Category Archives: Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

The Need To Discuss Narcissistic Abuse

Those of us who have been through narcissistic abuse need to talk about it.  It is part of the healing process, discussing our experiences.  This happens for several reasons.

 

Narcissists routinely convince their victims of all manners of ridiculous things, & it takes a lot of talking to be able to sort out the truth from their lies.

 

Narcissistic abuse is very difficult to wrap your mind around, even when you have experienced it first hand.  Talking about what you have been through makes it more real, & enables you to accept that these awful things did happen.  Once that happens, you can begin to heal.

 

Narcissists invalidate their victims constantly, about every single thing that can be invalidated.  Once we realize we have been abused & come away from that, we crave validation.  We especially crave it about the experiences we had, because the narcissist told us we were the problem, they did nothing wrong.  It helps us so much to hear that they were the problem, not us.  We all need to hear this!  The less we hear it, the more likely we are to continue believing we are the real problem in the relationship.  We can’t heal if we don’t know this truth.

 

Some people may not understand that you need to talk about your experiences, & may be nasty to you, but that doesn’t mean there is something wrong with talking about it.  It means you’re a normal person who has been through an abnormal situation.

 

When you find people who don’t understand your need to discuss what you have been through, it’s time to move on, & find others with whom you can discuss your experiences without fear of judgment.  Other survivors are usually the safest people you can talk to.  They understand how surreal everything is, & how you need validation.  They also can share how they have learned to live with the abuse done to them.

 

Remember, Dear Reader, there is nothing wrong with you for feeling the need to discuss what you have been through!  Go with it!  You will feel so much better if you do.

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Differences In Justifying & Understanding Abuse

There is often a great amount of faulty thinking among people that says if you understand why an abuser abuses, that means you’re justifying the abuse.  While that certainly is possible, it isn’t always the case, & it’s also never wise.

 

Anyone who’s been subjected to narcissistic abuse knows narcissists love gaslighting.  Any time they can mess with your perception, feelings & sanity, they are going to jump at that chance.  This even happens when it comes to  their abuse.  They often deny it happened, say it didn’t happen the way you remember or even blame you for making them do whatever it is they did.  As a result of all the gaslighting, it can be very difficult to know & understand the truth.  In fact, it becomes so difficult, many victims do take on the blame for being abused.

 

I was one of those victims who believed being abused was my responsibility.  If I would just be a better daughter, get better grades, obey my mother even more, etc. my mother wouldn’t have needed to spend so much time screaming at me & telling me what a horrible person I was.  Maybe too, my father might try to protect me from her.  I later carried that behavior into my first marriage & my current marriage as well, believing all of the problems in my marriage or with the in-laws were 100% my fault.  In fact, it’s only been in the last probably 10 years or so I’ve been seeing how wrong that is.

 

One thing that helped me to see that I wasn’t always to blame is to understand the people who blamed me.  I learned about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, then later that there are overt & covert narcissists.  I learned how these people behave, & how they abuse.  I also learned about their motivation always being procuring narcissistic supply.  The more I learned, the more I understood my abusers.  Things finally started to make sense.  And, the more I realized those who blamed me when they were the abusers were really messed up!  After a lifetime of hearing that I was the problem, I can’t tell you how freeing it was to learn beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I was NOT the real problem!

 

A lot of people will say understanding your abuser is a waste of time.  They’re evil, why bother?  Maybe that works for them, which is great of course, but for me, it was an integral part of my healing.

 

But, this could have ended poorly just as easily.  If I hadn’t questioned the “disorder” in Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I probably would have bought into  the false believe that narcissists can’t help how they behave, because it’s a disorder.  Even seeing all the narcissists in my life control their abusive behavior very well, I wouldn’t have trusted my own instincts about it being something they can indeed control thanks to years of gaslighting.  I could have justified their abuse because they have a “disorder” which means they can’t control their behavior.  It’s not their fault they act the way they do.  Who can control a disorder, after all?!

