Category Archives: Mental Health

Helpful advice and information on mental health issues.

Another Tool Narcissists Use: Negging

Narcissists are notorious for their scathing criticisms & verbal abuse.  Overt narcissists in particular love telling their victims how fat, skinny, ugly, stupid, useless they are & more.  They have no problem spelling out their victims’ supposed flaws very clearly. 

When the narcissist in question is a parent, this is often the norm.  That child probably doesn’t remember any time where their narcissistic parent wasn’t obviously cruel with their words.  Other relationships with narcissists are different, however.  No one would get involved with a narcissist if they saw upon meeting them how cruel they were.  Possessing the ability to be creative in ways to abuse, they have found a fantastic tool that allows them to abuse while not appearing to be abusive.  Covert narcissists use this tool constantly, while overts usually only use it at the beginning of relationships.  This tool is called negging.

Negging subtly tears down a person’s self esteem while not appearing to be abusive. Negging is done by offering complements that aren’t really complements but insults disguised as complements or constructive criticism.  The comments also can involve comparing a victim to someone else, “one upping” or brushed off as “just joking”.  Some examples are:

  • It’s ok you didn’t get a good grade in that class.  The course was too hard for you, so I didn’t expect you to get a good grade.
  • That’s amazing you got such a good grade on that test!  Who helped you study?
  • I like what you’ve done with your makeup.  Did you learn how to do that from your sister?
  • You’ve lost so much weight!  I really see it in your face!
  • You really don’t care what other people think of you at all, do you?
  • Congratulations on your promotion!  I just got engaged!
  • I was just kidding!
  • Wow, you sure are easily offended!  Seems like I can’t say anything without you getting upset.

Negging is also commonly used when a narcissist is trying to start up a romantic relationship.  They may say comments such as:

  • You’re normally not my type, but I’d like to go out with you sometime.
  • You remind me of my mom/dad/brother/sister.

If someone you just meet says things like this, these could be red flags of narcissism.  Your best bet is not to engage this person in any relationship.

If someone you are already in a relationship does this, there are ways to cope.  Show no emotional reaction, remember you have the right to protect yourself with healthy boundaries such as refusing to discuss certain topics with this person, don’t insult the other person back as they can use it to prove how unstable or mean you are. 

Negging can be difficult to recognize at first due to its subtle nature.  If you are unsure if someone in your life is treating you this way, write down what happens.  Sometimes seeing things in front of you can help you to see situations more clearly.  Or, talk to someone you know who is supportive & emotionally healthy.  They will give you a good perspective.  If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone close to you about this, contact a domestic violence center near you or the National Domestic Abuse hotline.  Examine your life & how it has changed since this person came into your life.  Is this person isolating you from your friends & family, for example?  Isolation is a very big red flag of abusers.  Even if this person isn’t obviously trying to keep you from others, does this person insult those you love?  That is a very subtle way of isolating someone.

I wish you the best in your situation!

9 Comments

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

About Low Contact

Low contact is exactly as it sounds, when a person has low contact with another.  It isn’t discussed a lot in the circles that discuss narcissistic abuse, which is really a shame. 

If you are in the position of not being able to go full no contact, such as in the situation of having joint custody of children together, low contact is an excellent alternative.  Or, if you want to go no contact but don’t feel strong enough to take that step just yet, low contact can help you get to that point.  Low contact is different than no contact in that it doesn’t need to be done all at once.  It can be done little by little, & each little step you take increases your confidence in your ability to set boundaries with the narcissist.  Or, if the narcissist in your life is low on the spectrum, you may find that low contact makes the relationship much more tolerable & decide not to go full no contact.  In any case, low contact really can be a very helpful tool!

Whatever your situation with the narcissist, if you are considering low contact, I’m sure it’s for a very valid reason.  At their absolute best, narcissists are VERY difficult to deal with & at their worst, impossible to deal with, even dangerous to one’s physical & mental health.  Be proud of yourself for taking care of yourself!

If you think low contact is a good option for you, you are probably wondering where to start.  I’ll tell you how I did low contact with my parents, & you can decide if this would work for you or not.  I started by not answering the phone every time my parents narcissist called.  That boundary was clearly a shock to them, but although they were angry, they realized they couldn’t rage without appearing foolish.  Rather than rage, they made some snide comments like, “You didn’t answer the phone yesterday.. I thought you were mad at me.”  Naturally those comments hurt at first but I realized that was the intent behind them.  My parents were simply upset that I was setting a perfectly reasonable boundary.

I also started setting limits on how long we were on the phone together for the first time.  My parents always determined how long our calls lasted, so this was a little trickier.  Saying, “I have to go” didn’t work so I needed to get creative.  I also don’t like to lie, so that also made this really tricky.  I sometimes rang my doorbell so my dogs would bark & say, “Doorbell rang.  Dixie’s barking, you hear that?  I need to go.”  Other times I used another phone to trigger the call waiting on the phone I was using so they’d hear the beep & they’d let me go so I could respond to the beep. 

My parents lived not far from me, & my father in particular wanted to visit often.  He often invited himself to visit my home.  Thankfully he would call a few days prior at least rather than just showing up.  When he called saying he wanted to visit soon, I would say things like, “Tuesday isn’t good.. how about Thursday instead?”  It didn’t take long for him to want to come by less often.  Clearly, he didn’t like me taking some control back.

The more boundaries I set, the more confident I became in my ability to set boundaries & eventually go no contact.  This is normal!  Each small step you take creates not only more space between you & the narcissist, but also builds your confidence.  You see you can do one thing, then gain the confidence to do something a little bolder, then a little bolder yet & so forth.  Before you know it, you’re ready to implement no contact, if that is your goal. 

And something else happened – the more boundaries I set & the more comfortable I was setting them, the less my parents wanted to do with me!  They began avoiding me.  Their phone calls & visits became much less frequent.  Also, their calls & visits became much shorter in duration, too.  This also is normal!  Narcissists naturally have an aversion to boundaries & to healthy people.  Low contact truly is a wonderful thing!  It helps victims reclaim some of their power & confidence while repelling narcissists.  I want to encourage you to give it a try!  I believe you will be very pleased by the results!

Leave a comment

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

Blessings Are Possible In Spite Of Narcissistic Abuse

Those of us who have suffered through narcissistic abuse know trauma, depression, misery & even what it feels like to consider suicide.  We have gone through such horrific events that it can feel nearly impossible to find any good in life.  Yet we are still blessed!  Not because of the abuse, of course, but in spite of it.

Victims of narcissistic abuse always feel weak in the midst of their suffering because they are powerless, but truly, they are strong.  It takes an incredible amount of strength to escape the abuse against all efforts of the narcissist to keep you in the relationship.  It also takes a great deal of strength to escape with no self esteem, & when you believe you aren’t able to survive without the narcissist in your life.  Having such strength, especially in spite of the narcissist’s efforts to destroy it, is a huge blessing! 

Victims of narcissistic abuse are also incredibly brave.  Narcissists aren’t always physically abusive.  They don’t have to be.  They can terrify victims with a simple look that can make a victim fear or their life.  Going against someone that appears to be incredibly powerful & capable of causing you great pain & suffering is extremely brave!  Being so brave is another huge blessing.

Victims of narcissistic abuse are very appreciative.  After surviving horrific abuse, victims have a different mentality than the average person.  Victims know how bad things can be & how cruel people can be.  They have learned to greatly value all of the good things in life.  Living life with an appreciative spirit is a wonderful thing that can bring a great deal of joy, & is another blessing.

