Category Archives: Mental Health

Helpful advice and information on mental health issues.

Being A Highly Sensitive Person In A Relationship With Someone Who Is Not

Highly sensitive people, also known as HSPs, are rather looked at as if we have some supernatural powers & are extremely fragile.  We are often perceived as freaks of nature that must be coddled through our daily existence.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  We are exceptionally sensitive to our surroundings & people in our lives, but we also are surprisingly strong.  We can handle a great deal provided we have our down time to recharge & people in our lives that accept that about us.  Yet somehow, we often end up romantically involved with people who don’t understand or accept that about us.

When you’re an HSP in love with someone who isn’t one, life is going to be a challenge.  It is so easy to assume that all conflicts in the relationship are your fault.  After all, you’re the sensitive one, so couldn’t you be over sensitive?  That’s certainly a reasonable question to ask!  However, did it not occur to you that you may see yourself as over sensitive because your significant other is rather insensitive in comparison? 

Your partner may not be an insensitive jerk, but rather an average person regarding their sensitivity level.  That isn’t a bad thing.  Most people are that way.  But, for the sake of your sanity, if at all possible, you need to accept your partner as they are & also ask them to accept that you aren’t like them.  You are more sensitive & being that way means your needs are different.  You need some things much more than your partner.  A partner who can accept such differences without judgment & try to accommodate them is a true gem!

Sometimes, non-HSP people tend to be thoughtless.  They may come home from work & turn on the radio or television with the volume way up when you need quiet.  Yes, this is very frustrating, but it doesn’t mean you need to be subjected to it.  Ask your partner to turn the volume down some & go into a separate space where you can have silence or your own preference for music or television set at a volume you prefer.  One of you in the living room & the other in a bedroom may work well.  If your home is too small for this, then consider going for a walk or a drive. 

Another helpful tip is to remind yourself often that not everyone is as sensitive to everything as you are.  Your partner may be a lovely, caring person but still can make insensitive comments periodically that upset you.  If your partner isn’t trying to cause you upset by such comments, if possible, let them go like water off a duck’s back.  Remember, not everyone will think like you, & that is ok!  If your partner is trying to upset you deliberately however, that is a very different scenario!  That is cruel & needs to be addressed.

You can blossom in a relationship with someone who isn’t a highly sensitive person, but there are some things you need to do.

Make time just for yourself, without your partner.  Enjoy whatever brings you joy – music, art, or your favorite hobbies.  Explain to your partner that it has nothing to do with you not wanting to spend time with them.  You simply need time alone to recharge.

There can be good things to remember about being with a non-HSP partner.  Your partner won’t struggle with being around other people while you enjoy your solitude, & you can introduce him or her to the beauty surrounding us every day.  The balance you bring to each other can be wonderful.  However, if your partner is too extroverted & frequently tries to convince you to socialize more often than you are comfortable with, that can be a problem.

Teach your partner about what it is like being a highly sensitive person.  This will show you how healthy your relationship is or is not.  Someone who truly loves & wants to be with you will be more than happy to learn about such things.  This also can help your relationship grow closer & increase your mutual love & understanding.

2 Comments

Filed under Enjoying Life, Mental Health

Being A Joy Thief

So many people are quick to squelch the things that bring other people joy.  Granted, narcissists seem to have cornered the market on this behavior, but other people do it as well, & often without even realizing how discouraging their behavior is to others.

Here is one example of joy thief behavior I can give from my life.  Years ago, I shared a picture of some shoes I really liked on Facebook.  I’m not a big fan of shoes like many women, but these were an exception since they were simply gorgeous & unique.  As soon as I did, two of my aunts attacked me for my supposed poor taste.  Immediately, the moment of joy I felt at seeing these lovely shoes was ruined.  Thank God for good friends though, because a wonderful friend of mine came to my defense immediately, which made my aunts back off quickly.

Another way people do this is by showing holier than thou type behavior.  When a person thinks something is an answer to prayer, others can be quick to point out it isn’t exactly what the person asked for or it’s something rather unique, so it probably isn’t really an answer to prayer.  Or maybe you are like me & believe that there is nothing wrong with asking God for signs.  When telling some folks I got a sign, some people have told me, “You know that’s not really from God, right?” or, “Nowhere in the Bible are there any examples to support He would send a sign like that.”  Such comments are so discouraging & can make a person doubt they heard from God properly.  They can even damage a person’s faith, in particular if they are new Christians.

While these events are hardly the most traumatic a person can experience in their life, they still shouldn’t happen.  People deserve to experience their joy without the unnecessary shaming from other people.  There is no good reason to rain on another person’s parade.

What harm could possibly come from someone enjoying something that you dislike?  No harm could come to humanity because one person prefers autumn & another prefers summer, one person dislikes holidays while another listens to Christmas music in July or even one person prefers tea to coffee.  Seriously, issues like this are silly & not worth arguing about.

Even when it comes to someone’s faith, many issues aren’t worth disagreeing over.  Every Christian is at a different place in their walk with God.  While you may be further along than another, you are still well behind yet another person.  You don’t know everything, so why act like you do?  If someone believes something that you disagree with, unless you can back up your belief with Scripture, let it go.    Romans 14:12 & 13 in the Amplified Bible have this to say…  “So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.  Then let us not criticize one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block or a source of temptation in another believer’s way.”  

Please consider your behavior & avoid being a joy thief.  It will be good for your relationships as well as for your peace of mind.  Being burdened with trying to change other people only makes both people in this situation miserable.  Why behave that way?  Enjoy your life instead & allow others in your life to enjoy theirs as well.

10 Comments

Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Enjoying Life, Mental Health

When People Must Share Their Opinions With You, Whether Or Not You Want Them To

I’ve noticed many people feel they must share any & all opinions, no matter whether or not other people asked them for those opinions & no matter how negative those opinions are.  Probably this is due to social media, & the ability to say anything without fear of any real repercussions from most “friends”.  Whatever the reason, it is highly annoying!  It seems nothing is a safe topic of discussion anymore.

If you think about it, you probably will realize how many folks share their less than encouraging opinions freely, no matter the topic.  Mention your thoughts on children, for example, whether or not to have children, your feelings on abortion or child rearing.  People will come out of nowhere to tell you how wrong you are & why you should think the same way they do.  Some folks tell those who have children things like they weren’t a real parent because they only had one child, they have too many children if they have more than one, or they were wrong for bottle feeding over breast feeding.  Then there are others who are adamantly against abortion because they say life is precious, yet these same people have no problem discussing their disdain for so called dirty or dumb animals & insulting vegetarians or vegans.

It amazes me that people think that their opinions are so incredibly important that they must be shared freely & with every single person they meet!

Chances are you will be subjected to this obnoxious situation at some point in your life.  And, if you’re a victim of narcissistic abuse, it can be very upsetting.  After experiencing the constant criticisms of a narcissist, you easily can become completely fed up with hearing such negativity.  That is understandable!  After experiencing this situation though I realized some things, & I want to share these things with you today.

You may never be ok with such behavior.  For one thing, it can trigger the same emotions you felt when the narcissist in your life tried to hurt you by telling you how terrible your feelings, opinions, thoughts, & everything about you were.  Early in healing, this behavior is very hard to handle because of that.  The more you heal though, the better you learn to handle triggering behavior of other people.  You see it for what it is, & handle the situation accordingly.

It’s also highly insulting when someone criticizes things that are important to you.  Insulting behavior isn’t something anyone should be ok with experiencing!  That being said though, the more you heal, the less it bothers you.  As you heal, you care less & less what other people think of you.  You realize their opinions are just that.  Theirs!  You also realize what they think is best for you isn’t necessarily what truly is best for you.  Only you know what is best for you.

What becomes more offensive than the opinions of other people is the fact that they are comfortable being disrespectful to you.  It can be very helpful to recognize why this person feels this way.  They may simply recognize you as a safe person for venting their anger or frustration at themselves on, which is why they mistreat you.  Or, this behavior may realize this person is a narcissist.  In any case, whether the person’s intentions towards you were malicious or not, it’s important to exercise healthy boundaries.  You don’t deserve to be mistreated.

Recognizing why they treat you this way can be very helpful too, because you see that their behavior isn’t about you.  It’s about them & their own dysfunction.

Unfortunately, many people seem to think they must have & share opinions on everything.  Although that is a waste of time to more functional individuals who recognize that they don’t need to have opinions on everything, let alone share them with everyone, dysfunctional people don’t see that.  Learning to deal with these people in a healthy way is a very useful skill to help you live a peaceful life.

5 Comments

Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

Common Myths About Narcissism

There are many myths about narcissists.  This post addresses some of the common ones & why these myths are wrong.

“Narcissism is a disorder.  They can’t help their behavior.”  While narcissism is listed as a personality disorder, it isn’t a typical mental disorder.  Personality disorders describe dysfunctional behavior rather than a physical problem with someone’s brain.  If you doubt this, watch any narcissist around someone they want to impress & their victim.  Their behavior will be extremely different with each person.

“Narcissists don’t know what they’re doing hurts people.”  Yes they do know.  They know that what they are doing causes pain & suffering, but they don’t care.  This is because one of the hallmarks of Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a complete lack of empathy.  If you have doubts, watch a narcissist’s reaction when they hurt you.  Chances are you will see a sign of satisfaction the moment they realize how badly they hurt you.  A slight smirk, smug facial expression or glimmer in their eyes are the most common signs.

