doubt that relationship would’ve killed me from stress?

God taught me some interesting things while praying about all of this.  I think what He taught me can help at least some of you too.

For one thing, this doubt is normal under the circumstances.  As God reminded me, I’ve had a lifetime of my parents force-feeding me their views & allowing me no room for freedom of my own.  Even fighting it & forming my own, their views will still pop up sometimes, but it will stop in time.  Doubting what I write about is normal since my mother used to scream about how I shouldn’t “air our dirty laundry” every time she even suspected I was talking about her abuse.  No doubt you’ve been through something similar with your narcissistic mother, Dear Reader.  When you find you doubt yourself, that may be what’s happening to you too.  You can’t expect a lifetime of programming to vanish quickly.  It takes a while!  I’ve noticed it happens much less frequently with me than it did even a year ago.  I can’t say I’m delivered from self doubt, but I know I’m well on my way.

I also learned that if you ask God to send you confirmations, He doesn’t mess around!  lol  A couple of days  ago, I asked Him to show me if I’m on the right track, & it’s been interesting since!  At first, it was a ton of memes on Facebook that spoke directly to me.  Then, my father called.. six times in two minutes to be precise.  (I didn’t answer of course.  My call block lets blocked numbers ring once, then it hangs up on them, which is only long enough for the number to register on the caller ID.  That’s how I knew he called).  It hit me how that is just like him- he wants to talk to me so that is all that matters to him.  The fact I have no desire to talk to him doesn’t matter- only his wants matter.  This sort of thing has happened so many times prior to me going no contact.  He’d call repeatedly when I wasn’t home or was very busy, & when we later spoke, he was upset I didn’t answer his call.  Not being home wasn’t a good enough excuse & neither was having a life.  Thinking of this was all good for me to remind me why I’m no contact!

Then, I got a wonderful note telling me how much my work has changed someone’s life.  That was an incredible blessing!  I do what I do to help people, & hearing that because of my writing, someone’s life was drastically improved made my day!  Well, more like month!  It was also a good confirmation that I’m doing God’s will.

The icing on the cake however was this Scripture that God brought to my attention this morning.  Genesis 50:20 “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (NIV)  It was such a wonderful reminder that my pain wasn’t in vain- that God can use even the worst & most painful circumstances for good.  Joseph spoke these words to his brothers.  If all he suffered could count for something, our pain can as well!

Aside from bragging about the goodness of God, I wanted to share this with you to encourage you, Dear Reader.  I know first hand how hard it can be sometimes when self doubts kick in.  It can make you feel wrong, bad or even crazy.  I want to encourage you to do as I did- talk to God about it.  He is so patient & loving, wanting to help & encourage you when you need it!  Look at all He did for me when all I did was ask for a little help!  Pretty cool stuff, I think!  He can & will do the same for you!

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

Never Justify Or Excuse Narcissistic Abuse

If you’re in the unenviable position of having a narcissist in your life on a regular basis, you have to do all you can to protect your mental health.  Narcissists do their level best to obliterate a person’s self-esteem & sometimes even their sanity.

 

One important way you can protect your mental health is not to make excuses for their bad behavior.

 

It might just be human nature, but people often want to justify someone’s bad behavior.  In many cases, that’s fine.  When someone cuts you off in traffic, maybe he didn’t mean to be a jerk, he was just in a hurry.  When your best friend snaps at you, it’s probably because her stressful job is getting to her- she didn’t mean to hurt you.  Small things like this it’s easy to forgive & forget.  They aren’t a big deal because the chances that person meant to upset or hurt you are virtually non existent.

 

With narcissists however, this isn’t the case.  Their entire existence revolves around getting narcissistic supply in any way they can.  If people are hurt in the process, so be it.  That doesn’t matter to a narcissist.

 

I used to make excuses for the behavior narcissists in my life.  As a child, I told myself my narcissistic mother was simply overprotective, not manipulative & controlling to an extreme.  When my father did nothing to protect me from her abuse, I told myself he just couldn’t do anything.  It’s not his fault.

 

It took me a long time, but I’ve finally accepted the truth- that there is no excuse for narcissists to behave as they do.  They know what they’re doing & if they didn’t, they wouldn’t work so hard to hide their behavior.  They also know the difference between right & wrong- they just don’t care.  Yes, these are some ugly truths, but they are also truths you need to accept about narcissists.

 

Making excuses for a narcissist’s behavior only benefits the narcissist, never a victim.  Excuses show the narcissist that you will tolerate their abuse without complaint & excuse it away.  This basically gives them the green light to do whatever awful things to you they want to do.

 

Excuses also imprint in your mind that you don’t have the right to speak up, that you must tolerate abuse, because the narcissist has a good reason for behaving that way.  This is absolutely NOT the truth, & you do NOT need to believe that it is!

 

Excusing a narcissist’s behavior is basically gaslighting yourself.  You’re lying to yourself, telling yourself the behavior is normal or understandable when it’s anything but.  You get enough gaslighting from the narcissist- don’t add to it by excusing her behavior.

 

Remember, Dear Reader, narcissists abuse for one simple reason- themselves.  They want narcissistic supply.  There is no excuse for that.  Don’t tell yourself otherwise!

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Hard To Understand Triggers

Triggers are things that remind you of something else.  Sometimes, they can be good such as the sound of whipped cream being sprayed from that can reminds me of my late kitty, Delta, who loved it & would do a little dance for a spray of whipped cream.

 

Often though, when you come from an abusive past, triggers aren’t so nice.  Certain scents, sights, sounds or situations can take you right back to a traumatic event, making you feel like that scared child you once were.

 

Triggers are easy to understand when they are obvious.  The scent of a perfume that your abusive mother wore when you were a child or a cruel nickname that your father called you are obvious.  Not all triggers are so obvious though.

 

Some triggers appear to have absolutely nothing to do with why you feel the way you do.  Those triggers are what we’re going to talk about today.

 

Some triggers on the surface seem innocuous, yet you end up feeling just as bad as you did as a child in a traumatic situation.  Talking to someone who shows no empathy may enrage you because it makes you feel like it did when you were growing up with your narcissistic parent, for example.

 

When this happens, it can be confusing.  Having a strong reaction to something that isn’t really a big deal can make you wonder about your sanity.  It’s a horrible feeling, but it can be dealt with.

 

As soon as you can, go somewhere where you can be alone & pray.  Ask God to show you what is going on, what’s the root of this feeling?  He will show you, & from there, you can begin to heal.  It may be something that you thought was small, but apparently it wasn’t since it’s still causing you problems.  Or, it may be a big, ongoing issue.  Either way, once you know what the problem is, then ask Him to help you to heal & show you what you need to do in order to heal.  Write your experiences & feelings in a journal.  Talk with a therapist or trusted friend.  Work on this however helps you, & the trigger will lose its power.

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Engulfing & Ignoring Narcissistic Mothers

There are two types of narcissistic mothers- ignoring & engulfing.

 

As the name implies. the ignoring narcissistic mother ignores her child.  The child’s interests, needs, & feelings mean virtually nothing to the mother.  She may meet her child’s basic needs for food, clothing & shelter, but it is done grudgingly.  Other needs such as teaching & nurturing aren’t met.  The ignoring narcissistic mother simply doesn’t want to be bothered with her child.

 

Engulfing narcissistic mothers are the polar opposites of ignoring narcissistic mothers.  They are deeply involved in every aspect of their child’s life.  They control how their child dresses, the child’s interests & even friendships (if friends are allowed, that is).  Engulfing narcissistic mothers see their child as an extension of themselves, so they do their best to mold them into what they want the child to be.  What their child wants is of absolutely no importance.  This is the type of mother I grew up with.  I wasn’t allowed to choose my own clothes even in high school- my mother had to approve everything.  I wasn’t allowed to spend time away from her other than at school or work, & even then, she would often spend my lunch hours with me during my last two years of high school.  Everything about me was scrutinized & criticized.

