Category Archives: Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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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Non Apologies

Non apologies are common among narcissists & their enabling flying monkeys, so you need to be aware of them.

 

A non apology means someone says they are sorry but it isn’t a genuine apology.  Some examples are:

 

  • I’m sorry you feel that way.
  • I’m sorry for whatever you think I did.
  • I’m sorry if I did something that upset you.
  • I’m sorry I said/did that, but if you wouldn’t have said/done what you did, I wouldn’t have said/done what I did.
  • I was just upset when I said that.

 

While these apologies do contain the words “I’m sorry”, they certainly aren’t real apologies.  They accept no responsibility for the bad behavior or make any promises this will not happen again or of better behavior in the future.

 

They also imply something is wrong with the person on the receiving end of the apology.  If someone tells you they were just upset when they did something bad, the average person with empathy will feel badly for being upset in the first place because the abuser was upset for what they did & can’t be held accountable for their actions.  If the abuser blames you for upsetting them enough to do something bad, the average person will feel badly for doing what they did that “made” the abuser do what they did.

 

A genuine apology is very different.  Even if the person making the apology doesn’t understand why the person offended feels as they do, the offender will promise not to do whatever they did again.  They will admit they were being insensitive or thoughtless.  They promise to amend their behavior & do it.  There isn’t judgment or criticism because someone is upset.  There isn’t blame.  There is simply love, concern & a desire not to hurt a person again.

 

When a narcissist or flying monkey gives you a non apology, look out.  They are going to resent you for “making” them apologize & you will be punished.  They may do the behavior again or do something worse.  They may act like nothing happened, which can invalidate your feelings or make you wonder if you imagined what happened or exaggerated how bad it was.  When this happens, focus on the truth & what you remember.  Keeping a journal can help you, because you can look back on the events which helps you focus on the truth rather than the narcissist’s version of it.  And as always, pray.  Ask God to help you to stay focused on the truth & to help you act accordingly.

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The Consummate Victim

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

Hard Times Happen As You Heal From Abuse

“It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.” ~Theodore Roosevelt

The above saying is so incredibly true when it comes to healing from abuse.

Anyone who has experienced any type of abuse knows that healing from it isn’t easy.  In fact, it may be the hardest thing you ever do in your life.  There will be times you want to give up & just forget everything that happened.  Other times, you’ll want to curl up in your bed & never get out again because the pain is overwhelming & so depressing.  Yet other times you feel like you can’t think about anything but some traumatic, horrible experiences, even though you would love to think about something, anything, else.

Awful times like this are, unfortunately, a very natural part of the healing process.

When these times come, I want to encourage you to keep pressing on.  The results will be worth it when you make progress in your healing.  All progress, even baby steps, is good when you’re healing from abuse, after all.  Do whatever you know to do to help you heal.  Or, if you don’t know what to do, then talk to God.  He wants to help you, so let Him!

Whatever happens during these incredibly trying times, don’t give up, Dear Reader!  I know it’s hard & painful, but don’t give up!  You can & will get through these times.  Be gentle & understanding with yourself.  Be especially good to yourself too- do things that make you feel good.  Pamper yourself.  Splurge on that yummy milkshake or latte.  Snuggle up in your favorite blanket or get soft, cozy new pajamas.  Watch your favorite movies or tv shows.  Self care is always important, but especially so during the hard times.  Don’t neglect to take care of yourself!  xoxo

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Forgiveness After Narcissistic Abuse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Parentalizing & The Shame It Causes

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Feline PTSD

As I’ve mentioned a few times, I have a wonderful kitty by the name of Punkin who has feline PTSD.  Here is his picture.. is he not incredibly handsome!?

