Tag Archives: balance

Balance Is Healthy

In life, many people say out of balance things, such as always look for the positive or always listen to your heart. While this may sound good, it isn’t healthy. Sometimes, there is little or no positive to be found, & that is fine. Valuable lessons can be learned in negative circumstances, not just positive. And, listening to your heart is always wise, but logic must intervene at some point too. I know if I listened to my heart only, I would never accomplish anything around my home- I’d spend my time writing, being creative, playing with the furkids & such without doing laundry or cooking. While that sounds amazingly fun, it’s also amazingly impractical.

I just wanted to take a moment today to encourage you, Dear Reader, to have some balance in your life. So many of us who have survived narcissistic abuse have trouble in this area. We often put others ahead of ourselves even when it isn’t best for anyone involved, we give at the expense of our own selves or we even can become obsessed with learning about narcissism since it finally gives us the answers we’ve been seeking.

Think about your life- what areas are out of balance? Do you listen to your feelings over logic every time? Do you always make sacrifices for others while expecting nothing in return? Are you a workaholic? Do you read non-stop about narcissism?

Please stop those out of balance behaviors! Balance is a good thing- it helps you to stay happy & healthy, two things you deserve. While working or doing for others are certainly admirable, you still need breaks from doing them. The same goes for learning about narcissism. You absolutely must learn about it if you wish to heal from narcissistic abuse, but even so, take breaks where you refuse to think about it sometimes. Narcissism is such a deep & negative subject- your emotions need breaks from thinking about it so you don’t plummet into depression.

How do you achieve balance? To start with, ask God to show you what areas you need to improve. Make any changes you know you need to do. Also, ask God to show you if you need to make further changes & to help you to do so.

If you are close to someone who is also out of balance, you could see if this person wishes to be an accountability partner. You could be accountable to each other, discussing your situations & what you are doing. You could pray together, too.

Listen to your heart. If you feel resentment or dread regarding certain tasks, that is for a reason. You may be focusing too much in that area.

Learn about boundaries if you haven’t already. Learning to set & enforce healthy boundaries will help you so much.

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health

Compassion Fatigue- A Common Problem

Many adult children of narcissistic parents grow into very compassionate, empathetic adults.  We listen to others & offer support, even when strangers approach us in a grocery store & want to tell us their problems.  We help generously.  We’re often caregivers in many ways- taking care of the sick as well as providing emotional or even financial support to those in need.  And, truthfully, we often enjoy it.

Whether you enjoy caregiving or not, though, sometimes it burns you out.

It’s like a bank account- you can’t withdraw money without ever putting in a deposit or you will overdraft your account. The exact same thing happens with your mental health- if you do nothing but give, there is nothing left over for you.  You become tired, mentally & physically.  You also become very irritable & bottle up your emotions.  You may abuse substances or overeat.  You isolate yourself because you feel you don’t have the energy or patience to deal with people.  You become indifferent to their suffering.  You have plenty of aches & pains without a physical cause & you have difficulty concentrating on things.  Some people stop their good self-care habits, even hygienic habits.

This is a frustrating place to be!  I’ve felt some degree of compassion fatigue for years, but it has reached a peak during my recent recovery.  When all you can do is lay around & do very minimal tasks, it gives you plenty of time to think.  I realized how very few people close to me genuinely cared about the fact I came very close to death recently.  Very few have even asked how I’m doing more than once.  Aside from the obvious anger about this, it hurt me badly.  I have done my best to be there for those in my life as much as possible, & this is how I’m treated after trauma?  This seemed to rocket the compassion fatigue into overdrive.  As I write this, there aren’t many people I’m close to that I can muster up some empathy for at this time.

So.. how does one combat compassion fatigue?  Honestly I had to research it because I’ve never found a way to do it on my own.  The suggestions I’ve found are below along with some things I’ve been trying to do myself.

  • Sometimes people won’t be there for you, but God will be.  Give Him first priority in your life, & go to Him when you need comfort before you go to people.
  • Don’t judge yourself for how you feel.
  • Be kind to yourself.
  • Practice good self-care rituals.
  • Set & enforce good boundaries to give yourself a break as you need.
  • Remember, when people come to you for help, you should do your best to point them back to God as much as possible, & not become a god to them by fixing their problems.
  • Talk with others who understand how you feel.
  • Participate in your hobbies often, or start new ones.

I hope this helps you to combat compassion fatigue & to achieve a healthier balance with helping other people.  May God bless you!

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

Extreme, Out Of Balance Thinking

I noticed an unsettling trend today in things I was reading: extreme thinking with no balance.  For example, one thing I read said we need to feel compassion for narcissistic people because they are so wounded.  Yet, other things say we need to offer them no pity- just cut them out of our lives the moment we see even one narcissistic trait.

 

Neither solution is good, in my opinion.   If you have only compassion for a narcissist, she will play on  that, & use & hurt you constantly because you give no consequences for these actions.  However, if you quickly deduce someone is a narcissist & cut them out of your life, that isn’t necessarily the right solution either.  What if you judged this person wrong & they were only having a really bad day?  Or, what if God has plans to use you to change that person?  Some narcissists who are low on the spectrum can change, after all- maybe God wants to use you to change her heart somehow.  In either case, you could be making a mistake by eliminating this person from your life too quickly.

 

I believe in order to be a mentally healthy person with an empathetic heart, you need to be  balanced & avoid such extreme thinking.  To understand that yes, someone who has abused or bullied you was deeply wounded, which is why he or she did those awful things to you, yet also understand that does not give this person a free pass to abuse.

 

Many victims of abuse in particular seem to think this way, without balance.  Most commonly, I think, feel compassion & pity for their abuser or make excuses for the behavior.  Often, they even accept the blame for the abuse.  How many wives whose husbands beat them have you heard say, “It wasn’t his fault!  He was drunk/If only I had done what he asked, he wouldn’t have done this!”?  They don’t realize that while yes, it was terrible what happened to their abuser, that doesn’t give him or her the right to abuse anyone!

 

 

This extreme thinking & balance also fits judging the situations other people are in.  How many people have very definite opinions on something so controversial as medical marijuana?  Many people think it’s horrible- there is no excuse to use it!  Others claim it is extremely helpful in alieviating pain when nothing else does.  There don’t appear to be many people with more balanced thinking such as, “I’ve never tried it, & I doubt I ever would, however I understand that person is in such pain constantly, that he is desperate enough to want to try it.”

 

If you tend to think more extreme, then I would like to encourage you today to try to open your mind a bit more.  Try to see things from other people’s perspectives.  Imagine yourself in that person’s position.  Ask God to give you a more caring, compassionate heart & perspective.  Out of balance, extreme type thinking isn’t beneficial for anyone, but understanding, compassionate thinking will benefit everyone.

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health