“If you tell a narcissist that what they’re doing hurts you, they’ll change their behavior.”  That lack of empathy thing?  That is exactly why this is wrong.  Narcissists do NOT care about any pain & suffering they cause.  In fact, if you tell them that something they have done hurts you, chances are excellent that they’ll do that behavior again because they know how much it hurts you.

“He/She has been abused.  That behavior is all they know.”  Maybe this is true.  Many narcissists have been abused & because of that, they don’t know how to behave in a healthy way.  That being said though, anyone knows that if something hurts them, it will hurt someone else.  That should be a sign that they shouldn’t do certain things!  Even if they don’t really know what to do, they absolutely know what they shouldn’t do.

“Narcissists aren’t so bad.  They’re just selfish.”  Narcissists aren’t your average, garden variety selfish jerk.  Average selfish people simply don’t think of others as much as they should.  They aren’t necessarily out to cause pain, but rather it is a consequence of their lack of consideration of others.  When they learn they have hurt someone, they apologize & try to change their behavior.  Narcissists enjoy causing pain.  They also care only about what they want, so hurting others to get those things won’t upset them.  They won’t apologize sincerely or change their selfish behavior no matter how much pain they cause.

“No one can be a narcissist & be active in the church/a teacher/a doctor/a police officer/a therapist.”  Narcissists are attracted to the so called “helping professions.”  People admire, respect & obey those in helping professions.  Narcissists crave that sort of treatment from others like oxygen.  They also enjoy being in control, & those positions offer them some degree of authority over others.

“Narcissists are all alike so it’s easy to find ways to deal with them.”  Lots of no in this statement!!  While many narcissists behave much the same way, that doesn’t mean they’re all alike.  Not only are there different types of narcissists, but each one is also an individual with their own unique personality, likes, dislikes, quirks & more.  Also Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a spectrum disorder.  Someone who exhibits almost all or all behaviors of NPD is known as a malignant narcissist.  They are impossible to deal with & are much more dangerous than someone who exhibits only a few traits.

“Narcissists are easy to identify.  They brag about themselves & their accomplishments.”  There are overt narcissists who behave this way but that doesn’t describe all narcissists.  Covert narcissists are the opposite.  They are often meek, quiet, appear very unassuming & even not very intelligent.  They appear selfless & even martyr-like.  People admire them for being such good people, which provides them a lot of admiration.

This is hardly an all inclusive list of myths, but I hope this short list helps you anyway.

2 Comments

Filed under Mental Health, Narcissism

My Newest Venture

If you recall some time back I mentioned I wanted to focus more on enjoying life in my writing & putting that into practice in my own life. I have done something that will let me do just that.

I decided to make & sell homemade beauty products & perfumes. I used to do this years ago, before being an author took precedence in my life, but recently decided to get back into it, along with continuing to write of course.

Making these products is a lot of fun for me & a great creative outlet, but as one person, I can only use so much! That’s why I decided to sell these products. That gives me an excuse to do something I love. Bonus if I make some extra money at it.

The link to my new website is below. Check it out! 🙂

Heaven Scent Creations

4 Comments

Filed under Enjoying Life, Mental Health

God Plans Our Lives With Love

There is no denying that live can be exceedingly difficult sometimes. My readers know this as well if not better than anyone due to experiences with narcissists. This can make anyone wonder where was God during the abuse? Did He even care about what was happening to me? Does He really love me? The answers are He was right with you, He did care & was deeply upset about it & yes, He absolutely loves you!

I was considering writing my own post on this topic but found this one on an amazing blog that explains this topic much better than I can. I decided to share that post instead, & I hope it blesses you tremendously! The link to the post is below.

I did want to say one thing though… for years now, Romans 8:28 has helped me during the especially tough times & I think it may help you as well…

And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.

Romans 8:28 AMP

2 Comments

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

If You’re Still In A Relationship With A Narcissist

January 12, 2018, I had a very strange experience.  That was my father’s birthday, his first since he died the previous October.  I was thinking about that when God told me that my father wanted Him to tell me something.  He said, “Encourage the weak, like me.”  I knew what that message meant immediately. 

After my father died, God showed me a lot about him.  He showed me how my father felt trapped in their marriage & unable to protect me.  At the time of his death, upon meeting God, he also finally saw how wrong he had been to me.  God showed me how weak my father felt he was.  When God said to encourage the weak, I knew immediately He meant that I should encourage those who are in similar situations & also feel weak for it.

Every January on my father’s birthday, I write a blog post to do just this, to encourage those who also feel weak & in a relationship with a narcissist.

If you have been unable to end a relationship with a narcissist, I don’t think this makes you weak at all, although I certainly understand why you could feel that way.  Fighting a narcissist is incredibly draining & makes you feel weak both mentally & physically. 

Maybe the narcissist in your life has destroyed you financially & you are dependent on them.  Sadly this is incredibly common.  Narcissists excel at financial abuse.  That doesn’t make you weak!

Maybe the narcissist has made you feel forced to maintain the relationship with them.  Many make terrible threats if the victim says they want to leave.  They threaten to keep them from their children or even kill their children.  They threaten to kill their loved ones or pets.  When this happens, how can you not stay out of fear the narcissist will follow through on such threats?!  That doesn’t make you weak.  It makes you someone who loves others & wants to protect them.

Narcissists also often make their victims feel obligated to them somehow.  They may twist Scripture around to make you seem evil for considering ending the relationship with your parent or spouse.  Or they may manipulate your good nature & make you pity them.  My ex husband made me feel so guilty for breaking our engagement that I later married him, even though I was incredibly unhappy with him.  Manipulation is what made me return to him & stay as long as I did.  If that is your situation too, it’s manipulation, not weakness on your part!

Maybe the narcissist has destroyed your self-esteem so badly, you feel completely unable to make it without that person.  Sadly, this happens!  Feeling this way isn’t a sign of weakness at all.  It’s a sign of a cruel person abusing you to put you in such a terrible state.

Maintaining a relationship with a narcissist is hard!  It takes a great deal of strength to maintain your sanity & courage to continue on in this way.

If ending the relationship is your goal, that is brave!  It also isn’t the easy fix many people seem to think it is.  If you live with the narcissist, it takes time to prepare financially, to arrange for a new place to live, & more.  Whether or not you live with the narcissist, it also takes time to figure out the best way to end that relationship to minimize their rage as well as for you to summon the courage to follow through with your plans.

No, you aren’t weak for staying in the relationship with a narcissist.  If you’re looking for solutions, that shows you are strong.  Obviously you want to survive this situation & that courage of yours will pay off.  You will get through this with your dignity & your sanity in tact!

4 Comments

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

A Wonderful Idea

I use the Nextdoor app to see what is going on in my town.  It’s really an interesting app.  It reminds me a bit of Facebook, but is for people in your town only.  Your neighbors share all kinds of stuff on there!  They sell stuff, share stories of happenings such as flea markets or concerts, they discuss any criminal activity & much more.  It’s a great way to keep up to date on all the interesting stuff in your town.

Recently I was reading Nextdoor & saw an older post on there entitled “What do you need?”  The post asked people to share a need they have for something that they simply can’t afford right now.  Those who could meet those needs were encouraged to reply.  I thought it was a lovely idea.  Reading through the comments was heartwarming.  So many people shared their needs, big & small, & they were met.  Some asked for food for their pets & others offered to drop some food off or order it online & have it sent to their home.  One asked for a recommendation for a physician who uses naturopathic cancer treatments & that person got some recommendations.  Another asked for moving boxes & got that need met.  One person needed new brakes on their car & was given the name & number of a very reliable mechanic as well as coupons for the parts.  Yet another mentioned hosting Thanksgiving dinner & invited anyone who wanted to come.  Some people said they were not in any need & were grateful for what they had.

This post was really a lovely conversation!  It was heartwarming seeing so many people willingly help each other out, & also to see the new friendships that were formed.

While this post was created during the month of November due to being inspired by the holiday season, I think it’d be a lovely idea to create such a post during any time of the year.  People seem to be more generous during the holidays, but we should be generous during the entire year.  It is good for the giver & the receiver when someone is generous & giving.  In the Amplified Bible, Proverbs 11:25 says, “The generous man [is a source of blessing and] shall be prosperous and enriched, And he who waters will himself be watered [reaping the generosity he has sown].”  Luke 6:38 says, “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over [with no space left for more]. For with the standard of measurement you use [when you do good to others], it will be measured to you in return.” & 2 Corinthians 9:6 says, “Now [remember] this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows generously [that blessings may come to others] will also reap generously [and be blessed].”

If you are in a difficult season of not having much to spare, don’t worry!  Whatever you give, no matter how little, is just as important & valuable in God’s eyes & no doubt to the recipient of your kindness as well.  2 Corinthians 8:12 says, “For if the eagerness [to give] is there, it is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.”  And, Mark 12:41-44 tells the story of Jesus praising a poor widow who only gave a small amount because she was willing to give what little she had. 

I hope you were inspired by the “What do you need” post & will consider doing something similar.  There are so many ways to be a blessing to other people!  Obviously creating this type of post is one way, but you also could donate your time or money to food pantries or soup kitchens, visit those in nursing homes, set up a table with free food such as canned goods or build a small “take one leave one” library of sorts in your yard.  The possibilities are really endless!

2 Comments

Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Enjoying Life, Mental Health

After The Relationship With A Narcissist

Ending a relationship with a narcissist is very difficult.  Whether they end it with you or you end it with them, it is an incredibly challenging time.