 

Punkin, September 29, 2017

 

A few months after adopting him in 2014, one morning out of the blue, he attacked our little American Eskimo dog, Dixie.  She wasn’t even looking at him when he suddenly jumped her.  My husband & I both hollered Punkin’s name, which got his attention fast.  He looked almost as if he woke up.  He looked at us & Dixie, then ran off & hid.  We checked on Dixie & thankfully she was fine, just very shaken up.  While consoling her, my husband & I talked about what happened, & I told him that the way Punkin looked reminded me of how I felt after a flashback.  I knew animals could be traumatized of course, but I was unsure if it could develop into PTSD.  I did some research & learned it absolutely can.  Since I have C-PTSD, I felt somewhat equipped to deal with the situation.  It’s been quite the learning experience to say the least!  But, my husband & I have learned & I wanted to share it for you other cat parents out there in case you too have a traumatized furbaby on your hands.

 

In all fairness, I’m not positive how the symptoms show up in other animals, but I believe they’re rather similar.  Our late dog, Bear, had been abused & once in a while he acted quite a bit like Punkin does.  I believe he had a milder case of PTSD than Punkin has.  That leads me to believe the symptoms are probably quite similar among animals, not just among cats.

 

PTSD symptoms in cats are quite similar to humans.  They have an extremely sensitive startle reflex, so they sometimes react inappropriately to situations.  If they get scared, fight or flight instincts may take over.  Punkin tends to freeze- his pupils dilate & he won’t move.  They can be very anxious too, which means they may be skittish, hide or potty outside the litter box.    Separation anxiety can happen too.  They’re hyper vigilant, always extremely aware of their surroundings.  Getting angry easily can be another symptom. as can being depressed.  Signs of depression can mean losing interest in things they normally enjoy such as food, playing or snuggles,   They may have nightmares, which you can see by how they sleep.  Most cats twitch a bit in their sleep, but a cat with PTSD will do so more often & violently.  Another big clue is they avoid things that can be similar to the traumatic event.  I believe due to how Punkin attacked Dixie his trauma was related to a dog.  She was the only animal or person in our home he ever attacked.  And yes, they can have flashbacks.  If you haven’t seen someone have a flashback or if you don’t have them, it can be hard to identify.  When Punkin has had them, he doesn’t look  quite like himself.  His eyes get huge & you see fear written all over his face.  He also acts completely out of character, like when he attacked Dixie, then suddenly stops.  The first time it happened, he hid for quite a while, but after that, he returns to normal in a few hours.  They also make him very tired.

 

There are some ways to cope with feline PTSD that I have found to be pretty successful.

 

I talk to Punkin.  I tell him I understand what he’s going through, & it stinks.  It’ll be ok, though, there is no one or nothing here that will hurt him.  He’s safe & surrounded by other cats & people who adore him.

 

I also follow his lead.  Punkin is very loving, but not particularly snuggly.  Sometimes when the PTSD flares up, he wants to be left alone & other times he wants me to hold him.  I do whichever he wants.

 

When Punkin has bad days, I do my best to remain completely calm in his presence.  Cats pick up on the energy of their humans, so if I’m calm, he’ll be calmer.  I don’t tell him “calm down”.  Instead, my energy says everything is fine, & there is nothing to be upset about.

 

Catnip is a life saver!  I started giving it to him to try to help his anxiety levels.  It didn’t take him long to learn that it helps, so he goes to it often & voluntarily when his symptoms flare up.  I got some very soft, fuzzy socks from the dollar store for this purpose.  I put some catnip in a small rag, tie it up, & put it in the sock.  Punkin also likes jingle bells so I have some with bells inside, some without.  He picks whatever he likes as he needs his ‘nip.  Since it doesn’t work for dogs, I used to give Bear valerian root pills.  The smell is very strong & it tastes pretty yukky, so it wasn’t easy to get him to take it at first.  It didn’t take him long to realize that it helped though, so he began going to where I stored it to let me know when he needed some valerian.

 

Some pet parents also get tranquilizers for their pet from the vet or use other calming aids that are readily available.

 

If you too have a pet with PTSD, following these steps really can help.  I’m happy to say that Bear turned into a very loving, gentle dog from an aggressive one & Punkin’s symptoms are managed very well.  He rarely has flashbacks anymore, & his anxiety levels are much lower in general.

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My Father Documented My Mother’s Abuse.. I Have Proof

Many years before my father died, he gave me his Bible and asked that I place it in his casket when he died.