 

Both ignoring & engulfing narcissistic mothers also get upset as their children get complements.  Narcissists are known for being incredibly envious, especially when it comes to their children.  When their child is complemented, they will tell the child the person was lying or reasons why the complement was wrong.  Narcissistic parents do NOT want their children to feel good about themselves even for a moment.  The worse a child’s self-esteem, the easier that child is to control.

 

Once the child of an engulfing narcissistic mother gets older, big problems really begin.  As a child grows up & naturally becomes more independent, narcissistic mothers take this as a betrayal.  They want their children to stay young & obedient forever.  Growing up is unacceptable, & narcissistic mothers often act like their child is doing it simply to hurt them.  Ignoring narcissistic mothers seem to be more relieved that their child is no longer their responsibility anymore, although some do get angry their child is becoming an adult & harder to control.

 

Once the child becomes an adult, engulfing narcissistic mothers continue to try to be engulfing.  They try to monopolize their adult child’s time, even if the child has a spouse & kids.  They demand their child spend holidays, birthdays & special occasions with them.  They demand their child frequently visit them.

 

Ignoring narcissistic mothers often carry their lack of interest in their child into the child’s adulthood.  They often even show little to no interest in their grandchildren.  Or, they may show some interest in them until the grandchild is old enough to start forming her own likes, dislikes, opinions & personality.

 

Interestingly, often narcissistic mothers swing back & forth between ignoring & engulfing.  This is especially confusing for their child because of the very mixed signals they send.

 

Both types of narcissistic mothers create a great deal of pain for their children.  My mother was an engulfing mother & her mother was ignoring.  She used to tell me how she always knew her mother never wanted her, from the moment she found out she was pregnant with my mother.  She worked her entire life trying to gain her mother’s approval, which never happened.  Heartbreaking, isn’t it?  Yet, my mother went on to go in the complete opposite direction with me, which caused me awful anxiety, low self-esteem, C-PTSD & more that I still live with even in my mid 40’s.

 

Whichever type of narcissistic mother you had, I hope this post reminds you that she was the problem, not you.  Nothing you did or didn’t do could have made her treat you as she did.  xoxo

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How Much Do You Know About Your Personality?

A couple of years ago, two of my wonderful readers told me about the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (aka MBTI) personality test.  Since, I’ve become utterly fascinated with it!

 

This test gives you a four letter description of your personality.  I found it to be incredibly accurate for myself & my husband.  Here is the link if you want to try it: http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp

 

While I realize not everyone is as fascinated with psychology & what makes people “tick” as I am, I still recommend taking the test & learning as much as you can about your personality.  This is especially important to survivors of narcissistic abuse, I believe.

 

Whether the narcissist in your life was a parent, sibling or spouse, narcissists do a tremendous amount of damage, as you no doubt know all too well.  One thing they all try their best to do to their victims is to turn the victim into what they want that person to be.  Narcissists want victims to lose their natural, God given personality & become someone pleasing to the narcissist.  Before you realize that is happening, chances are you lost a lot of yourself thanks to the narcissist.

 

Learning about your personality type can help you to regain the part of you that was lost.  It also can help you to learn about things you never understood about yourself.  For example, I always thought I was weird.  I’ve been told it often enough!  I constantly try to understand people’s motivations & solutions to problems, when many people don’t bother with such things.  My mother used to criticize me as a child for “always thinking” because of this.  I took that to mean that something was wrong with me.  Once I learned of my personality type, I learned that there isn’t something wrong with me.  It’s just my natural personality, which happens to be the rarest one.

 

Another benefit of learning about personality types can happen when you learn the types of those in your life.  Since I learned my husband’s type, I understand him even better now than I did before he took the test.  And, as a bonus- he got interested in learning about his type as well so he’s developed a better understanding of himself.

 

Dear Reader, I hope you will take the test & learn about your personality & those of your loved ones as well.  The test only takes a few minutes & is free, but it can be very beneficial.

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C-PTSD, PTSD & Nightmares

When you first learn that you have PTSD or C-PTSD, you will hear about having nightmares, but very little has been discussed about what kind of nightmares.

 

When I first realized I had C-PTSD in 2012, I read everything I could find on the disorder, & kept seeing nightmares on the list of symptoms.  I assumed it would be dreams repeating traumatic events.  Unpleasant, for sure, but I lived through the real thing so I figured I could handle the nightmares.

 

Not even close!

 

I have had nightmares ever since I can remember, but the frequency has increased greatly since 2012.  And, of the many nightmares, very few were actually reliving the trauma.  Instead, many were very strange, such as having my car stolen then totaled, finding a little child I needed to protect or other odd subject matter.  I honestly wondered what was wrong with me.  How could I have such awful & strange dreams yet nothing of the trauma I have been through?  It seemed completely bizarre to me.

 

Recently I realized something.. these dreams may not be specifically about trauma, but they share similar emotions to traumatic experiences I have had.  The nightmares often leave me feeling powerless, abused, unloved (even hated), helpless & more.

 

I’ve heard a few people say their nightmares are much like mine- not about traumatic events, but about events that trigger similar emotions.

 

I believe this means such nightmares must be a normal part of having C-PTSD or PTSD.

 

If you too are having odd, unsettling nightmares, then know you aren’t alone.  Nightmares are part of PTSD & C-PTSD, unfortunately.

 

As disturbing as they are, they may be able to help you.  Dreams & nightmares alike have meanings.  They’re never random, even though they feel that way.

 

Dreams can show you areas you need healing in or areas where you have healed well.  They can show you things you weren’t aware of or you need to be aware of.  They also can simply help you because your brain is  processing some information.  The brain processes information every single moment, even when you’re asleep.

 

If you want to understand your dreams & nightmares, prayer is the best place to start.  Ask God to help you to understand them & learn what you need to know from them.

 

A good dream dictionary is a helpful tool too.  I use a website (there are many to choose from).  They can help you to see what each item in your dream represents, which can make it easier to interpret them.

 

It’s also a good idea to keep track of your dreams.  Write them down & look them over from time to time.  That can help encourage you when you see how far you’ve come.  It also can help to remind you of things you need to deal with.

 

Personally I write down my dreams & nightmares, plus what I find the meaning of everything I can remember in them.  Colors, objects, people, feelings.  Once it’s all written down, I ask God to help me to understand what the dream or nightmare meant.  It’s proven to be quite helpful to me many times.  It could benefit you as well

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Believing All Parents Love Their Children Can Harm You

Children need to believe that their parents love them.  Normally, this is a very good thing, since most parents do love their children.  When the child’s parent is a narcissist, however, this is NOT a good thing!

 

Because of this need, abused children will make excuses for their parent abusing them.  I did – I told myself my mother loved me which is why she was “overprotective” rather than admitting she controlled my every move.

 

Children also will come up with reasons why the abuse was their fault, not the parent’s, taking all the blame while the parent gets away with abusing the child.  The child will think that she needs to get better grades in school, be better behaved, etc. to please the parent, so the parent doesn’t have to abuse her anymore.  Children don’t realize that narcissists are impossible to please, & will abuse their child even if the child is 100% perfect.

 

Some parents are actively abusive – they mentally, physically &/or sexually abuse their child – while others are more passive in their abuse, standing by quietly while the other parent obviously abuses the child.  Passive abusers also do not care about the child’s pain, & often will turn the active abuser onto the child if that person is mad at the passive abuser, simply to distract them.  If a child has one actively abusive parent & one passively abusive one, the need to believe that her parents love her will cloud her discernment greatly.  Even if she comes to realize that the actively abusive parent is abusive, it will take much longer to realize the passively abusive one is equally abusive.  The desperation to believe that at least one parent loves her will make the child think that the passive abusive parent loves her because at least that parent isn’t verbally, physically or sexually abusing her.  The child also may make excuses for that parent, saying that parent just didn’t know what to do or had no power to stop the abuse.  In fact, the child may feel pity for that parent, offering comfort after the child has been abused.  This happened with my father.  My mother would abuse me, & my father would tell me how he couldn’t do anything to stop it,  & how hard it was for him knowing how mean she was to me.  I would comfort him rather than him comforting & protecting me.

