Category Archives: Mental Health

Helpful advice and information on mental health issues.

Signs Your Mental Health May Be In Danger

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Protecting Your Spouse From Your Narcissistic Family

If you are in a long term relationship or are married to someone & at least one of you has narcissistic parents or family members, there is something you should know.  Standing up for your partner to your narcissistic parents is one of the most important things you can do in your relationship.

When a couple makes a commitment to each other, a big part of that commitment is taking care of each other.  Part of that involves not tolerating anyone hurting your partner.  If you stand up to someone on behalf of your partner, you show your partner that this person’s well being & safety are extremely important to you.  You prove that you love that person & will do your best to keep them safe.  This is incredibly good for your relationship! 

Not tolerating someone hurting your partner also shows the abusive person that you are well aware of their actions, & there are consequences for their behavior.  Not doing so only proves to an abuser that they can do anything they want without consequences.  This means that they will continue what they have been doing & in time, their behavior will get even worse.  And, your partner will be left feeling abandoned & alone, which is potentially relationship ending.  No one in a committed relationship should feel that way!

If you struggle with defending your partner to your abusive family members, then please consider a couple of things.

If it is your family that mistreats your partner, this means they are your problem!  It is NOT your partner’s job to deal with your family.  If your partner confronts your family rather than you, your family will be highly upset.  That happens in many families, but especially in narcissistic ones.  Chances are they will tell you what a terrible person your partner is, how he or she isn’t good enough to be in your life or other nonsense as a way to deflect your attention from their terrible behavior.  If you are the one to confront them, they still may try to deflect & criticize your partner, but there is a better chance of them listening to you than your partner!

Also if anyone in your family mistreats your partner, they have absolutely no love or respect for you.  If they had any respect or love for you, they would manage to be civil to your partner no matter how much they disliked this person.  If your partner is abusive to you, any children you share or your family, that is a different scenario.  They should civilly address their concerns with you, be loyal to you & care more about your safety than civility.  However, if the reason they dislike your partner is because of simple differences in personality, your family should manage basic civility at the very least to this person out of love for you.  When you love someone, it’s not that hard to be polite to someone they care about even if you can’t stand that person.  I have done it & while it can be hard to be polite to someone you really dislike, reminding yourself of the person you care about can make this much easier.

Dear Reader, if you are in this position of having someone in your family mistreat or even abuse someone you love, then please consider what I have said.  Protect your loved one!  It will protect their mental & physical safety but also help your relationship!  In fact, protecting your loved one will increase the bond you both share.

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Comparing Your Struggles To Someone Else’s Is NOT Good!

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Another Sale On My Print Books!

My publisher is having yet another sale on print books. 10% off until November 20, 2020. Use code SELFPUBLISH10 at checkout

My books can be found at this link:

https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

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When People Judge You For How You Celebrate (Or Don’t Celebrate) Holidays

The holiday season is a very popular time of year for narcissists.  Overt narcissists love ruining everyone’s joy by causing discord around holidays.  Covert narcissists love throwing parties, cooking, baking, buying tons of gifts & making sure everyone knows how hard they worked & sacrificed.  This sort of thing can lead to a lot of dread of holidays in many of us who have been subjected to holidays with narcissists. 

As if that isn’t bad enough, there are also those who judge those of us who are less than thrilled with holidays or even choose not to celebrate them.  I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been criticized for not liking holidays or celebrating them anymore.  I wish these judgmental jerks would experience just a part of what I have, then see if they can maintain their “holiday cheer.” 

Since that’s impossible, I figured I would discuss this topic for those of you who share my lack of enthusiasm & give some points you can bring up to the judgmental folks if you need to.

Not everyone is going to think the same about holidays, & there is nothing wrong with that!  Everyone is unique, right down to their fingerprints & DNA.  Just because someone celebrates in a way that is different than you doesn’t mean they’re automatically wrong.  It just means they want to do something different.  What gives anyone the right to say their way of celebrating is the only way to celebrate?

Some people are what I refer to as holiday Nazis.  They want what they want, when they want it for holidays, & there is zero tolerance for disobedience.  My mother in-law was like this as was my first mother in-law.  What makes the wishes of these people so important anyway?  What if someone wants to spend the day at home with their immediate family instead of attending some big party?  Why is that wrong?  I don’t see how it is. Again, it’s different, not wrong.  Besides, these people & their demands can ruin holidays for even the most die hard holiday fanatic.  How is that so difficult to understand?  It’s only normal that after repeated ruined holidays a person comes to dislike them.

Some people are also dysfunctional & not willing to work on it.  For them, holidays are a time to prove that their family isn’t dysfunctional, but a big, happy family.  These people can’t stand those of us who don’t go along with the charade, because we threaten their delusions.  Rather than face the truth, they attack those of us who live in it for not going along with their big happy family act.  How does this make any sense?  It only makes sense in the minds of the dysfunctional fools who behave this way.

And, what if someone has found a way to enjoy holidays that works for them?  Why is that worthy of criticism?  Holidays are supposed to be about joy, peace & love.  Where is any of that in judging how someone spends holidays? 

Those of us who have had more bad than good holidays don’t need judgment & criticism about what we want to do.  We don’t need to hear that we are wrong for how we choose to celebrate or if we choose to ignore the day.  We don’t need to be criticized because we prefer Italian food or some other food over traditional holiday fare.  We don’t need to have our faith brought into question because we don’t celebrate Christmas the way other people do.  Not celebrating Christmas the traditional way has absolutely nothing to do with a person’s faith in God any more than not celebrating Thanksgiving makes a person ungrateful.  No one should be made to feel flawed or “less than” simply because they choose to live their life in a way that brings them peace & joy.  If someone tries to make you feel badly for how you celebrate or don’t celebrate this holiday season, remember that clearly they have the problem, not you.  Functional people don’t try to ruin other people’s joy.

