Today’s post is a little different than usual. Please take a few moments to read this article by a very wise & wonderful young woman. Thank you!
Category Archives: Miscellaneous
Recently, I thought of a conversation my husband & I had a long time back. I told him how my dear friend & one of my aunts had similar bouts with cancer. They both suffered with it I think a total of 5 times each, & each time, when it went to their brain is when they died a fairly short time after.
Both my friend & aunt handled their similar situations very differently.
My friend was always a very loving & compassionate lady with a deep faith in God, but she those traits became even more pronounced as her health became frailer. A few months before she died, she mentioned via an email how Jesus carried her through it all & how grateful she was for everything in her life. She truly was an inspiration! She was also always happy to talk to me & encourage me no matter what was happening in her own life.
My aunt, however, was a different story.
While she said she was a Christian, I have doubts. During one conversation,, she mentioned how no one should be so “arrogant” as to assume God only allows certain people into Heaven & not every single person, no matter their personal beliefs. She also was extremely judgmental. If someone didn’t have cancer, according to her, they had no real problems & she didn’t want to hear them whine. Several times, she was very critical & invalidating to me of my problems, whether they were serious or trivial.
For the record, these changes happened in both of them well before any diagnosis of the cancer in their brains.
Although both ladies have been gone for several years, I still remember very well how each woman made me feel. My friend made me feel very loved & like time spent with me was valuable to her. My aunt? Not even close to the same. She made me feel as if all I did was whine about petty problems & was too stupid to recognize the only problem of the world was cancer.
This got me thinking about how people should make others they talk with feel. No functional person wants to cause other people to feel unloved, unheard, invalidated or other awful things. Yet, this happens every day. With or without intention, people say & do things that make others feel unloved, unheard & more. Following are some things I learned from my dear friend that I think are extremely important.
When spending time with someone, it is so important that they know you are present. What I mean is don’t listen to them talk while scrolling through your phone, looking at the television or the clock. Make eye contact. Respond to things they say. Show genuine empathy & care if they are telling you about a problem.
If someone is talking, don’t try to make the conversation all about you. Even if you understand what they feel or have been in an identical situation, it’s not always necessary to say that.
If someone is telling you about a problem in their life, even if you don’t understand why they’re upset, don’t be an unfeeling jerk by shaming them for their feelings. Ask if you can help somehow. Say things like, “I’m sorry to hear that!” or, “That is so unfair!”
Don’t give unasked for advice either. Many times when people confide in others, they simply want to vent. They will ask for advice if they need it. If they don’t, it’s safe to assume they have a solution in mind, so why try to give them one? Wait for the person to ask before giving advice.
When a person leaves a conversation, they should feel as my friend always made me feel – loved & valued. Small actions like I mentioned can make that happen, so please remember to do them.
When a person faces serious health problems, they change & not only physically. Their personalities change, too. That is normal. Sometimes the personality changes can be very bad.
A dear friend of mine lost her husband some time ago after caring for him for several years. Not long before he died, she told me some very disturbing things about his behavior. This once good, kind, loving man was suddenly exhibiting many narcissistic traits. In particular, he didn’t want his wife to be with other people, including their children. It was bizarre since narcissism doesn’t suddenly show up, like when you catch a cold. The more we talked about things, the more I thought of something…
After I survived Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, the hospital gave me no information & even said my elevated carbon monoxide levels “weren’t so bad.” They also said I had no brain injury in spite of showing many signs of a concussion from hitting my head when I passed out. The hospital said I could return to work two days later, but by that time, I still felt just as miserable as I did when I left the hospital. I was lost, so I started researching my condition. I also joined a traumatic brain injury group on Facebook. I noticed immediately most people in the group showed a LOT of narcissistic tendencies & were very insecure. I left the group quickly, but I realized something. I was starting to behave much as they were! I wanted my husband to be with me non stop & was very annoyed he wasn’t. I knew he had demanding, elderly parents with health problems, plus a full time job which all left him exhausted much of the time, but even so, I was annoyed he didn’t spend more time with me. Realizing how selfish I was behaving was a real wakeup call!
I told my friend about my experiences plus what I witnessed in that group & in time, we realized what happened with her husband was much like what happened to me.
The reason I’m sharing this is so many people are affected by serious health concerns either in themselves or in those they love. Whether you are the person with the condition or someone you love is, it’s vital to understand that serious health problems can change someone’s personality drastically. The condition doesn’t even need to be something that affects one’s brain directly like Alzheimer’s, stroke or traumatic brain injury for this to happen.
When you become seriously sick or injured, you become scared. Even if you’re getting the best of care & have a great prognosis, health problems are terrifying.
Add in that you can’t do things you once took for granted & are forced to rely on other people for help. That too can make you feel afraid, especially for the person who has always been self reliant, & is a serious blow to the self esteem.
Having to rely on other people also can make you feel like a burden, which unsurprisingly is terrible for one’s self esteem.
Feeling like a burden can make you feel that you need to put your best face forward & not show others just how miserable you feel or how much you’re struggling. There is a very difficult balance in this situation. If you act as if your symptoms aren’t as bad as they are, or not happening at all, people often think you’re faking the health crisis. But, if you are honest about it, people often think you’re exaggerating your symptoms, feeling sorry for yourself or looking for attention.
Feeling insecure & afraid naturally change a person. Many people get angry. Many others talk about their illness non stop in an effort to educate people, which often alienates them because people get tired of hearing about this topic. Most people though seem to become insecure, some even to the point of displaying narcissistic tendencies.
If you are the person who is ill & behaving this way, please work on healing! You are only hurting yourself & those around you! I know it’s hard but you can change! Watch your behavior, & change it accordingly. Apologize when you mistreat someone or have unfair expectations on them. Stop expecting people to meet your needs & focus on God to do that.
If you are the person in a relationship with someone who is behaving this way, remember, you can’t change their behavior. They have to change themselves. But, you aren’t helpless. You need to have good boundaries in place & enforce them. Talk to this person & explains that their behavior hurts you. Non-narcissistic people will respond to that! I know it seems hard to believe if you’ve dealt with a narcissist, but it’s true. Remind yourself that their behavior isn’t personal. It’s their illness making them act this way rather than something you are doing wrong.
Whichever position you are in, remember to stay close to God. Nurture that relationship. That is what will help you more than anything else!
My ebook publisher is offering a sale on all of my ebooks from July 1-31, 2020. They will be 25% off. They’re available on my website or use this link to go to the site directly: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CynthiaBaileyRug
Many people I talk to mention that they want to start a blog about their experiences & what they have learned about narcissism. Today, I thought I’d write a post for those of you in that position.
Before you get started, you need to think long & hard about this. Writing a blog isn’t hard, but there are things that need to be considered.
As always, I really recommend prayer as the place to start. Ask God to show you if you should or shouldn’t do this. If you believe He wants you to, ask Him guide you on this, to help you to write about whatever He wants you to write about, to reach those He wants you to reach, he courage to do this & anything else you can think of.
Where do things stand with your narcissistic parents? How would you deal with it if they found out about your blog? That could be a very ugly situation since narcissists want their abuse to stay hidden. Are you prepared for whatever might happen if they found out what you write about?
Do you feel strong enough to send your words out into the world? Although writing a blog is pretty much like writing in your private diary, unlike your diary, anyone can read it. Some people may think you’re making things up & invalidate you because of that. There are also “grammar nazis” out there who nitpick posts over silly little things like saying “it’s” over “its”. They can be really irritating since they miss the point of the post just to correct a simple typo. While this isn’t necessarily a big deal, early on in healing, it can really hurt simply because you’re pretty emotionally raw & sensitive.