 

I believe this sort of thinking happens with some folks who learn about NPD.  They hear it’s a disorder, & are willing to absolve the narcissist of responsibility for their behavior.

 

Maybe other people justify narcissist’s behavior because the narcissist had an abusive or neglectful childhood.  While certainly that can create issues in a person, narcissism is a choice.  Narcissists choose to behave the way they do, & they do it because it gets them what they want.

 

Many people justify their behavior because narcissists are not abusive all of the time.  They throw in some nice behavior sometimes.  This confuses victims.  They know the narcissist is capable of being kind & hope she’ll return to being that way.  They fail to realize this is only to lure a victim back into the narcissist’s web, so they make excuses for the bad behavior.  They say things like, “She’s under a lot of stress lately” or, “He was just drunk- it’s not his fault.”  Nice behavior done by a narcissist is never done out of love, but as a way to manipulate & control.

 

Justifying narcissistic abuse in any way is NOT healthy!  It damages your mental health!  It makes you believe you are to blame for what the narcissist does.  It makes you apologize to the narcissist when she abuses you.  It makes you tell yourself incredibly damaging things like you don’t matter.

 

Always remember, there is a huge difference between understanding your abuser & justifying her behavior.  And, only one (understanding your abuser) has the ability to help you.

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The Real You & The False You

Some years ago, I began to realize I didn’t know who I really was.  I was the result of people telling me who I was, how to dress, what to like & not like.  It’s taken a long time but I can say honestly that now, I’ve finally shed that false person & become the person God made me to be.

 

This is very common with children of narcissistic parents.

 

As a child, you learn early on that your job is to please your narcissistic parent at all times no matter the cost.  If there’s something about you that doesn’t please that parent, it’s best to change that into something that does please that parent rather than face the traumatic consequences.  This behavior becomes such a habit, you aren’t even aware that you do it.

 

Eventually you grow up.  Not into the person God created you to be- an adult version of that false self your narcissistic parent forced you to become.

 

While creating the false self worked for surviving childhood with a horribly abusive narcissistic parent, it no longer serves you well as an adult.  Chances are, you’re unhappy & don’t even know why.  Maybe you work at a job you hate.  Even though it’s a good job that pays well, it just doesn’t fulfill you or bring you any joy.  Maybe you wear a style of clothing you hate just because it’s what you feel you’re supposed to wear, thanks to your narcissistic parent.

 

It’s time for this behavior to stop.  Whether or not your narcissistic parent is still a part of your life, it’s time to stop worrying about pleasing your parent & start worry about pleasing yourself.

 

As always, prayer is the best place you can start.  Ask God to help you become the person He made you to be, & be glorified through you.  Ask Him to show you what you need to do to accomplish this.

 

Also, start paying attention to yourself.  This is hard to do, I know.  Narcissistic parents raise their children to ignore themselves & focus on the parent, & that is a tough habit to break.  It needs to be done though!  Pay attention to how you feel about things.  Do you really like that car you drive or is it just because your narcissistic parent said you should drive it?  If your job isn’t fulfilling, ask yourself why?  What about it doesn’t work well for you?  Do you really like vanilla ice cream even though you were always told you didn’t?  Even little things like the ice cream thing are important- your likes & dislikes make you, you.  So pay attention!  The more you pay attention to how you really feel about things, the easier it gets.  And, the more you learn, the more you’ll want to learn.  You’re going to find out that you’re actually a very interesting, special, unique person!

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Shock & Abuse

Sometimes when abuse gets especially bad, it can put a person into shock.  This can be expected when someone is beaten or raped, especially by someone known to the victim, but it comes other times as well.

 

In cases of narcissistic abuse, a narcissist can be much like a machine gun of abuse- shooting out abuse after abuse in a short period of time.  A victim doesn’t have the time to cope with one episode before another comes along.  Or, the abuse can be so outrageous that it is simply unbelievable.  When this happens, victims can go into a state of shock

 

I believe this happens because the brain is trying to protect the victim.  Shock gives a person time to come to terms with the fact something awful has happened.  Unfortunately though, it still can be difficult to go through.  Focus & concentration can be hard to come by.  You may feel very “spacey”.  You also may miss things you normally notice such as if someone is making a joke.  And, you may not be able to identify your emotions.

