Tag Archives: boundary

“You Just Need To Get Over It!” & Other Pearls Of So-Called Wisdom About Narcissistic Abuse

I read a very interesting quote, & it really hit home with me:

“There is a theme that runs through responses I receive from children of a narcissistic parent(s).  The child is subjected to unbearable levels of ongoing abuse- scalding criticisms, withering humiliations in front of other family members & alone, routine secret physical beatings & other horrendous acts of brutality including psychological & literal abandonment.  When the child lets family members know what is happening to  him, this person is not believed. When the victim of a narcissist tells the truth about his dreadful pathological parent, he is not treated with kindness or understanding.  The family is shocked; the victim is treated with disdain & often told he/she is the sick one or that this is all lies to get attention.”  Linda Martinez-Lewi, PHD

I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been treated this way, not only by those close to me (well, not close to me anymore obviously!), but even by therapists.  When I told my high school guidance counselor about my mother spending so much time daily screaming at me, she said, “That doesn’t sound so bad..”  I’ve also been told to let it go, get over it, work things out with my mother- it’s my responsibility, I need therapy, I use C-PTSD to get attention & more.

If you too are the adult child of a narcissist, I’m sure you can relate.

Hearing such cruel, invalidating statements is extremely painful.  You feel abused all over again.  It can be devastating to you & to the relationship you share with that person.  One person I had loved dearly & was once close to said a few comments along the lines of I needed to just get over things.  Her last comment actually destroyed the love I felt for her.  I suddenly no longer cared for her.  Not that I wished her bad- I simply felt nothing at all for her.

So how do you deal with these painful situations?  Avoiding them would be best, but unfortunately, that isn’t always possible.  Sometimes you can, because if you know a person well, you know  that this person isn’t safe to discuss certain topics with.  As a result, you avoid discussing those topics with that person.  Then there are other times when you mention your narcissistic mother to someone who you expect to be supportive, yet they surprise you by invalidating your pain.  Those times are the most painful, because you didn’t expect that response- you expected support & empathy.

When you are told to “get over it”, “you’re only making these things up to get attention,” etc., the first thing to do is to end this conversation before it goes further (hurting you more) however you deem appropriate.  You can simply change the subject, walk away or hang up the phone.  However you set  this boundary, you’ll run the risk of angering the other person, so you need to be prepared for that unfair anger. (The person I mentioned whose comments destroyed my love for her?  When we’d discussed the topic via email the last time, I told her I didn’t mean to be disrespectful, but I wasn’t asking for her opinion on my life.  After that, she didn’t speak to me for several months.)  Hopefully the other person you’re having the problem with will simply respect your boundary instead, as many people do.

Once the conversation is done, as soon as you can, get alone with God.  Tell  Him how it made you feel, & let Him comfort you.  Get your feelings out so they don’t end up pushed down inside of you, festering.  That only hurts you!  If you don’t feel comfortable telling God how you feel, journal about them.  Or, write the person a letter that you never send, telling her off if that helps you feel better.

If you’re suddenly doubting yourself (am I really making too much out of things?  That type of thought) because of what was said to you, ask God to tell you if you are.  He will reassure you that you aren’t, which helps tremendously to give you a healthy perspective on what was said.

You also need to evaluate your relationship with this person.  is she someone you’re close to?  Do you have a good relationship other than her lack of understanding about your abusive mother?  Then it is probably worth saving- just accept that your narcissistic mother isn’t a topic you two can discuss.  Or, does this person criticize or invalidate you in other ways?  (I don’t mean the healthy, constructive criticism we all need sometimes)  Then this relationship may need to end. You’ve been treated badly enough in your life thanks to your narcissistic mother- why continue to tolerate being treated badly?

As I mentioned in this post, I recently realized that when the C-PTSD flares up, it seems like every single nasty, invalidating comment I’ve ever heard comes to mind.  Those times are so painful!  I tried to wait on it to pass when it happens, but that doesn’t always work so well.  Sometimes it seems like the comments play over & over, like an old cassette tape stuck on repeat.  So, what I do during those times is think of a specific comment said to me, for example, “that doesn’t sound so bad.”  Then I think about the event that led the person to make the comment, & remember, it really WAS bad!  It was horrible!  Having someone tell you that you’re a horrible person hurts, but add in the fact that was my mother, & she was screaming it in my face?  Yea, it was pretty bad.. if someone thinks it wasn’t, that person obviously has the problem!