Victims of narcissistic abuse are loyal.  When someone who claimed to love you abuses you to the point of destroying your personhood, it’s hard to trust other people.  Once a victim trusts someone & that someone is good to them, however, they are incredibly loyal.  Good people are exceptionally precious to those who have suffered narcissistic abuse.  Victims will adore & protect these people fiercely, which is why they often make wonderful friends & romantic partners.  Friend & romantic partners appreciate such loyalty, so again, this is another blessing.

Victims of narcissistic abuse who turn to God have an extremely close relationship with Him.  Of all of the things I have mentioned so far, this is the most wonderful one, in my opinion.  I saved the best for last.  In typical narcissist fashion, narcissists do their best to convince their victims to believe as they believe.  The narcissistic atheist expects their victim to share their beliefs.  There are also narcissists who know enough about the Bible to be able to twist Scripture around to the point of justifying their abuse.  Such behaviors often convolute a victim’s view of God.  For someone to survive this yet come away with faith on any level is impressive, but many have an extremely intimate relationship with God.  He blesses these people greatly, too.  Isaiah 9: 2-3 says, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.  3 You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder.” (NIV)  I can’t help but think God has a special place in His heart for those who have been abused, which is why He blesses victims in this way.

By sharing these thoughts, I’m not saying that any victim of abuse should be grateful for their traumatic experiences.  I am saying though that it’s good to look at these blessings in your life & be so grateful for them.  Be grateful that in spite of the narcissist’s best efforts, he or she couldn’t take these gifts from you.  And, be proud of yourself for surviving all that you have!  That, as you well know, is no easy feat!

6 Comments

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

When People Don’t Agree With Removing Family From Your Life

It’s a simple fact of life that some family members abuse other family members.  Every single person I have spoken with who reads my work has been abused by at least one relative.  I have been too.  And one thing the majority of us have in common is that we have severed ties with these monsters to protect ourselves.

So many people have experienced the same thing I have, people coming out of the woodwork to tell us we have done something terrible by severing ties.  They seem to think since you’re related, that relationship is somehow sacred, & there is never any reason to end it.  Many people even bring God into their warped views, saying you have to “forgive & forget” or “honor your parent” by tolerating whatever they do to you.

I want you to know today that is completely wrong!

Titus 3:10 says, “As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him,” (ESV)  And, 2 Timothy 3:1-5 says,“3 But understand this, that in the last days dangerous times [of great stress and trouble] will come [difficult days that will be hard to bear]. 2 For people will be lovers of self [narcissistic, self-focused], lovers of money [impelled by greed], boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane, 3 [and they will be] unloving [devoid of natural human affection, calloused and inhumane], irreconcilable, malicious gossips, devoid of self-control [intemperate, immoral], brutal, haters of good, 4 traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of [sensual] pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of [outward] godliness (religion), although they have denied its power [for their conduct nullifies their claim of faith]. Avoid such people and keep far away from them.” (AMP) (Emphasis added)

Did you notice something in there about how this applies to anyone but family?  Me neither.  Probably because it’s not there!

So many of you reading this post today have ended relationships with your abusive family members, & are struggling with guilt & doubt.  I totally understand.  I’ve been in this same position.  After I stopped speaking to my parents, I had a LOT of both guilt & doubt.  Shortly after, I learned my father had leukemia, which added even more guilt & doubt.  I also had relatives constantly telling me how awful I was & doing their best to shame & even bully me into resuming the relationship with my parents.  The only reason I survived all of that with my sanity in tact is God.

When times got tough & people were being so cruel to me about being no contact, I depended on God to help me get through.  Help me He did too!  God would remind me that I did what was right, at the time it was right, & I did nothing wrong.  They didn’t see that because of their own issues, not because I had done something bad.  He even stopped me from making things worse by enabling me not to respond to their vicious attacks.  He kept reminding me that if I responded, things would get worse, so ignore them.  Save their emails, messages, etc. in case I need them one day, but don’t read them or respond to them. 

Everything God did for me during the flying monkey attacks was exactly what I needed in my situation.  He will do the same for you!  

If you have come to the point of having no contact with some of your family, please rest assured God understands!  Contrary to what some people think, He is ok with you removing toxic, abusive people from your life, even if they are family.  When you’re struggling with your decision, talk to Him & ask His help.  He won’t let you down!  Let Him help!  He can get you through anything, even this!

Leave a comment

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

A Little Down Time Does The Heart Good!

Lately, I’ve been busy. Not writing the usual books but taking a bit of a breather from that to create some cross stitch patterns. Since I’m not the only one who needs a break from the draining topic of narcissism, I thought I’d share the link to them here.

Cross Stitch Patterns

I also have some crochet patterns available on my site as well. They are on this link.

I hope those of you reading this will like them. I also hope that even if you aren’t into crafts, you’ll remember that mental health breaks are very important. PLEASE take some time where you deliberately do NOT think about narcissism or your healing from narcissistic abuse. Such a draining topic requires plenty of rest & distraction to prevent you from burning out.

17 Comments

Filed under Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health

Do Narcissists Know What They’re Doing Is Wrong?

When I first learned how some people in my life had been abusive towards me, I wondered if they were so damaged somehow they couldn’t control their behavior.  Then years later, upon learning about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I assumed the disorder part meant they were sick & unable to control themselves.  I figured I should be able to let their abuse not affect me because since it’s a disorder, it meant they couldn’t control themselves.  Thankfully I learned the error of my ways! 

I finally started to think about these toxic relationships in my life when suddenly things began to click.  There were similarities with every relationship I’ve ever had with an abuser. 

What they did to me was always done without witnesses.  In front of others, they behaved normally, sometimes even lovingly.  My late mother in-law once introduced me as “her beautiful daughter in-law”.  It was only when we were alone, the abusers would treat me badly. 

And, there was an unspoken rule that I shouldn’t tell anyone.  My mother verbalized the rule by telling me I didn’t need to “air our dirty laundry”, but she was the only one who said it.  Others didn’t, yet somehow I knew telling others would upset them terribly so I shouldn’t do it.   I also knew that my abusers talked badly about me to other people, so there wasn’t a chance I would have been believed if I told anyone anyway. 

I came to realize that these things weren’t just coincidences.  These behaviors were done in order to prevent anyone from learning what these people truly were like.

John 3:20-22 in the God’s word translation of the Bible says, “People who do what is wrong hate the light and don’t come to the light. They don’t want their actions to be exposed. But people who do what is true come to the light so that the things they do for God may be clearly seen.”. 

Narcissists may act sometimes as if they don’t know their behavior is wrong, but make no mistake about it.  They know.  That is why they do what they do when there are no witnesses around & even do their best to isolate victims from loving friends or family.  That is also why they force their victims into not telling anyone about what they do.  Narcissists want to be certain that no one finds out how badly they treat their victims, so no one will call them out on their bad behavior or help their victims to escape.

Please do NOT be fooled into thinking narcissists don’t know any better, can’t control their behavior or need people’s mercy because they are mentally sick.  Doing so will result in you tolerating abuse without boundaries.  I know because I did this.  I honestly believed my abusers were incapable of behaving any other way so if I loved them, I should tolerate the abuse.  In fact, I tolerated it for much longer than I should have.  I would like to spare you this pain, so please learn from my mistake!

Personality disorders like narcissism don’t mean a person has a physical problem that renders them incapable of controlling their behavior or knowing right from wrong.  Personality disorders describe a means of dysfunctional behavior rather than a brain that is physically broken that renders a person unable to control their behavior.  This means that narcissists do know right from wrong, barring any injury or disease to their brain that could cripple that in them of course. 

Please never, ever forget this, Dear Reader.  When you’re forced to deal with a narcissist, it is vital that you always remember that they absolutely do know what they’re doing is wrong.  