 

He died October 23, 2017.  I remembered the Bible, and knew that even though I hadn’t spoken to him or my mother in quite some time, I needed to keep my promise about placing it in his casket.  The day after he passed away, I got it off the closet shelf, and opened it up for the first time.  I skimmed through things, putting aside things that didn’t look sentimental and putting the sentimental things back into the Bible.  I came across a piece of paper that was folded up very small.  It was something my father had written & I’d never seen.  Notes documenting some things my mother did to me & said about me to him.  Pretty sure my heart skipped a beat when I realized what I was looking at!  I was absolutely shocked!  I assume because my father’s memory was so damaged from a TBI at age 15, he documented things to be sure he wouldn’t forget.  It was a smart move, especially considering the gaslighting my mother put him through (yes, knowing about the brain damage, she used it to her advantage!).  Anyway, I put his notes aside to read later since I couldn’t cope with that at the time.  My focus had to be to get that Bible to the funeral parlor to be placed in his casket.  I accomplished my mission with the help of my husband that day, by the way.

 

A few days later, I read the notes.  It was quite overwhelming to put it mildly.  Even after all of this time, it’s still pretty overwhelming.  I’m still glad I have them though.  They helped validate my pain as well as give me some insight into my father & why he failed to protect me from my mother.

 

I thought I’d share them here.  Now you, Dear Reader, can see what I experienced, & know you’re not alone.  Narcissistic mother’s do terrible, terrible things, & I have written evidence of some of those things.

 

I also wrote comments of what I believe was happening in these events so others can learn about narcissistic behavior from examples.

 

I have another purpose for sharing this information, & that purpose is selfish, I admit it.  I have zero doubt at least one of my abusive flying monkey relatives (but I believe more) read my work.  I want them to see this undeniable proof that my mother abused me & my father didn’t protect me.  These people are what they were so blindly devoted to.  I know I can’t make them accept the truth, of course, but I can fling it at them & hope for the best.  Maybe a seed will be planted…

 

Reading these can be very triggering.  If you don’t feel strong enough to read details of narcissistic abuse at this time, you really should consider skipping this post.  You can always come back to it at another time.

 

Here we are… my father’s notes.  His handwriting can be a bit hard to read so I typed everything out.  I’m showing both versions to see side by side, so no one can say I’m lying.  I typed each line out exactly as he wrote it for clarity, & my comments are on the side.

 

My father’s notes…

my father's notes 1

 

My copy

my father's notes 1 with my comments

Second page of my father’s notes

my father's notes 2

 

My copy

 

my father's notes 2 with my comments

 

Last page of my father’s notes

my father's notes 3.jpg

 

My copy

my father's notes 3 with my comments

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Is Confronting Abusive Parents Biblical?

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Why People Believe Narcissists Instead Of Their Victims

Those of us who have survived narcissistic abuse all seem to wonder one thing- why does everyone believe the narcissist & not me?!

I certainly have.  I was in my late teens when my mother’s abuse hit its peak.  During that time, I noticed that her friends no longer were friendly & nice to me.  Women who once obviously liked me no longer would even make eye contact with me or speak to me.  It wasn’t hard to figure out my mother told them something awful about me.  What I wondered was why would they believe her lies when they knew me well.  They had to know I wasn’t the terrible teen my mother told me & others that I was.

I think I have some ideas as to why people believe narcissists in these situations.

The person who doesn’t believe a victim may be a narcissist.  I have noticed narcissists don’t believe people easily.  If someone says another person hurt them, unless there is undeniable evidence such as broken bones, many narcissists don’t believe that person.  Maybe they simply have no interest since it doesn’t center around them.

Narcissists are also phenomenal actors.  They can create any impression they wish.  If they want to appear kind when they aren’t, they can do that with no problem.  Highly intelligent even though they aren’t particularly smart?  They can pull that act off too.  Their chameleon like ways blend well with their superb ability to read people, which enables them to appear in the most appealing way possible to each individual person.

Many people look for the best in others, not the real in others.  People see the narcissist as a good person, as the narcissist wanted them to, so when a victim tells others of the terrible things the narcissist has done, the victim is not believed.  People don’t think someone as “good” as the narcissist could do such things.