 

This need to believe parents love their children can cause many problems for adult children of narcissists, as you can see.  So I urge you today, Dear Reader, to look at your situation.  Are you harboring any beliefs that stem from that need?  Are you making excuses for your parent(s) because you think it’s easier than admitting your narcissistic parent never loved you?  If so, you’re only hurting yourself.

 

John 8:32 says, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (NIV)  This Scripture is absolutely true!  As difficult as facing the truth about your parents is, it is worth it.  Clinging to the childish belief that your parent loves you only hurts you.  It’s a domino effect of dysfunction, really.  You make more & more excuses for your parent’s abuse because you want to believe she loves you.  This only serves to keep you tolerating more & more abuse.  Facing the truth is the only thing that will set you free.

 

Admitting that your narcissistic parent doesn’t love you & never has is painful.  I understand this all too well.  It causes you to grieve your loss of not having a loving parent.  However, doing so will enable you to see things much more clearly & objectively, which helps you to find ways to become healthier.  You’ll be able to think more about ways to set & enforce healthy boundaries instead of tolerating abuse so you don’t hurt your parent’s feelings.  You may limit your contact with your parent or go full no contact with that parent because you realize that your parent only wants you in her life to provide her with narcissistic supply, & you deserve better than that.

 

I know admitting your parent doesn’t love you is painful, but I can promise you that it is well worth the pain.  And, it’s much less painful than clinging to that false belief!

 

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The Pain Of Having A Covert Narcissist Parent

Last night, I had two extremely vivid nightmares about my parents.  I woke up anxious & afraid from both, but especially the second one.

 

I got to thinking & praying about the dreams, I realized they showed me something.  It is incredibly hard to accept a covert narcissist parent as the evil, abuser that they are!

 

Over the last couple of years, I’ve had a LOT of dreams about my father & when I prayed, God would tell me to pay attention to them- they are showing what he is really like, as He did when I asked about last night’s nightmares.  Yet in spite of the many warnings, I was still shocked when he did certain things like calling the police twice on me for “welfare checks” after I stopped speaking to him, accused my husband of keeping me from him or sending several flying monkeys after me.

 

When you’ve been raised with an overt narcissist & a covert narcissist, it is hard to accept the covert narcissist is bad.  After all, compared to the overt, the covert doesn’t seem so bad.  The covert doesn’t scream at you or hit you or shred your self-esteem.  Plus, it’s incredibly hard to accept that both of your parents didn’t love you.  One is hard enough, but two?  Incredibly painful.  So, many people tell themselves that their covertly narcissistic parent isn’t so bad.   Sure, that parent has flaws, but it could be worse, right?

 

Wrong!!

 

I firmly believe covert narcissists are way worse than overts.  At least with overt narcissists, you know where you stand & what they’re capable of.  Not so with covert narcissists.  Due to their subtlety, they can abuse so discreetly, a person doesn’t even realize it’s happening.  They also give such a good appearance as a victim that on the off chance you recognize they’re behavior is abusive, you don’t have the heart to upset them by confronting them.  They also love to appear naive & innocent.  This makes you doubt they know what they’re doing is wrong.  It also means if you tell people you both know, you won’t be believed.  Covert narcissists also make you feel sorry for them, which is another guarantee that you will let them get away with anything they want to do.

 

If anyone meets my father, they get the impression he’s a simple country boy- laid back, good sense of humor & a pleasant person.  And, now that he’s pushing 80 & has Alzheimer’s & other health problems, they also feel bad for him.  They don’t realize the incredibly evil, twisted things he is capable of because they only see the way he presents himself.  They don’t believe that when my mother abused me, he not only failed to protect me, he also turned the situation around so I would comfort him because he said he was upset she hurt me.  They wouldn’t believe he expected me to apologize to him for breaking a wall when my mother threw me into it when I was 19.  Yet, these things are absolutely true.

 

Dear Reader, if you have a covertly narcissistic parent, please pray about your situation.  If you’re maintaining that relationship thinking that parent isn’t as bad as your overtly narcissistic one, you’re probably wrong.  I thought that myself & I certainly was.  It’s taken me a lot of painful events, & long time to see my father for the wicked narcissist he is.  It took many nightmares & painful events to realize it.  I would love to spare you the kind of pain that I have had to experience because I didn’t want to accept the truth, so please, please pray about your situation.  Ask God to show you the truth about your parent, to enable you to handle it & what you should do about it.

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Ways To Help Someone With C PTSD

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Triggers

Triggers are things that remind us of things in our life.  Good triggers are wonderful, such as the sound of that whipped cream in a can being sprayed always reminds me of my late kitty, Delta, who would do a little happy kitty dance for a dollop of that whipped cream.  Her cuteness always made me smile.

 

Unfortunately there are also bad triggers, such as something that triggers a bad memory or even a flashback to abuse or trauma.  Although I live not far from the town my parents have lived in since the year before I was born, I avoid going there as much as possible.  So many things in that town trigger bad memories & even flashbacks there.  On my way to the vet’s office once, as I passed the library where I worked in my late teens, I had a flashback behind the wheel!  Thankfully it happened at a red light.  Also thankfully, Sabrina, the cat that had the appointment, knew something was wrong & helped to bring me out of it by gently scratching my hand. (Interestingly that was the only time she has scratched me in her entire life)

 

When you have PTSD or C-PTSD, you naturally try to avoid the bad triggers as much as possible.  Even so, triggers still happen.   No matter how careful you are, at some point, someone will say something, you’ll hear a sound, or you’ll smell an old & familiar scent that can mentally transport you back in time to a place you try never to think about.  It’s simply impossible to avoid triggers entirely no matter how careful you are.

 

Since you can’t avoid triggers, the only other thing you can do is manage them when they do happen.  The best ways to manage bad triggers that I have found are to stop what I’m doing, breathe deeply a few times, ask God for help, & focus on something to help keep me grounded.  Good triggers can help in this situation.  I have some perfume that my grandmom gave me when I was a kid.  Smelling it helps to keep me grounded because not only is the scent fairly strong, it automatically reminds me of someone very special to me when I smell it.  Like flashbacks, it takes something rather strong to the senses to help keep your focus- a very soft or rough fabric, a strong scent, or something very cold (like an ice cube).

 

I have a small flashback “kit” that contains two small sample size perfume vials- one of that perfume from my grandmom in one & the other lavender scented oil (lavender is known for its relaxation properties) & a very smooth, pretty pink quartz rock to hold.  I’ve found these things help to keep me grounded during a flashback or trigger.  If you find things that work for you, I would suggest creating your own flashback kit, & keep it with you in case you are subjected to a trigger or have a flashback.

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Gaslighting

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An Important Point About No Contact

No contact is often the only solution preached when a victim of narcissistic abuse looks for advice.  People make it sound like once you get that narcissist out of your life, everything will be peachy keen.  However, this is not the case!

 

No contact is a wonderful thing.  I am very much in favor of it since often it is the only solution that can help a victim keep their sanity.  It creates the distance needed to help the victim have clarity of thought that is impossible while involved with a narcissist.  That being said, though, there needs to be more to it than simply cutting the narcissist out of your life.

 

If your parents are narcissists, chances are you find yourself in friendships & romantic relationships with narcissists.  You can end the relationship with your parents, but if that’s all you do, you’ll continue to find yourself in these toxic relationships.

 

Rather than cutting ties only, you need to learn all you can about narcissism.  Doing this will help you to spot narcissists easily, before they lure you into their dysfunctional web.  It also will show you that you are not to blame for anything they did to you.  Narcissists love blaming their victims for the abuse they dish out, which leaves victims feeling guilty unnecessarily.  Learning about narcissism will help you to get a revelation on the fact that their abuse was all on them.  You truly aren’t the problem, a bad person or anything else they said you were!