11 Comments

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

Why Some People Hate & Abuse Victims Of Narcissistic Abuse

Recently I was scrolling through my journal.  I came across an entry I made in February, 2020 regarding something I learned about one of my cousins immediately after I joined Instagram.  I immediately deleted Instagram, I think even before writing this journal entry. To get why I found this disturbing enough to delete that account so quickly, you need to know some background…

Growing up, my cousin & I were never close.  My mother never let me get very close to anyone on my father’s side of the family.  Even as adults though, this cousin & I just didn’t really click. 

We tried somewhat to have a relationship as adults.  In 2014, she had a Christmas party a few days before Christmas & invited me.  I couldn’t attend.  She attacked me for not coming even though she knew I don’t celebrate Christmas.  Immediately after, she stopped speaking to me & unfriended me on Facebook.

Nineteen months later, this cousin sent me an email.  Only the subject line of the email had any text.  It said “Supposed to make amends with everybody”.  Judging by the language, I assume that meant she was in a 12 step program since that is word for word one of the steps.  I ignored the email, because I believe if someone is sincere about making amends, they might say something in the email on the topic.

This cousin never tried to contact me again until my father was dying in 2017 when she tried to force me to visit him one final time.  When I ignored her calls & messages, she tried to force another cousin into bullying me into seeing my father.  When that failed, she sent me a very shaming email about what a bad Christian I am.  It arrived the evening before his funeral.  

I heard nothing else from her until she followed me on Instagram in early 2020.  I was shocked she would follow me since, like the rest of my family, she clearly thought so poorly of me.  I asked God why would she do that.  His response was very interesting & I think very informative for many victims of narcissists who deal with either the narcissist or their evil minions stalking them.  He said,

“Your cousin is insanely, obsessively, morbidly envious.  She thinks you’ve had this easy, charmed life.  When she sees you “whining” about your childhood, it justifies her hatred of you.  She felt her parents didn’t really care about her, & she saw yours shelter you.  That’s where the envy began.”

“She lied to herself about her parents’ loving her & her being so close to her mother, your aunt.  She thinks you’re lying about your parents & you’re being a spoiled brat.  She thinks you’re petty & weren’t really abused.  She also can’t accept that her uncle would be abusive or marry someone who was.”

“She thinks abuse is only physical or sexual.  Verbal abuse doesn’t count to her.  She thinks Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a made up thing that you use to justify talking about your parents that way.”

“The devil feeds her delusions.  He makes her think the things she does, & those things feed her rage & disgust of you.”

I would guess that many of you now feel an “ah ha!” moment.  Somehow it makes sense that someone you know feels this way about you, & that is why they are so devoted to the narcissist in your life & feel free to treat you so badly.

I truly hope this helps you because not knowing the motivation behind someone’s ridiculous & abusive behavior can be so hard!  When you know that what they say & do has more to do with them than you, it can be surprisingly freeing!  It helps tremendously to know that the problem truly has nothing to do with you, & instead is all about that person’s dysfunction. 

If this does fit a situation with someone you know, if you can, please pray for that person.  Pray for them to come to know Jesus as their Savior, & for Satan to leave them alone.  Those are two things they need more than anything else in the world.  So as difficult as it can be, please try to pray for them.  The more you do it, the easier it becomes & the more likely they are to turn their lives around.  It also will help you to be blessed & to have peace because you will be following Jesus’ command in Matthew 5:44 to pray for your enemies.

5 Comments

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

Dealing With Those Who Think They Know It All About Narcissistic Abuse

I keep hearing the term “mansplaining”.  I get how annoying this can be.  Being a blonde female who loves cars, I’ve been on the receiving end of plenty of men acting like I’m too dumb to know much of anything, let alone a complicated topic like cars. 

This know it all attitude isn’t just men doing it to women, & it isn’t just about cars.  Anyone can treat someone this way & the subject matter can be anything.  Many victims of narcissistic abuse have experienced it.  I would bet that all victims have heard someone say that the abuse wasn’t so bad or NPD isn’t a real thing.  If the victim is a Christian, then it also includes smug people without any real understanding of the Bible misapplying Scripture to justify the behavior of abusive people while condemning the victim for wanting to set boundaries or end the relationship. 

When on the receiving end of know it all behavior, it can be so hard not to take it personally & cuss out the person treating you this way.  Truly, I get it!  I’ve felt that way.  That doesn’t mean I have followed through with that desire however.  I also learned how not to be so upset when it does happen.  In fact now it barely bothers me at all.

Getting to this point isn’t as hard as you may think.  To start with, I think it’s best to accept the fact that people who act this way are going to cross your path.  There is no way to avoid them completely because know it alls are everywhere.  The more you heal though, the more repelled toxic people will be by you & the more functional, healthy people will be attracted to you.  This means that naturally, the less you’ll be exposed to know it alls.  Another motivation to focus on healing!

Also, rather than be hurt or angered by their heartless words, it really helps to remember that this isn’t personal.  While it can feel intensely personal, it truly isn’t.  Know it alls clearly have some sort of issues.  Functional people realize they don’t know everything.  They have no problem admitting that they aren’t experts on certain topics or trying to learn new things.  They listen to other people as well, & aren’t quick to offer their input unless asked for it.  Dysfunctional people however aren’t willing to learn or grow.  If someone they’re speaking with is discussing a topic they don’t know much (or nothing) about, they don’t want the speaker to know this.  They would rather act like they are experts on a topic than risk people thinking they aren’t as smart as they want others to think they are by admitting they don’t know much about a specific topic.

Another thing to remember with these know it alls is they have their own painful situation similar to yours.  When you discuss your situation, it triggers their own painful memories that they are trying to avoid.  Rather than realize their triggers are trying to tell them they need healing, they prefer to shut down the person who is inadvertently triggering them.  One of the ways some people do that is by shaming the victim.  They create shame in victims by claiming to know everything about narcissism & it isn’t so bad.  Or, they pull random Scriptures they remember out of thin air & use them to shame a victim for not being willing to tolerate abuse.

And lastly, never forget to ask God to help you in this situation.  Sometimes even knowing these facts isn’t enough to help you deal with a truly impossible person.  God will be glad to help you to do whatever you need to do.

I pray the next time you run into someone who thinks they know everything, the tips I have shared with you will help you!

6 Comments

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

Goodbye Video

10 Comments

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

How To Know If No Contact With Your Abusive Parent Is Necessary

Many people have very definite opinions on no contact but especially when it comes to parents.  There are so many who claim no contact is the only option & there is no excuse not to sever ties with toxic parents.  There are probably just as many who claim it’s not God’s will, no contact is dishonorable & there is absolutely no excuse to sever ties with your parents no matter what they have done to you. 

If you are in the position of wondering if no contact is your best solution, no doubt you have read information on both sides of this argument.  It can be truly overwhelming & confusing!

My purpose in this post is to help you decide whether or not no contact is necessary in your particular situation.  Following are some questions you need to consider.  When you answer them, the more honestly you answer, the more clarity you should have about whether or not you need to go no contact with your parent.

Is your parent willing to discuss your relationship?  Narcissistic parents have no desire to discuss the relationship or work towards solutions.  They don’t want to hear their victim’s complaints, & can shut down as soon as the conversation turns to their behavior.  Functional people are open to discussion & are willing to listen, not only talk.

Does your parent deny any responsibility for problems in the relationship?  Functional people admit when they are wrong.  They apologize & try to make appropriate changes.  Dysfunctional people, narcissists in particular, refuse to admit they have made mistakes.  Instead, they refuse to admit any wrong doing, shift all blame to the victim or make lame excuses for their behavior.