There’s also the fact that narcissistic abuse is so outlandish, it’s hard to believe.  Looking back at things narcissists have done to me, even I have trouble believing they happened, & I was there.  People with no knowledge of narcissism can have trouble believing your stories of narcissistic abuse simply because of the bizarre nature.

Some people who don’t believe victims also come from backgrounds of abuse, yet have not faced their pain.  Instead, they live ready to shut down anything or anyone that may remind them of their pain or that threatens their flawed belief system that all is fine in their world.  I know a family like this.  The father was horribly abusive to the children growing up.  The mother stood by his side, & failed to protect them.  In fact, she instilled the belief in them that it was their place to protect her, not the other way around.  The adult children were very protective of their mother.  They treated her as if she was a young child, in need of constant care, coddling & protection.  No one was allowed to mistreat her or criticize her, even if they were telling the truth.  None of them have any tolerance for anyone setting boundaries with their parents.  They seem to believe that you tolerate anything & everything from your parents with a smile.  They also will believe any lies a narcissistic parent tells them about their child, not their child.

I also think there is another reason people believe narcissists over victims.  Those who aren’t facing their own abusive pasts feel bad when they see others who are.  Maybe it makes them feel ashamed for not being strong enough to do so or it simply reminds them of the pain they work so hard to ignore.  But, I do know for these people, it’s easier to believe a narcissist than to believe their victim & face their own pain.

When you come across someone who doesn’t believe you, then Dear Reader, remember, it has nothing to do with you.  The person you’re speaking with has their own issues.  Normal, mentally healthy people listen to a victim’s story & believe that person unless there is strong evidence that the victim is lying, not the other way around.

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Unconventional Grief

Most people assume there is only one type of grief, the grief that happens when someone you love dies, but there are other types as well.

People also can grieve when they move, get a divorce or lose a job.  There is also something known as anticipatory grief, which happens when you know someone is dying.  This is especially common in families where someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s due to how this terrible disease destroys a person’s personality before it destroys their body.

Unconventional grief is different.  It is grief that is triggered by unique circumstances.  I experienced it when learning about the many new limitations because of how damaged my brain was after surviving Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.  It also can happen when someone is diagnosed with mental illness or when a loved one has a substance abuse problem.  Unconventional grief also can happen as a result of trauma & abuse.

When you grow up with a narcissistic parent or two, & you finally learn about narcissism, although it is a great thing, it can trigger grief.  Suddenly you realize that you aren’t the problem, which is certainly good news of course, but realizing what your parent was is difficult  & painful to accept.  It hurts that the one person who was supposed to love you unconditionally didn’t, & lacks the ability to do so.  You also realize how much your parent took from you, such as your childhood & self-esteem.  And, it suddenly hits you that there is no hope for your relationship.  Prior to learning about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, most people have some hope that one day their parent will realize what she did, apologize & change for the better.  Learning about NPD squelches that hope completely.  That is a tough pill to swallow!

Facing these ugly truths absolutely can cause a person to grieve, & it’s extremely painful.  It’s also difficult to understand because of the limited view of grief that most people have.  How can you grieve when the person in question is still alive?!  Well, it’s surprisingly easy to do actually.

When my father died in October, 2017, I didn’t cry.  I cry easily especially when losing someone I love, but I didn’t cry.   I barely have felt sad at all since he’s been gone.  No doubt any of my family that may be reading this thinks it’s because I’m a cold, evil person, but that isn’t the case.  It’s because I grieved him enough when he was alive that his death didn’t have a very profound effect on me.  And you know something?  Many other adult children of narcissistic parents I’ve spoken with have said that they felt the same exact thing when their parent died.

Unconventional grief can be incredibly difficult, but you can get through it.

Pray & pray often.  You will need the wisdom, guidance & comfort of God to get through this.

Don’t judge your emotions.  Accept them.  Examine them without judgement or criticism.  Feel them.  Pray, talk or write about them to cope with them.