I believe that some people simple aren’t able to grasp the hell that is living with narcissistic abuse.  Maybe they come from loving families, & never had to face any type of abuse.  As a result, they just can’t  wrap their minds around the fact not all families are as good as theirs.  Or, maybe they too came from a narcissistic parent, yet haven’t had the strength to face that, & continue living in the dysfunction instead.  Or, in all honesty, narcissistic abuse sounds so far fetched!  Sometimes the things narcissists do sound completely made up, they just are that “out there.”  If I wouldn’t have seen the things my mother did to me, I’m not sure I would believe anyone was capable of such acts either!  Maybe some people can’t believe another human being is capable of doing such things, especially to her own child.  Whatever the reason, that does not give them the right to invalidate your pain!  Narcissistic abuse is a horrible thing to endure.  Its damage can be lifelong & extremely painful.  Don’t let anyone convince you that it was “no big deal” or that there’s something wrong with you for how you feel after surviving such torture!

Advertisements

2 Comments

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

Avoiding Regrets In Relationships

Last night, I got a message from one of my cousins saying her father, my uncle, had just passed away earlier in  the day. I had to call my father to tell him the bad news about his brother.  It wasn’t a good conversation at all.  See, my father & uncle were once very close.  However, they hadn’t spoken in a long time, I think 2001 or 2002 was the last time they spoke, & prior to that, they hadn’t spoken many times since 1996 when they had a big disagreement.  So, now my father has to cope not only with losing his brother, but also with regrets over how their relationship ended up.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot since last night when we spoke.  It seems to me this is a very common scenario- someone dies, & the ones left behind have regrets.  Regretting letting some trivial argument come between them, maybe simply not calling/visiting as much as they wish they would have or failing to say, “I love you” more often. It’s a very sad situation.  Also it’s a situation people don’t want to think about.

I know thinking about the possibility of losing someone you love isn’t pleasant.  However, it is bound to happen at some point.  Death is a natural part of life.

I would just like to take a moment today to encourage you to be sure you don’t have regrets in relationships.  Tell those you love how much they mean to you.  End your phone calls, emails or visits by telling them, “I love you.”  (I always did this with my granddad, & it brings me some comfort that our last words to each other were, “I love you.”)  If they do something for you or say something kind to you, tell them how much you appreciate it.  Call them often.  Go out for a cup of coffee or to lunch often. Give them little gifts that show them how much you love them when it isn’t their birthday or another gift-giving occasion without expecting anything in return.  An unexpected gift with no strings attached at an unexpected time is a wonderful thing!  Use complements & praise often. Pray with & for those you love. Encourage them when they are down.  Listen quietly without offering advice.

Since I know many of you reading my blog also have a narcissistic mother, some also have narcissistic fathers, you may be wondering how this applies to you.  More or less the same.  If your narcissistic mother does something kind (I know, rare, but it does happen once in a while!), thank her for thinking of you & doing whatever it was she did.  If you can give her a genuine complement, give it.  If you see a little something she would like, buy it for her without expecting anything in return.  Pray for her.  Basically, bless her as you feel you are able to for your narcissistic mother.  I’m certainly not saying to tolerate abuse from her, or kiss up to her by any means.  I am saying to respect whatever boundaries you have with her, while blessing her as you are able to do so.  It isn’t easy, I know, but if you treat her as well as you are able, & as she deserves, you won’t have regrets about your part of your relationship.

Also, when you do something  for your narcissistic mother, do only what you feel you genuinely don’t mind doing. If it appears at all forced on your end, she’ll pick up on that, & you could be facing a narcissistic rage.

I have practiced what I am writing about today with my mother.  I honestly can say now that I have no regrets with her.  I have done my best by my mother (in spite of what some people may think, ie her flying monkeys) while protecting myself at the same time.

6 Comments

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

Depression Isn’t A Sign Of Weakness!

Yesterday was a very hard day for me. I had an especially nasty flashback.  Not long after, my mother called.  I shouldn’t have answered the phone, but I did anyway.  Why is beyond me..this ended up with me feeling awful for the rest of the day, & waking up about every 15-30 minutes all night long.  Sometimes from nightmares, sometimes from anxiety attacks, other times from hot or cold flashes.