How often do you think you’ll be able to write posts? I have settled on every other day. It’s often enough to keep my writing in people’s minds, yet not overloading them (or pressuring me!) with my work. Other bloggers write daily posts, yet others write only a couple of times a month. You need to decide on what kind of schedule will work for you.
Have you looked into slander & libel laws in your state? They vary from state to state, so you need to be aware of them in your particular state. They are why when I write, I never mention names & only use general terms. I will mention my parents or my ex husband, not my parents’ or ex’s names or where they live. Giving the people you’re writing about anonymity is a good move, because it shows you aren’t trying to ruin anyone’s reputation. You also can use fake names or change the relationship.
What about a pen name? Is that something you feel strongly about? Then use it! Get creative though. If your name is Mary Smith, don’t use Mary Smythe as a pen name. Use something very different from your real name to protect your identity. Don’t use a family name either since again, it wouldn’t protect your identity well. If you don’t use a pen name, be prepared. Your narcissistic parents & their flying monkeys most likely will read your work at some point. If they’re anything like mine, they’re too nosy not to read it, then try to hurt you with what they read.
Now that you’ve decided you definitely want to write this blog, you need to look into various blogging websites & decided which one to go with. Compare features & see what sounds good to you.
Obviously, I like WordPress. It has a lot of really cool features. I love that I can schedule posts, I don’t have to write & publish posts immediately. In fact, I have almost 6 months of posts scheduled so that way anytime I need a break, I can take it without worrying about my blog falling behind. WordPress also has a sharing feature that I adore. You can connect your social media accounts to your WordPress account, & every time a blog posts publishes, it automatically puts a link on your Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc. pages.
Lastly, you may have a fear like I did when I first started blogging of running out of things to write about. I can assure you, so long as there are narcissists, you’ll have plenty of material to write about! lol
I wish you the absolute best on your new endeavor! xoxo
At the end of July, my husband & I had a disagreement. Not even really a fight, just a disagreement. During the course of working things out, we began talking about our relationship in general. We realized that when stressed, we both tend to withdraw into ourselves. Both being major introverts (he’s INTJ, I’m INFJ), it’s hardly a surprise. It’s also not good for our marriage, because when he withdraws it triggers me to withdraw from him & when I withdraw, it triggers him to withdraw from me also. We tried to figure out ways to cope with this when we came up with a good solution, & I believe it’s beneficial for any marriage.
We now have daily time to talk with each other, minus tv & computer. Maybe music but that is iffy. In fact, we have the Amazon Echo Dot, & I have a daily reminder on there for her to tell us to talk so we are sure not to forget this time.
Every evening at 9, our Dot tells us “This is your daily reminder. It’s talk time.” At that time, we turn off the tv & computers, ignore the phone & talk. The topics vary daily. Sometimes he talks more than me, sometimes I talk more than him. We also don’t have a set time we must talk, so sometimes it’s only 10 minutes, sometimes an hour or more. There are also times we do it earlier in the day because maybe there’s a tv show we want to watch coming on at 9 or we’re really tired & want to get some extra sleep. We also had an evening where one of our cats got sick & had to go to the emergency vet about 9pm, so talk time obviously was postponed that day & rescheduled for the next few days while he was in there to adapt to our spending time at the hospital. There are no rules & there is absolutely NO pressure about talk time other than spend time together.
This ritual has been super beneficial for our marriage! I’ve noticed we are withdrawing much less & being a lot more open about everything. My husband used to hold a lot in about his difficulties at work but now he is talking about them. Even when it isn’t “talk time,” he’s opening up about work more often. He used to hold his frustrations in so this is a very good thing! So much healthier!
We also are closer than we once were. Focusing on each other daily has increased the intimacy in our marriage. We are more open with each other & know we can talk to each other about anything. I’ve felt safer to bring up topics that could start arguments because both of us are more patient, considerate & understand with each other since we started with our daily talk time. It seems like we slow down & really think about things more during talk time.
I think we also have begun to have even more in common than we once did. By focusing so much on each other during our talk time, it seems to have enabled us to see things from each other’s perspectives more than we once did. We used to butt heads about how money should be spent, as one example, but now we agree on it. Granted that area improved the longer we’ve been together, but since we started this ritual, we’ve gotten to be a lot more on the same page. We rarely disagree on financial things anymore.
I wanted to share this discovery with you, Dear Reader, because I think this talk time ritual can help any marriage. I know, life can be so busy, but like I said, it doesn’t have to take long. Even just a few minutes each day where you & your spouse focus on each other can be a good thing. If you opt to try this in your marriage, then please do as we have done & keep it as low key as possible. I really think pressure would make it into a burden rather than something to look forward to each day. Schedule a time that works for you but be flexible enough to change it if circumstances dictate. Don’t worry about having a time limit either or specific topics. Just hang out with your spouse & talk about whatever topics come up. The point is to have fun, relax or work through a problem. Just go with the flow & see if your marriage doesn’t improve like mine did.
The past two weeks has been quite overwhelming.
Tuesday, June 12, my husband’s father fell in his home. Hubby took him to the hospital, & they decided to keep him. Upsetting of course, but not entirely unusual considering his age. Saturday, June 16, my husband was told his father only had a couple of days left to live. Friday, June 22, his father died.
Out of protecting my husband’s & his father’s privacy, I don’t want to reveal more details than that about the situation, so pardon me for being vague.
The situation got me thinking & I decided to share those thoughts.
First & foremost, this situation was just another reminder of how quickly life can change. When hubby took his father to the emergency room, he had no clue that only 11 days later, his father would die. Never take anyone you love for granted! Enjoy every moment you can with them. Never forget that things can change quickly, so tell them & show them often that you love them. I make it a point to tell people I love them as the last thing before hanging up the phone or leaving their company.
Don’t forget to enjoy your life as much as possible. Don’t settle for working a job you hate longer than absolutely necessary or continuing a relationship that is making you miserable. Do things that make you happy & avoid things that don’t as much as humanly possible. Travel, dance, write poetry, paint or participate in hobbies you love. Do whatever benefits your peace & joy. No one knows how long we have to live so why not enjoy every moment possible?
If you’re an animal lover, rely on your furbabies to help you in tough times. Animals do love us & want to help if they can. Just before my husband called to tell me about his dad, I saw two of my cats looking rather adorable & decided to take their pictures. He called just as I took the last picture. Later when I put the pictures on my computer, I noticed how sad my cats looked in those pictures, which is highly unusual for them. I really believe they knew what was going on. And, when my husband got home, they proved it. The cats haven’t left him alone since he got home that night. They’re doing their best to make him feel loved & comforted, & it’s a great help to him!
I also realized that once you’ve lost a narcissistic parent, death can be triggering. This is the first person we’ve lost since my father died last October. I feel like emotionally speaking, this situation has sent me back to last year. It’s an emotional flashback of sorts, I think. I assume this is happening because my father died not all that long ago & I haven’t been able to heal from that awful time yet. I’m not telling my husband about this because he doesn’t need any further burdens right now of course, but my word, this is a challenge & one I never expected.
If you too have experienced the death of a narcissistic parent, Dear Reader, I think you need to know this kind of thing can happen to you too. Even if the person who passes on is someone you aren’t particularly close to or not a person in a parental type role, I think it’s possible it can happen to you too, so just be prepared.