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Hyper Vigilence

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Another Sale On My Print Books Until November 13, 2020

My publisher is offering another sale on my print books. This one is good for 10% off all print products until November 13, 2020. Use code READ10 at checkout.

Here is the link where you can find my print books:

https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

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Re-Victimizing Survivors

In my experience as well as speaking with others who also have survived narcissistic abuse, I’ve noticed a very common phenomenon.  Society’s invalidation & even gaslighting of victims.

Possibly the most clear example of this came from my high school guidance counselor.  I went to her, trying to find some way to get along with my narcissistic mother, & not only wasn’t helped, I was hurt in the process.  One day, I told her about what I called my mother’s “lectures”, where she would scream at me, telling me how terrible I was, how other people talked about me behind my back because of how terrible I was & even accusing me of things I hadn’t done.  The counselor’s response?  “Well, that doesn’t sound so bad.”

Dear Reader, if you have experienced something similar to someone you told about your history of abuse, you know how painful this experience is.  It can catch you off guard, especially when it comes from someone you care about or expect to care, such as a therapist.

If you haven’t had the “pleasure” of this experience, chances are you will at some point.  Either way, when someone acts as described below, you need to remember, they clearly have a problem.

Some people blame victims for making the abuser act as they have.  Common sense should dictate that anyone who does this has their own issues.  No one can make someone abuse them!  Don’t accept this person’s blame for your abuser hurting you!  All blame for the abuse lies squarely on the shoulders of the abuser, period!

Some people also blame the victim for not getting away from their abuser sooner.  Many people don’t understand the concept of the trauma bond, how a victim can form a strong bond to their abuser.  They also don’t understand how abusers can financially abuse victims, leaving them with no money or means to earn money so they can escape.  Further more, they also fail to understand how many abusers have beaten their victims down so badly that the victims don’t think they can survive without the abuser.

Some people make the victim feel to blame for not being able to get along with the abuser.  I think it was about 5 ago, one of my aunts told me that I needed to get into therapy & figure out how to get along with my parents, & “don’t dare tell her it won’t work!”  I told her I did that when I was only 17 & what I learned is no relationship can work if only one person is willing to work on it.  I stand by that today.  No relationship can be healthy if only one person works on it.  People who don’t realize that are foolish.  

Some people assume they know best what the abuser’s  intentions are, & assume they have good intentions but misguided actions.  If someone defends your abuser by saying things like, “He didn’t mean to hurt you…”  “She just doesn’t know any better”, or “That’s just how he is,” this person is invalidating & gaslighting you.  No truly innocent person hurts people repeatedly after being called out on their behavior.  

Some people push victims to heal.  Only the most toxic person would dare to trivialize a victim’s horrific experiences, tell a victim of abuse to “get over it”, accuse a victim of being codependent or fail to understand why that person hasn’t “forgiven & forgotten.”  Healing is a very individual path.  Everyone’s path is very different.  Also, every narcissist is different, so naturally how they abuse their victims is different.  It’s only natural to assume that no two victims will heal the same way & many victims will have to work on their healing for a long time, most likely a lifetime.

People who treat victims like I described in this post are further abusing victims rather than helping them.  If you come across people like this, stay away from them.  Instead, deal with people who possess empathy, kindness & aren’t judgmental know it alls who assume they know your situation better than you do.

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Ghosting, aka The INFJ Door Slam

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New Coupon For 15% Off My Print Books!

Use code FRIENDS15 & get 15% off any of my print books until November 6. All of the print versions are available at this link:

https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

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When Adult Children of Narcissistic Parents Marry

Often, two people who were raised by narcissistic parents marry each other when they grow up.  Ideally, they understand each other’s past, offer support & help each other cope if their parents are still a part of their lives.  Sadly though, this isn’t always the case.

Sometimes when two adult children of narcissistic parents marry, they learn each person is on a very different page.  One is trying to be healthy while the other remains in denial of just how toxic his or her parents are.  This is hardly an easy position to be in for either person.

If you are in this painful situation, I hope this post can help you today!

To start with, you need to pray.  Ask God for any help you need to cope with the situation, whether it be patience, understanding, wisdom or anything.  Prayer is always the best place to start in any difficult situation, & situations don’t get much more difficult than this one!

Next, you need to accept that you & your partner are in a different place.  Your spouse may never see the truth about their parents.  They also may never see the truth about yours, for that matter.  You can’t change this, so you need to accept that painful truth.

You also need to accept that you can’t change your partner.  As much as you’d like to, you can’t make him or her see the truth.  We all have to face the truth as we are able.  Forcing someone to see the truth before they’re ready isn’t good for their mental health. 

You may need to stop discussing anything about your parents with each other to avoid conflict.  I know this is incredibly frustrating because you should be able to discuss any topic with your spouse.  In an ideal world, that is how things are.  Unfortunately though, when dealing with two fallible human beings, that isn’t always feasible.  If discussing anything about parents causes strife, it may be best to find someone else with which to discuss the problems.  A close friend or relative, your pastor or even a counselor may be a much better option for you. 

If you have issues with your spouse’s narcissistic parent, unfortunately, you can’t expect support from your spouse if he or she doesn’t see that parent is narcissistic.  Don’t expect it from him or her.  I realize this goes against what is natural & is very painful & hard to accept, but you need to do it anyway.  Accepting this painful truth is hard, but it is easier than to be disappointed in your spouse repeatedly.

You also will need to find ways to deal with your narcissistic in-laws on your own, & chances are slim your spouse will approve of how you deal with them.  This is tricky.  There is no way to avoid your spouse’s anger in this situation.  The best you can do is to remain calm when dealing with your awful in-laws & your spouse.  Also be logical when your spouse gets angry.  If he or she says you’re hurting the narcissistic parent, for example, you can say that parent has hurt you too.  Why was that acceptable behavior but you setting a reasonable boundary to protect yourself wasn’t? 