When discussing the relationship, does your parent turn the situation around to where you are the abuser, them the victim?  Covert narcissists in particular love to do this.  No matter how valid your complaint about their behavior, they can spin the situation around to make you look abusive, while simultaneously making them look like the innocent victim of your abusive ways.  Functional people do nothing like this.

Is your parent completely inflexible?  For any relationship to work, both parties have to be rather flexible.  One person can’t do all of the compromising & expect the relationship to be a healthy one.  Yet, narcissists aren’t concerned with what is healthy.  They’re only concerned with what they want, & what they want is a one sided relationship where their victim caters to their every whim.  Functional people are willing to bend & compromise if it means the relationship will be better.

Is your parent very entitled?  Functional parents accept that their children are grown with their own life, family & responsibilities.  They don’t expect to be their adult child’s top priority.  Entitled parents are much different.  They think their adult children need to have them as top priority even over their spouse &/or children & are impossible.  No matter how much their adult child does for them, it never will be enough nor will it please this parent.  Even if their adult child does so much for them that their spouse divorces them, it still won’t be enough.  It may please the parent, however, to have that spouse out of the picture so the adult child can focus on them even more. 

Have you tried your best to fix this relationship yet it either didn’t change or got worse?  One person can’t fix a relationship, but by altering their behavior, some change should come naturally to the relationship.  If the relationship stayed the same or got worse, that is not a good sign.  Narcissists don’t like their victims to change unless that change means the victim is more subservient.  If your parent is like the dysfunctional ones I discussed, chances are excellent that no contact is your best solution.  I don’t like to say anyone definitely should go no contact, because each person & each situation is unique.  However, the dysfunctional behaviors I’ve discussed are big signs that there is no working things out with anyone who behaves that way.  From here, I highly recommend lots of prayer & consideration of your unique situation.  And, if you realize no contact is necessary for you, then you can have peace of mind knowing you did all you could & gave it a lot of serious consideration before implementing no contact.

6 Comments

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

Anger As A Helpful Tool

Some time back, I decided to change my online diary to another website.  Unfortunately I can’t export the old one & import it to the new.  I have to copy & paste old entries manually.  I considered starting from scratch but quickly abandoned the idea.  It’s helpful to be able to read over old entries.

One thing I realized in reading those old entries was how helpful anger has been to me.  Many of you may remember in 2016, I had a big argument with my parents that led to no contact.  It was a very hard time for me, & I was full of a great deal of anger.

I don’t like feeling anger.  In fact, I really hate it.  When someone wrongs me, no matter how badly, I do my best to release that anger as quickly as possible.  Yet after the argument with my parents, not only could I not release it, it got worse for a while.  At the time it felt horrible & I was miserable.  I couldn’t understand why I felt the way I did.  Looking back though, I realize how valuable that anger was.

The anger I felt then helped me to stay no contact with my parents.  I felt incredibly guilty for going no contact because they were in failing health.  That anger helped me to maintain my distance.  And, I later learned that maintaining no contact was what God wanted from me at the time.  In fact, it led to my father’s Salvation at the very end of his life.  (That incredible story is on my website at http://www.CynthiaBaileyRug if you’d like to read it.)

That anger also helped me to maintain boundaries when people insisted I should speak to my parents.  We all know that flying monkeys think they know best what victims should do to please their narcissist.  This behavior really goes over the top when a victim boots a narcissist out of their life.  I experienced this in 2016 & 2017.  The anger I felt at my parents helped me to keep a good perspective on the relationship I’d had with my parents, & not to cave when people tried to force me to resume it.

The anger I felt also helped me to think logically.  That was very helpful, too!  If I started to think the flying monkeys might be right, almost immediately I would ask myself what would it benefit anyone for me to return to the abusive relationship?  What makes people think they have the right to suggest that to me?  Logical thoughts like that are fantastic for giving a healthy perspective.

I know in Christian circles, talk like this is often very frowned upon.  So many quote Colossians 3:13 that says we should be quick to forgive or they say anger is a sin.  While I agree that forgiveness is a good thing, people shouldn’t be labeled sinful for feeling anger!  Anger isn’t a sin.  It’s simply an emotion.  What a person does with anger can be sinful, but isn’t that true with pretty much anything?  Owning a knife isn’t a sin either, but if that knife is used to kill someone, that becomes a tool to sin.

Rather than looking at anger as some black & white issue, I think it’s good to look at it more objectively.  Consider the reason you’re angry & pray about it.  Maybe you can learn something from the anger or the situation.  Maybe it will help motivate you to change.  Few things are as good a motivator as anger, after all.

While I’m not saying act carelessly out of anger, let it help you.  Don’t let it be a waste.  Let your anger teach or help you in whatever way it can.  It can be uncomfortable to experience but it also can be a very good teacher & helper.

6 Comments

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

How Many Abuse Victims Process Negative Emotions

4 Comments

January 29, 2021 · 6:30 AM

Truths About Forgiveness

Many people talk about forgiveness as if it means you resume a relationship as if nothing happened.  You also no longer feel any anger or hurt.  It’s as if a magic wand has wiped away all evidence that the painful event happened!  And, if this isn’t the case in your situation, clearly something is very wrong with you.

Unfortunately nothing could be further from the truth!  Believing these lies has done a lot of emotional damage to victims of narcissistic abuse.  I want to share the truth about forgiveness in this post.

Forgiveness doesn’t necessarily equal reconciliation.  Some relationships have run their course & need to end for various reasons.  One example is when one person in the relationship is abusive & shows no interest in changing their ways.  Staying in a relationship with someone who abuses you simply makes no sense!  Even if the abuser is a spouse or family member, it’s best to leave the abuser behind.

Forgiveness also doesn’t mean that a relationship needs to continue exactly as it was.  When someone does something very bad to someone else, that bad behavior needs to stop.  Continuing the abusive behavior over & over is terrible for the victim & also the abuser.  The abuser learns that their behavior is perfectly acceptable.  Clearly this is NOT good for either party!

Forgiving someone is much like forgiving a debt.  If you lend someone money & they can’t pay you back, you can “forgive” their debt.  In other words, you don’t expect them to repay you & you don’t mention that they owe you.  That debt is a done deal.  When someone wrongs you, you can do something similar by not expecting them to try to make it up to you for what they have done.  Doing this really lifts a great deal of weight & stress from you!

Forgiveness also doesn’t necessarily mean that you never feel anger or hurt about the incident again.  If you forgive someone as I mentioned in the previous paragraph, that does open the door to your anger & hurt diminishing or even disappearing in time.  Some abusive actions are so egregious though, that there may always be a degree of hurt or anger attached to the memory.  That doesn’t mean that you haven’t forgiven the person who hurt you.  It means that the action was really terrible.  Remember me sharing the story of when my mother threw me into a wall when I was 19?  I honestly have forgiven her for that.  Remembering the incident, however, still makes me cringe.  Sometimes it even makes my back hurt in the location she injured it.  That doesn’t mean I haven’t forgiven her, am holding onto bitterness or am not a good Christian.  It means that was a really bad action!

When it comes to the business of forgiving, I do my best immediately to decided to forgive.  Most likely there is nothing the person can do anyway to completely make it up to me for what they have done, so I mentally release them from that “debt” of sorts.

I also have found praying to be VERY helpful.  I ask God to help me forgive naturally, but also tell Him how I feel.  I say it was wrong of them to do or say whatever they did.  I cry or rant to get my feelings out & that helps so much.  He is never surprised or offended either.  He lets me say whatever I need to.