 

During the last few weeks of my father’s life, due to the constant abuse I received for not saying good bye to him as well as my own grief, I experienced shock like I’ve never experienced before.  (That’s saying something too since I experienced it on a regular basis growing up due to constant abuse, especially in my late teens.)  At the time of me writing this, my father has been dead for about six weeks now, & the shock is still there.   It’s finally starting to diminish a little bit. One plus at least is I’m learning how to cope with shock, so I thought I’d share what I’m learning with you, Dear Reader.

 

I don’t think it’s a good idea to try to get over shock right away.  It happened for a reason- to protect your mental health.  Don’t try to force yourself to get better right away, because obviously you aren’t ready to cope with what happened just yet.  It reminds me of repressed memories- forcing them to come back to the forefront of your mind can cause you more suffering than is necessary.  Just let the shock work itself out.

 

Try to take care of yourself.  I say try because as an adult child of narcissistic parents, I know self care isn’t easy.  Try it anyway.  Get plenty of rest, eat good food, & don’t neglect your physical health.  Shock can take a toll on your body as well as your mind, so treat it well.

 

Do things that make you feel nurtured.  Drink herbal tea, coffee or cocoa.  Spend a day curled up in your favorite blanket & watch funny movies all day.  Buy yourself little treats like a new book or CD you’ve been wanting.  Simple little gestures can help you to feel better.

 

In time, the shock will lift, & you will need to face what you’re feeling after your trauma.  Don’t forget to continue taking good care of your physical & mental health when that happens!  Emotional work takes up a lot of energy, so you need to take care of both your physical & mental health as you heal.

 

I noticed something about my situation that I wonder if others have faced as well.  During the worst of the shock, I stopped remembering my dreams.  This was very odd for me as I’ve always had very vivid dreams that I clearly remember.   I believe that is because my brain was trying to come to terms with the daily traumas I endured for that time.  I finally started remembering some of my dreams about five weeks after the last traumatic episode surrounding my father’s death happened.

 

I find dreams to be extremely helpful in understanding my emotional health.  I strongly advice paying attention to your dreams once you begin having them again.  Write them down.  Look up dream symbols to help you to understand what your dreams are about.  Personally, I like http://www.dreammoods.com .  Also ask God to help you to understand them.  You may find some valuable insight in your dreams.

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Rejection Takes Many Forms

Rejection is a huge part of narcissistic abuse.  It may not seem like it at first, but when you think about it, it really is.

Rejection isn’t only kicking someone out of your life.  Rejection can take many other forms.

Telling someone that they aren’t good enough is a form of rejection.

A parent failing to protect their child is rejecting the child.

Not allowing a child to have any rights is rejection.

Not hearing a child is rejection.

Invalidating a child is certainly rejection.

Treating a child as if the child has no value is rejection.

Rejection in childhood is extremely damaging.  It can destroy a child’s self-esteem, inhibits their ability to trust people, & makes them relate to others in unhealthy ways.  They can develop anxiety or anger problems.

To undo this damage, prayer is vital, in my opinion.  Ask God where to start.

I also believe that learning what the Bible has to say about you is very important.  I created a list of positive affirmations, & put them on my website.  Feel free to print them out if you like.  They can be found here: http://cynthiabaileyrug.com/Positive-Affirmations.php

Another thing that I find is important is realizing that any parent who rejects her own child has problems.  Narcissists are incredibly dysfunctional in their thinking, which is why they hurt even their own children.  They have problems!  Normal people don’t deliberately hurt anyone, especially their own children.

Dear Reader, just because you have been rejected by your parent doesn’t mean you are bad or flawed or whatever they said about you.  You are a child of God, & God doesn’t make mistakes!