This morning I woke up very depressed & very exhausted.  Unfortunately, when I’m this tired, I think bad thoughts.  I ended up feeling so weak.  I was angry at myself for not being stronger, & for having C-PTSD.  Thankfully, my bad thoughts didn’t get too bad before I got online & read this article….

https://traumadissociation.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/ptsd-can-it-come-from-strength-rather-than-a-sign-of-weakness/

It gives a very interesting perspective.  A perspective I’d never heard of before, suggesting that depressive illness (& those of us with PTSD or C-PTSD know depression all too well) is a sign of strength rather than weakness.  Reading the article made perfect sense to me.  It says that people who are strong, responsible, diligent, etc. tend to deal with depression more than those who are weak, irresponsible or lazy.  The reason being, the responsible types get more stressed- they keep pushing & pushing themselves while their irresponsible counterparts give up.  The article explains it much like a blown fuse.  Responsible types push & push themselves, basically like pushing 18 amps through a 13 amp fuse.

Interesting perspective, no?

Please read the above article- I believe it will encourage you as it has me.

Leave a comment

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

The Civil Connection With Narcissistic Mothers

One of my readers made an interesting point. She read my post about The Silent Treatment that I wrote a couple of days ago, & mentioned how she gives her mother what she calls the silent treatment.  Hers is a bit different than her narcissistic mother’s silent treatment- she doesn’t try to punish her narcissistic mother with it (as narcissists do).  Instead she only speaks to her mother on her terms (when she is able to talk with her), & is very careful with the limited information she shares.  This is also what Dr. Karyl McBride, author of “Will I Ever Be Good Enough?” calls the civil connection.

I’ve done this with my mother & mother in-law.  Both are narcissists, my mother being the overt type, mother in-law the covert.  Both have responded very differently to it.  My mother used to get very frustrated, but it didn’t take her long to get to the point where she gives up quickly on me.  I’m more stubborn than her, & she knows that, so I assume she realizes there’s no point in trying to get something “juicy” from me once I’ve made up my mind not to give anything up.  My mother in-law, however, was a different story.  She would become visibly flustered, & try any tactic she could to force me to talk.  It became just plain funny to me after a while!  Watching her get angrier & angrier, yet unable to say or do anything about it for fear of looking bad, became very entertaining to me.

Have you tried this with your narcissistic mother?  If not, you have to try it!!  If nothing else, it’ll amuse you!

I like to give one word (or close to it) answers.  For example…

Mother: “How are you?”

Me: “Fine.”

Mother: “What have you been up to lately?”

Me: “Not much.” (she already thinks I’m lazy, so she’ll believe I haven’t done much)

See how that works?  It’s really easy.

Chances are, your narcissistic mother will start to push for more information from you when you give her such curt responses.  She will hint around, trying to get you to talk, as she won’t ask outright for fear of looking unreasonable, bad, or whatever.  Refuse to respond!  Ignore the hints.  I’m telling you, it will fluster her, & if you’re lucky, she’ll give up trying to get news from you.

Once, I had a doctor’s appointment on a day when my mother in-law thought I should do something for her (which is amazing in itself- she’s hated me from the day we met, so why would she think I would be willing to help her in any way?!).  I told her I couldn’t do it- I had a doctor’s appointment that afternoon.  I should have said “prior obligation” instead of admitting what I was doing, but it slipped out.  It turned out to be hilarious for me though!  She said things like,  “Well, if you’re seeing the doctor, it must be serious.  I understand why you can’t do this for me…” (I simply said “Thanks” in response), “If you can’t reschedule it, that isn’t a good sign.  I’m so worried about you!” (yea, right!  She didn’t care- she just wanted information, so I simply told her I was fine.), “Why are you seeing the doctor?” (the only direct question she asked, & I ignored her question, as I was listening to my husband & his father talk- I pretended I didn’t hear her over them), or “I guess you can’t do this for me since you HAVE to see the doctor on that day & no other…I don’t understand why it has to be THAT day..” (to which I responded with, “Nope, I can’t do it.”)  By the time my husband & I left her home shortly after, I was surprised her head didn’t explode!  I barely made it to the car before I started laughing!