If they end the relationship with you, chances are you will feel like an utter failure for disappointing them.  You will wonder what you could have done better, how did you fail this person so badly & other painful thoughts.  If the narcissist in question is your parent, you may feel excessive guilt for disappointing your parent so badly they felt they had to cut you out of their life. 

If you end the relationship with them, chances are you will be racked with guilt & even shame for hurting this person so badly.  I remember when I ended my engagement to my now ex husband, I felt so free… until he & his friends started telling me how miserable he was without me, how I should resume the relationship & more.  The guilt was more than I could take, which is why I went against my better judgment & married him.

If you’re feeling anything like I have described or more that I haven’t after a relationship with the narcissist in your life has ended, I want to talk to you today.

You have zero reason to feel badly, & this is why…

If you ended it, you did so to protect your mental & physical health.  That is NOT a bad thing!  Everyone has to take care of themselves!  God has entrusted us with this one mind & body, so why shouldn’t we take good care of them?!

If you think you should have been more patient or understanding, stop that right now.  Patience & understanding are great, but they can enable bad behavior.  Healthy boundaries don’t mean you lack these qualities, but that you won’t tolerate being abused even if you understand why the person is abusive.

If you feel that you didn’t do enough, again, stop!  People who have been in any relationship with a narcissist, whether that person is a friend, relative, spouse or whatever, tend to go above & beyond.  The real problem isn’t that you didn’t do enough.  It’s that narcissists want too much.  Nothing is ever enough as far as they’re concerned.  You could work at pleasing them until you are almost dead & they still would say you didn’t do enough.  No human being could please a narcissist for more than the occasional rare moment.

If the narcissist ended it with you, this doesn’t mean you have failed in any way.  Narcissists have exceedingly high & unrealistic expectations.  They expect more than any human can give.  As I just mentioned, no human being can please any narcissist for more than a fleeting moment.

Narcissists don’t understand what it is like to love in a real, healthy, Godly way.  They claim to love some people, but sadly their version of love is nothing like what love is supposed to be.  They “love” people that they can manipulate & use to provide them with narcissistic supply. 

If you doubt what I am saying, consider how the narcissist has acted since your relationship with you ended.  Chances are, they have acted much like a child who either has lost their favorite toy or lost interest in that toy.  They either act heartbroken & like that “toy” has done them wrong, or they act like they don’t care about the toy because it was defective anyway & they’re better off without it.

Whether you ended the relationship with the narcissist or they ended it with you, you are going to be fine.  It may not feel like it now, but it is true!  In time, you will realize how much better off you are without that person in your life.

2 Comments

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

Boundaries Are Always Necessary, Even With Other Christians

Many people assume that being a Christian means you have no real boundaries.  You’re nice & helpful to everyone, & if you aren’t, you must not be a “real” Christian, whatever that means.  That isn’t even close to what being a Christian means however.

The Bible contains verses stating that as Christians, we should separate ourselves from others who claim to be Christians yet who act in toxic ways.  Matthew 18:15-17 says, “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens and pays attention to you, you have won back your brother. But if he does not listen, take along with you one or two others, so that every word may be confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he pays no attention to them [refusing to listen and obey], tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile (unbeliever) and a tax collector.”  And, 1 Corinthians 5:11 says, “But actually, I have written to you not to associate with any so-called [Christian] brother if he is sexually immoral or greedy, or is an idolater [devoted to anything that takes the place of God], or is a reviler [who insults or slanders or otherwise verbally abuses others], or is a drunkard or a swindler—you must not so much as eat with such a person.”

Clearly, boundaries are a necessary part of life.  Even in healthy relationships, they are necessary because without them, people can become enmeshed & unhealthy.  If boundaries are vital in healthy relationships, doesn’t it stand to reason that they are even more vital with unhealthy people?

Not setting boundaries isn’t being unloving, unkind, selfish or even a “bad Christian.”  Boundaries protect love, Godly love, because it means we are standing up to things that can damage or even destroy love.

We can & should set limits with those who behave badly in particular those who claim to be Christians, because they can be especially dangerous.  They are the ones who claim their toxic behavior is Godly which can lead people away from God. It is completely reasonable & even Godly to limit your time spent around someone who doesn’t behave in a healthy way.  It also is Godly to sever ties with someone who refuses to acknowledge the pain their behavior causes & change their ways.  Someone who doesn’t care that their behavior hurts other people or who even enjoys causing pain is toxic, & eliminating toxic relationships from your life is far from a bad thing to do!  Matthew 10:14 says, “Whoever does not welcome you, nor listen to your message, as you leave that house or city, shake the dust [of it] off your feet [in contempt, breaking all ties].”

Boundaries aren’t controlling, so please don’t think setting & enforcing them makes you a controlling or manipulative person.  Healthy boundaries are set & enforced to protect yourself, not change other people.  They are left with the choice to respect those boundaries or not respect them & deal with the consequences of their lack of respect.  Basically, that is what God does.  He doesn’t force people to do anything.  He has ways that He wants people to follow to have their best life, but rather than force people into obedience, He gives people the freedom to obey or disobey.  If they obey, they enjoy a close relationship with God.  If they disobey, they suffer consequences.  If they see the error of their ways & want to change, He certainly will forgive them & allow them into relationship with Him.  God displays the perfect model of how people should behave with each other.

6 Comments

Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Enjoying Life, Mental Health

When Covert Narcissists Act Immature, Incompetent, & Dumb

A very common tactic of covert narcissists is to portray themselves as immature, incompetent & even dumb. Considering all narcissists want to be seen as special & even superior people, this sounds wrong, but I can assure you, it happens.  I’ve seen it first hand.

Whether a narcissist is overt or covert, two of their main goals are to abuse & control their victims.  Appearing not overly capable allows narcissists to do just this while receiving no consequences whatsoever, because people often believe that the narcissist who behaves this way simply doesn’t know any better.  Consider these scenarios

A child who grows up with a covertly narcissistic parent like this often is assigned the role of protector of that parent.  Since narcissists often marry, mostly an overt & a covert narcissist, the child protects the covert narcissist parent from the overt one.  The covert narcissist can get away with just as much if not more abuse than the overt one, because the overt is in the spotlight.  There is no denying the abusive ways of the overt narcissist.  Covert narcissistic parents however, can fly under the radar, abusing their children quietly through manipulation while getting their children to protect them from the overt narcissistic parent.  They end up looking like the good parent, & the child honestly believes they are until they learn about Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  This is how I grew up with a covert narcissist father & overt narcissist mother, & my story is very common.

Consider the common scenario of the covertly narcissistic mother in-law who is verbally abusive to her daughter in-law when they are alone, & never in front of her son.  When the daughter in-law tells her husband, this can go several ways.  One is the husband defends his mother.  He hasn’t seen her do anything his wife says she has, so he doesn’t believe his wife is telling the truth about his mother.  Or, he defends his mother saying yes, she can be hurtful sometimes, but she just doesn’t know any better so the wife can’t get mad at her.  Or, maybe he does believe his wife, & then confronts his mother.  His mother claims she had no idea what she said would upset his wife.  She cries & says she meant no harm, she was just trying to help.  He believes this victim act & stops defending his wife to his mother rather than face her crocodile tears.  By acting immature & unintelligent, this person is able to get away with abusing her daughter in-law, having her son protect her instead of his wife & she has caused a giant rift in their marriage.

Using a covertly narcissistic mother in-law as an example again (since I have plenty of experience in this area), consider this scenario.  This mother in-law hates that her recently married son isn’t spending as much time with her as he once did.  Naturally all parents aren’t thrilled by that, but most take it in stride as a natural course of events.  Narcissistic parents however take it as a personal slight against them, as if their adult child’s new spouse married them for the sole purpose of stealing them from their parents.  Rather than simply call her son & say, “I miss you.  Would you & your wife like to come to dinner next weekend?  I’ll make your favorite dish”, covert narcissistic mothers plan.  The mother in this situation can come up with all sorts of things she needs her son to help her with because she claims she doesn’t know how to do these things.  Since he does, she needs his help.  She often creates more & more tasks for him, taking him away from his new wife.  She may even invent a need for him on his anniversary or his wife’s birthday, claiming she forgot the date.  If his wife protests, he feels torn because although he may want to spend more time with his wife, he feels badly for his poor helpless mom who needs him.  He may even see his wife as unreasonable & selfish.  Another giant rift in the adult son’s marriage can be caused by this situation.

If you recognize someone you know in these behaviors, then chances are excellent you’re dealing with a covert narcissist.  If that is the case, there are some ways to help you handle this situation. 

Never provide this person personal details or information, since that will be used against you at some point. 

Never show them any emotions, because showing emotions helps narcissists figure out what works in hurting or abusing victims. 

Do NOT allow this person to manipulate you.  Recognize the signs & change the subject, hang up the phone or leave when the manipulation starts. 

Try never to be alone with them.  Covert narcissists behave better when there are witnesses. 

Don’t ever think they just don’t know any better.  They DO know better, but they don’t see a reason to behave better. 

Never forget that no one can be devious & stupid at the same time. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Mental Health, Narcissism

About People Who Push Your Buttons

The world is full of many people.  Some of those people seem to have a knack for pushing every button you have.  Something about them constantly gets under your skin.  It seems like every single time you speak to them, you walk away angry or hurt.  Possibly the worst part of it is when you say something to them, no matter how gently you phrase it, somehow they twist the conversation around to the point you end up feeling badly for upsetting them. 