Psalm 27:10  “Although my father and my mother have abandoned me,
Yet the Lord will take me up [adopt me as His child].”  (AMP)

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Denial

Denial is a common survival tool of victims of all types of abuse.  Pretending things didn’t happen, weren’t that bad or there was a good reason your abuser acted as she did are all forms  of denial.

 

Denial may help you to cope for a while, but it shouldn’t be a permanent solution.  It can be very unhealthy.

 

It enables you to avoid facing the damage done & the pain you feel.  Although that may feel good for a short time, in the long run, it can hurt your physical & mental health.  Stifling emotions can create anxiety, depression, headaches, body aches with no physical cause, high blood pressure, kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes & more.

 

Denial may get you through a bad situation as it’s happening, but otherwise, it has no benefits.  I know facing the ugly truth can be hard, but I want to encourage you, Dear Reader, to face it.  As hard as it may be, it’s actually much easier in the long run than denial is.

 

Facing the truth allows you to heal.  When you no longer deny the facts, you can see the situation for what it is, then deal with it & heal from the damage.

 

Staying in denial often also means staying in an abusive situation.  Many people think they don’t have a right to be upset about their situation because their narcissistic parent wasn’t as bad as someone else’s, or at least their abusive husband didn’t beat them like their friend’s did, so they continue to have a close relationship with their abuser.  There is no logic at all in this!  Abuse is abuse, period!  It’s all bad!  Degrees of abuse don’t matter.  What does matter is no one should tolerate being abused!

 

When you know you need to start facing certain things, it’s time to get into prayer.  Ask God to help you.  Ask Him for strength & courage.  Ask Him to enable you to face whatever you need to, & only to allow you to face what you are able to at any given time.  You will be glad you did this as you begin to face ugly truths.  And, you’ll be glad you started facing those truths once you realize how much healthier you’ve become!

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My Newest Book About Covert Narcissists Is Now Available

Hello, Dear Readers!

 

I just wanted to let you know that my newest book, “In Sheep’s Clothing:  All About Covert Narcissists” has been published in both ebook & print formats.

 

If you want to check them out, you can click on the links in the last paragraph, or go to my website at:  http://www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com

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Narcissistic Parents And Revenge

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About Being Invisible

Growing up with narcissistic parents, you learn early in life to be invisible.  Stay out of everyone’s way.   Don’t bother anyone with your “petty” needs or problems.  After all, your parents are the important ones, not you.  You are there to attend to their needs, not them to yours.  They have drilled these so-called facts into your head from birth, so you know them well.

 

Being invisible is not only a way of life, but a handy survival tool in that type of environment.  The less your narcissistic parents notice you, the less likely they’ll use or abuse you.  Staying quiet & out of their way can make your childhood somewhat easier.

 

While being invisible can serve you well while in such a toxic environment, it is no longer necessary once you are out of it.  In fact, it won’t help you at all & may hurt you instead.

 

If you continue to remain invisible, people may not necessarily abuse you, but they also will not be there for you or love you as you need, because they will not notice you.  Or, if they do notice you, your needs won’t be very important to them because they don’t appear important to you.  Not discussing your needs makes people not even realize you have them.

 

Dear Reader, if this is you, it’s your time to become visible!  Let people know you exist.  It is perfectly OK to have needs & wants, & to let those be known among those close to you.  In fact, it’s healthy to do so.  In normal, healthy relationships, both parties have needs & let each other know what they are with the expectation that when possible, the other person will fulfill them.  God has created people to need one another, after all.  He obviously knows best, so why not try living life His way?

 

 

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Sharing Some Beauty

I have a thing about beauty.. I love it in all forms & surround myself with it as much as possible.  There is something so peaceful, comforting & calming about it to me, especially when it comes to beauty in nature.

 

A few days after my father died, I looked out my kitchen window.  I saw a couple of beautiful butterflies on the marigold plants in our backyard!  They not only brought me comfort due to their special meaning in my life, but they also were so beautiful they brought some peace & joy.