If you haven’t tried this type of interaction with your narcissistic mother, please consider doing so!  Not only will it entertain you, it will give her less opportunities to hurt you.  You will speak to her only as you are able to do so, & by limiting your conversation as well as your exposure to her, you will give her less to criticize about you.  It really will make your interactions with her much easier for you!  Also, it’s not disrespectful, so if you are concerned about not honoring your mother, as many Christian daughters of narcissistic mothers are, please don’t worry!

2 Comments

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

The Silent Treatment

I visited a very good friend of mine yesterday.  Like me, her mother was a narcissist.  A much more malignant narcissist than mine.  While we were talking, she mentioned that her mother never gave her the silent treatment.  In fact, instead she would fake illness brought on by the stress my friend caused by either disagreeing with her or disobeying her.

I told her what she was missing out on!  The silent treatment can be a wonderful thing!  It gives you a break from your narcissistic mother’s drama, cruelty, mind games & more.  At first, it may not feel good, but after a while, it really feels like a gift from God.  Yes, that sounds awful, I know, but it’s the truth!

Many daughters of narcissistic mothers have faced the silent treatment at some point.  As young children, it can be devastating!  It certainly was for me. I couldn’t understand why my mother wouldn’t speak to me.  I would try anything to gain her attention.  I even asked what was wrong, & was met with among the most ridiculous responses ever: “If you don’t know, I’m not going to tell you.”  At first this made me try harder, but I quickly realized that was why she said it, & stopped trying so hard.

As I grew older, I learned some more things about the silent treatment, & I’d like to share them with you to (hopefully!) help you.

  • The silent treatment is about control.  It is supposed to force you to ask, “What’s wrong?” so your narcissistic mother can tell you exactly what is wrong with you to upset her so much, she had to withdraw from you.
  • The silent treatment is also to make you feel inadequate, flawed, wrong, crazy.  The more messed up you believe you are, the less likely it is you’ll stand up to your narcissistic mother.  You will be easier for her to control.
  • The silent treatment really has nothing to do with what you did.  Whatever you did was just an excuse to give you the silent treatment.  Didn’t do anything?  That’s fine too- narcissists aren’t above lying to get what they want.
  • Normal, healthy people do NOT use the silent treatment!!  Normal people get angry, & may even want a little space from you if you said or did something hurtful, but that space doesn’t last long.  It’s only a little time to cool off, & not to punish you.
  • The silent treatment shows the person giving it is very immature, selfish, childish..  If your narcissistic mother can’t approach you like an adult to work things out, using the silent treatment instead, she’s behaving like a spoiled rotten little child.

So how does one deal with being on the receiving end of the silent treatment??

  • Keep the above list in mind.  This will help you to remember that this silent treatment speaks more about your narcissistic mother’s problems than something being wrong with you.  Like I said, normal, healthy people don’t use the silent treatment!  They speak to the person who hurt them & work things out like mature adults.
  • Never, ever ask, “What’s wrong?”  If you do, you most likely will open up her narcissistic rage arsenal of weapons.  “What’s wrong?” seems to translate to “Now I can really abuse her!!” in the mind of a narcissist.  If your narcissistic mother won’t try to work this out, then that is her problem.  How are you supposed to repair whatever you did wrong if you don’t even know what you did wrong?
  • Remember, refusing to play your narcissistic mother’s games is honorable!  Honoring your mother as the Bible commands doesn’t mean play into her manipulation.  To truly honor someone means you want the best for them, & the best is for your mother to be a healthy person.  Granted, to become mentally healthy, she has to want to become healthy- you can’t make her want that, nor can you make her healthy.  However, you can gently push her in that direction by refusing to engage in her games.
  • Think of this time without your narcissistic mother as a break.  In all honesty, probably you aren’t getting the silent treatment because you did something bad.  Probably, you dared to have your own opinion, didn’t praise your mother enough, didn’t jump through some ridiculous hoops that she wanted you to jump through.  Why beat yourself up over something so stupid?  Instead, just think of this silent treatment as a reprieve.  Enjoy the peace & quiet for however long it lasts!  Besides, most likely your mother will contact you soon anyway, as soon as she needs something from you.
  • Take care of yourself.  Refuse to think about “What did I do wrong?” or feel guilty.  Instead, do nice things for yourself. Get a mani/pedi.  Get yourself a new book you’ve been wanting.  Spend a day relaxing with herbal tea & good movies.