While many people don’t want to believe this, those people are almost always covert narcissists.  Yes, it does sound harsh to label them as such.  No, I don’t know the person you know who behaves this way.  Yet, I feel safe in standing by my statement that this person is almost certainly a covert narcissist.

Covert narcissists love to push people’s buttons.  They say cruel things to someone either about that person or those the person loves.  That person’s family, job, hobbies, beliefs, likes, dislikes & more are all targets for the covert narcissist’s criticism.  However, their nastiness often happens only when their victim is alone with them.  If the victim is with the narcissist & at least one other person, the narcissist is often as sweet as can be.  That way, if the victim gets angry at the narcissist’s fake behavior, they aren’t believed.  They would look foolish because others only see the good behavior.  An example I can give of this behavior from my own life happened with my late mother in-law.  My husband & I eloped.  Not long after we got home, we visited his parents as we did constantly during that time.  His mother & I were alone washing dishes while he & his father were elsewhere in the house.  His mother told me how she & his father were horribly disappointed that my husband married me instead of an ex.  A short time later, my in-laws had a party.  At said party, my mother in-law told her sister, “I want you to meet my beautiful daughter in-law!”  I obviously was angry & disgusted, but who upon seeing this would have believed how awful my previous interaction with my mother in-law had been?

Covert narcissists also like to play dumb regarding so many things, including their button pushing behavior.  Playing dumb is very advantageous to them.  It means people think they can’t do much so they do things for the narcissist.  They get joy from being able to make people do things for them.  It also works well when they push other people’s buttons.  If the victim confronts the narcissist, the narcissist can play dumb & claim they didn’t know what they said or did would upset the victim or that they were simply trying to help.  Either way, if a victim is unaware of this tactic, often they will feel badly for misunderstanding the narcissist.  They will let the issue go.  As an added bonus for the narcissist, this also teaches the victim to be more tolerant of abuse.  Victims come to think the narcissist truly doesn’t know any better, so they need to overlook anything that the narcissist says or does that is upsetting. 

The truth about covert narcissists & their button pushing behavior is they know exactly what they are doing.  They aren’t naïve.  They only play naïve in order to get their way.  No one who is truly naïve knows exactly who they need to hide certain behaviors from & has the self control to do this.  Also a truly naïve person wouldn’t know that certain things are especially upsetting, let alone continue to do them regularly.  This is especially true if you have told this person their behavior upsets you.  Anyone who knows something is upsetting & yet continues to do it knows just what they are doing & make no mistake, this is abuse!  A normal, functional person with even a minimal degree of empathy would stop doing hurtful things upon finding out something they say or do hurts other people. 

I know this can be hard to believe, that someone you care for is this type of person, but accepting this fact is truly life changing.  Understanding the truth about people in your life & learning ways to deal with them enables you to have much healthier relationships.  You have more peace & joy.  Best of all you learn to avoid abusive people.

17 Comments

Filed under Enjoying Life, Mental Health, Narcissism

15% Off All My Print Books!

My publisher is offering another sale. 15% off all my print books until December 31, 2021. Use code NEWYEAR15 at checkout.

My print books can be found at this link…

my spotlight on Lulu

Leave a comment

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

What Can Happen When You Initiate Divorce Rather Than Your Spouse

People treat people getting a divorce very differently.  Often the one who didn’t initiate the divorce gets plenty of support & sympathy.  Those close to this person often shun the spouse who wanted the divorce & may even try to fix up their friend with someone new. 

The spouse who initiates the divorce usually gets no similar treatment.  This person is not only on the receiving end of rudeness from their soon to be ex spouse’s friends & family, but they receive very little support from those close to them.  It seems to me that most people think if divorce was your idea, then it isn’t hard on you.  In their mind, you’re simply ending your marriage & going on with your life as if nothing happened.

The truth however, is whichever side of the divorce you’re on, it can be incredibly painful.  Since there is very little information available for those who initiate divorce, I’ll be addressing them today.

I have been in your shoes.  My divorce to my first husband was my idea.  I was miserable, & as I wasn’t a Christian at the time, I had no hope.  I also was falling in love with my current husband who I was friends with at that time, so divorce was the only logical option in my mind.

I sincerely tried to be as good as I could be to my ex as we worked towards our separation, but it was pointless.  I was labeled the ungrateful, cheater who was leaving a great guy for no reason whatsoever.  People who had been our mutual friends suddenly got a snide attitude whenever they saw me, if they spoke to me.  Only one mutual friend of ours & his wife stayed friends with me while the rest abandoned me. 

My scenario is pretty typical, sad to say.  If you have experienced something similar because you opted to divorce your spouse, I want to let you know that you are NOT alone!  There are many of us out there!

I also want to give you hope today.  When you go through that situation, it hurts.  You feel so lost & alone.  You have doubts about your decision.  Even if your spouse was abusive like mine was, doubts are normal.  Divorce is a big decision & creates so much change.  All those feelings are normal, & you need to remember it.  You’re not overacting, crazy or whatever else people act like you are. 

You also have every right to be upset about getting a divorce!  Just because you initiated it doesn’t mean you have lost that right!  Clearly there was something bad going on to make you decide divorce was your only option.  Whatever that was clearly was bad, & you have every right to be upset about that.

You also have every right to be upset about your failed marriage.  It’s a loss, & loss is tough even when it is necessary or unavoidable.  The divorce being your idea rather than your spouse’s doesn’t negate that fact.  Nothing does. 

Never forget, that you have a Heavenly Father who won’t desert you like people have.  He will love you no matter what, & help you to get through this painful time.  He certainly did me.  I became a Christian a few months after my ex & I separated, & I am so grateful to God for helping me through that terrible time!  Not only did He offer me comfort & wisdom for healing, but He sent me new friends that were wonderful.  Much better than the ones I had originally.  Truly, I came out much better off without my ex & with God in my life.  What He has done for me, He can do for you too!  All you have to do is lean on Him & trust that He will help you however you need.

6 Comments

Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

When Someone Refers To Someone Else As An Outsider Or Outcast

When you meet someone new & get to know that person, at some point your families will come up in conversation.  A red flag you need to be aware of may suddenly show up when you begin to discuss your families.  The particular red flag I’m referring to is when someone refers to another person in their family as if they are a big problem in the family, & they have no problem labeling the person based on that assumption.  They may call them an outsider, the black sheep or even the problem child.

The reason this is a red flag is because it shows the person discussing their relative this way is a part of an “us against them” mentality.  Clearly, that “problem child” is a huge problem within his or her own family.  This is a sign of a person being scapegoated.  And, scapegoating is a sign of an abusive family.

I saw this in action when I first got involved with my husband.  His family very much has an “us versus them” mentality.  Those of us who joined the family were clearly outsiders.  The only ones welcomed into the inner sanctum were ones who came from a very wealthy family or who did the bidding of the in-law family.  Think the Borg from Star Trek The Next Generation.  “You will be assimilated.  Resistance is futile.”  Those of us who weren’t willing to assimilate into the family & focus all of our attention on the in-laws, aka the Collective, were clearly outsiders & treated as such.

The family in these situations acts as if they are the good people, burdened by this person’s terrible behavior, trouble causing & lack of worthiness to be a part of their precious family.  The outsider, in short, is to blame for any & all problems within the family, & a source of great embarrassment, which is the definition of a scapegoat in a narcissistic family.

Treating people this way is very common not just among in-laws, but within biological families as well.  It’s happened to me as well as many of my readers who I’ve spoken with.  By scapegoating one person, this allows a group of people to avoid any responsibility for problems within their group.  Clearly they did nothing wrong!  It was that awful scapegoat who is to blame for all the ills in the family.

By shifting all blame to the scapegoat, this also allows the group to maintain the image they wish to portray –  the big happy family, the perfect family, better than others, etc.

Possibly the biggest advantage for those who scapegoat someone is by doing this, they are able to maintain their denial.  Denial they have done anything wrong, denial their family isn’t perfect, denial that the toxic person in the family isn’t really the toxic one.

These are such incredibly unhealthy behaviors!  Functional people don’t blame innocent people.  They accept responsibility for their behavior & expect others to do the same.  Functional people also respect that everyone is an individual & don’t get angry when someone believes, thinks or acts differently than them.

There is one final thing you need to be aware of on this topic.  Not every person who mentions someone in their family as an outsider is dysfunctional.  You can tell the difference between a functional & dysfunctional person discussing the outsider in their family.  A functional person doesn’t speak of their family’s outsider in a bad light.  They think of the person in question as very different than the rest of the family, but they don’t paint that person in a negative light.  They may even admire the differences in that person.  In any case, they have no problem with this “outsider’s” differences.

If someone you just met discusses an outsider in their family, pay attention to how they discuss this person.  It can show you whether or not this is an emotionally healthy, functional person.

12 Comments

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health, Narcissism

News About My Apps

As of tomorrow, December 24, 2021 my app for both my website (https://www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com) & The Butterfly Project (https://www.TheButterflyProject.CynthiaBaileyRug.com) will be disabled.

I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause! There are some changes required to make it available for installation & frankly, they’re well over my knowledge level of apps. I have no desire to try to figure this all out since it’s well over my head. If anyone wants to check out my websites, the links are in the previous paragraph. You don’t need an app. I only made them for the sake of convenience.