So, that’s what has been happening recently. I figured I’d let everyone know & I hope the thoughts I had help you. xoxo
Three years ago today, I suffered the most terrifying trauma of my life. I nearly died from carbon monoxide poisoning. My husband & I didn’t know it that day, but apparently somehow a bunch of debris suddenly gathered behind my chimney’s flue, pushing it slightly closed. Not enough to smoke up the house when the fireplace was lit, but it was just enough to fill it with carbon monoxide after hubby left for work.
As seems to be my new February tradition, I’ve been thinking a great deal about this recently. Coming close to death definitely makes you reevaluate your life. Plus the damage to my brain changed my personality a great deal, which is actually a good thing in some ways. I’ve gotten better at self care & not tolerating abuse among other things, so I’m still getting to know this new me & what I want & need.
One thing that I realized that I need to remind myself of frequently is life can change drastically or even end in an instant. (I certainly didn’t wake up on February 27, 2015 expecting to nearly die that evening or that it was going to be the first day of a new life full of weird health problems & a lot of brain damage.) I think it’s an excellent idea to life life without regrets, because you don’t know when or how your life will change or even end.
I realize living every day like it’s your last isn’t quite possible. You still have a job, housework, budgeting, family obligations & what not to consider of course. But, I think it’s an excellent idea to get in any joy in life where you can, to do things you want to do or try new things as often as possible. Even little things can make a big difference. Go for a drive without a destination in mind & blare your favorite music on the radio. Grab a milkshake once in a while. Buy a new color of nail polish (one of my favorites) or dye your hair a fun, funky color. Tell the people you love how much they mean to you, why you love them & do it often. Make time for a hobby you love or pick up an old hobby you once abandoned. If time is an issue, look over your schedule & streamline it. I have a routine for my housework that helps me to maintain a clean home with spending the minimum amount of time on it. Doing a little almost daily is easier for me than doing a lot a couple of days each week since I run out of energy quickly. It also allows me more time available for writing, hobbies, spending time with friends or whatever I want.
It seems to me that society values being busy, but that just isn’t healthy or conducive to enjoying every moment in life. There is absolutely nothing wrong with not being productive 24/7! Even God took a day of rest after creating everything, & then told His people to do the same! (see Genesis 2:1-3) He did NOT create people to be non stop busy. He created people to work & also to take time to enjoy their lives. When you get to the end of your life, don’t you want to think about what a well lived life you had & not what a busy one you had?
Another thing society values that I realized isn’t healthy is being overly positive. Yes, positivity is good. It can help you avoid depression. However, being too positive can set you up for disappointment. Did you know many people who commit suicide are known for being optimistic? They became depressed when they were repeatedly disappointed.
Being too positive can set you up for feeling shame, too. If you’re very positive yet end up feeling negatively or unable to find good in a situation, it can make you feel terrible shame. That’s not good! If you know very positive people, you also know you can’t tell them you’re sad or disappointed, because they’ll make you feel ashamed of yourself. They’re not people you can be real & honest with, & that’s not good either!
I’ve found I have much more peace & less stressful being realistic. Sure, I look for the good, but I’m also not ashamed for getting depressed, angry or disappointed sometimes. I’m also not ashamed to say sometimes, things just stink & I can’t find anything positive in the situation.
Another thing to consider… your relationships. While soul searching after my awful experience, I also took the time to evaluate the relationships in my life. When I realized that through the complete delirium of the poisoning, I still had the sense to tell my husband as soon as I saw him never tell my parents about this, it was a huge wake up call for me. I knew anyone who wouldn’t care that I nearly died couldn’t be a part of my life, & they wouldn’t have cared. I also realized some friends weren’t good for me or at least they weren’t what I wanted in a relationship. The relationships were too one sided & some didn’t even care about what I experienced. Saying, “You’ll be fine”, “But you didn’t die!” or “Glad you’re ok.. so anyway *subject change*” after such an experience showed me how cold & uncaring these people were.
What about your relationships? If, God forbid, something terrible happened to you, could you count on the people in your life being there for you? Would they be care about your pain & suffering or would they brush you off? If they wouldn’t be there for you, then it might be time to consider whether or not you really want them in your life. You deserve good, loving people with whom you can have an equal & loving relationship. There is nothing wrong with refusing to settle for less than that!
John 10:10 is beautifully said in the Amplified translation: “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].” Jesus died not only so we could spend eternity with Him & have a relationship with God the Father, but also so we can enjoy life while we’re alive here on this planet. There is no good excuse not to enjoy your life! You deserve it! Jesus obviously thought so too! So why not start thinking about ways you can add more joy to your daily life?
In all honesty, I’m NOT at all interested in politics & I’m sure this will be my only political post ever. I have a hard enough time managing my own life without the responsibility of learning about candidates & issues. As irresponsible as that may seem to some folks, it’s the truth. That being said, I do have one issue that is sticking in my craw. Today as the 45th president is sworn into office, I thought it might be a good time to say it.
There is no real respect for the office of the President anymore. Listen to how people talk about various Presidents & you will see this is true. They are often called awful names rather than people simply disagreeing with their decisions & actions. People who don’t share the opinions of those who dislike Presidents are ridiculed, told how stupid they are & also called awful names.
And just for the record- I’ve seen this behavior in both conservative & liberal minded people, so I’m not trying to criticize any one political affiliation.
If this describes your behavior, then please think about the things you say! Like a President or not, he is in an extremely important job that is also incredibly stressful & challenging. Would you want that kind of pressure, running the country? I certainly wouldn’t! They are men of great power, sure, but they are also human beings, so this position must be very hard on them! I once heard someone say Presidents often age in “dog years” because of the stress of their position.
How about rather than criticizing Presidents, praying for them instead? For a past President, why not pray for them & their families to know the love of God? If they have health problems, pray for their health. Ask God to bless & take care of them. For the current President, why not ask God to guide his decisions, to give him wisdom, compassion, discernment, strength & courage? And, let’s not forget those who work under the President. They may have less responsibility than he does, but they support him. They also need wisdom, compassion, etc., & certainly could benefit for your prayers.
And, don’t forget- people don’t have to agree with you 100% about everything. Just because someone disagrees with your views doesn’t necessarily mean they are stupid or against you. It simply means they think differently than you do about something. Different doesn’t equal bad!
I hope straying so far out into left field doesn’t offend you, Dear Reader. I mean no offense at all. I just hope to raise some awareness to what seems to be an all too common problem in society that I believe needs to change.
Tomorrow is the 22nd anniversary of hubby’s & my first date. Hard to believe! Time sure flies!
Ever since the first anniversary of this special day, we have done a little something to commemorate the day. It can be as simple as sharing some wine, cheese & crackers when he gets home from work, talking by a fire, playing a board game or it can be a bit bigger such as going out to dinner, taking a day trip or recreating that special day. Whatever we do though, we enjoy ourselves & reminisce.
We used to do something similar after we first got married. We got married on September 24, 1998, so on the 24th of every month, we would celebrate a little. (not sure why we stopped that, come to think of it..). Interestingly when I mentioned it to my granddad, he said he & my grandmom used to do that too, for many years.
I’ve found these little celebrations are really nice! They give you something to look forward to. They also encourage intimacy. They foster closeness. They also help you to slow down & enjoy each other in a world that tends to be just too busy.