Never forget to take care of yourself & your mental health.  A spouse in denial can be very good at making the healthier spouse feel as if they are wrong, over sensitive or even crazy.  Don’t buy into this gaslighting!  You are doing what is right by facing the truth about your narcissistic parents & in-laws.  Don’t let anyone, including your spouse, convince you otherwise!

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How Narcissists Abuse Without Lifting A Finger

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Sale On My Print Books!

My publisher is offering 10% off on my print books until October 30, 2020. Just use code SPOOKY10 at checkout.

Here is the link to my author spotlight on my publisher’s site:

https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

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Identifying Victims From Narcissists Who Pretend To Be Victims

Many narcissists, in particular covert ones, love to portray themselves as victims no matter how badly they have abused someone.  They prefer to hide behind the mask of innocent victim than to show people the ugly truth, that they are evil & abusive.  Unfortunately countless people fall for their victim act.  Real victims act very differently, & those who have bought a narcissist’s victim act think this means the real victim is the one faking it, not the narcissist.  

People need to be able to identify a genuine victim from a narcissist’s victim act in order to avoid being pulled into a narcissist’s abusive web.  I think this can be especially beneficial when applied to people met online.  So many victims join support groups & forums looking to meet others who share their experiences only to learn someone they met in one of those places is actually a narcissist.  

There are some behaviors narcissists do that give away the fact that they aren’t real victims. One thing they do is only tell their side of the story.  What I mean is narcissists will talk about how the other person yelled at them or called the police on them, yet not share any information on what led up to that scenario.  They make it sound like the other person just snapped suddenly for no good reason, & attacked them.  A real victim doesn’t do that.  They tell the entire story, not leaving out selected parts that might make them look bad.

Along those lines, if a narcissist feels they must mention some bad behavior they have done, they make excuses for it.  For example, say they hit their victim in a fit of rage.  They will find ways to blame the other person for making them hit them.  Or, they will excuse it away, maybe saying the other person hit them first.  A real victim doesn’t make excuses or blame others for their bad actions.  They admit their bad behavior & accept responsibility for what they have done, no matter how ashamed of it they are.

Narcissists also turn any conversation back to their situation, even when speaking with victims such as in an online group.  Real victims support each other.  Sure, they share examples from their own life some, but they keep the focus on the person doing the talking.

Narcissists talk about the situation over & over.  They tell their story to anyone who will listen, even if the listener isn’t interested.  They seem to want to tell everyone how badly they were treated.  Real victims don’t talk to anyone & everyone about their story.  They are selective with whom they discuss their situation.  Even if they are like me & write publicly about it, when it comes to discussing it, they still are selective.

Narcissists want pity.  They want to be seen as a completely innocent victim who did nothing to deserve what was done to them, so people will pity them.  Real victims don’t look for pity.  Empathy is great as is support, but pity isn’t something real victims want.

Narcissists expect everyone to understand their plight & offer them validation.  Real victims aren’t like that.  They know not everyone can relate to their situation.  They know not everyone will care that they were abused.  They don’t need external validation.  They know what they have been through, & that is enough for them.

Everyone needs to be aware of these behaviors in others, in particular victims of narcissistic abuse.  Not everyone who says they were abused by a narcissist is truly a victim.  There are plenty of wolves in sheep’s clothing out there, who look for true victims to meet the sick needs they have.  Consider a person’s behavior rather than blindly believing someone who tells you they are a victim of abuse.

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A Way To Stump A Narcissist

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People Can Say Cruel Things When A Narcissistic Parent Is Dying Or Has Died

Three years ago on the 23rd of this month, my father died.  Naturally the date gets me thinking of that terrible time.  I thought I would share some thoughts that might help others who have been or will be in a similar situation.

When a narcissistic parent dies, it’s highly likely that you are NOT going to be prepared for what you feel.  I certainly wasn’t.  When my father died in October, 2017, I was sad, but I felt that I’d grieved him enough while he was alive that there wasn’t much left.  Yet, when my mother died just shy of eighteen months later, I was utterly devastated.  I have spoken with other adult children of narcissistic parents who felt nothing when their parents died or only felt relief.  I also have met others whose reactions lay somewhere in the middle of devastated & numb.  All reactions are normal in such an abnormal situation.

What makes this difficult time even more difficult is other people.  The death or even pending death of a narcissistic parent seems to make most people think they need to share their opinions on your situation with you, whether or not you want to hear it.

As narcissistic parents age, their adult children often hear things like, “Your parent is getting old.. you shouldn’t be so hard on him or her.” or, “You haven’t spoken to your parent in how long?!  How do you think you’re going to feel when your parent dies?”  Yet, no one ever asks narcissistic parents anything like this.  They should ask these people not to be so hard on their children or how they think they will feel if they die without trying to make amends with their children.  This never happens though.

This baffles me.  Why do abusive parents get a free pass?  Why is it supposedly the job of their victims, their own children, to make them feel that it’s ok they were abusive jerks?  Everything is supposed to be the responsibility of their children all their lives, including at the time of the parents’ death.  Why is that anyway?  In fact, when my father was dying, one of my cousins told me I needed to say good bye to him so he could die in peace.  Such unadulterated gall isn’t it?  Not only because she barely knew me (& him too for that matter), but to try to put such a big burden on me that wasn’t even my burden to bear!

Such thoughtless & rude comments make the time surrounding a narcissistic parent’s death even more difficult than it already is.  When you’re in a difficult place, your emotions are more sensitive & even raw than usual.  Dealing with comments like these can be rough at this particular time, even if you could ignore them any other time.

When in such a situation, you need to remember that you are in a bad situation.  It’s normal to feel upset by stupid, insensitive & cruel comments but it’s especially normal to feel overly upset considering the circumstances you’re in at the time.  Remind yourself of that.  You’re ok!  Really!