Thank you for understanding everyone! xoxo

2 Comments

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

For Those Who Lack Joy During The Holidays & Are Judged For It

Many people struggle through the holiday season for a range of very valid reasons.  Dysfunctional families causing unnecessary drama & misery, suffering loss through failed relationships or deaths of loved ones & financial struggles are some of the most common reasons, but there are many more.  Yet in spite of the validity of these reasons, many people are quick to shame these poor people, making their pain even worse.

My heart goes out to such people.  As I’ve written about plenty of times, I struggle through the holidays as well.  And, as many others have experienced, I’ve been shamed for that as well.  I’ve heard the usual comments like, “Focus on the positive!”  “It’s the most wonderful time of year!”  “Everyone is so happy.  Why can’t you be happy too?”  “Don’t be so negative.  It’s Christmas!!”  It’s no surprise, but comments don’t help. 

What people who make comments like this fail to realize is saying such things doesn’t make a person automatically feel better.  In fact, they only make a person feel worse.  It’s much like how saying, “cheer up” doesn’t cure depression or, “stop worrying!” doesn’t cure anxiety.

When you are faced with these overly judgmental people, it will be upsetting.  There is no avoiding that.  It does help to remember that some people simply aren’t very understanding others.  They either can’t or won’t try to understand the position of another person & unfortunately, they are everywhere.  This is how they are & they have no desire to change that about themselves. It has nothing about you that makes them act this way. 

There is also the fact that so many people have their own issues that they refuse to face.  Some people have come from their own dysfunctional, abusive pasts & rather than admit that fact & face their demons, they prefer to think only of happy things.  Traditionally, holidays are supposed to be a time of joy, so they are a great time to justifiably be focused on only happy things.  Or maybe holidays were the only time of joy they had in their childhood, so as adults, they cling to them to bring them joy as they once did.  Holidays also allow dysfunctional families to gather together & pretend that they are functional & happy.  Those from these families may enjoy this charade because even if only briefly, they can believe that they have a happy family.

One final thing to consider.  Colossians 2:16 in the New Living Translation of the Bible says, “So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths.”  Notice that even the Bible even states that people aren’t to judge others for how they celebrate special days.  Celebrating certain ways & certain days is traditional, but it isn’t necessary for anyone, even professing Christians.  God gives people free will to do as they please, & that includes how they celebrate special days.  If He won’t judge you for what you do or don’t do during the holiday season, then there is no reason to accept the judgment of human beings.  Do what makes you comfortable, & ignore the petty criticisms of people who don’t know your situation. 

9 Comments

Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Enjoying Life, Mental Health

Beware Of A Narcissist’s Scouts

According to thesaurus.com, some synonyms for the word scout are “detective,” “lookout,” & “sleuth.”    Such descriptions fit in perfectly to describe the type of person I want to discuss today.

A narcissist’s scout is nothing but a flying monkey.  They most likely aren’t obvious like most flying monkeys.  In fact, they often fade quietly into the background.  They also are probably someone you barely know, but is close to the narcissist.  Then suddenly, out of nowhere, they call, send a text message or email, or maybe a friend’s request on social media.  This sort of thing often happens around holidays, birthdays or some other special day.

When you barely know the person, responding to them can seem innocent enough.  Sure, they know the narcissist, but they seemed ok.  What could be the harm in getting to know them?  PLENTY!!

Scouts rely on their ability to seem innocent & harmless to do their mission, & that mission is not becoming your friend.  That mission is getting information about you to share with their narcissist.  You may think that isn’t a big deal, but I promise you it is! 

When someone is as toxic as a narcissist, any information they have about you can be twisted around to make you look bad & benefit them somehow.  They can use the information to smear your good name which potentially could cause all kinds of problems.  Or, at the very least, it makes them feel smug because they know something about you that you don’t want them to know, & this provides narcissistic supply.  Better they know nothing!

Besides providing the narcissist with information about you, scouts also may try to force you to resume the relationship with the narcissist.  As I have said many times, I believe flying monkeys to be narcissists, & this behavior is proof of that.  They try to force the relationship to resume by using bullying tactics if they are overt narcissists, or, if they are covert, they will use guilt, shame & any underhanded manipulative tactics they can think of.  Either way, these people benefit from behaving this way.  They get the thrill of abusing someone & recognition from the narcissist for “trying to help” them out. 

Probably, the scout’s motivation for reaching out to you is to try to convince you to resume the toxic relationship while they gather information about you to provide the narcissist.  They get a lot of narcissistic supply from this.

If you go no contact with the narcissist in your life, chances are excellent this is going to happen to you at some point.  If the narcissist isn’t able to contact you, they will send a scout out.  It may even be years after the last time you spoke with them.  My longest time after last contact with a narcissist before the scout was sent out was 19 years.  One of my husband’s relatives sent me a friend’s request on Facebook, then followed me, while ignoring his friend’s request.

When this happens to you, the best advice I can give is not to respond to any contact from a scout, no matter how innocent it seems.  Chances are you will be opening a door that won’t lead to anything good.  Leave the door closed, & ask God to show you the best way to handle the situation.

Blocking any & all access this person has to you is a wise move as well.  They don’t need to know anything about you.  Even if this person hasn’t proven himself or herself toxic, remember that they also haven’t proven themselves safe, & only known safe people should have access to your life in any capacity.

There is one other option for something you can do.  Share information only for them.  I don’t mean to be vengeful.  I’m also not encouraging lying.  What I mean is do what I do.  I do this with my last scout.  I deleted her friend’s request immediately.  I noticed she follows me, & I almost blocked her but had another idea… I let her follow me.  I share very little on Facebook anyway, & am very careful about what I share publicly.  Right after I realized this scout follows me, I shared some funny memes about people who aren’t friends but follow people on social media.  The only other public things I share are my blog posts, memes & articles about Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  This was my way of telling her, “I know you’re just here to spy on me.  Here’s some information you can take back to the original narcissists.  I hope y’all read it & learn something about yourselves!”  And truly, I DO hope they learn something.  It’s unlikely of course, but maybe if I plant enough seeds, something will grow. 

By doing this, they have gotten quite a surprise I’m sure.  They were certain they were being smart, & I stupidly would befriend their scout.  They couldn’t have been more wrong.  Instead, the only things they will get from me is truth.  It’s a good tactic.. you can’t go wrong sharing the truth, & quite honestly, it feels good because by doing this, I’m showing them they aren’t going to outsmart me with their pathetic games. 

Whatever you opt to do with your scout, I truly wish you the best!

6 Comments

Filed under Enjoying Life, Mental Health, Narcissism

Year End Sale On ALL Of My Ebooks!

From December 17, 2021 until January 1, 2022, my publisher is offering 25% off all of my ebooks. If you’ve been wanting to read any of them, it’s a great time to buy. Simply go to my author page on my publisher’s site at the link below. The coupon will be applied automatically at checkout.

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CynthiaBaileyRug

Leave a comment

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Animals, Caregiving, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Enjoying Life, Mental Health, Narcissism, Personality (including introversion, Myers Briggs, etc.), Writing

Narcissistic In-Laws

For simplicity sake, I’m going to refer to the victim in this article as he & the spouse as she, but the roles easily could be reversed.

When you are married to someone with narcissistic family members, your life is full of challenges.  Narcissistic families expect their chosen victim to do as they want, which includes marrying only someone of whom they approve.  When that doesn’t happen, that victim & spouse’s life becomes incredibly challenging.

One common problem in these situations is when the victim doesn’t recognize the level of dysfunction in the family.  He may recognize that his family can be difficult or bossy, but doesn’t see them as the cruel or manipulative people they truly are.  She however, recognizes the depths of the situation.  When she tries to say anything about his family, he becomes defensive.  She gets frustrated, he gets frustrated, an argument happens & nothing gets resolved. 

This scenario is very common, & easily can result in divorce if handled the wrong way.

As tempting as it can be for you if you see the situation clearly, asking your spouse to choice you or his family is never a good idea!  The one who gives the ultimatum usually ends up on the losing end.  The person receiving the ultimatum feels unfairly pressured & manipulated.  On the rare chance the one receiving it goes along with it, he will end up feeling resentful in time.

When you feel you must mention the situation, do so calmly & as non-accusatory as humanly possible.  Anger will make your spouse defensive because he’ll feel as if you’re attacking him & his family.  Try to remain calm & leave emotion out of the situation as much as possible.  Men respond better to logic than emotions, & in this case may feel as if the emotions are less about emotions & more of an attempt at manipulation.  Women in these situations may respond to calmly expressed emotions, however, such as, “I feel like your mom tries to interfere too much in our marriage.  It makes me really uncomfortable.”

Have your own boundaries firmly in place as much as possible with your in-laws.  Don’t let them manipulate you or push you around.  Remain calm when setting those boundaries, so if your spouse sees this happen, he can’t say you were mean or unreasonable.  Your narcissistic in-law will be angry however, & your spouse will see their irrational behavior as you remain calm.

There may be a time when you have to go no contact with your narcissistic in-laws.  This can cause problems in your marriage.  A person still under the spell of their narcissistic family may not understand your reasoning.  If you firmly believe no contact is the best solution in your situation, calmly explain to your spouse that this isn’t you trying to manipulate him or come between him & his family.  Instead, this is what you feel is best for you to do.

Always remember not to have expectations of your spouse where his family is concerned.  Expectations put pressure on him & make his situation even more difficult.  Also, he may resent them, no matter how reasonable they are, which means he will resent you.  This will push him closer to his family & make him pull away from you.

Try to be patient & understanding of the situation.  This is hard, I know, but if you too had a narcissistic family, you understand how hard it is to be under their influence before recognizing what they really are.    