It probably will take you some time to stop feeling guilty & to start enjoying the silent treatment.  And then, you may feel somewhat guilty for enjoying it.  I know I did at first.  But, that doesn’t last long once you realize how peaceful your life has become!

I have realized that the last few times my mother has given me the silent treatment, it took me a while to realize it was happening!  Weeks would go by, when suddenly I realized she hadn’t called me.  Quite an improvement over fretting about how to get her to start speaking to me again & feeling guilty for being such a terrible daughter, don’t you think?

8 Comments

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

Do You Accept False Blame & Guilt?

Last night was a rough one.. I had a flashback while reading an article online.  The flashback was about something that happened with the ex boyfriend of mine who I mentioned in this post.  It was strange, because I wasn’t even thinking of him, nor had I thought of him in a few days.  I also never had a flashback about him before, nor had I remembered the incident until last night- I must have forgotten about it shortly after it happened (repressed memory).  The whole thing was just so odd!  I had some thoughts about it though, that I thought I should share.  I’m hoping this will make sense- I still feel weird this morning as I’m still recovering from the flashback, & can’t think very straight.  Please bear with me…

As I’d mentioned in the post I’d linked to above, I’d felt guilty since I broke up with that man in 1990.  Guilty for hurting him, guilty for letting myself get involved with someone I wasn’t interested in in the first place, guilty for dashing his hopes for marriage & a family.  That is all I ever thought of regarding him.  It wasn’t until his death last January that when I thought about our relationship, I realized how dysfunctional & abusive it was.

I’ve done similar things with friendships I’ve ended- felt guilty for hurting the other person, only to realize years later that the other person was using me & really a terrible friend,& I had to end that relationship.

I would bet that this is pretty common with daughters of narcissistic mothers.  I know that I grew up feeling so overly responsible for my mother that I carried that overdeveloped sense of responsibility into other relationships.  I still fight with that to this day sometimes.  As a result, people who use & abuse have sought me out, & if I ended the relationship, I ended up feeling guilty for not doing enough, or letting them down somehow.  I take on blame that isn’t necessarily mine.  The result is a lot of wasted time beating myself up & feeling guilty for things I shouldn’t feel guilty about.

Does any of this sound familiar to you??  I’m guessing it does.

If you’re in this position of berating yourself for failed relationships, I would like to encourage you today.  Think objectively about those relationships, & if you have a hard time with being objective, pretend a good friend is telling you about it rather than you having experienced it.  What would you tell her?  Would you blame her completely for the relationship failing?  Would you tell her that she was stupid for becoming involved with the person  in the first place or for allowing that person to use or abuse her?  Then what makes telling yourself these things OK?

I’m not saying you’re never at fault or never make mistakes in relationships.  We all do those things.  It’s part of being human.  However, I’m talking about not accepting 100% of the blame 100% of the time.  Accept blame when it’s yours & make amends where you can, but also keep the other person’s blame on them.  It isn’t yours to take.  if you are unsure about what blame is & is not yours, I encourage you to ask God.  Pray about it, & God will show you what you need to know in a loving, gentle way.

Don’t beat yourself up!  Feeling guilty & berating yourself for things that aren’t your fault only continue the abuse your narcissistic mother did to you.  You deserve so much better than that!!  xoxo

3 Comments

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

How To Avoid Accepting Blame From A Narcissist

The topic of defending oneself to a narcissist & its futility came up in my facebook group this morning.  It was also mentioned how narcissists can turn anything back around onto you.  True, isn’t it?  They could beat you bloody, steal all your money, or call you horrible names for something so silly as reading a book, yet according to them, you are the problem.  And, if you aren’t careful, you can end up accepting that lie as truth. I’ve done this many times myself.

How can you avoid falling into that awful trap?  It’s easier than you may think..

First of all, I have found that a good relationship with God is vital.  When you are blamed, ask God if this is true, are you really at fault?  Ask Him to help you see things clearly so you don’t accept blame that isn’t yours.

Focus on improving your self-esteem.  The more secure you are, the harder it is for anyone to push false blame on you.