I’ve expanded this celebrating thing a bit, too. I include my best friend in celebrations too. We met in August, 1988 (although the day has escaped me) & each August I remind her of that & tell her how grateful I am for her friendship for so many years.
Remembering & celebrating things like this helps those in your life to feel loved & special. It also is fun for you when you can make those you love feel that way. It helps to add more joy into both your life & that of your loved one. Why not give it a try? Celebrate special events with those you love!
I read recently that 30-60% of all married couples are affected by infidelity at some point in their marriage. That is a staggering statistic! Infidelity is possibly the most painful thing a couple can go through, so why are so many people cheating?
I firmly believe one reason, possibly the main reason, is because when a couple is going through difficulties, it is easy to look at someone else & think they are so much better than that man or woman you’re married to. Temptation can easily become too much at that point. I admit, I fell into that trap myself before I was a Christian. Before I married my ex husband, I broke our engagement & told him I wanted to see other people. I did just that, but for a few months later we were married, I continued seeing one other man for several months until the guilt of what I was doing was too much for me to handle. I did this because I was unhappy with my ex husband from very early in our relationship. I had married my ex out of guilt (he was very manipulative & I was easily manipulated back then), not love, & was unhappy. The man I was seeing was much different than my ex. He was fun, kind & smart. He made me feel desirable, witty, smart & more. I had a hard time letting that go, especially when I compared him to my ex.
Another reason for infidelity is selfishness, often to the point of narcissism. So many people are only concerned with themselves, that they don’t even care that what they do may hurt other people, even to the point they will cheat on their spouse. You can identify these people easily- they are the ones that don’t want to quit their porn addiction because they claim that isn’t cheating. They fail to realize that Matthew 5:27-8 say otherwise (27 “You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’28 But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (NLT)). They also ignore the fact that their addiction is destroying their spouse.
How do you avoid this awful pitfall? By treating your spouse like the most important person in your world. Remind him constantly how proud you are of him, & mean it. Tell her often how beautiful she is, & mean that. Say please & thank you on a regular basis. Never take that wonderful person you married for granted, because there are no guarantees in life- your situation can change in an instant. Play together- whether it is video games, board games, ping pong or sports, have fun together & do it often. Arrange dates often, & spend time talking, without the TV, without your cell phones. Refuse to talk about the fact you don’t have the money to make the car payment or your son is failing algebra, & just talk about each other- your hopes & dreams, what you want from each other (& pledge to do it!). Most importantly, don’t forget to pray together. It is truly a bonding experience!
Marriage isn’t always easy. It’ll never be perfect either, but it can be a happy, comfortable safe haven with your best friend & lover. If you & your spouse decide to make it that way, & both of you work on it, then chances of infidelity destroying your marriage can virtually disappear.
Have you experienced a stalker? Someone harassing you for months or even years on end? If so, you’re not alone.
It’s estimated that 3.4 million people report being victims of stalking each year (according to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics.), & that is only the reported cases. Chances are the real number of stalking victims is much higher as many victims either don’t want to report it or are told they don’t have a case, which means a report is never made. Personally, I’ve experienced stalking twice. The first time, the policeman actually laughed at me when I tried to report it. The second time, the policeman was much kinder, but said that there was nothing that could be done from a legal standpoint as this person’s behavior stayed just barely legal.
Although the laws have improved, they still haven’t entirely caught up with reality, which means there isn’t usually much that can be done to protect ourselves from a legal perspective. We’re forced to seek other means of self-protection, as frustrating as that can be.
What can a victim do to protect himself or herself?
One thing I’ve realized is these people tend to be narcissists. They think their wants & needs rise above anything & everything else. They also think they’re above the law- they are so smart, they can harass you & stay legal. They also seem to think if they just push hard enough, you’ll cave, & see that you should be in a relationship with them. You’ll see how much they care about you by them harassing you! I think some stalkers who have been romantically involved with their victims even think it’s romantic. See how much they love you? They just can’t let you go! They can’t live without you! Amazingly dysfunctional, I know, but this is often their mindset.
Keeping in mind stalkers are often narcissists, you need to remember- narcissists are constantly in search of their precious narcissistic supply, which basically means any attention is good attention as far as they’re concerned. Good or bad attention, love them or hate them, they’ll take any attention or emotion they can get.
The best way to counteract a narcissistic stalker is to ignore them. They can handle any positive or negative emotion you feel, but they simply cannot handle apathy.
Show a narcissist they don’t mean anything to you, act like they don’t even exist, & that you aren’t afraid of them, & they will be completely frazzled. They won’t know what to do! I know this can be very frustrating to do. When someone is stalking & harassing you, you can’t help but want to tell them to get lost (putting that nicely) at some point. However, doing so will only make things worse. Ignore them no matter what! Even if you see them in a public place, ignore them! Yes it’s hard, but at some point, most narcissists will quit bothering you & find another target.
Another thing you can do is document everything. Take pictures. Save emails & texts. Take screen shots (hit that “prt scr” button on your keyboard, open Microsoft Paint or any picture editor & paste into a document. Instructions for android & iphones are available online.). Save every electronic document somewhere that can’t be destroyed. External hard drives die. CD’s break or become corrupt. Flash drives can be lost. An online cloud service is an excellent alternative.
Block your stalker electronically every way possible. Block them on social media, block their email, block their phone number. Granted, if they want to reach you badly enough, they can create other social media profiles, email addresses or spoof their phone number, but at least you can make reaching you a real challenge. Then block the new profile, email or phone number. Keep blocking!
Share your story with close friends or family who believe what you are going through. It certainly can’t hurt to have others know what is happening.
Stay on your toes. If you can, don’t go out alone. Stalkers are often nothing but bullies which means they’re cowards. Having others around you lessens your chances of them bothering you.
Put “no trespassing” signs on your property where they can be seen very clearly. Here in Maryland, if someone trespasses in spite of your sign, you can call the police to escort this person off your property. Having a police record of this person’s actions will work in your favor. I would guess this works in other states as well- it’s best to check into your own local laws however.
Lastly, if this stalker knows your friends & family, you need to be prepared- they are often quite capable of turning people against you. As ridiculous as it sounds, many stalkers are great actors (typical narcissistic behavior), & convince others that you are the one with the problem. The stalker probably says that he or she loves you & is just trying to win you back or be your friend. The stalker is the innocent victim- you’re the one with the problem. She/he has no idea why you’re being so mean & unreasonable- all the stalker wants to do is talk or apologize. And sadly, many people naively believe such nonsense because the stalker is just that good of an actor. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve lost in my life because of my two stalkers.
I truly hope that you did not need to read this post, Dear Reader. Being stalked & harassed is such a nuisance at best & depending on the person, can be very scary at worst. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. If you are in this situation, then I hope my post can help you to manage this situation. My prayer is that anyone reading this article will be kept safe & their stalker will leave them alone permanently.
There is an easy way to secure God’s blessings over your life, & sadly not many people will do it. It’s called tithing.
I know, the word tithing doesn’t exactly encourage joy. So many greedy preachers have demanded their congregation give them money that the word has become tainted to some people. I get it. I’ve felt the same way. But, I encourage you to forget what you knew of tithing & keep reading.