At some point, he is going to get frustrated or angry with his family & need to talk about it.  When this happens, do NOT say anything like, “I told you so!” or, “I always knew she was like that.”  Listen quietly while offering your support.  You can gently state the truth in a matter of fact way. If he asks for advice, give it without being critical. 

Don’t forget to take care of yourself in this situation, too.  Pray.  Write in your journal.  Talk to supportive friends or family who understand your situation for what it really is. 

Last but certainly not least, never ever forget to pray about your situation!  Let God show you how best to handle things with your spouse & toxic in-laws as well as how to take care of your own mental health.  His help is truly invaluable & He will show you the right way to handle the situation!

4 Comments

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

Narcissists & Gifts

Giving gifts can be a wonderful thing.  It makes the receiver feel loved because someone would listen closely enough to know what gift would make the receiver happy, then spend the time to pick out or even make this gift, spend the time to wrap  it up pretty & all this shows that they cared enough to want to do these things.  The giver is also blessed because there is a great joy in seeing someone’s face light up when they get a special gift that you are responsible for giving them.

With narcissists, this isn’t how this scenario happens.

For one thing, narcissists are notoriously terrible at giving gifts.  To give a good gift, you have to look beyond yourself.  You have to listen to what the receiver says about their needs & wants.  You have to know things about them, such as their favorite color, the size clothing they wear, styles they like, their favorite author or singer.  Narcissists can’t be bothered with those things, so they give gifts that are what they like or think you need.

Narcissists also give you gifts in order to try to make you more like what they think you should be.  Probably in 1999 or so, during a conversation with my mother in-law that took place not long before Christmas, I mentioned that I don’t like to cook, unlike her & her daughters. I didn’t criticize them, just said I didn’t share that with them. For Christmas that year, she & both of my sisters in-law gave me cooking stuff.  Spoons, spatulas, cook books, food & the largest, ugliest pasta dish I have ever seen.  At least I did find a good use for that.  When the roof leaked, in the short time before it was fixed, I used that ugly dish to catch the rain water that leaked into the attic ..lol  Everything else was donated, given to my friends or thrown in the trash.

And of course, in true narcissistic fashion, when they give gifts, the purpose is self-serving.  Giving makes them feel like they are good people.  See how caring they are?  They gave someone a gift!

There also may be another motive when receiving gifts from a narcissist.  They may want something from you.  They may want you to do something for them, so when they ask for you to do that favor, they can say, “How can you say no after I gave you that great gift?”  Gifts come with strings attached.  They may give birthday & Christmas cards with money inside, & in return, you need to help them with whatever needs they have, no matter how ridiculous or the personal cost to you.  It is an unspoken rule many narcissistic families have.

Some narcissists also give to others in the hopes of making themselves appear to be the martyr, taken advantage of by ungrateful people.  This often makes the recipient of the gifts feel as if they are taking advantage of the giver somehow, & they offer to repay the “generous” narcissist.

When it comes to giving gifts to a narcissist, it isn’t really a better scenario. 

Narcissists are impossible to please.  They set these high goals for their victims, then when the victim comes close to it or even reaches it, they say that isn’t what they want, they want something else that is even harder to do.  Nothing their victim does is good enough.  This scenario plays out similarly with gifts.  They may say they want something, but when they receive it, it somehow falls short of their expectations & the giver feels badly.

They also compare gifts.  For example, let’s say you gave your parents a gift certificate for their favorite restaurant for their anniversary.  A thoughtful gift, but not to them.  Instead, they may tell you that their neighbor’s son bought them a 65” television & set it up for them while they were at the grocery store. 

This holiday season, if you are in the unfortunate position of exchanging gifts with a narcissist, I hope you remember what I have said.  They do these awful things because this is just how dysfunctional, abusive & toxic they are.  It truly has nothing to do with you.  When they criticize what you give them, remember the nicer your gift, the more they will criticize it.  When they give you awful gifts or things that they like knowing you don’t like those things, just say thank you… then later, quietly find a new home for that gift.  Maybe a friend of yours could use the item or you could donate to a worthwhile charity.  Or, throw it in the trash!  You’re under no obligation to keep gifts that were given to make you feel badly or that come with strings attached.

5 Comments

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Enjoying Life, Mental Health, Narcissism

About Scars

Most people are very uncomfortable around someone with obvious scars.  They stare at the person who has scars from surviving a house fire or they avoid even making simple eye contact with the person.  Some especially rude people ask this person what happened while wearing an expression of sheer disgust on their face.  Experiences like this make the person with the scars feel ashamed of how they look.  This sort of experience also can happen to someone who wears their scars inside as a result of surviving abuse.

So many people who live with ongoing mental health struggles such as Complex PTSD, PTSD, anxiety & depression as a result of being abused are shamed.  Some people mock these mental disorders while others deny their existence, which further contributes to the shame most abuse victims feel on some level for being abused.  This behavior is incredibly cruel but also foolish.

Everyone has scars to some degree.  Those scars shouldn’t be a source of shame.  Scars tell a story of things you have experienced.

Some scars show a woman has birthed healthy children.

Some scars show what happened to a soldier who bravely threw himself in harm’s way to protect his fellow soldiers.

Some scars show that a fireman was injured while rescuing someone from a burning building on the verge of collapse.

Some scars show the vet assistant’s job involves a lot more physical pain than most people think because scared animals scratch & bite.

Some scars even show that a person was abused by someone they thought they could trust, someone they thought loved them & would be good to them.

The one thing all scars have in common is that they tell a story of something that could have destroyed a person yet they didn’t.  They tell a story of survival, strength & bravery. 

If you have survived abuse & feel your story isn’t somehow good or worthy like the people in the examples I provided, I want you to know that you are wrong.  Having a mental disorder or even disorders doesn’t mean you are weak, stupid, or a failure.  Far from it!  It means you survived something that could have destroyed you.  Narcissists do their level best to destroy their victims in every possible way, yet you survived that!  Of course you have some issues as a result of the abuse, because that is only normal.  Rather than be ashamed of those issues, why not be proud of the fact you survived what many people don’t?  Then, as if surviving isn’t enough, here you are, not only coping with those issues but learning, growing, healing & helping others who have experienced what you have.  You should be so proud of yourself for how far you have come!! 

Rather than be ashamed of your scars & try to hide them, I would like to suggest that you to accept them without judgment as reminders of your strength & courage!  Hold your head high & be proud of the person you are!

12 Comments

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

About Perspective Of Good & Bad Experiences

I love watching the old public tv show, “The Joy Of Painting” with Bob Ross.  He was an incredibly talented painter, & there is something so calming about watching him create his beautiful works of art.  I also especially enjoy the bits of wisdom he shared through each episode.  Not only bits of wisdom about painting, but about life in general. 

I was watching his show recently & he was painting a beautiful mountain scene in the fall.  During the course of painting, Mr. Ross said some interesting things.

The first thing he mentioned was as he was painting a lake.  To create dimension, he used dark & light colors together.  He said something like, “Don’t conceal all your dark areas or the painting will become flat.”  Immediately it made me think of the overly positive people of the world.  I don’t mean the average person who tries to be positive, but the ones who refuse to say anything negative or see anything but the good in people.  When people don’t admit that sometimes things are less than perfect & happy, they often are much the same way- flat.  They express only one mood- happy.  Honestly, I find this incredibly annoying to be around.  Not that I want to be around people who are always miserable either.  Somewhere in the middle is so much more comfortable & I think also healthy.  People who are real & honest are the most interesting people, in my opinion anyway, probably because they have many different aspects to their personalities & different moods.  They’re also more comfortable to be around, because you know they won’t judge you if you are anything less than completely positive & happy.  Many overly positive people also can come across very invalidating & shaming.  For example, if you’re laid up with a broken leg, it’s ok to be upset about that.  The unhealthy, overly positive type of person will say something like you should be glad it happened because now you have the time off to catch up on whatever hobbies you enjoy.  That comment can make you feel badly for being upset that you are in a miserable situation, even though you have every right to be upset.

Another interesting thing he mentioned was that you need darkness to show the light.  How true is that!  If you think of it in the natural realm, if you light up an average light bulb, it will look very different in the dark than it will on a sunny day.  In the dark, even a very dim bulb can look extremely bright.  Yet, in the sunlight, even the brightest bulb will appear pretty dim.  The contrast of dark & light always makes light appear brighter.

The same things happen with good & bad things in life.  The bad, or darker, things that happen make you appreciate the good, or lighter, things.  If you have only good things happen, you can count on not appreciating anything good that happens to you simply because that is the norm for you.  There is nothing to compare your experiences to that will make them appear worth appreciating.  If there is a balance of both good & bad things, however, the bad things truly will make you appreciate the good things.  The good things will look so much better in contrast to the bad, just like that dim light bulb will look especially bright in a very dark room.

It was kinda strange, realizing these things from watching a man paint a pretty landscape, but I hope you found them interesting like I did.  And, his show can be found on YouTube & I think it was Pluto TV where I found it.  Very worth checking out if you have the chance!

2 Comments

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

Empathy vs Codependency

A couple of very misunderstood concepts today are empathy & codependency. 

Some things I’ve read about empathy haven’t been overly accurate.  In fact, some make it sound like being empathic is some sort of weird psychic power when it is nothing of the sort.  Some people also seem to think having empathy means that you have no boundaries, & are completely self sacrificing 1000% of the time.  According to Merriam Webster’s online dictionary however, empathy means: “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.”  Empathy is a good thing to have, since it enables you to be kind to others.