Learn all you can about Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  Knowledge truly is power, & knowledge of NPD will help you to remember that they are the ones with a problem, not you.  This is something you need to be very aware of in order to stop accepting the blame for problems a narcissist blames you for.

Another thing I’ve learned to be very helpful is to journal about the events.  Seeing them written out factually, without emotions, helps bring you clarity.  That is partly why I discuss my experiences with my narcissistic mother.  It helps me to keep a proper perspective while also helping others.  It also helps me tremendously when people say things like, “I read in your blog about what your mother did.  She was so wrong for doing that!”  It’s an additional validation.  I’m not saying you have to make what you write public as I have, of course, but if you opt to do so, it may help you as it helps me.  You can use false names if you want to remain anonymous.

Talk to those who understand.  Close friends or relatives who know the situation, & support you can be tremendously helpful.  Often those with narcissistic mothers don’t have many friends or relatives who do support them, as narcissistic mothers love turning people against her daughter, but there is still hope.  There are facebook groups & forums like mine that are full of safe people who understand your plight because they have been in your situation.

Lastly, never engage a narcissist.  Ever. If she wants to blame you for something, don’t defend yourself.  Respond to her with calmness & logic. If she continues raging, walk away.  Let her look like a fool while you protect yourself.  If she recruits others to her side, & those flying monkeys wish to talk to you on her behalf, refuse to discuss that topic with them.

2 Comments

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

When Bad Times Happen With A Narcissistic Parent

Since I’ve said I’ll keep this blog real & not sugarcoat things, I thought I should share this.

As I’ve said, lately I’ve been feeling like I need to write for those who either can’t or won’t go no contact with their narcissistic mothers. I’ve been trying to be encouraging to those of you in that situation, & I firmly believe in what I’ve been saying.  But, this doesn’t mean bad times don’t happen sometimes.

Although things have been going quite well with my parents, Monday I was hurt by both of them.  It was my father’s birthday, so I wanted to call to wish him a happy birthday.  My mother answered the phone, & we talked for a while.  She seems to be trying to be nicer to me, I think because she realizes I’m pulling away as I always do when she gets nasty.  Even so, she still hurt me by talking with compassion & concern about a problem someone she knows has. Sadly, I’ve had the same problem for years now, & she doesn’t even care.  In fact, she obviously didn’t remember I have this problem.

Then, I spoke with my father.  He can be very pessimistic.  In fact, if you saw the movie, “Kindergarten Cop”, you may remember the little boy who, when his teacher said he had a headache, replied with, “It could be a tumor.”  That is who my father reminds me of sometimes- he can find a possible negative in most any situation.  He reminded me of my first car that is sitting in my backyard, waiting on restoration, & getting rustier by the day.  *sigh*  He told me I should sell her, which isn’t happening.  She’ll be restored somehow, & frankly, what business is this of his, anyway??

Unfortunately when you’re in a relationship with your narcissistic parents, times like this happen.  While the things I’ve written about definitely will help you, they won’t make everything perfect.  Bad times still will happen.  Please don’t be discouraged by these times.  They are going to happen.  They can’t be avoided 100%, unfortunately.

And, if you think about it, you’ll realize you are handling those bad times better.  I did.  I was hurt, of course, but I wasn’t devastated by Monday’s call.  The suggestions I’ve been making & putting into practice for myself- boundaries, looking for the positive, improving self-esteem & leaning on God most of all- have helped me a LOT.  I have no doubt they’ll help you as well.

I know being in a relationship with a narcissist isn’t easy, especially when everyone tells you to just walk away.  But, if this is where you feel you need to be at least for now, or you are unable to walk away, please be encouraged.  God will enable you to do what you need to do to protect your mental health!

3 Comments

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

Maintaining Healthy Boundaries

It’s not easy for any adult child of a narcissistic parent to maintain good, healthy boundaries.  Some of us are too lax while others become too strict.  There needs to be balance, & below I want to offer some thoughts on maintaining healthy, balanced boundaries..

To have & enforce healthy boundaries, first off, I believe you must believe that you are entitled to have needs.  It is perfectly fine that you have needs. Your needs are just as important as anyone else’s!  If you don’t believe this, I encourage you to pray.  Ask God to tell you what He thinks of your needs, & if you are allowed to have them.  Then, just listen for His response.