Malachi 3:10-12: “10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My
house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open
for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That
there will not be room enough to receive it. 11 “And I will rebuke the
devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your
ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” Says the
Lord of hosts; 12 “And all nations will call you blessed, For you will be a
delightful land,” Says the Lord of hosts.” (KJV)
These wonderful verses contain promises that I have seen in action in my own life. Since I began tithing seriously in 2015, God truly has blessed me. When we thought we wouldn’t have enough money to pay some bills, money suddenly showed up. When our taxes for 2015 were done, I was sure that we would owe state & federal, as we have for the last few years, yet instead, we learned we were getting money back. And, when doing those taxes, I had to find out the date our health insurance stopped coverage in 2015. That day was the day after I went to the emergency room! My trip to the ER was covered- if it’d been only a few hours later, it wouldn’t have been covered & we would’ve owed thousands of dollars we didn’t have.
Giving God the 10% He asks for seems to not only protect what you have, but also to make that 90% go much further. It’s absolutely amazing!
When I started to tithe, honestly I wasn’t sure if it’d work for me because I don’t go to church. Because of that, I figured the next best thing was to send money to the preachers on television I watch regularly- Jesse Duplantis, TD Jakes & Josh McDowell. So far so good! In fact, Jesse Duplantis is the one I’ve learned the most about giving & tithing from. He has great revelation in this area, plus he’s not one of those televangelists who constantly tries to get people to send him money. I thought these things made him the perfect person to learn from.
Jesse Duplantis wrote a fantastic little book entitled, “Why Isn’t My Giving Working?” A while back, I read it & took notes on it. I really recommend buying the book for yourself (it’s available on his website, http://www.JDM.org) but to give you some insight into the book, below are some notes I took on it a while back. I hope this information blesses you as much as it has me. xoxo
Why Isn’t My Giving Working? by Jesse Duplantis
I.What God has said:
A. God said, be fruitful- which mans always producing.
B. God said, multiply- which means always increasing.
C. God said, replenish- which means fill & refill.
D. God said, subdue- which means control your environment or it will control
E. God cares about giving & honor, because they reveal the condition of the
II.The four types of giving:
A. The Tithe
A. The tithe is God’s portion; it is our connection to the blessing, which is our
B. Tithing holds God to His promise to open the windows of Heaven & to
rebuke the devourer. The devourer is anything that comes up that makes you
spend money you don’t want to spend.
C. God is trying to get us the blessings He talks about in Malachi 3:10-12:
“10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My
house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open
for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That
there will not be room enough to receive it. 11 “And I will rebuke the
devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your
ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” Says the
Lord of hosts; 12 “And all nations will call you blessed, For you will be a
delightful land,” Says the Lord of hosts.”
D. Use this verse to remind God of His promises when you pray about your
tithe. Have faith He will keep His promises.
A. First fruits are the first part of an increase. Example: you get a raise at
work that means you’ll get $50 more per week. Give God the first $50 raise.
B. Proverbs 3:9-10 “9 Honor the Lord with your possessions, And with
the firstfruits of all your increase; 10 So your barns will be filled with
plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.”
C. First fruits are only given once- the first of any increase, not income.
D. The first fruits offering is heart-driven, & given as a direct form of
gratitude to God.
A. Alms are given to the poor & those in need.
B. God’s rate of return is “repayment” on alms, not abundance. Proverbs
19:17 “ He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, And He will pay
back what he has given.”
C. If I give alms but don’t tithe, even the repayment God promises could be
devoured on its way back to me.
D. Give quietly- don’t advertise your giving or make the recipient feel bad or
that they owe you for your generosity. Protect the dignity of the recipient!
Remember, God sees what you’re doing- let that be enough. Alms should be
given with love, not for attention from man or God.
A. The motivation is faith & reward. It is the only way the 30, 60 or 100-fold
harvest can be received, provided you sow into good ground. Mark 4:3-9
(Jesus speaking) “3 “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And it
happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds
of the air[a] came and devoured it. 5 Some fell on stony ground, where it
did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no
depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it
had no root it withered away. 7 And some seed fell among thorns; and the
thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. 8 But other seed fell
on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and
produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.” 9 And He
said to them,[b] “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
B. Good soil is a place that is growing & doing what it has set out to do.
C. Seed sowing is the best route to debt cancellation. Not only in cash
received, but debts being cancelled miraculously.
A. Sow with purpose- to be obedient & to love God.
B. Haphazard giving leads to haphazard results.
C. Never dismiss the blessings God gives you. Praise & thank Him for them!
D. Be joyous in giving, wondering what God is going to do for you & others
E. While waiting on God to make good on His promises, stand strong knowing
He will do what He says He will. Ephesians 6:13-14 “13 Therefore take up
the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day,
and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your
waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,”
F. Don’t mix up your giving. For example, don’t take your tithe, & give it as a
G. Don’t be moved emotionally into giving something you purposed for another
area. Tithes stay tithes, alms stay alms, etc. 2 Corinthians 9:7 “7 So let
each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity;
for God loves a cheerful giver.”
H. If you do not give God’s way, He is under no obligation to bless you in the
way you want to be blessed.
I. To start giving, start tithing. Give more as you can afford to do so, no
matter how small your giving may be. Amount isn’t important. God will bless
J. Don’t worry if your seed is small- it does not have to be big to work so long
as your purpose & motivation are accurate.
1. The tithe: motive is obedience.
2. First fruits: motive is generosity.
3. Alms: motive is compassion.
4. Seed: motive is faith & reward.
Good morning, Dear Readers! Today is my seventeenth wedding anniversary!
I thought in honor of that, I’d take a moment to remind you today to appreciate the special person you married. It’s so easy, especially after many years together, to take each other for granted, but that’s not good for the relationship at all. It’s depressing to feel unappreciated. Do you want your spouse to feel that way??
Take a moment to think about what you appreciate about your husband or wife today. A kind heart? A gentle nature? The love he or she shows your children (or furbabies)? Is he/she a good provider? Do you share similar interests? Think about this for a few minutes & come up with several things. Then make sure you tell your spouse what you appreciate about him or her.
For my husband, I’m glad we’re still together. We had many hard years, dealing with some potentially marriage ending problems, such as my problems with his family. God helped us both to change & our marriage to survive. I appreciate the fact we share a great friendship. We can have a lot of fun together just hanging out, playing video games or going to a car show. We also share a very warped sense of humor. We both appreciate silly movies like “Airplane!” & quote it on a regular basis during conversation. I love the fact he taught me so much about cars & we share an appreciation for the same type of classic cars. He tolerates my quirks (& they are vast..lol) which I really appreciate since so few people do. I am grateful he doesn’t judge or criticize things about me that many other people are quick to judge, like how I manage my C-PTSD & ongoing problems I have from the carbon monoxide poisoning & concussion. I also appreciate him taking care of me on the days when C-PTSD or health problems flare up. He’s a good man & I’m blessed to be married to him.
Lately, I’ve been thinking. (Scary huh?? lol)
I really would like to be able to expand the topics I write about. In all honesty, I’m tired of thinking so much about narcissism. Not that I want to quit writing about it entirely of course- I’d just like to talk about other things sometimes too. Be a bit more diverse
I’ve asked God to guide my writing. I ask God to show me what to write about (admittedly, probably not as often as I should..) which is where my blog & book subject matters come from. I’m going to be praying more about this topic though & would appreciate your prayers as well. I’m sure this urge to cover other topics isn’t only me- it’s God guiding me, probably preparing me for something else that is on its way.
I’ve started a little.. I’ve decided once my current book on recovering from narcissistic abuse is done, my next book project will be finishing the fiction book I started a few years ago. That book is maybe one third done..it’s time to finish it.