 

Also, focus on your own healing.  Grow stronger & healthier emotionally.  Get to the root of your issues so you can truly heal.  As you get healthier, your self esteem will heal too, & you will find yourself attracted to & attracting healthier people into your life.  You also will find you can handle yourself with the abusive ones that are impossible to avoid.

 

If you are considering going no contact, then please keep these points in mind!  Going no contact can help you a great deal of course, but you don’t need to stop there.  Learn about narcissism & focus on your healing as well as going no contact, as these things will benefit you immensely!

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Being Your Parent’s Parent

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A Message For Those Who Support Narcissistic Abusers

I always said I’d keep my writing real & I’m doing that with this post.  Be forewarned, it’ll be ugly because I’m very angry as I write this.  It also isn’t going to be pretty or succinct, but it’s going to be real.

**note- this post had to be edited for clarity before publishing.  For a short time after a flashback, my brain doesn’t work very well.  I made tons of spelling errors & unclear thoughts when I first wrote this post.  I needed a couple of days to recover then correct this post before publishing.  Although I wanted this post to be 100% real, that wasn’t quite possible if the post was to be readable.  I did maintain the thoughts & original message, I just prettied it up.  This post isn’t indicative of how coherent I am after a flashback. Thanks for understanding!**

 

This was just going to be a journal entry, but I felt instead I should make it a blog entry.  It felt important enough to put out there for the world to see & to rearrange my scheduled posts so this will post in just a couple of days.  When I prayed about this, God told me, “It needs to be said.”  So, I’m saying it.

 

A little while ago, I was watching “Law & Order SVU”.  One of the detectives was talking to a young woman about statutory rape.  That phrase triggered a flashback as soon as I heard it.

 

When I was 17 & trying to date my now ex husband, my overt narcissistic mother’s abuse was at its peak.  She didn’t like him, & was determined to keep us apart at any cost.  One of the many cruel things she did during that time was accuse me of things I wasn’t doing, including having sex.  She was absolutely obsessed with that topic, thinking I was having sex not only with my ex but a LOT of guys at our high school, including the entire football team.  Anyway one day during one of her many daily screaming fits at me, she told me that since my ex was six months younger than me, she could easily have me arrested for statutory rape for having sex with him.  I can’t describe the blind fear that put in me.  Not because I was actually doing anything, but because I was certain that the police would believe her.  She had about everyone we knew convinced I was nothing but a promiscuous juvenile delinquent.  I couldn’t believe the police would think otherwise.  It also made me wonder exactly what else she was capable of.

 

As I was writing this in my journal, trying to process this abuse, I also had another thought.  I thought about people who blindly support narcissists.  They need to know things like this, things the person they’re so devoted to is capable of doing.  If you know someone who is on a narcissist’s side, then by all means, feel free to show them this post if you think it’ll make a difference!

 

The rest of this post is directed at them.

 

Dear supporter of a narcissist:

 

Think for a moment about what I shared above.  My own mother threatened to have me arrested for something I wasn’t even doing.  And, this is just one example of how she abused me.  She screamed at me for hours every single day, telling me what a terrible person I was, I was stupid, ugly, a disappointment & so much more.  She didn’t just say it, although that would’ve been bad enough.  She literally screamed it repeatedly each & every day several times a day.  She often was so close I could feel her breath on my face.  (To this day, I still get panicky if I feel someone’s breath on me thanks to her.)  My ears would ring after she stopped screaming, because she was so loud.  Many narcissistic parents do the same kinds of things my mother did to me to their children.  How can you support a person who is capable of doing this to their own child?!  Do you honestly think that person is truly worthy of your loyalty?

 

Not only did my mother abuse me daily, but my covert narcissist father did nothing to stop it.  When I told him, he would say something about the way she treated me was hard on him, but there was nothing he could do to stop it.  As if failing to protect me wasn’t quite enough, he also wanted me to comfort him instead of him comforting & protecting me like any decent parent would do.  This is abusive & it’s pure evil, treating your own child this way, yet many covert narcissists do this & more.  Why does someone like this deserve any of your respect, loyalty & devotion??

 

Here we are, almost 30 years after the threat of being arrested & the daily scream-fests.  I’m still dealing with it & countless other similar incidents.  Thanks to the abuse I endured, I have C-PTSD, which means have flashbacks on a pretty regular basis.  Today’s was not an isolated incident.  Anxiety & depression often get so bad that I can’t even leave my home.  My moods are a roller coaster & it takes a LOT of strength not to yell at my husband or cry on him most days even though he’s not the cause of the mood swings.  I have nightmares more nights than not, when I can finally get to sleep that is.   Usually, even with sleep aids, I still have trouble falling & staying asleep.  We won’t even discuss how pitiful my short term memory or my comprehension are thanks to C-PTSD.  Many adult children of narcissists also suffer with C-PTSD because of being abused by the people who were supposed to love & protect them- their parents.  We are the ones who deserve  love & support, not the abusive, wicked narcissists who derive pleasure from hurting others, even their own kids!

 

Meanwhile, like most narcissistic parents, my parents tell people they don’t know what’s wrong with me.  (They obviously didn’t care enough to listen when I told them during our last conversations why I was upset with them, even though I was in tears.)  They don’t get why don’t I call or visit or take care of them.  The simple truth is I had to get away from them to protect what’s left of my sanity & protect myself from further abuse.  I just couldn’t take any more.  My mother made it easy by removing herself from my life last year.  My father wasn’t far behind.  I just saved him the trouble by going no contact before he did.

 

And as if all of this wasn’t bad enough, then there are many people out there who defend these evil narcissistic people & invalidate their victims!  They say victims need to get over it, fix things with their parents, use guilt laden phrases like “your parent won’t be around forever yanno!” (they must have forgotten many children die before their parents)  or simply don’t believe them.  Talk about a slap in the face!  It’s just one more incident of abuse heaped on the pile.  Discrediting a victim especially when you don’t know the facts is abuse!  It’s invalidation!  

 

People who blindly side with someone when two people are having problems are acting incredibly foolishly.  It makes no sense to side with one person while not knowing all of the facts!  It’s even worse when the side chosen is the side that enables & encourages a person to abuse their own child, no matter what the child’s age!  Unless a person is truly naive enough to be duped by a narcissist, the only reason a person would do such a thing (that I can fathom anyway) is they get a thrill from abusing the victim like the narcissist does.  I believe there are many wicked people like that, which is partly why I refuse to engage with anyone who shows me they are on the side of someone who is clearly abusive, in particular to me.

 

Does this describe you?  If you are reading this & offended, I’m sorry- I don’t want to offend anyone.  But, I do want to get people to think & one way to do that is to spell out the ugly truth.  If someone you know has told you they’re being abused, don’t brush them off!  Most people don’t make up lies like this.  It takes a lot of courage to admit you’re being abused, especially by a parent.  Don’t think that parent is too nice & couldn’t possibly be abusive either.  All abusers have a public persona & a private one.  Appearing “nice” in public is a way to make sure no one believes a victim.  They aren’t genuinely nice.  Don’t be naive enough to think otherwise.

 

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Scapegoats In The Narcissistic Family

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“Why Didn’t You Tell Someone?”

When victims of abuse first tell their story, people often ask why they didn’t tell someone when it was happening.  They figure it couldn’t have been so bad if they didn’t even tell anyone.

 

This thinking is incredibly faulty!  Nothing could be further from the truth!

 

Abusers of all types have some things in common.  One of those things is they love secrecy.  They don’t want people to know what they are doing to their victim, so they threaten & scare their victims into silence.

 

Some abusers tell their victims things like, “If you tell anyone, I’ll kill your child/parents/sibling.”  Others beat their victims upon finding out the victim told someone what the abuser has done.  Narcissistic abusers usually aren’t so obvious with their intimidation, but they value secrecy nonetheless.  When I was growing up, my mother used to scream at me when she thought I was “airing our dirty laundry” as she called talking about her abuse.  She would shame me for needing to talk about things, like there was something incredibly wrong with me- everything she did was completely normal, I had no right to think otherwise or talk about her behind her back.  I stopped talking.  It wasn’t worth the screaming & berating.