Anger is an especially common part of this sort of grief.  If you feel a lot of anger, it’s normal!  I know, you probably grew up like most of us with narcissistic parents did, believing you aren’t allowed to be angry.  Stop that now!  Why are you angry?  Face it head on & deal with your feelings.  The pain will lose its power over you if you face it.

You also may start to remember only the good times.  They are good to remember, but don’t forget the bad as well.  Embrace the good & heal from the bad.

Write in a journal.  Writing is very cathartic, plus it will help you to have documentation.  You may even decide that you enjoy writing, & opt to start a blog or write a book.

Find online support groups & websites.  Learning that others are experiencing similar things to you is very helpful.

Don’t expect this grief to end entirely.  It will get better, but it may never end entirely. It’s like losing a loved one- you grieve most right after the person died, but even many years later, the pain is still there, just not as intense as it was at first.

If you’re experiencing unconventional grief, Dear Reader, know you aren’t alone.  You can survive this!  It will take hard work & won’t be easy, but you can do it!

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Going No Contact Doesn’t Fix Everything

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Backlash After Going Low Or No Contact

When the adult child of a narcissist decides to go low or no contact with the abusive parents, people are often surprised.  Narcissistic parents do their best to create an image of a happy, functional family to outsiders, & many people believe this false image to be real.  They don’t realize how much serious thought & prayer went into the adult child’s decision.  Those people are shocked by the low or no contact decision.  They say things like,

  • “You were always such a good child!” (children of narcissistic parents are often incredibly obedient in order to please their parent or avoid abuse)
  • “You never said anything was wrong.”  (abused children rarely do- abuse is normal, & they don’t often realize it’s wrong.  Or, if they do know, to survive, they know they must keep the abuse a secret)
  • “Your mother/father never said one bad thing about you!” (abusers don’t show their abusive side to everyone- they hide it from those whose opinions they value.  Besides, if the abusive parent appears good to everyone, & the child claims this parent is abusive, people are more likely to believe the parent than the child if the child speaks out)

Other people react with guilt, urging the victim to continue the abusive relationship.  Often, these people came from abusive backgrounds themselves, & are in denial about it.  You facing the truth makes them feel bad for not doing the same, so often, people like this try to bring you down to their level.  They say things like,

  • “They did the best they could!”  (So?  Even on the highly unlikely chance the abuser didn’t realize they were being abusive, that doesn’t make the abuse less damaging)
  • “Your parents won’t be around forever!”  (True, but neither will anyone.  It’s entirely possible their child could die first, so why not tell the abusers this fact?  And, the Bible says you reap what you sow in Galatians 6:7-8.  People can’t abuse someone & expect that someone to tolerate it indefinitely.  Everyone has their limits)
  • “Your parents gave you everything!”  (providing food, clothing & shelter is the job of parents.  They may have done these things, maybe even spoiled their child with “stuff”, but that doesn’t make them parents of the year.  It also doesn’t mean their child owes them for doing what a parent should do for their child.)
  • Some people refuse to discuss the topic with the victim because they have chosen the side of the parent.  They often make their displeasure with the victim obvious in snide comments or disdainful looks rather than using their words.

These things can hurt a victim by further invalidating or not believing their pain.  These types of responses also send the victim the message that she isn’t important, only the narcissistic parent is.

Dear Reader, if this is your situation, I’m sure you’re hurting.  I’ve heard similar comments & know first hand how painful they are.  Know you aren’t alone!  There are so many of us who understand!  This may be a good time to reach out to other survivors of narcissistic abuse.  There are online support forums (I have one on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/FansOfCynthiaBaileyRug/ ).  There are also so many informative websites & blogs available.

When faced with these conversations, it’s best for you to simply walk away.  People who blindly defend a narcissist most likely never going to see the light about what she is really like.  Defending yourself will only lead to frustration for you.  Tell the person you don’t want to discuss the matter, & change the subject.  If the person continues to force their opinion on you, walk away.

Know that you don’t have to tolerate any abuse from anyone.  Invalidating & dismissing a victim’s pain is abuse!  You have every right to protect yourself from it!  You don’t need people who treat you this way in your life, & are well within your rights to cut them out of your life if you feel it’s the right thing to do.