 

I thought I’d make today’s post a bit different than usual, & share the beauty with you, Dear Reader.  As I’ve said many times, we can’t focus on narcissism all the time- it’s too depressing.  Consider this a break from that depressing topic & take in the beauty that God has created.  🙂

 

IMG_9106IMG_9103IMG_9083IMG_9079IMG_9097IMG_9093IMG_9091IMG_9085IMG_9073

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Getting To Know The Real You

As someone who has been through a lot of narcissistic abuse, like many others, I have had to get to know the real me.  My parents told me who I was my entire life until our relationship ended, & sadly, I believed them for far too long.  I assumed they were right- I was stupid, ugly, fat, a horrible disappointment, wasn’t allowed to have any boundaries, was responsible for fixing other people’s problems, was the reason for any problem in any relationship I had, the world’s worst pet parent & more.

 

In the last few years, I have gotten very serious about dumping their cruel ideas & getting to know who God made me to be.  I hadn’t realized it until today, but in that process, I haven’t forgotten who my parents told me to be.  Instead, I still remember it, but I no longer believe it.  I choose to believe what God says about me rather than their cruel & abusive words.

 

I think remembering what they say is important, at least it is for me, so I’m going to guess it may be for some of you as well.  It’s a good reminder just how abusive & dysfunctional my parents truly are.  That helps me to stay no contact even when the flying monkeys come out.  It also reminds me of how long I tolerated such abuse, how I refuse to tolerate that anymore & how much healing I’ve done in the last few years.

 

Remembering their words also helps me to realize how little they actually knew me.  Typical of narcissists, my parents never took the time to get to know me.   I am absolutely nothing like what they say I am & never have been.  One example is when I was 17 & my mother accused me of having sex with my entire high school football team.  I’ve always seen sex as something to be shared with someone special, & never was promiscuous.  For her to think I was capable of something like that is absolutely insane.  Just more proof of how little she knew me to believe I was capable of something like that.  And, if someone knows me so little, then why should I take their opinions of me seriously?  You only listen to the opinions of someone who knows something about a matter, right?  Would you ask an artist how to fix that pinging sound your engine makes?  No- you’d ask a mechanic.  So why would you give any credence to the words of someone who knows nothing about you?

 

Also, criticisms from a narcissist are often nothing but projection.  They have nothing to do with you & everything to do with the narcissist.  By accusing you of doing things that she actually does, it allows her to be upset about that flaw, to vent her anger or disgust, while accepting no personal responsibility about it or making appropriate changes.  If those criticisms aren’t about you, why would you hold onto them, & think they are?

 

If you think it may help you to remember what your narcissistic parent has said about you as it has me, then give it a try.  Think about what they said about you.  Or maybe write them down since writing often brings clarity that speaking doesn’t.  Chances are, you’ll see how incredibly foolish what was said about you was.  Of course it hurt, but it was also foolish.  You’ll also see how untrue it was.  And, once you realize those were all lies, you can stop believing them & get to know yourself as the wonderful person God made you to be.   xoxo

 

 

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Why It’s Important To Stay No Contact

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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The Importance Of Validation After Narcissistic Abuse

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Pretty messed up, huh?

 

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

 

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

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How God Helped My Self Doubt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Never Justify Or Excuse Narcissistic Abuse

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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Hard To Understand Triggers

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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Engulfing & Ignoring Narcissistic Mothers

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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How Much Do You Know About Your Personality?

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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C-PTSD, PTSD & Nightmares

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

 

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

 

Not even close!

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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Believing All Parents Love Their Children Can Harm You

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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The Pain Of Having A Covert Narcissist Parent

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Wrong!!

 

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

 

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

 

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

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Ways To Help Someone With C PTSD

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Triggers

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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Gaslighting

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An Important Point About No Contact

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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Being Your Parent’s Parent

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A Message For Those Who Support Narcissistic Abusers

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

The rest of this post is directed at them.

 

Dear supporter of a narcissist:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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Scapegoats In The Narcissistic Family

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“Why Didn’t You Tell Someone?”

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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