Also remind yourself that what these people say isn’t necessarily true or accurate at all.  Everyone has their own opinions & see things through the lens of their own experiences.  They see things differently than you, so their opinions may not be valuable to you.  There are also people in the world who are evil, & are more than happy to hurt others.  Many of those people are flying monkeys who blindly support even the most malignant narcissists.  Whichever the case, don’t blindly accept what other’s say!  Consider what they say before accepting their words as true or false.

Lastly, cling to God.  You are going to need Him more than ever during this time.  He is the only reason I’ve gotten through the deaths of my parents with any sanity in tact, let alone thrived.  What He did for me, He will do for you as well.  xoxo

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Emotions After The Death Of A Narcissistic Parent

When a narcissistic parent dies, many who write about this topic assume all victims have the same experience when their narcissistic parent dies.  This is incredibly WRONG!

Many who lose a narcissistic parent are relieved that their parent is gone.  They are finally free from the abuse, & the joy over that overrides any other emotion.

Others who lose a narcissistic parent are devastated.  Their parent’s death symbolizes the loss of all hope for things to be better.  Even if they accepted there was no hope for the relationship, death finalizes that.  It squashes any potential, no matter how small, for things to be better.  That can be devastating.

Still others experience numbness when their narcissistic parent dies.  They have grieved for their parent so much while he or she was alive that when that parent dies, they have nothing left to give emotionally. 

Having lost both of my narcissistic parents as well as spoken to many others who lost theirs, I have learned something valuable that I believe can help anyone in this position.

Anything is normal after a narcissistic parent dies. 

Whether you miss your parent or not.  Whether you are overwhelmed or not.  Even if you go totally numb to the loss.  It’s all normal!  There’s no one size fits all way for people to grieve such a death.  Everyone processes this situation differently.  In fact, even if you have two narcissistic parents, you may grieve them both differently.  I did.  When my father died in October, 2017, I barely shed a tear for him even to this day.  I had grieved a lot for him while he was still alive, so I really had very little left to feel when he died. 

Almost exactly eighteen months later in April, 2019, my mother died.  Her death devastated me.  It truly shook me to my core.  I was in shock for quite some time after her passing.  When the shock began to wear off, I experienced the gamut of emotions.  There was a lot of anger, sadness, confusion & relief. 

And you know something?  Even though I experienced vastly different emotions after each parent died, what I experienced was normal!

The relationship a person has with each of their parents is unique.  Even if both parents are narcissists, they are still unique individuals which means the relationship with each parent is also unique.

Not to mention, in most cases when two narcissists marry, one is an overt narcissist while the other is covert.  That simple fact alone changes the dynamic of any relationship due to how each type of narcissist treats their victim.

If you have lost a narcissistic parent or even two narcissistic parents, chances are you will feel like you’re going crazy.  You aren’t!  Whatever you feel is normal.  Yes, it feels otherwise but the situation is abnormal.  You can’t expect to feel normal in an abnormal situation.  Accept your feelings without judgment, & process them however works best for you.  Journal, cry, write angry letters, talk to a non-judgmental friend or therapist. 

If someone you know has lost a narcissistic parent or two, don’t make any assumptions.  Even if you have been in a similar situation, your friend may not feel as you do. 

Also, don’t assume someone misses their parents or hates their parent.  Remember, everyone is different.  Make no assumptions.  Just listen to your friend without judgment & with an open mind.  Make sure this person knows you are there, you love them, you won’t criticize whatever they are feeling & you are willing to help them if at all possible.

Whether you are in the position of having lost a narcissistic parent or are supporting someone who has, the best thing you can do is to pray.  Let God guide you in how to cope or how to help.  You need this from Him & He will be glad to help!

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Commonly Used Gaslighting Phrases

Gaslighting is an especially insidious form of abuse that makes a victim doubt their memories, perceptions, reality & sometimes even their sanity.  Narcissists love to use it due to the fact that people who live with frequent gaslighting are easy to control.  After all, if a person doesn’t trust themselves, they will look elsewhere for whatever information they need, even to an abusive person who is the reason they no longer trust themselves.

Gaslighting can be very subtle, which means it can be difficult to identify.  Below are some commonly used phrases narcissists use to gaslight their victims.

“You’re crazy.”  Either said outright or implied with phrases like, “You need help.”  This phrase can make a person doubt their sanity when repeated often enough & with certainty.

“You’re over sensitive or overreacting.”  Another common gaslighting phrase.  This is said to make a victim feel shame for being upset at what the abuser has said or done.  Few things will shut a person down faster than shame, & when they are shut down, they won’t complain about the abuse.

“I was just kidding!”  This phrase is closely related to “You’re oversensitive.”  It is designed to create doubt.  The victim is supposed to think they overreacted or are too sensitive or stupid to realize the comment was just a joke.  The truth is however that it was nothing of the sort.

“You need to get over it!”  This phrase basically tells a victim that they are wrong for still being upset about whatever the abuser did that upset them.  Narcissists want their victims to tolerate abuse indefinitely & without complaint.  If they can make their victim feel badly about themselves or even ashamed for being upset, then they have an excellent chance of getting the victim to continue to tolerate abuse.

“It didn’t happen that way!”  This phrase can be used in a couple of ways.  The first & most obvious of course is to make a victim doubt their perception & believe the narcissists’s version of events.  The other use may be the narcissist’s lack of coping skills coming into play.  The narcissist may be ashamed of something they said or did, not because it hurt the victim, but because it may make the narcissist look bad if the victim tells others about what happened.  In order to avoid that, the narcissist may try to convince themselves & the victim that it didn’t happen that way, it happened this very different way instead.  This way will involve the narcissist not acting badly or the victim doing something to provoke the narcissist to do what they did.

“That never happened!”  Denial is a very commonly used tool with narcissists.  If they can get their victim to believe that something never happened, that person won’t tell others what the narcissist has done.

“No one else would feel that way./ You’re the only person in the world who would feel that way.”  This phrase is another way for narcissists to shame victims by making them feel they are weird, wrong, broken.  If they can shame a victim enough, the victim will stop complaining about the abuse & tolerate it quietly.