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Simple Ways To Set Boundaries With Narcissistic Parents

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Changes Happening With My Website

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

 

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

 

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

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About Not Tolerating Abuse

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

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

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

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

This should not be!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Shock After Dealing With Narcissists & Their Flying Monkeys

Sometimes, narcissists &/or their flying monkeys go above & beyond in their abuse.  They behave so outrageously or abuse a victim so often, a victim can’t cope.  When this happens, it can thrust a victim into a state of shock.

I spent much of my late teens in shock due to the daily abuse from my mother, & it also happened during the last few months of my father’s life in 2017.

Being no contact with my parents never seemed to bother anyone until my father’s health started to decline.  Once that happened, I was contacted by relatives (some I knew, some I did not), strangers (two police officers, my father’s barber, my parents’ neighbors) & acquaintances.  Every single person had the same message- they shamed me for not having a relationship with my parents, commanded me to talk to them, to say goodbye to my father “so he could die in peace,” telling me I needed to forgive & forget, they’re the only parents I’ll ever have, I should go to them because “if I was a parent, I’d understand” how me staying away made him feel, & other similar,  ludicrous statements.

The final twenty days of my father’s life while he was in the hospital were the worst.  They included an excessive amount of abuse for me.  Daily, I would receive a barrage of these cruel, heartless, shame/guilt inducing type messages & people I don’t even know telling me what they thought I should do with no interest in me.   Since they kept finding ways around the blocks I’d put in place to send me messages, there truly was no escape.  I ended up trying to save all messages without reading them for evidence in case I ever needed it, but even so, I couldn’t avoid seeing a small portion of the messages due to how email & social media messages are set up.  I don’t use voicemail so I didn’t have to hear anyone’s voice at least.

The end result of all of this for me was shock.

Today it’s a little over 11 months since he passed away & I still feel some degree of shock.

Has this sort of thing happened to you too, Dear Reader?  Have you ended up in a state of shock due to the sheer volume of or intensity of the abuse from the narcissist or flying monkeys in your life?  If so, I have learned some things about this state that I believe can help you.

Don’t judge your feelings.  Even if they seem strange to you, they’re there for a reason.  Just accept that they have a purpose & don’t ignore them.  You’ll figure out their purpose.

Don’t try to push yourself to get over this shock.  It happened for a reason & that reason is because you’ve been subjected to some very serious trauma.  The shock is protecting your mind from feeling all of the emotions at once.  Let it do its job!  It will diminish in time, as you’re more able to face the trauma(s).

If you start to feel overwhelmed, imagine yourself putting some emotions or traumatic incidents in boxes on a shelf.  Deal with what you can however works best for you, & when you feel you have handled that, take that box off the shelf & deal with its contents.  Once you’ve dealt with that, take down another box if you have a few on a shelf.  If you can handle one thing at a time, it’ll be easier than trying to deal with multiple traumas at once.  I think trying to face too many things at once is much like plate spinning!  

Take good care of yourself.  It can be hard to eat or not to eat too much when you’re upset.  Try to maintain your normal eating habits as much as you can.  If you’re one who doesn’t want to eat, make sure you take daily vitamins to help you get daily nutrients.  You need to be healthy physically to handle emotional traumas.

Try to get as much rest as possible.  Emotional healing is hard work & you will be exhausted!

Take it easy when you can.  Sometimes time spent just staring at a good movie or sitting in the park watching people can be very restorative.

Spend time with your pets if you have them.  Animals are amazing.  They not only understand when their human is suffering but they know just what to do to help.  Let your furbaby help you!

Talk to safe & supportive friends or loved ones.  Write in your journal on those times you don’t feel like talking.  Both of these things can help the shock dissipate by making the situations seem more real.

Avoid people who don’t “get it,” but especially at this time.  They can make you feel even worse than you already do.  This state of shock can make you feel super sensitive.  Even if you normally can brush off someone’s lack of support & understanding, if you’re in that super sensitive place, you can’t.  In fact, their words &/or actions may send you into a downward spiral of depression.