 

Then sometimes if we tell, people either don’t believe us anyway or they think we’re exaggerating.  When I was a teen & told some people about my mother, no one believed me.  One school guidance counselor said “it didn’t sound so bad.”  When my mother threw me into a wall, I went to my friend’s parents’ home to see if I could stay with them.  Her father laughed at me.  26+ years later & I still don’t get the joke.

 

Reasons like this are why victims don’t tell someone when the abuse is happening.  We’re terrified the abuser will follow through on their threats or hurt us in some way, or afraid no one will believe us.  As painful as staying quiet about what’s happening is, it’s easier than facing the wrath of the abuser or apathy of someone we turn to for help.

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What It’s Like Being The Adult Child Of A Narcissistic Parent

Children of narcissistic parents often experience similar types of abuse when growing up.  So many of us have spoken to others & said things like, “Yea!!  My mother did that exact same thing!” Many of my readers have told me their stories & they sound oddly similar to my own.  Their mothers told them they were crazy, fat, stupid, ugly, worthless, etc.  They used similar gaslighting phrases to my mother’s, such as “I don’t remember it that way.”  “You’re crazy!”  “What is wrong with you?”  The similarities are uncanny!  In fact, I’ve often wondered if they all have some sort of secret narcissistic instruction manual since so many narcissists act very similar.

 

The abuse isn’t the only thing that’s similar about being raised by narcissistic parents.  The damage done is oddly similar.

 

  • Adult children of narcissists don’t know ourselves.  At best, we know who our narcissistic parent told us we were.
  • We have incredibly low self-esteem, often even believing we have no right to exist & take up space in this world.
  • The low self-esteem makes us incredibly anxious, often terrified of asking people for something,
  • We feel incredible amounts of toxic shame about every single thing about us.
  • Many adult children of narcissistic parents struggle with issues with their weight.  We were told constantly how fat or skinny we were growing up, so we began early in life to see our bodies through our narcissistic parent’s eyes rather than our own.  This often leads to eating disorders or other issues with food.
  • Boundaries?  What are those?  They must be for other people, certainly not for children of narcissistic parents!
  • We’re exhausted constantly.  A lifetime of narcissistic abuse makes people function in survival mode, always trying to put out the next fire as soon as it starts or, better yet, try to make sure the fire doesn’t start in the first place.
  • PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) or C-PTSD (Complex PTSD) is common.  Being raised by at least one narcissistic parent is traumatic in so many ways, so many adult children are diagnosed with PTSD or C-PTSD.
  • Physical problems such as high blood pressure, arthritis, aches & pains with no physical cause, & more.

 

Dear Reader, chances are you have experienced symptoms like this, probably more.  Maybe it’s even what brought you to my blog today.  If you are experiencing such things, then please know you aren’t crazy!  You’re far from it in fact.  You’re a normal person who has experienced extremely abnormal things, & had a normal reaction to them.

 

I can’t tell you today that the symptoms will all go away quickly, because they won’t.  Prayer, love & support from those around you, counseling will help you get healthier.  Prayer in particular is the most important thing you can do to help yourself.  Remember, the Bible referred to Jesus as “The Great Physician” & “Wonderful Counselor”- who better to help you get through this?  Also, the more you learn about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, the more it will help you to see that you were not the real problem, contrary to what you were told.  You may need to go no contact for your healing to progress, or at the least go low contact.  The more distance between you & your abusive parent, the better it is for your mental & physical health.  You’ll gain clarity you can’t have when in their presence often.  You also will stop functioning in survival mode, which will allow you to think of yourself for once rather than your parents.

 

The symptoms resulting from narcissistic abuse are nothing to take lightly.  Take care of yourself.  You deserve to be happy & healthy! xoxo

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Unhelpful Advice

Many people truly have no grasp how incredibly difficult the process of healing from abuse is.  As a result, they often provide some unasked for & useless advice.

 

  • “Just get over it.”
  • “Just let it go.”
  • “That happened a long time ago.  You need to get over it already!”
  • “Don’t think about it.”
  • “Think happy thoughts.”

 

These messages all say the same thing- “Don’t talk about it.  Sweep it under the rug & pretend it didn’t happen.”  What a horrific message to give to someone who is suffering!!

 

Never allow this awful unasked for advice to get inside you!  If you follow it, your pain will manifest in awful ways such as depression, nightmares, high blood pressure, digestive issues, diabetes & more.  Emotions demand to be heard.  If not given a healthy way to process, they will find other ways to come out.

 

People don’t realize that victims *do* need to think about it.  Want to?  No.  Need to?  Yes.  Only when you face things can you heal.  You need to remember what happened & feel all of the emotions connected to it- anger, hurt, etc.- before you can release them & be healed.  This process often involves talking about it.  A lot.  There is nothing wrong with that.  It doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong or wallowing in the past.  It means you’re processing the event so you can move on.

 

Many times, victims have PTSD or C-PTSD.  Intrusive thoughts come with the disorders.  This means that thoughts go through your mind whether or not you want them to.   Sometimes it’s impossible to “think happy thoughts.”  There is nothing wrong with that.  Sometimes, things just suck!  It’s OK to admit that.  A while back, God showed me that at times, being positive isn’t always a good thing.  You can read about that at this link for more details.  Are You Too Positive Or Too Negative?

 

Narcissistic abuse is especially complicated & insidious.  It permeates every part of you.  It takes a long time to heal from it because of its complexities.  There is nothing wrong with you for taking a while to heal.  I haven’t spoken with one victim who was able to fully recover, let alone do so quickly.  I am in my 40’s & regularly still deal with things that happened to me in my childhood.

 

The next time someone offers you useless, unasked for advice such as “just get over it”,  do your best to ignore it.  Chalk it up to someone being ignorant of the complex road that is healing from abuse.

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Handling People Who Don’t Believe You

So many people I talk to that have survived narcissistic abuse tell the same story about how people in their lives responded to them discussing the abuse.  They were met with invalidation (“It couldn’t have been that bad!”  “Other people had it way worse than you did.”), scolding (“How can you say those things about your own mother?!”), disbelief or being accused of being unforgiving or needing to “get over it”.

 

Especially in the early days of awareness of narcissism & learning what you went through really is abuse- you aren’t crazy or to blame like you were told- this sort of behavior is devastating.  The more you heal, the better you can handle it, but I don’t think it ever stops hurting at least some to be met with such indifference to your pain.  It can leave you bitter & angry if you allow it to.

 

In all fairness, you certainly have a right to be angry at people who say such things!  It’s heartless & hurtful!  So get angry!  Get it out of you so you can forgive.  You don’t deserve to live with that anger inside of you, stealing your joy!  Whether the other person deserves your forgiveness or asks for it is irrelevant.  You deserve better than carrying around anger inside of you!

 

That being said, there are other ways to cope.

 

Journalling is a wonderful thing. It is a completely safe way to get your feelings out, especially if you use a password protected journalling website.  This will help you to let go of all the negative feelings.

 

Focus on the positive.  Just because one person mistreated you doesn’t mean everyone will.  Appreciate your good friends & let them know you appreciate them!  What other good things are in your life?  Maybe start a gratitude journal- daily, write down at least 2 things you’re grateful for.

 

Accept the fact that not everyone will understand what you’ve been through.  In all honesty, narcissistic abuse can be hard to wrap your mind around, especially if you’ve never been exposed to it.  (Even if you’ve been through it, it’s hard to grasp!)  And sadly, some people have no desire to even try.  With people like this, it’s just smart not to discuss the topic of narcissism.  They won’t be convinced of anything you say because they lack the desire to understand.  When that wall is up, it stays up, & nothing you say can make a difference.  Stick to more neutral topics with this person, & if you need to discuss something you’ve been through, then seek out someone who understands.