Journaling is also helpful.  I’ve learned that writing things down helps bring clarity to situations that speaking about them doesn’t.  There is something so helpful about seeing things in writing!

If you don’t journal, you still can get the benefits of writing.  Write letters you never send to the person who has hurt or abused you.  Let it all out in them, too.  Once you’re done, you can save the letter somewhere well hidden or you can dispose of it.  I used to burn mine.  It was like the anger & hurt went up in flames with the paper.  Strange, I know, but still very helpful.

You don’t have to live up to the impossibly high standards some folks have of forgiveness.  It’s unrealistic & unhealthy!  Remember these truths about forgiveness.. I believe they will help you!

21 Comments

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

Facts About Toxic Shame

Toxic shame can be one of the most damaging aspects of narcissistic abuse.  It tells a victim that something is deeply wrong with them, unlike guilt which tells a person that they did something wrong.  This shame obliterates self esteem & makes a victim easier to control.  This is why shame is such a common weapon of narcissists.  It’s extremely effective.

Narcissists instill toxic shame in their victims in various ways.  They let their victim know that their feelings, thoughts, & beliefs are wrong.  The victims likes & dislikes are also harshly judged & criticized.  In fact, everything about the victim is harshly judged & criticized.  His or her looks, actions, hopes, dreams & more.  Even if a victim tries to be what the narcissist wants, the narcissist will let the victim know it isn’t good enough.  In fact, nothing the victim does is good enough.  Instead of the victim seeing this as the narcissist is impossible to please, most victims take it as them being a failure for not pleasing their narcissist, which adds to their toxic shame.

Shame also forces victims to keep the abuse secret.  The victim is too embarrassed to admit that they tolerate such cruelty in some cases.  In others, the victim is ashamed of feeling angry or hurt by the abuse because the narcissist has convinced the victim that the victim is the reason for the abusive behavior or that it really isn’t abuse, the victim is being oversensitive.  Either way, the abuse being kept a secret is another benefit for the narcissist.  They can continue the abuse without fear of the victim exposing their heinous acts.

Even once a victim ends the relationship with a narcissist, toxic shame is still a part of that victim’s life until he or she realizes it & works on healing.  Adults with toxic shame end up in abusive relationships, whether they be romantic, friendships or coworkers.  They are depressed & seldom realize why.  They often have tremendous anxiety as well.  They live to please other people, & feel as though they fail even when told they have done a great job.  They have no self esteem.  They’re simply miserable!

One of the best ways to start to combat toxic shame is by talking about the abuse.  Being open about your experiences is a very effective way to release the power they have over you.  I’ve thought of it like this… if you remember anything about the old legends of vampires, when they were in the dark, they were incredibly powerful.  Nothing could stop them.  Yet, in the sunlight, they were powerless in the short time before they were destroyed.  Talking about the effects of the abuse is the same.  Being open about it releases the power it has over you.  In fact, it enables you to take back your power!  By talking about it, you’re basically telling your abuser, “This is my story too & I have every right to talk about it.  You can’t stop me anymore!”

By talking about the abuse, I’m not saying you need to talk about it non stop to everyone, write books or have a blog like mine.  You have to do whatever feels right to you.  It’s usually best to start out by praying about it.  Also, you can write in a journal.  From there, you can talk to a safe person such as a close friend or counselor.   Take baby steps, since talking about it can be pretty scary at first.  As you get more comfortable discussing it, maybe one day you will feel like creating a blog or writing a book about your story.  Only God knows what the best plan for you is.  Until such time as that plan is revealed though, start talking.  It will help you destroy that toxic shame & live a happier life!

6 Comments

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

Adding Some New Things To My Website

Aside from the hours of thinking & talking about NPD I do daily, there has been a LOT going on in my life the last few years. This exacerbates my mental & physical health problems. I realized recently this is ridiculous… I need a break!

I have blog posts & YouTube videos scheduled well ahead of time so I can take time off from those things. But I needed to do more. This brought me to the idea of spending more time crafting since it relaxes me so much. Working on a crafty project also takes my focus so I don’t think about NPD at all.

The crafting thought gave me another idea… add some craft patterns on my website!

Clearly I’m not the only person who needs frequent breaks. Anyone who is healing from narcissistic abuse naturally spends a lot of time reading & thinking about it, which can take a mental & physical toll. If you aren’t doing that, then please start! Whatever helps you to relax & think about something more pleasant than narcissism isn’t important, so long as you do it.

If you’re not sure what to do, why not try something creative? Guys, you need to do this too. There are all kinds of creative ideas out there! I focus on knitting, crochet & cross stitch, but there are about a zillion other things you can do. Draw, paint, woodworking, model building, RC cars or airplanes, sculpting… possibilities are endless!

If you’re interested in knitting, crochet or cross stitch like me, then please check out the patterns I’ve made & put on my website. I’ll be adding more over time, but there are a few patterns on there already that I hope you’ll like. The link directly to those patterns is below:

Craft Patterns

4 Comments

Filed under Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health

For Those Who Judge Victims For Tolerating Abuse

4 Comments

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

Abusive Behaviors That Narcissistic Spouses Think Are Ok

Whatever narcissists do, they believe is ok.  Yet, if someone else does the same thing, that person can be wrong in the narcissist’s eyes.  Narcissists also use that behavior to shame & manipulate their victim.  Examples of this are especially clear in a marriage to a narcissist. 

When a marriage is rocky, it leaves each person very vulnerable.  It can be so easy to compare your spouse unfavorably to that handsome new coworker or that pretty cashier at the store who always smiles.  It also can go farther than that.  Sometimes a person will look at sexy pictures of other people on social media or even pornography.  If this were to happen in a healthy marriage, it would be a warning to both partners that they need to work on their marriage.  Not so with narcissists.  If they are the one looking, they justify it by insulting their partner.  They make sure their partner knows how much more attractive the person they are lusting after is or that if their partner was just better in bed, they wouldn’t have to look elsewhere for satisfaction.  If the non-narcissistic partner is the one looking at others, the narcissist will use this to shame their partner so badly, that partner will do anything the narcissist wants.  They will make the partner feel as if they have to make it up to them for the pain they have caused, yet nothing will be good enough.

Your narcissistic spouse does activities without you.  Most couples don’t share all the same interests, & do things separately periodically.  Narcissistic spouses are different.  They tell their partner they are doing things & the partner is not welcome to join them.  It may even happen often.  And somehow, the partner feels guilty for not attending with their narcissistic spouse.  If the situation is reversed & the partner wants to do something without the narcissist, the partner is accused of being selfish, heartless, & more.  Often, this ruins the event for the partner who feels guilty enough not to attend the event they once looked forward to.

Having secrets is ok for narcissists, but no one else.  Narcissists are very secretive.  Their cell phones are locked & no one is allowed to touch that phone but the narcissist.  If their spouse does the same thing, the spouse is berated, accused of cheating & other things that the spouse is not doing. 

Narcissists will wait a long time to tell someone they are married.  Everyone gets flirted with sometimes, married or not.  Healthy married people may enjoy the flattery, but quickly tell the person flirting that they are married, so thanks but no thanks.  Narcissists aren’t that way.  They may not tell the person they’re married.  They may even have an affair with this person who has no idea that this person is married.  Again, narcissists will find some warped way to justify the behavior such as by telling their partner the partner is physically unattractive or boring in bed.  If the narcissist’s partner did this same thing, even if the end result wasn’t an affair, the narcissist will rage.  There will be no excuse for not telling the flirting person that the partner is married the moment the flirting person said hello, according to the narcissist.