“I’m only doing this because I love you.”  My mother used to justify abusing me by telling me it was “tough love” she was using on me & I deserved it because of my terrible behavior.  That is all this phrase is – a way for a narcissist to justify being abusive.

“No one will ever love you like I do.”  My ex husband told me this once, & I thank God he was right about that!  The phrase is said to make a victim feel that they are lucky to have the narcissist’s love, because no one else ever could or would care about them.

When the narcissist in your life says such things to gaslight you, keep in mind that is exactly what these phrases are, gaslighting.  That means there isn’t an ounce of truth in them at all.  If you have doubts, ask yourself why do you think the narcissist is right.  Or better yet, ask God to tell you the truth in this situation.

Keep a journal.  If you haven’t done this before, do it now.  Write down what the narcissist says.  Seeing things in writing can bring about a great deal of clarity.  Often, it makes things clearer than simply talking or thinking about them.

Always remember, the narcissist says these things to manipulate you & to keep you down.  Don’t give the narcissist that satisfaction!

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What You Can Expect After Going No Contact, part 2

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About Ending A Relationship With A Narcissist

In spite of how it may seem, in spite of the many similarities most narcissists share, when it comes to ending a relationship with a narcissist, each situation is unique.

This is what makes the common advice, “Just go no contact” very bad advice, in my opinion.  While it’s true that ending the relationship is often the only solution for a victim, that process shouldn’t be done so glibly, with no real thought put into it.

Ending any relationship creates a narcissistic injury in a person. In other words, it’s a blow to the self esteem when someone tells you they don’t want you in their life any longer.  While functional people are hurt & angry, they get through.  Narcissists, however, aren’t like functional people.  They rage.  They often spread vicious lies about their victim in a smear campaign designed to do the most possible damage to their reputation.  They also are known for harassing their victims so badly, they sometimes wear the victim down to the point of returning to the relationship.  Anything to make the constant influx of phone calls, texts, emails, etc. stop.  Other narcissists have no problem stalking their victim or even physically hurting or killing them.

These reasons are why although no contact is usually the best solution when it comes to a realtionship with a narcissist, how you get to that point must be done with great wisdom & planning.

As always, I recommend prayer as the best place to start.  God can help you like no one can simply because He knows things no other human knows.

From what I have seen, in these situations, God gives one of three answers:

  1. “End it now.  Just walk away.”
  2. “Not yet… I will tell you when & how.”
  3. “Don’t end it.”

“End it now” is the easiest.  You simply block the narcissist’s access to you at every turn.  Usually, they walk away & find a new victim, not caring they lost you.  This solution usually is best for narcissists who are lower on the spectrum or who have a lot of people in their life.

“Not yet” is what happened with my parents.  That was tough because I really wanted the relationship over, yet also knew I had to wait on God’s timing.  I also wasn’t sure how to end it, but He showed me.  Although waiting in these situations is really hard, it also is well worth it.  If you follow God’s lead, you will have peace not only about ending the relationship but how you choose to end it.  That peace is so important!  And, by following God’s lead, you will receive the minimal amount of abuse from the narcissist once you end that relationship.

“Don’t end it” may be the most challenging answer of all but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a valid answer.  I’ve known a few people who received this answer.  Rather than ending the relationship with the narcissist in their life, they made themselves as unappealing as possible to that narcissist & eventually that person ended the relationship with them.  This seems to be a good option for the most toxic of narcissists.  If a person can become so unappealing to their narcissist that the narcissist rejects them instead, they stand very little chance of retaliation from that narcissist.  The narcissist feels they have the power because they ended the relationship rather than the victim did.  In cases of malignant narcissists, this is a very good option because it will help a victim avoid the potential fallout of an especially vicious & even dangerous narcissistic rage.

Whatever you do when it comes to ending the relationship with the narcissist in your life, please be careful, be wise & most of all, follow God’s promptings.  You will get through this time with your safety & sanity in tact if you do those things.

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About Being A New Creation In Christ

2 Corinthians 5:17 says that anyone who is born again is a new creation in Christ. I have learned though that other things can make a person feel almost as if they are reborn, just not quite to that same extreme.

This has happened twice in my life.  The first time was in February, 2015 when I nearly died from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.  The poison made me pass out for about 25 minutes, & from what I understand from a doctor, usually people who are out for 20 minutes from carbon monoxide never wake up.  That was so hard to grasp!  Literally, I should have died but I survived!  Plus, the lack of oxygen that the poisoning creates often does permanent brain damage & I also suffered a concussion (I believe) from hitting my head when I passed out.  Both of these factors changed my personality quite drastically.  It was all a lot to get used to in addition to the long term physical symptoms.

The second time was when my mother died in April, 2019.  As the police told me that she had passed & I had to go to her home immediately to deal with having her remains taken to the funeral home, I felt this sensing that my life as I knew it was over.  That sensing turned out to be right!

Although both of these events were traumatic & very difficult, I came to realize something.  Although I’m not grateful they happened, I’m grateful for the changes they brought.

The changes in my personality from the poisoning mean I have no further tolerance whatsoever for abusive people.  As soon as someone starts showing signs of being controlling or manipulative, I kick them out of my life, usually without a word because people like that won’t realize they were wrong or change their behavior anyway.  I realized there’s no point in wasting my time.

I also got very protective of my husband & our little family.  I know first hand just how quickly life can end & won’t allow any threats to my loved ones.

When my mother died, something in me seemed to die too, but that isn’t a bad thing.  I no longer struggle so much with shame on a daily basis.  I’m also much less anxious in general now, however sometimes when I am anxious, it’s worse than it once was.  Somehow I’m able to cope with it pretty well.

I also learned that my mother is in Heaven, my prayers were answered.  God has seen fit to bless me by sharing some messages from her, which is just incredible.