I also added some information about my experiences with carbon monoxide poisoning on my website. I’ve read a lot about it since I went through it last February, & what has struck me as truly sad is how many others who have been through it feel so isolated. People don’t seem to grasp just how serious & horrible it is to live with the disruptive symptoms. Writing about it is my attempt to help these people feel less alone, & less crazy. It also seems to have helped me a little to write out my experiences. (Bonus for me!) If you know someone who has suffered through carbon monoxide poisoning or you would care to read it, then click this link: http://cynthiabaileyrug.com/Carbon-Monoxide-Poisoning.php
Maybe I could write some about natural/herbal things. I know many people associate such things with casting spells & such, but I don’t. I believe God created herbs & plants with the properties they have for a reason & for our use. Why shouldn’t we benefit from them? I love herbal remedies & beauty recipes. I’d love to share what I know as well as learn from others.
If there are other topics you would like me to write about, I’m open to suggestions. I may not use them, it will depend on what I believe God wants me to do, so please don’t be offended if I don’t write about what you suggest. Anyway feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments of this post, or email me at: CynthiaBaileyRug@aol.com I look forward to hearing from you! 🙂
This beautiful little lady is Minnie Rose…
Is she not the prettiest little diva kitty?
I thought that I’d share her cuteness with those of you who follow my blog since so many of you are also die-hard animal lovers like myself.
Minnie Rose is about 1 year old (I think a little under a year) & a dilute tortoiseshell. True to the tortie nature, she’s very quirky & talkative, & has the sweetest, softest little meow! She’s a real purr machine too- a little rub on the head & she’s purring happily. She’s never been around other cats aside from her birth family, so she’s had a little trouble getting used to having a big family. I’m proud of her though, as it only took her about a week to come out of her shell. She’s a little skittish around the other cats still, but it’s improving drastically by the day.
She is so funny- she chose her name! She hid for her first few days, so I didn’t really get to know her well enough to name her yet. I could see the inner diva, & was thinking of possibly calling her Aretha, after Aretha Franklin. As I got to know her better though, I thought she seemed more like a Minnie. She wasn’t impressed. On a whim, I called her Minnie Rose- my great grandmother’s name. Immediately her entire demeanor changed! She became relaxed & more confident. Since then, Miss Minnie Rose has been coming out of her shell more with each passing moment. It’s a beautiful thing to see!
The other cats & dog love her already. Luke, one of my Norwegian forest cat mix boys, is quite protective of her. Punkin, my young orange tabby, has quite a crush on her- he howls that tom cat howl when he’s around her. Chester, my 8 year old tuxedo, flirted with her when she hissed at him until she relaxed completely. Sabrina, my 3 year old black medium hair girl, & Valentine, a 5 year old tortie, are on very friendly terms with Minnie Rose. The other cats are giving her space until she is more comfortable, I think. Dixie, my 11 year old American eskimo dog was playing with her a couple of days ago. It’s been so awesome to see everyone welcoming Minnie Rose into the family so lovingly. *shameless furmom brag moment*
Minnie’s former owners said she hid a lot under the bed. I think she was hit too, because if I move too quickly or she hears an angry tone of voice, she flinches. She is flinching less though, & I think it’s because she is realizing she’s in a safe, happy, loving home now. That’s making her more confident
I’m looking forward to many happy, fun years with little Minnie Rose. She is already a blessing to our little family. 🙂
I was talking with my husband the other night about my work. I mentioned how other teachings on narcissism I read sometimes just don’t sit well with me even if I normally agree 100% with the author’s thoughts, & how I do my best to be sure what I say can be backed up in the Bible. One thing came to mind during this conversation that has been in the back of my mind for years now,since before I started writing, in fact..
I was watching Joyce Meyer preaching on TV one day. She said she’d been asking God for more & more people to reach & to be able to help. In response to her prayer, God told her that as many people as she can help, she can also hurt, so be careful. i thought this is incredibly wise!
So many people find someone whose teachings or preaching they like. They relate to much of what that person has to say, & they almost blindly follow anything that person says. This is NOT wise to do, however! Just because you identify with this person’s preaching or teaching, doesn’t mean this person is always right! All human beings make a mistake sometimes!
I do my level best in my blog, on my website, in my books & anything I write to make sure what I say can be verified by the Bible. Yet, even so, I’m human. I’m sure I’ve made mistakes sometimes & will continue to make mistakes. I just try my best to keep those mistakes to a minimum.
I have been blessed with some wonderful, caring, intelligent, empathetic fans who have sent me wonderful messages of support & thanking me for all I write. It’s amazing! I love those messages. But, I also want you to be sure that if you follow my writing, don’t do so blindly! If something doesn’t sound right to you, look it up. Pray about it. Like I said, I do my best not to make mistakes, but sometimes I just might make them anyway! & if you find something I’ve written is wrong, feel free to let me know your thoughts. I am very aware of what Joyce Meyer has said, that as many people as I can help, I can also hurt, & hurting people is the absolute last thing I want to do.
I’m so sorry for my absence lately, Dear Readers! But, thank you to everyone for your prayers, & concern.
My father is still in the hospital. The pain meds have him acting very different. Very angry & hallucinating. They cut back on them & I think it’s helping some. He’s in much less pain & having some moments of clarity.
It’s been interesting dealing with my narcissistic mother. She’s showing her narcissistic ways but not as much as I expected. Also seems like she’s grateful for my help.
So, there’s my brief update. I’m exhausted & heading to bed. Thank you for your patience, understanding, compassion & prayers. Sending you much love!!
Yesterday was a rather rough day for me. Everything that could go wrong went wrong, I think. One of those things that went wrong was when I made a telephone payment on one of our bills. In spite of being careful, somehow I ended up paying $100 more on that build than intended. I was worried, thinking this could mess up our finances briefly, plus I didn’t want hubby to be mad at me.
When hubby got home, I told him what happened. He said, “Don’t worry- it’s covered.” He then handed me a $100 bill! Apparently he got a bonus at work yesterday!
This is just more proof of God’s love, and how much He cares for his children. I believe this is also proof that tithing works. Malachi 3:10-11 says that if you give God your tithes, you will be blessed, & protected by God.
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.
Today has been a very sad day for the Bailey family. My awesome aunt Judy passed away this morning after battling cancer.
Please pray for comfort for her husband, children, & the many people saddened by this loss. Thank you so much, & may God bless you.
Recently I learned that a man I dated in 1990 committed suicide after killing his male lover. And, the previous week, he was arrested on drunkenly pulling a gun on a woman in his neighborhood. This was a complete shock to me, & I’ve thought so much about it lately. I wondered if I could’ve done something different, or if somehow I set him on this downward spiral, playing things over & over again in my mind…
Today something else came to mind- Borderline Personality Disorder. Some symptoms are:
- unstable personal relationships, going between idealizing & devaluing the other person.
- intense fear of abandonment.
- intense anger- a bad temper.
- clingy in relationships.
- seldom see themselves as the problem.
In my case, this man I dated was very possessive & jealous. He went from treating me like a queen to screaming at me, often in a very short span of time. The night I told him I wanted to end our relationship he screamed at me for several hours. He also wanted to marry me within the first week of our relationship. We ended up engaged, but not because he proposed or gave me a ring- he simply stated that we WOULD get married. He also told me we WOULD have a lot of kids, even though he knew I never wanted to have children. He even wanted me to get rid of my car & drive the car that he thought I should drive. Thankfully, he didn’t hit me, but there were times I was sure he wanted to. I spent our relationship feeling as if I was walking on eggshells. Interestingly, the cat I had just adopted not long before I broke up with this man would NOT leave my side while we were together. I think Magic knew something was very wrong from the beginning- he was a very intuitive cat & very protective of me.