Narcissists may stalk an ex’s social media or even keep in touch with an ex, but their partner isn’t allowed to do the same.  A lot of people are a bit curious about an ex.  They may check their social media once in a while.  Or, they maintain a friendship after the relationship ended.  If their partner has a problem with this, they alter their behavior accordingly.  Narcissists are different, as usual.  They are allowed to stalk their ex either on social media or in real life & allowed to keep in contact with that ex.  If their partner is upset by this, the partner is accused of being jealous, insecure & other things.  Yet, let that partner simply say hi in passing to an ex who just happens to be at the grocery store at the same time, & the narcissist will be livid.

If your spouse behaves in such ways, you are most likely dealing with a narcissist.  These behaviors are NOT healthy & NOT normal!  You need to recognize that these behaviors are abusive & protect yourself accordingly!  Remember they aren’t personal or true.  They are about the narcissist only.  Learn & set healthy boundaries.  Learn about the Gray Rock method.  Most of all pray & let God help you learn what you need to do.

2 Comments

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

An Update About My Books

I’ve been toying with the idea of creating some mini books for a while now. Each book being much shorter than the average, & focusing only on one topic at a time. I thought it could be a good idea since narcissism is a pretty overwhelming topic. These books help readers by not inundating them with too much information per book which makes them easier to read & absorb the subject matter. Plus, being shorter books, people can get exactly the information they want at a cheaper price than buying a larger book.

Mini books also are much easier for me to write. It’s almost six years to the day after I survived carbon monoxide poisoning & my brain is still not in a really happy place. I can write obviously, but it’s a much greater struggle now than it once was. I think it’s time to make my life easier in general, including with writing.

I just published the first three, & they’re available at this link on my website: https://cynthiabaileyrug.com/home/books-for-sale/mini-books/

Currently, all are available in only ebook format, but I am considering making them available in print as well. It’s so hard to know what to do like this anymore! People have very definite feelings of print vs ebook format, & those who prefer one over the other change like the wind!

Anyway I hope you like the new ebooks. More will be coming in the future. As I mentioned recently, I’ll be getting rid of my free ebooks by the end of this month. I plan to add more information to them & charge a little for them. Not much, since they’ll still be rather short little ebooks.

Thank you to everyone for being supportive & wonderful! May God bless you! 💖💖

Leave a comment

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

Things That Scare Narcissists

2 Comments

Filed under Mental Health, Narcissism

15% Off ALL My Print Books

Use code SHOP15 at checkout when you buy any of my print books & get 15% off until January 15, 2021!

Books can be found on my website at: https://www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com or visit my publisher’s site directly at: https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/CynthiaBaileyRug

1 Comment

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

Encouragement For People Still In A Relationship With A Narcissist

January 12, 2018, I had an odd experience. It was my father’s birthday, the first birthday after his death. I was thinking about that when I felt strongly that he wanted God to send me a message.. “Encourage the weak, like me.”  I immediately knew in my heart what that meant.

At that point, it was just over 2 months since my father died, & in that short time, God showed me a great deal about him, including why he didn’t protect me from my mother. One of those things was that he felt trapped in their marriage, unable to escape. I believe that was what he meant by “the weak”, other people who also feel trapped in their situation.

Every January around his birthday, I try to encourage those who are still in relationships with narcissists as a result of that message.

If you’re still in a relationship with the narcissist in your life, I don’t think you’re weak at all.  I think my father used that word because he felt weak for not protecting me & wanted me to know others in similar situations also felt weak.  I get that, but I still don’t think you’re weak.  If you were, I doubt highly that you would have any interest in reading this post or anything else about narcissism.

Maybe you’re forced to stay because of financial reasons.  Narcissists abuse in every way, including financially.  Many narcissistic parents & partners steal money from their victim, ruin their credit, get them fired from their jobs or even forbid them to work. 

Many victims feel a sense of obligation to the narcissist.  My ex husband made me feel as if I owed it to him to be with him, even when I was miserable with him.  He hardly the only one who has done that to a victim.

Many stay because they mistakenly feel as Christians, it’s dishonoring their parents to go no contact or it’s a sin to divorce an abusive partner.  Sadly, many victims are encouraged to think this way either by narcissists & their flying monkeys or by those who don’t understand the Bible very well. 

Another possibility is that you can leave, but feel so beaten down, you don’t think you can leave.  You don’t trust in yourself to make it on your own without the narcissist telling you what to do, how to think, how to feel, what to wear, & on & on.  You don’t think you have any marketable skills to earn a living that could support you & maybe also children. 

Staying in a relationship with a narcissist takes a great deal of inner strength.  Fighting to keep your sanity in a completely insane situation day after day isn’t easy!  It takes a TON of courage & strength.

In spite of what many people say, no contact isn’t an easy solution that fixes all of your problems.  If that is your goal, know being prepared for it won’t happen overnight.  It takes time to build up the courage to do it, & courage to face the aftermath.  The narcissist most likely will create a smear campaign against you & send the flying monkeys.  Mentally preparing for all of that takes time, learning all you can about Narcissistic Personality Disorder & boundaries, a great deal of prayer & leaning on God to show you what do to, when to do it & how to do it. 

No, Dear Reader.. you aren’t weak.  You are strong.  The fact that you are looking for solutions to your situation shows you have strength.  Know that you will survive this with your sanity & dignity in tact.  Until you know what you need to do, always practice the Gray Rock method, keep & enforce healthy boundaries & focus on your healing.  You can get through this!!

4 Comments

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

On Insulting & Critical People

My husband & I were watching a true crime TV show not long ago, as we often do.  On it, a man shot & killed another.  At the time, he was very high on drugs & paranoid.  He mistook a simple comment made by the victim as insulting & disrespectful, which infuriated him enough to shoot this man.

I thought about how ridiculous this is.  Even if the man had been insulting, who cares?!  That was no reason to kill the guy!

Growing up with narcissistic parents, people often go one way or another.  Some turn out like what the comedian Christopher Titus referred to as an insult Navy seal.  After your parent has said unimaginably cruel things to you & called you dreadful names, no one else’s insults can hurt you.  You’ve built up a high tolerance to insults, & it takes a LOT to upset you.  Then there are many other people who have gone the other direction.  They have a thin skin when it comes to insults, & are easily devastated.  You are the folks I am writing this post for.

Nobody likes to be insulted.  Pretty sure that is just a given.  That doesn’t mean insults need to be devastating though.  For one thing, no one can please everyone.  You can be a beautiful person, inside & out, highly intelligent, successful in every area of your life, & someone still will have something negative to say no matter how perfect you are simply because no one can please every single person.

For another thing, emotionally healthy people aren’t judgmental or critical.  They are usually way too focused on managing themselves, learning, growing & being good people to worry about picking someone else apart.  This tells me that the majority of critical people aren’t emotionally healthy, like critical narcissists.  Do you really care about the opinion of someone like that?

Many insults are said out of jealousy.  For an example, a person struggling in college may be very critical of their friend who appears to be sailing through without any problems.

There is also something called morbid envy.  Narcissists are quite prone to this.  They envy someone so much that they are excessively cruel to that person.  They can be extremely nit picky towards the subject of their envy too, such as criticizing small things like a woman having a broken nail or a man’s hair being slightly disheveled.  Another common sign of morbid envy is when a person receives a complement & the narcissist immediately insults either the receiver or giver of the complement or even both.  In any case, morbid envy makes a person very insulting towards others!

And don’t forget.. there is a big difference in someone being insulting & offering constructive criticism.  Constructive criticism is worded to offer help & be as not offensive as possible.  Insults aren’t said to help, but only to hurt.