Somehow along the way, I also lost the need for external validation.  I’ve gotten quite good at validating myself!  Sure, I backslide periodically, but it doesn’t happen often.

What has happened in your life that has made you feel as if you were reborn?  What changed after those moments?  I don’t mean the traumatic moments that changed you or contributed to you having PTSD or C-PTSD.  I mean life altering moments that although they were very hard to get through, eventually worked out well for you like mine did.

Some moments that can lead a person to feel this way include things like coming close to death or losing a loved one like me, but there are other things too.  Moving, ending or beginning a new relationship, changing jobs, changing careers, having a child, having a child leave home, caring for an elderly loved one… there is no end to the things that can alter a person’s life drastically.

If you have experienced the reborn feeling, I would like to urge you to consider the good that has come from the experience.  If you really think about it, I’m sure you can find some good in your situation.  I find great comfort when I learn my suffering had a purpose, & you may experience the same thing, which is why I hope you will do this.  xoxo

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What You Can Expect After No Contact, part 1

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Narcissists Obsess Over Victims

One way narcissists lure victims into a relationship is by paying way too much attention to their victims.

Narcissistic friends & romantic partners alike commonly smother their new found interest (aka victim) with positive attention.  They cling very quickly to someone they just met.  They claim the new interest is their soul mate or they felt some sort of special connection the moment they met.  They shower this person with praise & often gifts as well.  They want to spend every possible moment together.

I have experienced this with friends as well as my ex husband.  I’ve met several people online who within a day or two of meeting me decided we needed to talk constantly.  Probably the first one was the worst.  I didn’t know about narcissism at the time & was flattered she thought so highly of me.  We used to speak on the phone often as well as via email.  When I didn’t respond to her call or email, she would get mad.  She’d claim she was just kidding when she said things like how dare I not call her back sooner than I did or “joke” about me being so busy when she clearly thought I never had anything to do.

I was young & naive, living with narcissistic parents when I met my ex husband.  He constantly told me how pretty, smart, etc. I was, how he waited all his life for someone like me & expected me to spend all of my free time with him.

Anyone can be extremely flattered when someone treats them this way, but the average functional person realizes quickly this behavior isn’t normal.  Those of us who grew up with narcissistic parents however are different.

Growing up with narcissistic parents means you have no concept of healthy boundaries.  Even if this person’s attention is overwhelming, you don’t feel you have the right to refuse it.  After all, the person is saying & doing what seems like the right things.  How can you refuse that?!

Also children of narcissistic parents are neglected.  Having someone pay positive attention feels good, & it’s about impossible to resist.

And, narcissistic parents don’t praise their children.  These children grow up starving for praise.  When someone comes along, showering them with praise, they can’t resist it.

If you grew up with narcissistic parents, you need to be aware of people like this who obsess over you.  They’re predators looking for a victim.

Sometimes people meet & they just “click” immediately.  My husband & I were that way.  The same with my best friend & I.  There was no obsessing though.  We talked often & were free with complements, but no one was offended if the other didn’t answer their phone call or call back immediately.  There was no talk of “soulmates” or anything similar in the very beginning or pressure to spend every waking moment together.

I’ve learned that children of narcissists need to be aware of people like this much more than the average person because of the natural weaknesses that come from being raised by narcissists.  I strongly recommend asking God for discernment with people to help you to figure out who is safe & who is not.

Listen to your gut feelings, too.  If something doesn’t feel right about someone, that feeling is there for a reason.

Pay attention to people’s actions, not only their words.  A person can say anything they want, whether it’s true or not.  A person’s actions tell you what is truly in their heart.

If you have doubts, talk to a safe, wise friend about your thoughts.  Sometimes an outsider can be very helpful in providing an objective opinion.

Remember, not everyone who pays attention to you truly cares about you.  They can be looking for your weaknesses & fears to exploit them & manipulate you.

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Some About Last Straw Moments With Narcissists

One thing most people who haven’t experienced abuse at the hands of a narcissist fail to grasp is last straw moments.  In fact, they can be odd enough that even those of us who have experienced narcissistic relationships don’t always understand them.

Last straw moments are those things that a narcissist does that seals their fate with their victim.  The things may not be the worst thing they ever have done.  In fact, they may not be all that bad, especially in comparison to other things the narcissist has done.  They simply are something that makes a victim say “enough is enough!”

With my ex husband, it happened on our fourth wedding anniversary.  I’d told him I wanted a divorce probably a month prior.  He said I owed it to him to give him one last chance.  Being naive, I agreed to it.  Aside from moving out of his parents’ home, nothing changed.  On our anniversary, we watched television.  He suddenly said, “So you still want that divorce?”

With my mother, it happened when we had a huge argument in 2016 about me not telling my parents that my husband’s mother died.  They knew I didn’t speak to her or her two daughters.  I also was more concerned about my husband than my parents, especially since they spoke with my in-laws maybe four times in the 22 years we had been together at that time.  I naively thought they wouldn’t care about her passing other than concern for my husband.  I felt betrayed that my mother cared more about potentially upsetting my in-laws by not being there than me feeling her attendance would’ve shown she cared more for them than me.  When I told her how I felt, she acted like I was the one in the wrong, & was angry with me.  I couldn’t deal with her again.

Several months later, I went no contact with my father.  One day, my husband & I were having our back door replaced when suddenly my father showed up.  My husband told my father to leave, & after some harsh words, he did.  Twice the following week, he sent the police to do a wellness check, claiming my husband abused me & kept me from him.  My father sinking so low made me realize I’d never break no contact with him.

In all three scenarios, nothing they did was especially bad compared to their other actions.  Yet somehow, it also woke me up to how badly I needed to get away from such toxicity.

Chances are excellent that you will experience something similar in your relationship with the narcissist in your life.  When this happens, please learn from my experiences.