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Understanding Anger After Abuse

Growing up with narcissistic parents, you learn many things early in life that most people don’t, such as you aren’t allowed to have feelings.  Often if you are happy, a narcissistic parent will ask you what you have to be so happy about, shaming you into hiding your joy.  If you are sad, you’re told you don’t have anything to be sad about because other people have it way worse than you.  If you’re angry, you’re told you have a bad temper & are crazy.

 

Because of such things, you learn early on to ignore your emotions.  Stuff them down deep inside & pretend they aren’t there.  Eventually though, after years of doing this, enough is enough.  You can’t physically or mentally handle this stress any longer, & you have to start learning to express yourself.  It feels so strange at first.  Sometimes, I still feel like I’m waiting for some sort of backlash for sharing my emotions, because I’m doing something I learned as a child was absolutely wrong.  It has improved over time, but is still there to a degree.

 

I think though that anger is the hardest emotion to handle when you learn to share your emotions.  Aside from the messages of shame for feeling anger that you must get rid of, anger seems to have a mind of its own.

 

When first getting in touch with your anger, it may feel as if there is an infinite pit of it inside you, which is pretty scary.  You must realize that if you’ve been stuffing it inside you for your entire life, there is going to be a lot of anger in there to deal with.  There is an end to it all, but it’s going to take a while to deal with it all.

 

Also, when you’re not allowed to express anger, it comes up later, even years later.  I get angry with my parents for things that happened 30 years ago sometimes.  It makes me feel like I’m living too much in the past. It can be so frustrating!  Unfortunately it’s also very normal.  You can’t simply expel all of the anger you feel inside at once.  You mentally couldn’t handle that.  Instead, it comes out in manageable doses.  This means you’ll probably have to deal with an incident at a time.  Since narcissistic parents dole out such a great deal of abuse to their children over the course of their lives, there are obviously going to be many, many incidents to deal with, even going back to your very early life.  It’s an unfortunate & frustrating fact of being raised by narcissistic parents.

 

Sometimes the anger comes up later because you were so busy trying to survive the abuse that you didn’t have time to cope with it at the time.  I had a terrible relationship with my husband’s mother.  Then, my husband defended her to me which caused many problems in our marriage.  I had to fight with him as well as her, & didn’t really have time to process what was happening, because I was trying to survive both of them with my sanity in tact.  It wasn’t until I cut her out of my life that I could finally deal with the things she had done to me as well as the anger at my husband for taking her side no matter what she did.

 

You need to realize that all of these feelings are normal.

 

You also need to realize that you have a right to your anger.  Being abused isn’t fair.  No one deserves it!  You have every right to feel anger about that.

 

You have every right to learn to deal with your anger in a healthy way.  It’s well overdue.

 

There is nothing wrong with anger in & of itself, so please don’t buy into the lies you heard about that.  Anger is simply an emotion & emotions aren’t bad.  It’s what we do with that anger that can be bad.  Trying to get revenge on someone out of anger is bad, but feeling anger is not.  Anger is a good thing since it lets you know something is wrong.

 

I know anger is a very scary thing when you never learned how to handle it in healthy ways.  However, you can learn healthy ways to deal with it.  Prayer is the absolute best place to start, I believe. Ask God to show you what to do, how to handle it.  He certainly will answer that prayer!

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Are You Oversensitive?

Something I’ve noticed about survivors of narcissistic abuse is many become very sensitive.  The smallest thing can hurt or devastate them.  It’s quite understandable, really.  After being verbally abused so much, they probably have reached their limit, & just can’t tolerate any more insults, invalidation, etc.

 

Unfortunately, they are often also very sad people, feeling abused or mistreated when no such thing was intended.

 

Does this describe you?  If so, then I urge you to consider making a change!

 

Try to remember to respond rather than react.  What I mean is stop for a moment before feeling or saying anything.  Think- did this person say something hurtful to you just after losing a loved one?  Being fired?  Stubbing their toe on the coffee table?  Then they aren’t trying to hurt you out of maliciousness- they’re in a bad mood.  It’s nothing personal!  Remind yourself it’s nothing personal- the person is just in a bad mood & you just happened to be there.  If you aren’t sure, then ask God to tell you the truth.  Is it you or is the other person having a bad day?

 

On the other hand, if the person is deliberately trying to hurt you & you know this, then you know what?  It’s also not personal.  This person has issues & for whatever reason, finds you a good victim.  You haven’t done anything to deserve this- the other person simply has problems.  I’ve reminded myself of this with my narcissistic mother repeatedly.  She got mad at me when a friend of hers complemented me once, & spent the rest of our time together making me miserable.  It hurt, but I reminded myself this is how she is!  She is so insecure, she can’t handle anyone in her presence getting any positive attention from anyone, so she will do her best to ruin the positive attention by being demeaning & hateful.

 

I know this can be hard to do with narcissists, but it does get easier in time.  The more you learn about NPD, the more you understand that they have big problems, & you are NOT one of them!  I’m speaking from experience- this really is true!  I feel like thanks to realizing my mother has problems, I’m a narcissistic abuse navy seal by now.  It takes quite a bit to phase me anymore.  After my mother spending hours & hours screaming at me, telling me what a horrible person I am, really, what else is there?!  A stranger flipping me off in traffic isn’t going to upset me for more than a moment.  Someone obviously hating me & trying to bully me?  Yea, whatever…. I’ve dealt with bigger & badder & survived.

 

Most of all, keep a good relationship with God as your top priority.  Know you can go to Him anytime, asking for help.  In fact, ask Him other ways to help you not to take things so personally.

 

If you’re over sensitive, then there isn’t something wrong with you.  It’s just proof you’ve been through way too much pain.  But, you deserve better than going through life hurt all of the time just because someone acted insensitively to you!  Please, for your own sake, Dear Reader, try to put into practice what I’ve mentioned here.  Your life can be much happier for it!

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Why Are Victims Supposed To Fix The Abusive Relationship?

Why is it when someone has either set boundaries in or ended an abusive relationship, people try to convince that person to “forgive & forget” or “be the bigger person” & fix the relationship?  Have you noticed how commonplace this is?  Think about it…

 

If a daughter in-law is constantly belittled by her mother in-law, she is told to be the bigger person.  Let it go.  She is only trying to help by criticizing everything about you!

 

If your abusive parents have been out of your life for some time, then they become ill or worse are dying, chances are someone is going to tell you that you need to make things right with your parents.  You need to be there for them & take care of them!  You owe your parents that much!

 

A wife whose husband has beaten or raped her is told to forgive him since he was drunk.  He didn’t know what he was doing.  Stop making a mountain out of a molehill!

 

This is a major pet peeve of mine.  It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to expect an innocent victim to repair an abusive relationship.  Why don’t people tell abusers to fix the relationship instead?  Why not tell them to stop abusing?!

 

I think some people simply don’t want to face the fact that there is a lot of ugliness in the world.  They prefer to think everything is unicorns & rainbows, when nothing could be further from the truth.  Anything that interrupts their ignorance is met with denial or even hostility.

 

Some people, flying monkeys in particular, don’t want to believe that a person could be so bad.  Maybe they know the abuser & have seen the “good person” show that he or she puts on.  They would prefer to believe that facade is the real person, not the vicious, devious, abusive monster who has hurt you.

 

When this happens to you (& sadly it will at some point), it’s going to hurt.  It’s going to make you angry.  This is only natural since this type of thing is triggering & painful.  You can cope, however.

 

If you see the conversation you’re in is taking this turn, then end it.  Change the subject.  Say you won’t discuss this topic with this person.  Walk away if you must or hang up the phone.

 

Don’t buy into that “you need to be the bigger person” nonsense.  You didn’t cause the damage, you don’t need to fix the damage.  Fix only what you broke & apologize if you hurt people.  Take responsibility for things you have done wrong only.