Codependency isn’t like empathy.  It isn’t concerned about what is best for others or how you can help people.  It’s about enabling bad behavior.  Also according to Merriam Webster’s online dictionary, codependency means: “a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (such as an addiction to alcohol or heroin)”.  Codependency says, “Let me make this situation pleasing to you” whereas empathy says, “How can I help you to help yourself to do what is best for you?”

Although both of these words clearly have very different meanings, some people confuse them, using them interchangeably either from a point of being naïve or being manipulative.  With narcissists, it’s almost always manipulative.  Narcissists don’t care if someone empathizes with their pain, but they do care about having a victim who is willing to overlook their abusive ways & enable their toxic behavior.  Narcissists may claim their victim is lacking in empathy when what the narcissist really wants from the victim is codependency.  Many victims of narcissistic abuse are empathic people, & unless they know better, they will be hurt by the narcissist’s accusation.  Rather than have the narcissist think they are heartless, sometimes empathic people enable the narcissist’s toxicity in an attempt to get the narcissist to think they are good people & earn the narcissist’s favor.

If you realize that you have codependent tendencies or are in a codependent relationship, you’re not alone.  It happens to many victims of narcissistic abuse.  The good news is you don’t have to stay that way.  You can unlearn these unhealthy behaviors!

As always, I recommend starting with prayer.  Ask God to show you what you need to change & how to make appropriate changes.

Also learn what you can about empathy & codependency.  Learning what you can will help you to see when you’re being empathic & when you’re being codependent.

Don’t forget to learn about boundaries, too.  You’ll need to gain a good sense of boundaries & know effective ways to enforce them.  To help you get started, I created a free online book study course about boundaries.  It’s available on my website at: www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com

I know this probably sounds pretty overwhelming & hard to make the healthy changes you need to make, but really, it’s easier than you might think.  Once you recognize progress in yourself, it encourages you to keep on doing what you’re doing.  Also know that you’ll feel a lot of guilt when you begin to change your codependent ways.  That is totally normal.  When it happens, rather than give into ask yourself if you truly have a reason to feel this guilt or not.  Chances are excellent that you’ll recognize that you have no valid reason for the guilt.

I wish you the best with making these healthy changes!

4 Comments

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

The Phrase, “Hurting People Hurt People”

If you have been subjected to abuse, chances are excellent you’ve heard the phrase, “hurting people hurt people.”  And, my guess is when you first heard this phrase, you immediately felt badly for being upset about being abused.  Either you felt guilt for being upset, because the abuser is wounded & has no control over acting out of those wounds or downright shame for your feelings.  I have felt that shame so I understand!  I also can tell you that there is no reason to feel that guilt or shame!  That phrase is a lie!

Saying that hurting people hurt people assumes all who have been abused have zero control over their reactions.  Abusers are absolved of any & all guilt with this phrase, & that is completely wrong!  There are very few people who truly are unaware of the differences between right & wrong.  Most people are aware of the differences.  Narcissists are aware, too.  The difference is they don’t care what is right & wrong.  They only care about what they want.  They shouldn’t be lumped into the same category as those who are so damaged they truly don’t recognize the difference between right & wrong.     

Another problem with claiming that hurting people hurt people is that it means their victims can’t be angry at being abused.  How absurd is that?!  No matter the circumstances of the abuse, abuse is wrong & every single person who has been abused should be angry about the wrongness of what was perpetrated on them!  People need to have a healthy anger at things that are wrong & cruel, because not to feel that anger normalizes the behaviors, & such things never should be normalized!

I do realize that many narcissists come from a place of being traumatized & abused.  My narcissistic mother was one of them.  Her narcissistic mother was abusive to her until she died when my mother was in her 60’s, her mother in her 80’s.  My mother’s pain isn’t solely responsible for her narcissism, however.  I think it started that just ball rolling.  She adapted narcissistic behaviors when she was a child as a way to cope with her pain & gain attention.  However, I also believe she, like many other narcissists who experienced similar circumstances, shut down the natural empathy that most people are born with by ignoring any guilt for her hurtful actions.  The more a person does this, the less affected they become by the pain & suffering of other people.  They lose their empathy & become full fledged narcissists who enjoy hurting & manipulating other people.  People who do this shouldn’t be given a free pass to be abusive because they were abused!  Many people have suffered abuse yet turned out to be good, caring, kind & empathic people. 

And lastly, the final problem I have with this phrase is that it shuts down victims.  It makes people feel as if they can’t be angry with their abusers because that poor person was hurting, too, & they didn’t have any better way to deal with their pain.  That is completely unfair!  Victims never should be shut down from discussing their traumatic experiences!  Discussing such events is helpful when it comes to coping with pain & healing from it as well as helping other people.  There is no valid reason a person should be made to feel as if they need to stop discussing their trauma!  Many people who make others feel that way only do so because they are uncomfortable.  Either they don’t want to hear about it because it makes them think less of the abuser they are so fond of, or they are reminded of their own pain that they are too cowardly to face.  Neither situation is healthy & both situations are cruel to victims of abuse!

If you come across anyone who tells you “hurting people hurt people” when you mention your traumatic experiences, then I hope & pray you will remember what I have said & that it empowers you.  Don’t feel guilty or stop discussing your experiences!  While it’s best to stop discussing them with unhealthy people, that doesn’t mean you should be quiet.  Set the world on fire with your story!  You will heal while also helping others to heal!

2 Comments

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

When Children Of Narcissistic Parents Exhibit Narcissistic Behaviors

When you are a child, your parents are more or less like a god to you.  They are responsible for meeting your needs.  They seem to know everything, only because you are too young to have much experience in life.  They are always there.

Having good parents is a wonderful thing.  It’s also easy to learn good ways from good people.  Obviously life isn’t perfect, but the positive you learned from your good parents helps you handle the less than perfect times.  You are a good, functional, caring person who can handle what life throws at you with grace & dignity.

For those of us who grew up with narcissistic parents, this sadly isn’t the case.

One aspect of having narcissistic parents means you were deprived of learning good & healthy habits.  In fact, you may learn plenty of bad habits.  You may become judgmental & critical.  You may become selfish & not overly concerned with the needs of other people.  You also may learn other bad habits from your narcissistic parents such as lying, refusing to accept responsibility for hurting others or projection.

I still remember when I was only 20 years old.  My now ex husband chewed me out for behaving like my mother.  He was excessively critical of me since he was a narcissist, but in this instance, he was right.  We were talking about some new music that had come out recently.  I didn’t like the music, & he did.  I said that band was terrible.  He said I sounded just like my mother.  He also said, “Just because you don’t like them doesn’t mean they don’t have talent.  It just means you don’t like them!”  He was right.  They clearly did have talent & they became quite popular, but played music that simply wasn’t my taste. 

That conversation was a wake up call for me.  I was terrified of becoming like my narcissistic mother who said everything & everyone she disliked was bad.  It helped me to become more aware of my behavior & make good changes.

It also scared me.  I was afraid that I would turn out like my mother.  I knew first hand how critical & cruel she could be, yet I imitated her behavior by what I said about that band. 

Chances are good that if you too were raised by narcissistic parents, you have experienced similar moments of behaving like your parents.  If so, don’t worry about it!  You can & will change!  The more you heal from the abuse, the healthier you will behave.  It happens naturally.  But, if you recognize that you’re behaving in some unhealthy ways, you can change those individually.  Figure out why you are behaving as you are.  Ask God to show you the root of the behavior & how to heal from that.  Consider how you would feel if someone said or did the same thing to you that you did to others.  Recognizing how badly it’d hurt to be treated as you treat others can be a huge motivator for changing into healthier behaviors. 

If you do mirror some behaviors of your narcissistic parent & wonder why, it’s probably because children naturally imitate their parents.  It doesn’t mean you’re a narcissist!  You’re doing a natural thing, imitating your parent.  Or, it could be some sort of defense mechanism.  Many times, two narcissists marry.  You saw one parent being mistreated & retaliating by behaving as they did, so you do the same to protect yourself.  Sadly, these things happen sometimes.  Thankfully though, you are aware of your behavior & want to change!  You should be very proud of yourself for that!

2 Comments

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health, Narcissism

Depression During The Holidays

Many people suffer with depression during the holiday season.  November & December are very painful for them.  Yet sadly, this phenomenon is rarely discussed.

Thanksgiving & Christmas can be a very difficult time for many people & for countless reasons. 

Even for those who adore the holidays & circumstances are good in their lives, there is the stress of extra money spent for meals & gifts, so much more to do in preparation such as meal planning & decorating, less time to relax & more.  This stress can ultimately result in anxiety & even depression.

For those who don’t host, holidays still can be very stressful.  There are family demands & expectations.  Many dysfunctional families have very high expectations for the holidays & everyone must meet them or else suffer consequences.  Having been down this road, I can assure you, it doesn’t exactly make a person happy during the holidays!

Often young married couples are pressured to spend holidays with their two families, which is very stressful.  Their holidays are a source of stress & scheduling to make everyone happy or consequences if they don’t.

There are also so many people who have lost a loved one to consider.  This may be their first holiday season without the loved one who enjoyed hosting holiday get togethers.  No longer having those gatherings can create sadness as losing them is what is known as a secondary loss to the primary loss of that special person.  Even years later, that loss still can be painful.  Or, even if that person didn’t make a fuss over holidays, holidays still may be a reminder that someone special is gone.