Don’t beat yourself up.  So what this wasn’t the worst thing they have done?  They have done plenty.  It’s normal that anything, even something sort of small, can push you over the edge, because your patience are worn out.

Don’t think you’re petty because what they did wasn’t as bad as other things.  Like I just said, it’s normal that anything, even something sort of small, can be too much after someone continually does terrible things to you.

Don’t compare your situation to anyone else’s.  Everyone is unique.  Just because your last straw moment was different than someone else’s doesn’t mean something is wrong with you.

Remember that you are unique as is the narcissist in your life.  There are no one size fits all solutions.  You need to handle the situation from here the best you can.  If others think you’re wrong, so be it.  If no one you know has handled a similar situation as you feel you need to, that isn’t important.  Do what you know in your heart is right in your situation, & don’t let anyone else change your mind.

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Loving Narcissistic Parents After No Contact

Both of my parents died not terribly long after going no contact with them.  My father within a few months in October, 2017 & my mother almost exactly 18 months later in April, 2019.  I have done a LOT of thinking since then because, well, that’s what I do, I overthink things.  lol  One thing I thought about though made a lot of sense & I wanted to share it with you.

When someone goes no contact with their narcissistic parent, it seems most people assume that person hates their parent.  They hate them so much, they can’t tolerate that person in their life any longer.  I find that is rarely the case.  Every person I’ve spoken with about this topic has said they loved their narcissistic parent deeply.  It was the abuse they hated, which is why they felt they had no other choice but to go no contact.

I felt the same way.  I hated how my parents treated me so badly, I felt I had no other choice but to go no contact.  I prayed a lot, I tried a lot of things, & nothing I did or said helped the relationship.  In fact, it kept getting worse.

Eventually I felt no contact was my only option & I prayed a LOT about that.  I felt God wanted me to wait, so I did even though it was incredibly difficult.  When the time felt right, I eliminated my parents from my life.  It was the hardest, most painful thing I’ve ever had to do.  Later, I learned it was also the right thing to do.

Just before my father died, he accepted Jesus as his Savior.  His miraculous story is on my website at www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com if you’d like to read it.  Anyway part of the reason he turned to God was because I wouldn’t go say goodbye to him as he was dying, in spite of knowing he wanted me to & the constant harassment & bullying by people trying to force me to.  Nothing else in his almost 80 years of life worked to make him turn to God, not even his own near death experience when he was a teenager.

After my mother died, I learned that she too accepted Jesus as her Savior.  Apparently she had as a young child, but stepped away from her new faith probably because of the abuse she received at home.  Me not having a relationship with her, I believe, helped to turn her towards God as it did my father.  During our almost three years of no contact at the time of her passing, I prayed for her daily.  During that time, God told me a few times that she was praying, asking God to make me contact her.  He said that her motivations were purely selfish, so He didn’t want me to.

I think my story isn’t terribly unique.  Many narcissistic parents end up alone in their final years, abandoned by the children they abused for their entire lives.  I also can’t help but think many would turn to God in their desperation for help as my parents did.  Hopefully they also would accept Jesus into their hearts as my parents did.

Dear Reader, as hard as it can be, please pray for your narcissistic parents.  God hears those prayers, even when we pray from an attitude of “I’m only doing this because I know You want me to.”  That was my attitude for a long time, yet in spite of it, both of my parents went to Heaven when they passed away.  So please, keep praying for your narcissistic parents.  Even if prayer is the only thing you can do for them, it is a very powerful & wonderful thing!

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Identifying Flying Monkeys Verses Those Who Are Duped By Narcissists

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Narcissists Aren’t The Only Ones Who Have Important Things Happen To Them

Anyone who has been subjected to narcissistic abuse knows that unless it affects a narcissist, a narcissist isn’t going to care about it.  Period.  As if that isn’t bad enough, they train victims to feel the same way.  No matter what happens to a victim, it isn’t important.  You could be lying in a pool of blood after someone hacked off your leg while the narcissist with you has a cold, & that narcissist will do their best to convince you that your freshly severed leg is no big deal.  Their sniffles though, now that is a crisis, so you need to stop whining about your leg!

Narcissists manage to convince victims of the lack of importance of their problems subtly.  They’re so subtle, most of us don’t even pay attention to what they are doing until years later when we realize it.

My overtly narcissistic mother simply ignored my problems.  I might as well have said nothing, because she would act as if I didn’t say anything or talk over me to change the subject.  There were other times if she did listen, she would blame me for the problem, even when I wasn’t at fault.

My father & ex husband, both covert narcissists, used a different tactic.  They would let me talk, listening to every word I said.  It seemed like they cared, but they didn’t.  They wouldn’t respond like a normal person & say “I’m sorry that happened to you” or “Are you ok?  Can I do anything to help?”  Instead, they would tell me how upset they were or how hard my problem was for them.

For example, the night in 1990 when I was 19 & my mother threw me into a wall, both my father & ex husband turned that into their crisis.  My ex said how upset he was that my mother did this, he was furious with her for hurting my back, etc. etc.  Not once that evening or in the years following did he offer me any comfort.

My father brought up that night periodically until he died.  Mostly about how awful it was that when he walked out, my mother locked him out of the house.  His keys were in his pocket & he could’ve come back inside at any time.  He also mentioned how bad the damage was where my mother threw me into.  It took him time to patch it up.  A couple of years before he died, my father literally said to me, “It’s ok.. you don’t have to apologize for busting up that wall.  I fixed it & it’s all over.”  I was blown away!  Why would I apologize?  Yes, it was me that broke a wall but not due to my own carelessness!  It was because my mother, who was much stronger than me, threw me into the thing!  And for the record, I told him this.

Although narcissists are clearly very good at training their victims to think their problems don’t matter, that doesn’t mean they are correct.  Not by a long shot, in fact.  For some reason, I never saw it until a few months after my mother died.  That is when I suddenly realized how it happened & how terrible it is!  I repeatedly have told myself that it wasn’t so bad, how my parents & ex treated me.  I’ve even doubted having C-PTSD in spite of flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, depression & more.