My point in sharing these thoughts with you is to help you realize that when someone is insulting to you, Dear Reader, it’s not about you.  It’s truly about that person.

What they say also has no basis in reality, only in that person’s dysfunction.  An insulting person is trying to hurt or control you by any means possible.  That doesn’t mean that what they say is true.  In fact, most likely it isn’t even close.

If you can remember these points when you come across someone who is insulting & mean to you, it really will help you to avoid being upset by that person’s nastiness.  A different perspective can be a truly helpful thing sometimes, in particular when it comes to dealing with very dysfunctional, hateful people.

10 Comments

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

Some Passive/Aggressive Ways Narcissists Abuse

Leave a comment

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

Making Some Changes To My Free Ebooks

I just got a email from one of the publishers I use. They will be making some changes that will affect my free ebooks, which has gotten me to do some thinking….

I’ve been considering retiring all of them & republishing with the other publisher I use to gain more exposure. Due to the changes, I plan to do just this.

Since I need to redo the ebooks anyway, I’m going to add more to them & they’ll no longer be free. Probably I’ll only ask a little for them, like maybe $.99 since I don’t plan to add a lot to them.

While these books won’t be free, my website, this blog, my YouTube channel & podcasts all still will be. There is plenty of information on these sources. While I’m glad to share all of the information I can, I need some more balance. I need to start charging for some of it. Helping people is great & I love it, but it also doesn’t pay the bills either!

I’ll retire my free ebooks by January 31, 2021. In the meantime, you can find them at this link:

https://cynthiabaileyrug.com/home/free-e-books/

You can find all of the other links I’ve mentioned on my website at this link:

https://CynthiaBaileyRug.com

Thank you for understanding! God bless you!

7 Comments

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

Experiencing Grief After Narcissistic Abuse

A common feeling many people experience after narcissistic abuse is grief.  It makes sense since there is a great deal to grieve!  If the narcissist in question was a parent, you grieve the loss of your childhood, the pain of having a parent who didn’t treat you right or love you, the years wasted trying to please your impossible to please parent, the parent you wish you had & more.  If the narcissist was a spouse, there is grief too, because that person married you not out of love, but out of wanting to use & abuse you.  There is also time wasted with this person that could have been spent in much better ways.  You also may grieve the loss of the person you thought the narcissist was at first.   If you passed up a good person to marry the narcissist, there is regret & grief over losing that good person.  If you had children together, no doubt there is also a great deal of guilt over giving your children this terrible person as a parent. 

Whatever your situation, if you’re grieving after escaping narcissistic abuse, please know you are normal!  It’s awful to experience but it’s also very normal.  Grief isn’t only something to be experienced after someone dies.  It comes after all kinds of losses.

You need to experience & process your grief after narcissistic abuse just as you would after losing someone you love.  It is healing to cry & be angry about the unfairness of it all.  Ignoring it, pretending it isn’t happening or even shaming yourself as if something is wrong with you for feeling this way isn’t healthy at all!

Rather than do those unhealthy things, why not try accepting your feelings without judgment?  They’re not abnormal, they’re not wrong & you aren’t crazy for feeling the way you do.  Stop criticizing them.  Accept them for what they are- your feelings that are completely valid.

As you accept them, sit with them for a while.  Cry or yell if you need to.  I know this can be difficult for those of us shamed for having feelings by our narcissistic parent, so if those are too much, then try writing things out.  If you don’t have a journal, it may be an excellent time to start one.  If you want to be certain no one ever reads it, there are online journals that are private & password protected.  I use Penzu’s free version, but there are plenty of others as well if it doesn’t meet your needs.

I’ve also found writing letters to the narcissist very helpful.  I wrote out everything I thought & felt about what they did, not censoring myself.  The especially important part of this is I never sent the letters.  I wrote them to purge myself of the awful things I felt because of the actions of a narcissist, not to tell the narcissist how they made me feel or to try to make them see the errors of their ways.  Doing such things is a complete waste of time & energy with a narcissist.  In fact, if you do them, chances are you’ll only feel worse after instead of better because the narcissist will try to convince you that you’re oversensitive, overreacting or even crazy.  Instead, I’ve found ripping the letters up & throwing them away or burning them to be very helpful.

If you have a safe friend, relative or even counselor, talking about your grief or praying with them can be very helpful as well. 

You also need to be aware that grief doesn’t have time limits.  You can’t expect to get over the trauma in a set time.  In fact, a part of you most likely always will grieve to some degree, just like when someone you love dies.  It does get easier in time though.  You also learn to rebuild yourself & adapt to your new life without suffering narcissistic abuse. Whatever you choose to do to cope isn’t important.  What matters is that you deal with your grief & accept it as a natural part of the healing process.

12 Comments

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

Tactics Used By Narcissists: Nit Picking & Changing The Goals

Leave a comment

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

Covert Narcissists Are Poisonous

A member of my Facebook group shared a meme made from a quote from author & life coach Lisa Romano.  I don’t remember the meme, but one of her comments on it said this:  “Narcissism at its finest is like carbon monoxide. Your inner world will become chaotic and every aspect of your life will become suffocated by dysfunction, but you will not know from where the poison is coming from.”

Having suffered both narcissistic abuse & carbon monoxide, I really related to this comparison.

While narcissistic abuse is often thought of as loud, sometimes even physically abusive & basically easy to identify, that isn’t always the case.  Overt narcissists are that way of course, but coverts aren’t.  They are so much more subtle.  They can abuse undetected.. much the same way carbon monoxide can injure or even kill.

Carbon monoxide has absolutely no smell whatsoever.  You don’t see it hanging in the air like you would smoke, either.  It silently & subtly does its damage, & you don’t even realize it until the damage has been done.  The day I survived carbon monoxide poisoning, I knew I felt bad, but I didn’t know why.  The thought of calling 911 or my husband for help also never crossed my mind.  The poison ruined my ability to think clearly or recognize what the problem was.

Covert narcissists are much the same way.  They aren’t like their overt counterparts who yell & scream to get their way.  They’re often soft spoken.  They come across as unassuming & meek, sometimes even not very intelligent.  They may help people by donating to or volunteering with charities.  They may be active in their church.  If they are financially comfortable, they’re the first one to give money to someone they know who is struggling.  People not close enough to the covert narcissist to see behind the make usually think they are really good, kind, generous people who will do anything to help someone in need.  This allows covert narcissists to fly under the radar, abusing however they like.  Even If someone does recognize a problem, most likely they’ll excuse the abuse because they claim the person meant well or doesn’t know any better.

What few people see is that covert narcissists wear a very convincing mask.  Behind that mask is someone who rules their family with guilt, shaming, feigned helplessness, or exaggerating or even faking sickness.  These weapons are every bit as effective, if not more so, than an overt narcissist’s screaming & raging while appearing innocent.

Often, these covert narcissists even control their overtly narcissistic spouse by quietly pushing their buttons until the overt narcissist snaps & attacks them either verbally or physically.  Covert narcissists love this, because any witnesses to this see the covert narcissist as the long suffering, wonderful spouse of a crazy & even abusive person.  They also get pity, which they love.  Also in this situation, children of this narcissistic couple automatically side with their covertly narcissistic parent, & become protective of him or her.  They never question why their parent expects their protection when it’s really parents’ job to protect their children instead.  This behavior stays well into adulthood, which usually causes problems in the adult child’s marriage.  Narcissistic parents are usually terrible in-laws.  They expect their adult child to keep them first priority, not their spouse or children.  When the spouse says something, the adult child often protects their covertly narcissistic parent, as they’ve always done, which causes strain in the marriage for which the spouse is blamed.