If you are involved with someone who acts like this, do yourself a favor- RUN! It won’t take long & you will begin to wonder if you’re crazy. You will feel guilty constantly, even when you have no reason to. You will feel like you must watch every word you say & everything you do, so you don’t upset him. People with BPD can be dangerous to themselves and/or others. After all, look what happened to my ex boyfriend & his lover.
If this describes you, you aren’t alone! Many of us have been in this situation! May God strengthen you & keep you safe!
Good morning, everyone!
I just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone who reads this a very blessed, happy & prosperous 2014. I pray your year will be a wonderful one!
I also wanted to thank everyone who is following this blog, & who has said that something I’ve written has helped them in some way. Thank you so much for the encouragement! it truly means the world to me. xoxo
From my family to yours, Merry Christmas!
Meet my 9 year old American Eskimo dog, Dixie here to brighten your Christmas eve.
My prayer is that everyone reading this will enjoy their Christmas, & celebrate the joy of the birth of Jesus. If you come from a dysfunctional family like I do, I really understand how difficult this time of year can be for you. It is so hard to enjoy family get-togethers when you are surrounded by dysfunction, manipulation, stress, etc. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I’m bitter about the holidays myself. I don’t like the drama & “forced family fun.” But please, don’t get lost in the bitterness or anxiety of the season. Do nice things for yourself to help you enjoy the time. There are many of us out there who share your feelings about holidays for various reasons. You are NOT alone! There is also nothing wrong with you for how you feel- you were made to feel this way but less than positive circumstances. Don’t feel bad for that. All you can do now is try to enjoy the holidays to the best of your ability, & limit your exposure to negative, abusive people. I offered some coping tips myself in another blog post- I suggest you go back & read it if you haven’t done so now. Here is the link: December 14, 2013
Don’t forget to take good care of yourself, Dear Reader. & remember, God loves you- He is with you, & loves you so much. I love you too! Thank you for being my fan. ❤
Good morning, Dear Readers! I hope this post finds everyone well today! 🙂
I was just thinking.. is it me or is it hard to believe that Christmas will be here in only 11 short days?! TIme sure flies.. wow! I know like me, many of you can’t wait for it to be a thing of the past. I was talking to a friend a few days ago who shares this sentiment. It’s amazing how many of us there are, & how many of us feel this way for similar reasons- family or in-laws have made the holidays so stressful rather than relaxing & enjoyable. It’s sad.
Have you created some “stay well” strategies to get you through the holidays? If not, here are some suggestions..
- Be gentle with yourself. If you don’t feel up to going to a party or doing something holiday related, then don’t do it. It’s ok! The Earth will continue to spin..
- If you have pushy relatives or in-laws who demand you spend the day with them, you need to do what you are comfortable with, whether they like it or not. How would it benefit anyone for you to allow others to dictate how you spend the day? You’ll be miserable, & controlling people get their way. This just is NOT good for anyone involved!
- Why not suggest getting together with others on a day near the holidays, not on the day itself? Would it really be so terrible to get together with Mom & Dad on Christmas eve or the day after Christmas instead of Christmas day?
- Do nice little things for yourself.
- Don’t over-extend yourself. If you don’t want to send out Christmas cards, then don’t. If you can’t afford to get everyone gifts, don’t. Or, if you feel you must give something, try making special gifts- many people (like me) prefer something home made to store bought anyway. Try baking cookies for everyone. Or making special decorations. Or, make a cake for each family.
- Find ways to relax.
- Talk to understanding friends or relatives about why you feel the way you do about the holidays. Maybe they can help you change your perspective. (Even if you don’t end up loving the holidays, you may be able to change how you look at them- instead of them being a day of negativity for you, maybe you can begin to look at them as a day to spend relaxing, either by yourself or with your significant other)
- Pray. God loves you & understands you. He won’t judge you for how you feel.
- If you have a significant other, see how he/she would feel about creating new holiday traditions for just the two of you. If you two have kids, why not get the kids in on it too?
- Speaking of significant others, if he/she wants to spend the day with the parents rather than you, like many adult children of dysfunctional &/or controlling parents do, try looking at the day not as a lonely day for you, but as a day to yourself where you can do whatever you like. Watch old movies, order Chinese food, read that book you’ve been wanting to read, paint your bedroom, turn up your favorite old music & dance around your house like crazy! Have fun!
Good afternoon, Dear Readers!
I thought I’d add a bit to yesterday’s post….
I didn’t mention it yesterday, but one thing that has made me dislike the holidays is in-laws. I am on my second marriage, & both sets of in-laws I have had share one thing in common- expecting their adult children & their spouses to spend the holiday with them. Period. No excuses. Why that is, I have no clue, but I don’t believe it’s right. For one thing I believe the day should be spent with husband & wife together (& small kids at home too, if they have them). Extended family can be visited within a few days of the holidays. My grandparents always had their Christmas celebration on the Sunday between Christmas & New Year’s. That way, everyone could relax on Christmas day & enjoy it. This always has made so much sense to me.
For another thing, what about my family? What if I wanted to spend a holiday with my family rather than his? I’ve learned that is not something to admit- saying that warranted the evil eye from both mothers in-law. I quickly learned not to say that, & give up hopes of spending the holiday with anyone in my family.
And lastly, if you have a dysfunctional relationship with your in-laws like me, why would anyone want to spend an entire day together? How is that a joyous family celebration? It saps all of the joy out of your day spending it with people who you know dislike you, & who you dislike. It certainly has for me. I dreaded the holidays for years, & got depressed each holiday season knowing I would spend a holiday with people who were less than thrilled I was a part of their family.
I guess I just wanted to say please think before arranging your holiday get together. It’s not fair to demand your adult children run to your home for a holiday. There are 364 other days in the year- why not pick one of them to get together? If you force them or use guilt to manipulate them into coming over, they &/or their spouses will end up resentful. It can damage your relationship greatly! I loved my first mother in-law, but when she knew my ex & I were having car trouble, yet still demanded we drive that car (our only one) well over an hour away, in the cold, to the Christmas get together, it greatly damaged my fondness for her. This was in the days before cell phones, so if the car had left us stranded, I have no idea how we would have gotten home.
And remember, your adult child’s spouse has a family too. Demanding they spend the day with you tells that person they & their family aren’t as important as you & your family. That hurts! It also stirs up strife between the couple. They feel stuck in the middle since both have families who want to spend a day with them. It is NOT a pleasant place to be!
Lastly, I understand not everyone is pleased with their son or daughter’s choice of a mate. Some personalities just clash. If that describes your relationship with your son or daughter in-law, then please, for your adult child’s sake, try to be civil. You don’t have to be phoney. You don’t have to try to become best friends. Just practice basic politeness & civility. Showing your dislike of that person not only hurts him or her, but shows an incredible disrespect for your adult child. It also stirs up problems in their marriage, & makes the adult child feel stuck in the middle. Do you really want to do that to your son or daughter?
As for daughters & sons in-law, this also applies to you!! Practice civility with your husband’s or wife’s parents. I know first hand how hard it can be when an in-law is mean you, but do it anyway!