Please learn from my experiences!  Don’t buy the narcissist’s lies!  What happens to you *is* important!  It does matter!  Acknowledge your experiences for whatever they were.  Admit to yourself that you did great sometimes in spite of what the narcissist tells you.  Also admit that the traumatic ones were bad.  There is nothing wrong with that!  In fact, it’s a good thing to do because once you realize that, you can start to heal.

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Gratitude After Abuse

Every once in a while, I hear someone say they are grateful for the terrible things that happened to them at the hands of an abuser, because those awful things made them stronger or made them who they are today.  Honestly, I’m not sure that this is a good thing.  It may sound empowering, but really… is it truly good to be grateful for suffering horrific abuse even when good came from it?  I just don’t know.  It sounds too close to toxic positivity for me, but I can’t say with 100% certainty I’m right about that.  It may just be something that each person needs to decide for themselves if it is good for them or not.

What I do know though, is that whether or not you’re grateful for those terrible things, it’s a good idea to be grateful in general.  It helps to appreciate your loving husband, great kids, a secure job & whatever else is going on in your life.  A grateful attitude can help alleviate or at least lessen depression so naturally you should be grateful for the good things.

While it may be hard, I really think it’s good to appreciate the good that came from the bad things in your life too.  It’s taken me quite some time, but I eventually became grateful for all that I learned as a result of the narcissists & their abuse in my life.

I can spot a narcissist easily now, rather than simply ignore my instincts that were saying I should run for the hills rather than deal with this person.

If somehow I end up forced to deal with a narcissist, now I know how to deal with them in ways that protect my mental health.  There will be no more narcissists defining who I am.

Also if I end up forced to deal with one, I know ways to set boundaries now that prevent them from taking advantage of me.

My tolerance for abuse in any form is now gone.  I have no problem calling out abusive behavior whether it’s done to me or to someone else.  If it’s done to me, & someone reading this has been abusive to me, just know that you are going to be the subject of at least a blog post or two, YouTube video or maybe even a book at some point.  Probably you already have been in one of these roles by now.

I love the fact that the awful experiences in my life had a purpose.  Being able to write about such things & help others learn, grow & heal is incredibly rewarding.  It helps me to cope.  I can be less angry about the abuse knowing it all had a purpose.

Also, being through the horrors of abuse means I appreciate good people in my life more than the average person.  Those who haven’t been abused tend to take good people for granted much easier than those who have.  Appreciating good people just feels good, & that leads you to seek out other good people while rejecting toxic people.  It also strengthens relationships with good people because you can’t help but to let them know they are appreciated.

The more grateful you are, the more grateful you become.  Certainly that is a very good thing!

So what good things can you think of in your life that are a direct result of surviving abuse?  I’m sure if you think about it, there are plenty of good things.  Whether you are grateful for the horrors you’ve experienced or not, I really would like to encourage you to be grateful for the good that has come from it all.  It can be very good for your mental health!  xoxo

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Take Your Power Back From The Narcissist

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Narcissistic Abuse Isn’t Personal

When experiencing narcissistic abuse, it feels like the narcissist is attacking you like a hungry lion attacks prey.  They do their level best to destroy everything about you.  That feels incredibly personal, doesn’t it?  The fact is though that it isn’t.

Narcissists are incredibly selfish & self serving.  Every single thing they do is motivated by how it will serve or benefit them.

If a narcissist calls you ugly or stupid, it isn’t because he or she thinks you are.  It’s because it makes the narcissist feel powerful when they see you hurting because of that insult.

If your narcissistic spouse destroys your financial status, that isn’t about you either.  Destroying your finances makes him or her feel powerful.  You can’t leave him or her without money.  You can’t rent a place to live with a bad credit rating.  You are forced to maintain the relationship with this narcissist, & they love having that control.

If the narcissist in your life is your parent who refuses to treat you like an adult, again, that isn’t about you.  It doesn’t mean the narcissist believes you aren’t a capable adult.  Treating you as a child well past childhood gives that parent the control they want over you by making you feel incapable.

At the core of narcissistic behavior is the drive for narcissistic supply.  Narcissistic supply is anything that feeds the ego.  Everyone appreciates narcissistic supply to some degree.  A sincere complement makes you feel good, doesn’t it?  Most people appreciate complements.  Some may even fish for them once in a while, asking questions like, “Does this dress look ok on me?” in the hopes of hearing, “You look beautiful in that dress!”  That is narcissistic supply on a normal scale.  Narcissists, however, take this to an extreme.

Narcissists will do anything to gain their narcissistic supply & gain it often.  They have no problem tearing another person’s self esteem apart or manipulating & controlling others to get it.  The fact others are hurt in this process isn’t important to narcissists, due to their complete lack of empathy.  All that matters is they accomplish or obtain whatever it is that they want at that moment.  And, once that moment is done, they are looking for their next moment.

Narcissists are much like hard core drug addicts, always looking for their next high, & they will do anything to get that high.  The only difference is their drug of choice is narcissistic supply.

Always remember that what narcissists do is about them, not you. Even hurting, even destroying, you isn’t about you.  Every single solitary thing narcissists do is always about them & procuring their precious narcissistic supply, period.  The more you remember this, the less devastated you will be when the narcissist in your life says & does the terrible things they do to you.

One word of warning: this realization shows just what a damaged person the narcissist is.  It’s sad when you realize that someone’s thinking could be so warped as to not care about the tremendous amount of damage they do to others, including those they say they love.  While yes, this is sad, please don’t let yourself feel too much pity for the narcissist, because that can lead you down the path of tolerating their abuse.  Remember, they have chosen over & over to do the abusive things they have done.  This has shut down their empathy, & made it easier for them to continue to abuse.  While it’s sad they are as they are, narcissism is ultimately a result of their bad choices.

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