 

And really.. how is it a good thing to stay in an abusive relationship anyway?!  Not only does that take a toll on your physical & mental health, but it encourages the abusive person to be abusive!  While no one can make an abuser become a kind, Godly person, setting boundaries sets the stage for that person to change their abusive behavior.  That is truly loving, Godly behavior!  Tolerating abuse from anyone is NOT!

 

Rather than listening to that drivel about being the bigger person, do what you know God wants you to do.  Stick to your boundaries.  Don’t be bullied or manipulated into allowing an abusive person back into your life.  Surround yourself with good, loving, Godly people who understand, love & support you.

 

 

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No Contact Isn’t Cowardly Or Weak

**DISCLAIMER:  If, like many of my readers, you are in the unfortunate position of not being able to go no contact with your narcissistic parent, please do NOT think this article is aimed at you!  It most certainly isn’t!!  I’m sure many of you have been shamed enough & I am not trying to add to that shame by implying you’re weak or wrong or whatever for being in that position.  Every situation is unique, & I won’t judge you.  This post is aimed at those who have gone no contact, not you!**

 

Going no contact (or even low contact for that matter) with a narcissistic parent isn’t an easy thing to do.  There is a tremendous amount of anger & grief at the abnormal, awful circumstances that bring a person to this decision.  Then there is society & their warped views of no contact.  Some people think you should cut someone out of your life (yes, even a parent) at the first sign of them disagreeing with you.  At the opposite end of the spectrum are those who think you’re a horrible person if you even entertain the  idea of ending a relationship with your parent, no matter what.  Many of those people also think you’re weak for “taking the easy way out”.  That is the point I want to address today.

 

If you’re in the painful place of having gone no contact with your narcissistic parent, my heart breaks for you.  I know the pain of this first hand & would tell anyone who thinks it’s easy or cowardly that they are completely, absolutely, 1,000% WRONG.

 

First of all, a relationship with an abusive parent is incredibly painful.  Parents are supposed to love their children unconditionally, & realizing that not only do they not love us but are out to hurt & control us hurts!  Really, really freaking hurts!  How can anyone continue to subject themselves to that indefinitely?  Every person has their limits.

 

Secondly, even considering how painful it is having an abusive parent, children naturally don’t want to end that relationship.  It feels unnatural to end that relationship.  How can it not?!  That’s your mother or father, not some casual acquaintance.

 

Third, thinking about going no contact isn’t some easy decision like where to go for dinner.  It takes a lot of prayer, thought, time, weighing your options, imagining scenarios.. it’s incredibly draining just to think about, let alone do it.

 

Lastly, once you are no contact, that doesn’t mean things are going to be easy.  Without that narcissistic parent in your life, your emotions that you stifled so long just to survive the toxic relationship are probably going to come to the surface & demand you deal with them.  That’s never fun!  I’m going through it myself & I can tell you, quite frankly, it’s really rough!  (It’s good in the fact I’m finally able to deal with stuff left untouched in so long, but it’s not fun to go through the process).  There’s also the distinct possibility your narcissistic parent will send the flying monkeys after you to “talk some sense” into you by attempting to make you feel guilty for going no contact.  After all, that parent won’t be around forever yanno!  She’s getting older, & she is your mother yanno!  Flying monkeys are always fun to deal with.  (yes, I’m being totally sarcastic in that comment).  Even more fun is the chance your narcissistic parent will attempt to contact you personally.  There’s nothing quite like going along with your day, in a good mood, when you open your mailbox & see that parent’s handwriting.  So much for that good mood.  You can block that parent from emailing, calling, texting or on social media, but you can’t block postal mail.

 

So if anyone reading this thinks no contact is the cowardly thing to do, the easy route, think again.  It’s far from it!  Going no contact is actually a very brave, incredibly difficult thing to do.

 

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A Bump In The Road Of Healing

When you grow up with narcissistic parents, it affects you deeply & in ways you aren’t even aware of.  The chaos, abuse & manipulations are simply normal to you.  Thank God He teaches us about Narcissistic Personality Disorder so we can get away from that dysfunction!

 

As you learn about narcissistic abuse & heal from it, naturally you change a great deal.  While becoming healthier, you see things differently.  You finally understand just how wrong so many things your parents taught you were.  It’s empowering, this learning & growing, but something comes along with it that can be difficult.  Constant reminders.

 

Some time ago, I realized that it seemed like everything reminded me of something awful about my relationship with my parents.  For example, after becoming deathly sick in 2015, seeing families rallying around a sick family member can bring me to tears.  I never told my parents what happened, because I know they would turn the situation back to them rather than care how I was, & it hurts!  Reminders that others have loving parents brings that awful thought back to the forefront of my mind, & depresses me.  Other times, I’ve seen reports on TV about a murdered person, & their grieving loved ones talk tearfully about what a wonderful person he or she was.  I know if I died, my parents wouldn’t miss me in the least, but instead would enjoy the narcissistic supply they could get by portraying themselves as the grieving parents.

 

These things began to happen after I got sick in 2015.  I chalked it up to the head injury & carbon monoxide poisoning I received at the time since both are known for changing a person’s personality.  Somehow that didn’t feel right though.  I prayed & God showed me what was happening.

 

The more a person heals from parental narcissistic abuse, the less they see things through the fog of gaslighting thrust on them.  The clarity means they understand how things should be, not as their narcissistic parents say they are.  Seeing healthy, normal situations is simply a reminder of how things were not when they were growing up.  Unfortunately the reminders can hurt a great deal.

 

Realizing your parents are narcissists is a painful experience, partly because of the grief that is involved.  You grieve the fact your parents never loved you, weren’t & will never be there for you, & even can’t be the kind of parents you would like them to be.  (I personally believe this is a lifelong grief, although it gets easier over time.)  It’s much like when someone you love dies- the initial grief can be debilitating, but in time it mellows to something more tolerable, only occasionally bringing you to tears when something reminds you of your loved one.  I remember right after my granddad died.. one day my husband & I ended up following a car that looked identical to his.  I cried because seeing that car made me miss him.  Almost 14 years later, I still shed some tears if I see a car like his last one or even vaguely like it.  Seeing something that reminds you of what your parents did or didn’t do for you can be like that- a sad & painful reminder.

 

If you are experiencing something like this, then Dear Reader, know you aren’t alone & you aren’t broken. I know it’s frustrating & painful, but I firmly believe it’s completely normal under the circumstances.  All you can do is understand these things happen, be gentle with yourself when they do & pray, pray, pray!  God will help you to get through!  Let Him do that for you!  xoxo

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My New YouTube Channel

Well, finally I did it, Dear Reader!  I started my YouTube channel.  After much anxiety & prayer & distractions, it’s now ready to go.  🙂

 

It’s now available at:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyHVkrFotB51_ZKqh7BqAXg

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Consequences & Narcissistic Parents

Proverbs 19:19  “A man of great anger will bear the penalty [for his quick temper and lack of self-control];
For if you rescue him [and do not let him learn from the consequences of his action], you will only have to rescue him over and over again.”  (AMP)

 

Consequences are a valuable thing.  They teach people what is & is not acceptable behavior, what is safe & not safe & more.  Many children of narcissistic parents are not taught this in a healthy way, however.

 

Narcissistic parents teach their children to take care of them, instead of the natural order of things, the parent caring for the child.  One way they expect their children to take care of them is to interrupt the natural event of consequences for their actions.

 

  • If the narcissistic parent hurts the child’s feelings, the child is to hold the pain inside rather than tell the parent how she feels to protect the parent’s feelings.
  • The child should never set boundaries of any sort with her parent, so the parent is free to abuse anytime, any way she is so inclined.
  • Most of all, the child never, ever should tell anyone about what her parent does to her.  That way, no one thinks badly of the parent or gets her in any trouble for child abuse.

 

As the child of a narcissistic parent grows up, they get fed up with such nonsense, & rightfully so.  It’s not fair this abusive, evil parent skates through life unscathed while her child suffers constantly.