Many other people have had to sever ties with their abusive families, & the holidays are a painful reminder that they are without a family.  Seeing others happily spending time with their families or talking about how they can’t wait to visit with their relatives are painful reminders of what a person in this situation is missing.

People who are unable to be with their family during the holidays experience similar emotions.  Law enforcement officers, first responders & military personnel are some examples of people in this situation.

I recently read that an estimated six percent of people struggle with depression during the holiday season.  Many of those people don’t experience depression at any other time.  Some of them also have been misdiagnosed as having Seasonal Affective Disorder because they present with similar symptoms & happen at similar times of the year. 

It’s also estimated that 64% of people with a mental illness experience worsening of their symptoms around the holidays.

If you too experience depression during the holidays, you aren’t alone by far!  Many people share your pain.  There are some things you can do that can help.

I always recommend starting with prayer.  Ask God to help you however you need.

If you feel alone, try spending time with friends whenever possible.  Go out for coffee or lunch.  Hang out at home & talk.  If they aren’t available, volunteer with a cause near to your heart or visit folks in nursing homes. 

Consider seeing a counselor.  If you aren’t able to or are uncomfortable doing this, at least write in a journal.

Have good boundaries.  Don’t say yes to every invitation.  You don’t need to be constantly busy. 

Create new traditions either just for yourself or with your family.

If you feel you must visit others on the actual date of the holiday, set aside a different day to enjoy the day with those closest to you. My paternal grandparents never celebrated Christmas on December 25.  They celebrated on the weekend between Christmas & New Year’s.  That way, no one felt pressured to be with them on Christmas day.  They could spend the day however they wanted & still enjoy my grandparents’ annual Christmas celebration.

Don’t expect your adult children to spend all day with you, especially if they have a significant other or friends they want to visit.

Keep your expectations realistic.  Don’t expect to lose this depression easily.  One good holiday won’t cure you forever.  It may take several holidays to make progress.  Or, you may not be able to shake the depression completely.  I haven’t been able to.  But, since I know it will come each year, I try to find ways to bring some joy into my life during the season.

Don’t let anyone shame you for how you feel at this time! I’ve experienced this & can’t tell you how maddening it is. People who are quick to judge lack empathy & have no business hurting someone who is already hurting. Ignore them!

I hope these tips help you!

4 Comments

Filed under Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Enjoying Life, Mental Health

For Male Abuse Victims

I’ve gained more male followers of my writing & YouTube channel over the years.  This made me realize I haven’t written much specifically for you, so I decided to change that.

Men abused by women, whether that woman is a mother or wife, are in a bad position.  Society seems to have even less empathy for them than it does for female victims of male abusers.  As if men are supposed to be too tough to be abused by a woman, & if they are, they must not be “real men” (whatever that is).  I want you men to know that is NOT the case!!

Abusers come in all forms & abuse all kinds of people.  Abusers convince their victims of many lies that leave victims feel powerless to leave.  Some of those lies are as follows.

Abusive women convince victims that their abuse is the victim’s fault.  They convince their victims if they were just somehow better, smarter, more successful or more attractive, that the abuse would stop.  Yet, victims always fall short of what the abuser wants.  Until a victim learns better, this won’t stop a victim from trying though, because he hopes that if he can just do whatever his abuser wants, he can earn her love or approval, the abuse will stop & she will treat him well.

Abusive women threaten to hurt those victims love, in particular their children.  There are so many stories about abusive husbands who threaten to kill the children if the wife leaves.  This happens when abusers are women, too.  They threaten to take the kids far away so he will never see them again, to send them away to school, & more.  Women abusers also have no trouble involving the legal system & telling the police or courts that the husband is abusive even when he is the only loving parent the children have.  Men in this position often figure it is best to tolerate the abuse rather than risk this happening to their children.

Abusive women manipulate their victim’s friends & family, often leaving him alone & without support.  Women can be incredibly manipulative, especially abusive ones.  They can cry at will, & they can make anyone believe anything they wish.  They even can turn a victim’s friends & family against him with her lies. Many toxic women excel at playing the innocent victim who needs help & protection.

Abusive women destroy their victim’s self esteem.  They make their victims believe that they are so ugly, stupid, useless, etc, that no one else would be willing to put up with them.  They also convince them that without the woman in his life, he couldn’t make it.  He needs her to survive.

Abusive women destroy their victims financially.  Whether they squirrel away every penny he earns in private accounts to which he has no access or they get him into debt, their victims are often left financially destitute & with a terrible credit report.  Often, they also get victims fired by frequently showing up at his job to fight with him or by making him call out often.  This makes victims unable to get a decent job if it happens repeatedly, & she uses it to prove to him what a failure he is.

Men in these awful situations don’t need judgment, laughter, mocking or criticism.  They need your prayers, love, understanding, empathy & practical help. 

Those of you men in these situations that are reading this right now, my heart truly goes out to you.  Please know you are NOT alone!  You also aren’t less of a man in any way just because your abuser happens to be a woman.  Don’t be ashamed!  You have no reason to be.  Your abuser, however, has plenty of reason to be ashamed!  Let her carry her shame, & you refuse to do so! 

7 Comments

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

30% Off All My Print Books Until November 30, 2021

My publisher is having a really good sale on print books right now! 30% off! Shipping time may be a bit slow due to supply chain issues, but if you don’t mind the wait, this is a great time to get the books you want. Simply use code SAVE30 at checkout.

The print versions books can be found at the link below…

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

Leave a comment

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

Some Reasons Why Victims Side With Abusers

If you have survived an abusive relationship & are working on healing from that, the possibility of someone who has been a victim siding with their abuser can seem utterly impossible to comprehend.  Yet sadly it happens more often than you might think.

Many people who have been abused refuse to find some way to come to terms with it.  They won’t accept that someone who was supposed to love them not only didn’t love them but actively tried to hurt them.  This is particularly the case with children abused by their parents.

Being abused by a parent also can make you feel like if your own parent doesn’t love you, then clearly you must be unlovable.  Children naturally seem to have a propensity for accepting blame that isn’t theirs, so when their parent doesn’t love them, they assume it’s because of something they have done wrong or there is something wrong with them.  Instead, they accept this faulty belief as fact, thinking they deserve the abuse.  They often grow up to say things like, “Yea, Dad was hard on me but he made a man out of me!”

Another reason victims of abuse may side with abusers is cognitive dissonance.  That is the feeling that comes with learning the truth that directly clashes with some deeply held belief.  Believing your parents are good people then learning they were anything but creates that painful cognitive dissonance.  It makes a person question everything they thought they believed.  Cognitive dissonance is truly painful, & many people would rather avoid it completely.  If that means siding with their abusive parent, so be it.  They prefer that to facing their pain.

Sometimes adults who survived abusive childhoods see other victims dealing with their pain.  They see the suffering they go through with flashbacks, nightmares, crippling anxiety & depression, maybe even suicidal tendencies & they are afraid that if they face their pain, they will end up going through the exact same pain.  Also, they may be reminded of their own pain that they refuse to face.  Instead of trying to show victims they care, they rush to shut them down.  One way they do this is to side with abusers & try to normalize their behavior.  Not only the abusers of their fellow victims, but theirs as well.

Another reason victims may side with their abusers is to create the illusion of normalcy.  If they can justify their abusive parent’s behavior, then it becomes normal, which in turn means they were treated normally & are normal people.  Thinking this way makes the victims feel normal, & not like a victim or something is wrong with them. It also has another purpose.  Many times, victims of child abuse marry other victims as adults.  In these situations, often one person faces their pain while the other tries their best to avoid it.  If the one facing their pain points out to the one who refuses to that his or her parent is abusive, that causes pain that this person has tried hard to avoid for a long time.  If he or she can make the other person believe they are overreacting, over sensitive or even crazy, the abuse was totally normal, & their parent did nothing wrong, this can stop the healthier person from discussing this topic.  The healthier person will get discouraged in trying to help their partner, & may give up the unhealthy person to their dysfunctional ways.

Rather than deal with painful things, it seems like many victims of abuse think that the easier alternative is to side with the abusive parent.  Pretending all is fine & their abusive parent wasn’t a monster at all but instead a good parent doing their best is truly a dysfunctional coping skill!  It’s a shame it’s also such a common one.

If you have someone in your life who is doing this, I know how incredibly difficult & frustrating it is.  You want the best for him or her, but this person doesn’t see that.  They see you as unreasonable, over sensitive, unkind, or whatever.  If you are to continue this relationship, then please pray.  Ask God to give you wisdom about how to handle things & pay attention to what He says.  He knows this person better than you possibly could.  If you feel God wants you to speak on this subject, then do so gently & humbly.  Remain logical & not emotional because heated emotions only shut this type of person down.  Ask logical questions too, like, “Why do you think it’s OK your father beat you with a belt?  If I told you my father did it, would you still think it’s OK?”

God may also say that you shouldn’t discuss this with your loved one.  Some people are extremely determined to continue in this dysfunction & nothing anyone says can get through to them.  If this is your situation, then do NOT discuss it!!  Have a safe place to vent your frustrations though, because you are going to need it.  Pray, journal, talk to a close friend.. just don’t keep your frustrations inside.  Remember, you don’t have the right to try to force something on another person, even if your intentions are good & it’s a good thing.  Let God deal with this person & show them the truth.  When He does it, there won’t be any doubt it’ll be done the best way possible!

Leave a comment

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