Also, don’t run to your spouse complaining about his “psycho mom” or whatever other things you’d like to say. I know you want him or her to understand your position, but that is still his/her parent. It’s difficult for someone to accept his/her parent is capable of doing such nasty things, especially to someone they love. Instead, talk to a friend or relative, or write in a journal. At a less stressful, busy time, it is more appropriate to discuss in-law problems with your spouse. Gently & with sensitivity, of course!
Good afternoon, Dear Readers!
Today has not been a good day. My mind has been wandering all over the place. Sometimes it’s like a browser with about 50 tabs that keep opening & closing at random. Annoying doesn’t even begin to describe it… but I thought I would share some of my random thoughts with you in the hopes that maybe something will help you as well.
The holidays.. God forgive me, I absolutely hate the entire holiday season. It feels strange to feel this way- I am all about being thankful for the blessings in life (not just on Thanksgiving day) & celebrating Jesus- but I hate the holidays. I have been out of my parents’ home since 1990, & in these last 23 holiday seasons, I could count the number of enjoyable holidays I’ve had on one hand. Most of them have been lonely &/or miserable. Many spent with people I’d rather not be with. As a result, I admit it- I’ve gotten bitter. I just don’t want to be bothered with celebrating. I would much rather just enjoy a quiet day relaxing, maybe watching movies on tv or going out to dinner. Because of this, I have had a lot of people tell me how wrong I am, how i need to lighten up, let go of the past, etc etc. I used to beat myself up because this is something I can’t seem to shake, no matter how hard I try to start new traditions or get into the holiday spirit. I’ve finally realized that it’s ok. I have overcome a lot of abusive, hurtful things in my life- maybe this “Grinch” attitude will be one of those things at some point, but for now, it isn’t.
I think a lot of people are like me. For whatever reason, you just aren’t a fan of the whole holiday season. I just wanted to tell you to stop beating yourself up over it! If you can’t seem to change your disdain, it’s ok! There are quite a few of us out there.
I’ve found some things that helped me a little at least:
- I’ve changed my perspective, thinking of the days as a peaceful day to enjoy myself rather than a holiday.
- I also refuse to spend the day with people who I don’t want to spend the day with. They’ll still be there a couple of days before or after the holiday. I believe it’s only right for immediate family (spouses & their kids still living at home) to spend the day together anyway.
- I also try to plan something enjoyable for the day, like picking up dinner & watching movies.
- I don’t try to convince others I am right & they are wrong. Neither of us is right or wrong. Every person has their own likes & dislikes.
- And, I am no longer beating myself up for being “abnormal” in feeling the way I do. Everyone is different, & that is ok.
There are people, too, who get depressed during the winter months. If that describes you, you may have Seasonal Affective Disorder. SAD is caused by the lack of sunlight during the shorter winter days. It isn’t necessarily the holidays that depress you, but the lack of sunlight. Then, all of the work, hustle & bustle of the holidays seem like even more work, which depresses you further. If that describes you, there are ways to cope with SAD. A mental health professional can prescribe anti-depressants that you take during the winter months. Or, if you prefer natural remedies like I do, St. John’s wort & Sam-E (both available in pill form) are wonderful alternatives. Valerian root (also available in pill form) & lemon balm are very helpful for combating anxiety.
Whatever the cause of your dislike of the holiday season, there are ways to cope with it, & possibly get rid of your dislike.
I hope this post helps you! God bless you! 🙂
Good morning, Dear Readers!
I wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a very happy, peaceful Thanksgiving tomorrow! Whatever you do for the day, I pray you will enjoy yourself completely. And, for those of you who also come from dysfunctional families, do what you have to do to enjoy a peaceful, drama-free day. There is nothing wrong with spending the holiday doing what you want, & with whom you want to spend it. 🙂
What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving? Do you practice having a grateful heart during the rest of the year?
I am grateful that my cat, Pretty Boy, is feeling better! The vet is quite happy with how well he’s doing in spite of the diabetes & liver problems. Thank you everyone who has prayed for him! Our prayers are being answered! I am grateful for every day we have together, & grateful for God taking such good care of my little guy!
Take care, everyone, & may God bless you! 🙂
I thought I’d take a little side trip today onto a light, happy topic. A story of God’s blessings.
Yesterday was a special day.. it’s the day that eight years ago, I was able to buy my Granddad’s 1969 Plymouth Fury. It may not sound like a big deal to you, but when you hear the story & realize I am a classic car fanatic, you’ll understand my excitement.
Granddad had the Fury when I was born in 1971. In 1975, Dad’s car was stolen. My mother’s sister & her husband gave him a car, but it was in bad shape, & didn’t last. Dad told his mother the car was dying, & he didn’t know what he’d do. She told him come on down (they lived about 75 miles away) & he could have “Pop’s” car, the ’69 Fury. Granddad gave Dad the keys. Dad drove that car until 1979, when the rear end & transmission were dying. Rather than pour a lot of money into it, he sold the car to a junkyard & got another car.
In 2005, my dad was in the hospital. Hubby & I were going to see him, but had some time to kill before visiting hours started. We stopped at a local flea market. I saw this gorgeous green 1969 Plymouth Fury in the parking lot, & ran to it. It looked just like Granddad’s! Eric suggested I leave a note, asking if the owner wanted to sell. Two days later, he called, saying he did! November 23, two months later & after much trouble with the mortgage refinance we were doing that tied up all of our money at the time, I got the car. The gentleman who owned it said no way it could be Granddad’s car, but still liked my enthusiasm for her. Probably why he sold me the car instead of another person who was interested.
A few days later, Dad stopped by to see the car. He was sure it was his car. I figured that was impossible, but after he went home, he found his old maintenance manual. In it was his Plymouth’s VIN number where he wrote it down in the 1970’s. It matched mine. It was the same car!
Pretty cool, eh? I have a piece of Bailey history & every time I drive the car, I am in awe. I named her “Christina” after Stephen King’s famous Fury, Christine. She has her quirks, like the one day when the horn beeped at me when no one was in the car. I can’t help but think that is Granddad’s way of saying “hi.”
Christina is truly a gift from God. Not only was she my favorite car that my Granddad owned, but I have a thing for big old cars. She is so fun to drive! Also, since God gave her to me, He protects her. In the last 8 years she’s been mine, there have been many severe storms. During one of them in 2010, our house & the next door neighbor’s chimney were struck by lightning while we were out. We drove home to find the whole area in shambles- power lines down, trees down, leaves & limbs everywhere. When we got home, we were horrified to see their chimney’s bricks all over our driveway! Yet, not one hit my car! A couple landed under the car, but the car was unscathed. Also, the tree beside where Christina was parked? It’d been struck too- it was split in half! Yet the only thing on my car was a few leaves & tiny splinters of wood. Another time, we lost a huge branch off of one of our trees- it landed in the 8″ of space between my car & the fence, not touching the car. And, yet another time, another very large limb, about 4″ in diameter & 10′ long landed on my hood during an especially wicked late night storm. I saw it happen, & was terrified at the damage, but since it was dark, & the rain wasn’t stopping, I couldn’t see until morning. That was when I discovered absolutely no damage to my car- not so much as a scratch. A friend of mine has said repeatedly that “God’s got my back with this car.” She tells the truth, that’s for sure!
My car is very special to my family & I. She’s truly a blessing from God, & I give Him all the credit for sending me this lovely gift. I wrote the car’s story from her perspective as a free ebook. It’s available on my website, along with other free ebooks. Just go to the following link:
Here is Christina, not long after I bought her, after my dad spent the afternoon waxing her, like he had 30 years before.