 

If you’re in this place, Dear Reader, I want you to know that you have ever right to stop protecting your parent from the consequences of their actions.  It’s Biblical to allow consequences to happen- just reread the above mentioned Scripture again if you don’t believe that.  You have every right to set healthy boundaries & to tell your parent that her actions are not acceptable to you.    In fact, you even have the right to go no contact with your parent if you are so inclined.  Titus 3:10 says, “After a first and second warning reject a divisive man [who promotes heresy and causes dissension—ban him from your fellowship and have nothing more to do with him],” (AMP)  Parents are not excluded from this Scripture, I believe, because God knows that sometimes, even a parent/child relationship comes down to needing that separation.

 

So Dear Reader, please don’t forget that your parent needs consequences for their actions.  It is NOT your job to protect them from consequences.  They need them if they are to have any chance of learning to behave better.

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About Being Suicidal

I recently was watching “Dr G: Medical Examiner” on TV.  The show fascinates me in a morbid way.  She discusses various cases that come into her medical examiner’s office in Florida.

Well, this particular episode had a strange case.  A lady had been found lying on the floor of her bedroom by her son.  She was badly burned, yet nothing in the house was burned.  Suddenly the paramedics came & transported her to the hospital where she died 11 hours later.  It turned out she committed suicide.

The lady wanted her fiancee to commit suicide with her.  He didn’t take her seriously.  They got into an argument & he left.  She then grabbed a lighter, drove to a nearby field & lit herself on fire!  Apparently she had a change of heart & drove herself home.  She called 911 & after she hung up is when her son found her.

The story was heartbreaking to me.  I’ve been suicidal in my life & let me tell you, it is a horrendous place to be.  I wouldn’t wish that on anyone!  It’s torture feeling as if no one cares & the world would be a better place without you.

Many people who are truly suicidal show very subtle or no clues that they are feeling this way.  People are often shocked when they die because they say there weren’t any signs.  Or, they say something like, “I didn’t think he really meant it when he said he was tired of living.”

Dear Reader, please pay attention to the people in your life.  Many people are suicidal, especially if they have mental illness.  Did you know there’s a 15-20% suicide rate among those with Bipolar Disorder?  PTSD is even higher, estimated to be around 50%.

Even those without diagnosed mental illness can become suicidal.  Everyone has a breaking point.  Losing loved ones (through death, divorce, moving, etc) can take a huge toll on a person’s level of joy.  Losing a pet can trigger suicidal thoughts in many people.  Even losing a job can be devastating.  Men in particular have a hard time with job loss.  Medical problems can trigger depression.  The fear of the unknown can be utterly terrifying, especially when it comes to one’s health.  Or, sometimes having surgery can trigger depression due to the changes in one’s body.

The point is all kinds of changes, sometimes even positive ones, can trigger depression in a person.  Knowing this, it’s a good idea to offer support to those you love if they have faced changes or difficulties.  I’m not saying you have to fix their problems for them.  I am saying that it is a good idea to be there for someone.  A little support or show of your love for them can go a long way.  Many suicidal people believe no one cares about them.  Letting a person know you care may make all the difference.

If someone wants to talk about a problem, listen to them without offering advice unless they ask.  Many times, people just need to vent.  They may know how to fix the problem or there may be no solution to it, & they just need to talk about their feelings.

When talking about their problems, sometimes people’s emotions get overwhelming.  They may burst into tears or get angry out of the blue.  Don’t take that personally!  It happens when people are extremely stressed & upset!

Avoid saying things that are going to upset the person further:

  • “I understand exactly how you feel.”  No, you don’t.  You aren’t me.
  • “I went through the same thing.. I did ____ & felt better.”  Well, good for you, but that won’t work in my situation!
  • “You’re being too negative.”  Not everything in life is about puppies & rainbows.  Negative stuff happens too & it needs to be dealt with!
  • “You’re wallowing in the past.”  Sometimes to move forward, you have to step back a bit.  Arrows don’t shoot forward without going back a little!
  • “Get over it” or “Don’t be sad/angry/hurt.”  Do NOT tell someone how to feel!  Ever!!
  • “I don’t get why you’re upset.  It’s no big deal.”  Maybe not to you, but it is to me!
  • “I’m sure she didn’t mean it that way/was just kidding.”  So that means I shouldn’t feel bad she did/said something cruel?

Rather than saying something stupid, be honest.  Tell the person you don’t know what to say to help other than you’re sorry she’s hurting or sorry that happened to her.  Tell her you’re here for her & you love her.

If there is something you can do for the person, do it!  Don’t just say, “I’m here for you” then bow out if asked for something.  Mean it!

Offer to pray for &/or with the person.  Praying with someone often can bring a great deal of peace.

Check in often.  Call or text as often as you think the person is OK with.  Don’t harass them every 15 minutes of course, but once a day should be good.

If your friend mentions suicide, please think carefully about what to say!  Never tell the person she’s being selfish or stupid, or that their child/spouse/parent needs them.  Shaming a suicidal person just makes them want to kill themselves even more.  Ask why they feel that way, then listen to what they say.  Cry with them, hug them, pray for them, tell them you love them.

If you are the suicidal one, Dear Reader, there are people who will listen.  There are suicide hotlines.  1-800- SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) is a national one that will direct you to your local hotline.

Although I’m sure you don’t feel this way, there are people in your life who love you.  Your family & friends, even your pets, love you more than you realize.  And, God loves you so very much.  When you hurt, He hurts.  Turn to Him, & tell Him how you feel.  He will understand!

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Unusual Ways Anxiety Can Affect You

Many adult children of narcissistic parents have trouble with anxiety.  Those of us who live with it know the awful feelings of blind fear that anxiety can bring or the misery of a panic attack.  But, did you know anxiety can bring other seemingly unrelated symptoms as well?

 

Are you clumsy?  That can be related to anxiety.  If you are preoccupied as many people with anxiety are, you can miss seeing that hole in the sidewalk that makes you twist your ankle or not pay enough attention to the item you’re holding so you drop it.

 

Forgetful?  Also anxiety related.  Being distracted by anxiety, you are less likely to concentrate on other things, so you may forget things easily.

 

Do you have unusual dreams?  That also may be related to anxiety.  The brain constantly processes information- good, bad or indifferent- even when we’re sleeping.  Anxiety can make you overthink things, thus opening the door to unusual or even bad dreams.

 

Changes in how your voice sounds?  Stuttering?  That also can be related to anxiety.  A person’s voice may change when exposed to higher levels of anxiety.  Their voice may get shaky or higher pitched.

 

Difficulty finding the right words?  Anxiety again, especially when in difficult situations.  If you’re in a situation that reminds you of a traumatic experience in particular, finding the right words can be difficult because of the intrusive thoughts of the traumatic experiences.

 

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, you aren’t crazy!  You’re anxious.  Don’t panic!  Easier said than done, I know, but try not to panic at least.  Anxiety is a nasty problem but it can be managed.

 

As anxiety kicks in, try to relax the best you can.  Slow down.  Pray.  Tell God what you feel & ask for help.  Write in your journal.  Talk to yourself- ask what are you so afraid of?  Can things happening really hurt you right now?  Breathe deeply & slowly.  Hold something that offers you comfort, such as a soft blanket.  Smell a scent that comforts you- lavender isn’t only a pleasant scent but it offers anti-anxiety properties.  Tactics like this may help you to get through the intense moments.

 

There are medications available for those with anxiety disorders.  Talk to your general practitioner for more information, or for a referral to a psychiatrist.  If you prefer the natural, herbal route, there are alternatives.  Valerian root, lemon balm & kava kava are plants that have anti-anxiety properties.  I take valerian root supplements & drink lemon balm tea at night often as it helps me to sleep.  In fact, I grow lemon balm plants in my yard- it’s easy to grow & to dry the leaves for making tea.  It’s a good idea to speak with your doctor before taking herbal remedies though to make sure they won’t interact with any medications you may be taking.

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