Be firm & fair with your boundaries.  Realize what your narcissistic mother is & is not capable of, & keep your boundaries realistic. For example, if she cannot respect the fact that you need to leave her at a certain time, remind her of the fact you need to leave by a specific time.  When the time is approaching yet she wants you to stay, there is nothing wrong with saying, “I have to go in 10 minutes.”  Then, when 10 minutes comes, get up, say good bye, & leave.

Have realistic expectations.  Remember, your narcissistic mother won’t like your boundaries.  Prepare yourself for that by having effective, creative ways in mind to enforce them.

Remember, it’s ok to distance yourself.  Either temporarily or permanently, sometimes distance is the best solution for you when dealing with someone who has no respect for your boundaries.  Hanging up on or leaving the presence of someone who ignores your boundaries is acceptable!  It’s not unreasonable at all- you are taking care of yourself which means you need to do what is necessary to do so.  And, sometimes, severing ties is a viable solution.  However, you need to decide what type of distancing yourself is best for you- do NOT let anyone else tell you what you should do!  The decision is yours & yours alone to make, & nobody but God & you know what is best for you!

2 Comments

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

Yesterday’s Experiences With My Narcissistic Mother

Good morning, Dear Readers!  I thought I’d share what happened yesterday…

I prayed quite a bit before going out with my parents, asking God to give me the right words as I needed them, & the courage to say them.  He didn’t fail me!

Time with my folks wasn’t so bad at all.  We had a nice conversation with my father.  He shared a few stories about his drag racing days when he raced at Old Dominion Speedway in Dumfries, VA.  My mother did spend a great deal of time regaling my husband & I with stories of how amazing & adored she is, which, truth be told, was really annoying!  However, annoying was as bad as it got.  She tried to get in a couple of nasty digs at me, which I responded to with calmness & logic.  Amazing how narcissists hate that!  They get very disappointed when their attempts to start a fight or even just get under your skin are met with calm instead of rage.  At least with rage, they can portray themselves as victims.  Calmness?  They have nothing to work with!  How frustrating for them!  HA!

As an example, the Bailey family history book I recently mentioned that my grandmom wrote & I got published?  My mother mentioned it during our meal, undoubtedly to criticize yet one more thing I have written,even though I only wrote a portion of it.  She said she was surprised to see that my great-grandmom’s name was listed as Minerva Rose, when legally it was Minnie Rose (how cute is that name, by the way?!  I just love it!).  “That’s just wrong- Minerva wasn’t even her real name!”  I responded calmly by saying, “I put it in there as Minerva because that was what she went by & she liked.  It isn’t like the book is a legal document.”  then started talking to my father about something else.  My mother’s response?  Silence.  She was speechless.  How awesome was  that?!  lol  She also said something about my grandmom once being drunk during the afternoon.  My grandmom from what I understand from my granddad went through a short time where she drank too much.  My mother was disgusted by this & said very angry with Grandmom.  I said, “Good grief.. who hasn’t drank too much at some point in their lives?!  Everyone has done it.”  She retorted with, “Well I certainly NEVER have!” with a haughty attitude (my mother’s family are very much against drinking.. they seem to prefer abusing their children..).  I said, “Well, ok, most people have done it. It happens.  So what?” then jokingly reminded my father of the day after he graduated high school when his mother found him sleeping it off rolled up in an old carpet… lol  (One of the very few times he has ever been drunk in his life, by the way)  Again, silence from my mother.  I made her speechless twice in one day!  This day may go down in history…

It was so nice to come home from a visit not completely frazzled or even angry.  I was tired after the visit, but that is because I rarely get decent sleep, & thanks to the agoraphobia, leaving home drains me even under the best of circumstances.  For once, being tired had nothing to do with my mother & her emotional vampire ways, I’m happy to say.

If you are forced to deal with a narcissistic mother, then please know I understand how frustrating it can be!  Also please remember that staying calm in your responses to her is a powerful weapon.  Look what happened with my mother yesterday- I’ve never made her speechless in my life until yesterday!  I also learned yesterday how fun it is to see my mother, the one who thinks she knows everything, totally speechless!  Not  fun out of being vengeful or mean- fun in the fact it showed me that I really do have some power!  I don’t want to control her as she always has me, of course, but to have a normal amount of power in a conversation with her as I do with other people was amazing!  She tried to upset me by insulting my writing & my grandmom but couldn’t, & I easily could set boundaries with her about something not being up for a topic of conversation.