While there are carbon monoxide detectors to help protect us from that terrible poison, there aren’t such detectors to help us identify covert narcissists.  There are ways you can protect yourself, though.

Pray.  Ask God to give you discernment & wisdom.  Then if you meet someone who you get an inkling about that something isn’t right, pay attention to the feeling!  If their actions seem innocent but leave you feeling guilty or angry, chances are good that you’re in the presence of a covert narcissist.

If you discover you are dealing with a covert narcissist, again, pray.  You’ll need all the wisdom you can get, especially if that covert narcissist is a parent of your spouse.  Remember the Gray Rock method.  When you & your spouse discuss the problem, stay calm, stating only the facts as calmly & logically as you can.  Stick to your boundaries, too.  Showing your anger will make your spouse more protective of that parent & angry with you. 

Remember, just because covert narcissists come across safer than overt ones doesn’t mean they are safe.  They really are like carbon monoxide- they may not appear dangerous, but they absolutely are!

8 Comments

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

Remembering Only Good Things After The Death Of A Narcissistic Parent

One thing that has always baffled me is how people talk about how wonderful that person who died was, even though you know very well that person was an absolute jerk.  As if death somehow turned that sinner into a saint.

A few years back, a former friend of mine lost her mother.  Her mother had abused her terribly for her entire life.  Yet, when this woman died, my friend constantly posted on Facebook how much she missed her mother, she loved her & what a beautiful, wonderful person her mother was.  Eventually I couldn’t take it anymore… I had to ask her why she was saying these things after all the terrible things her mother did to her.  She said it helped her to cope with the emotions if she pretended her mother was a good mother.  Not a healthy coping skill by any means, but she was content with it. 

I think many people probably have the same reason for their similar behavior.  Losing someone you love, even someone abusive, is incredibly difficult & painful.

After my mother died, I caught myself remembering the good things about her.  Those few times we got along well, when we could laugh & have fun together.  The time she taught me to crochet when I was 5.  Little things like that.  I also prayed a lot during this time & knew that not only was she in Heaven, but she also was no longer the abusive & cruel person she was before she died.  I realized that I was starting to do somewhat like my former friend did when her abusive mother died, focusing on only the good about my mother.  While she was fine coping in that way, I wasn’t.  It didn’t feel right or healthy to me.  I got in prayer about it & learned some things.

When you love someone dies, you’re going to miss them.  If that person was abusive, you’re going to miss the few good things about them, if there were any.  If not, you’ll miss the person you wish they had been.  Part of grieving is letting go.  You are naturally going to have a harder time letting go of the good things than the bad, or even the good things you wish would have been. 

Remembering the good things brings some normalcy to a very abnormal situation.  There is absolutely nothing normal about coping with the death of a narcissistic parent.  You can feel as if you’re completely alone, you’re crazy or unreasonable. You also most likely will feel that not one single person on the face of the earth understands what you’re feeling, because what you feel isn’t what most people feel when their parent dies.  Focusing on the good, remembering the good things makes you feel more normal.  It’s normal & socially acceptable to miss the good things about your parent.  In most situations, it’s not normal or socially acceptable to feel glad your parent is gone or relief he or she can’t abuse you any longer.  Unfortunately with narcissistic parents, both of those feelings are totally normal, they just don’t feel that way.

It’s incredibly difficult to mourn the death of a narcissistic parent.  It’s easier in a sense to grieve the normal aspects of your parent, whether they were real or what you wish your parent had been like.  Grieving the death of a narcissistic parent can be complex, confusing, infuriating, sad, devastating & so much more.  When you grieve someone you love, basically it boils down to you miss that person.  Of course that’s painful but it isn’t really convoluted.  You don’t have to deal with all the intricacies & complexities that go along with mourning the death of a narcissistic parent.  If you can make your parent more “normal”, it makes the grief process easier by making it less complex.

I don’t think remembering the positive things about your narcissistic parent is a bad thing in general.  However, if you’re in this situation & remember only the good, that should be a red flag that you aren’t coping with your parents’ passing in a healthy way.  It’s ok to remember the awful times & the abuse, & even to be angry about them.  It’s ok to admit to yourself & others that your parent wasn’t exactly parent of the year.  It’s also ok to be glad your parent is gone & you’re finally free.  These things don’t mean you’re a terrible person.  They mean you’re HUMAN!

2 Comments

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

When You Feel The Only Way To Save Your Marriage Is To Sacrifice Yourself

Not long ago, something crossed my mind.  I thought it may help some of you who follow my work.

During my first marriage, I was so dysfunctional I wasn’t sure exactly why it wasn’t a good marriage, but I still knew something was wrong.  My ex said it was fine, but I didn’t buy it.  I took my vows very seriously so I spent a lot of time reading marriage books & trying to figure out what I could do to fix these problems that I couldn’t identify.  It was always my job to fix things in relationships, as is often the case of those who have narcissistic parents.  Plus, it seemed logical at the time that if I was the only one who had a problem, I should be the one to deal with the problem.

After my reading & contemplating things, I came up with a solution that I was certain would fix everything.  If I could just ignore any of my own identity, needs, wants, opinions & feelings in favor of his, I just knew that would fix everything. 

Obviously, this didn’t work.  Although I was successful at doing this for a while, even that wasn’t enough.  By the time we got a divorce, I felt like an utter failure & carried the guilt & shame of that for quite some time.

I mentioned this to my best friend recently who admitted she had a very similar experience when married to her ex husband.

If you are married to a narcissist, I would love to help prevent you from going through this pain.  Please, listen to the voice of experience when I tell you that although it seems like simply giving in to a narcissist in every way is an “easy” way to keep the peace, it’s not. 

Losing yourself in this way is a lifetime job, not something you do once & it’s done.  When a narcissist sees you are willing to do this, he or she will expect you to do it over & over, every single day of your relationship.  It makes you miserable & erodes you into a shell of your former self.  As the saying goes, it’s like a death from a thousand cuts. 

Narcissists also are like endless voids when it comes to things that provide them with their narcissistic supply.  Nothing is going to fill that void.  You simply can’t give a narcissist enough supply.  Even when you give everything to a narcissist, it isn’t enough.  I was basically a robot that my ex could control, & it still wasn’t enough to please him.  He still wanted more even though I had nothing left to give, & was angry when I wouldn’t give it.  This is typical! 

Also, behaving in this manner enables the narcissist to be the abusive monster that he or she is.  There are no consequences when someone tolerates abuse, so abusers naturally see no need to stop.  In fact, they often step up the abuse because they know they can do anything they like without fear of repercussions.  In the end, this will destroy you.  It may not physically destroy you, although the stress of living this way certainly has the potential to create an overabundance of health problems, but at the very least it will emotionally destroy you.  By the time my ex & I separated, I lost so much of my identity.  I had no idea who I was, what I really liked, wanted, felt, or needed.  I was well aware though that I carried a great deal of guilt & shame for being entirely at fault for our failed marriage.  If I had any doubt, his friends & family were glad to remind me that everything was my fault.

Dear Reader, if you are in this unenviable situation of being married to someone who wants everything from you while giving nothing in return, please don’t give that person everything!  It doesn’t help the marriage & only creates problems!  Learn from my mistakes & don’t give in.  Instead, take good care of yourself.  Question everything your spouse says about you & demands of you.  Surround yourself with healthy, functional, caring & supportive people.  If your spouse has isolated you from friends & family (as abusers do), there are online support forums full of amazing people who can help you.  And most of all, stay close to God.  Lean on Him, & let Him help you in this painful situation.  I wish you all the best!    

14 Comments

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

Victims Of Narcissistic Abuse Have Super Powers

2 Comments

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