Most of all, cling to God.  Your faith is what will help you more than anything to get through this awful time.  When I was going through this trauma last year, I know there is no way I could’ve survived without God’s constant gentle, understanding & loving presence in my life.  He helped me to maintain my sanity, not reach out to these abusive jerks & tell them off or seek revenge & to do exactly what His will was, which worked out beautifully in the end.  He can & will do the same thing for you.

 

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When There Is A Narcissist In The Family

Families that have at least one narcissist in them have some very serious problems.  It may not be evident at first glance.  Everyone may act like they get along just fine.  They may celebrate holidays together every year.  Yet, serious problems still exist in this family.

People raised by narcissistic parents have mental health issues.  There is no avoiding that.  Many struggle with C-PTSD or PTSD at worst, anxiety &/or depression at best.  Some even turn out like their narcissistic parent, emulating the awful & abusive behaviors they grew up seeing daily.  All have relationship problems to varying degrees.

The problems don’t stop at the children of narcissists, however.  If those children grow up to have children, they too will be abused by their narcissistic grandparents.

Other relatives will be drawn into the fray as well.  Narcissists love to tell other people how wonderful they are while also telling them just awful their victim is.  That way, if the victim ever tells anyone about the abuse, no one will believe the victim.  Instead, they will label the victim as crazy, mentally unstable, addicted, selfish, etc. while assuming the narcissist has done nothing wrong.

When this happens in a family situation, it seems that most people are exceptionally willing to blindly believe the narcissist & attack the victim.  That’s how my family is.  No one wants to believe someone they are related to is abusive & cruel.  That is very understandable, of course.  However, in families with a narcissist, they often take this to the extreme.

Not only do narcissistic families not want to accept the fact their relative is an abusive narcissist, they will do anything to shut down the person making the accusation.  They will ignore the victim, accuse the person of lying, being angry, spoiled, immature or unforgiving, or even personally attack the victim.  The particularly aggressive ones may stalk & harass the victim, or inundate the victim with hateful texts, emails or social media messages.  If the victim blocks their phone number, email address, etc, they will find other ways to contact the victim- get a new phone number or email, create a fake social media profile or hack someone else’s profile.  If the victim is a Christian, you can guarantee their faith will become the subject of attack.  The “family” will twist Scripture around to support their warped beliefs &/or claim the victim can’t be a Christian & behave in this manner.

It is a terrible thing finally to summon the courage to open up about the abuse you endured, & when you tell people you think will support you, to be met with disbelief & even cruelty.  It is one of the most horrible things a victim can endure- being mocked or shamed for divulging the most painful experiences in their life while watching those they thought would be on their side comfort & support the very person who abused them.

I know there is nothing I can say to make this experience hurt any less.  I’m very sorry if you’re going through this.  There are some ways you can cope though.

Always, ALWAYS maintain a close relationship to God.  He knows the truth & understands your situation.  He will give you comfort & strength.  He will show you the best way to handle the situation, too.

Remember, you do NOT need anyone’s validation but your own.  Yes, it’s a good thing having people in your life support you & even say things like, “That was awful.. I’m sorry you went through that.”  However, you don’t *need* it.

That brings me to my next point- learn to validate yourself.   To do this, accept your feelings without judgment.  You’re allowed to be hurt & angry your family treats you badly.  Be proud of the good person you are & the direction towards healing you’re taking.  You have overcome a great deal.  If you recently learned about narcissism & began speaking about it, that is a huge step- be proud of yourself for that!

And lastly, never, ever forget that these people who have hurt you so badly have serious problems.  Functional people defend victims, not attack them while coddling an abuser.  These people may get something from the narcissist, so they won’t go against her & risk losing it.  Maybe the narcissist is someone they idolize, so they refuse to listen to anything bad about them.  Maybe they’re simply cowardly, & think it’s easier to go along with the narcissist than to stand up for what’s right.  In any case, this person’s behavior says nothing about you but plenty about them.

Although I know it probably doesn’t feel like it, you will survive this awful situation, & you will be much stronger for having done so!

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