I believe God enabled me to behave as was necessary, & to maintain my calmness.  I also think a contributing factor was what I wrote about in yesterday’s post, about finally having some self-esteem.  Being more at peace with myself, plus having a deep revelation on the fact that my mother’s attempting to hurt me is more about her dysfunctional thinking than anything to do with me, really helped me.

I pray what I have been learning lately will  help you as well!  xoxo

2 Comments

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

Some Thoughts For Those Unable To Sever Ties With A Narcissistic Mother

Good afternoon, Dear Readers!

The last few weeks, I’ve been feeling led to focus on helping those with narcissistic mothers who are either unable or unwilling to go no contact with them.   There are many in this position, & there is very little information out there for these people.   I hope this post will encourage you!

My mother called last night, & hubby & I are going to lunch tomorrow with my folks (my father’s birthday is Monday, hubby is off tomorrow, so I thought this could work).  Unfortunately, I learned quickly during the call that my mother’s niceness has ended for now.  She was very nasty during the conversation last night, talking quite a bit about how hard it was for her doing so much all by herself for her mother when she was alive.  A guilt trip, I suppose, for not doing enough.  Not nice considering I was her mother’s primary caregiver for a year… the hardest year of my life, by the way, since she was a very malignant narcissist & just a hateful, heartless human being.  And,  my mother mentioning this was not surprising, since she has said these exact same things many times over the years, even while her mother was still alive & I was helping her.  *sigh*

While this turn of events is disappointing, it’s certainly not unexpected.  While some of my readers seemed to think I believed my mother was going to maintain her much nicer demeanor indefinitely, that was never the case.  I’m hardly that naive.  My mother only can be nice to me for brief periods of time, like many narcissistic mothers, & I am well aware of that fact. I accept that about my mother, because, well, let’s face it- she has no desire to change that about herself.  It’s either accept it or try to change her.  I’ll accept it, rather than overstep my bounds by trying to make her into something she is not.

While accepting that fact about my mother, that doesn’t mean I accept her abuse however.  I’ve learned how to handle this relationship with my mother, how to maintain a civil contact with her.

When my mother is in one of her pleasant moods, I enjoy it.  I never know  how long it will last, so I don’t think about that.  I just enjoy it, whether that mood lasts for a day or a month.  I also remember that this change isn’t permanent, & she can go back to full narcissistic mode at any moment.  That keeps my expectations realistic (well, low), so I am not disappointed when she changes.

When the narcissistic mode kicks back in, I keep a distance from my mother.  I answer her calls less frequently, & spend less time with her.

I’ve noticed her narcissistic mode lasts less time doing this.  She is now nicer, or at least civil, more often than not.  While I certainly can’t say my relationship with my mother is perfect by any means, it is way better than I ever thought it could be.  We have pleasant conversations pretty often now, & I don’t cringe every time the phone rings.  I’m also able to relax some during the good times where I wasn’t able to before.  I now know they may not last long, so I just live in the moment, enjoying them as they come up.  When they stop, I knew it was going to  happen, so I am not surprised or disappointed.  That is when I keep my distance, & wait for the nice mode to start again.

I believe these changes have happened for a couple of reasons. First, God. I prayed a lot recently as I’ve mentioned before, because I was so close to going no contact with my mother.  He told me that decision was up to me.  I asked Him to help me be able to stay in this very difficult relationship, at least for now.  I assumed that meant He would give me strength & courage as I needed it, but it’s been so much more than I could’ve expected.  I am now able to hear my mother’s nasty, cruel words, & not feel devastated.  Hurt sometimes, sure, but I am more able to see them as a result of her issues, rather than taking them personally.  That helps to take much of  the sting out of her words.  I also am now able to say “no”  & defend myself where that was once very difficult for me to do sometimes.  I also, for once, haven’t trouble speaking my mind to my mother.  Granted, I don’t do it all the time, but sometimes, it’s just not worth it.  Sometimes the topic is trivial & we simply have different opinions- so what?  That just means we’re different people.  Other times, if I need to speak up to her about how she treats me, I can tell she is going to ignore me, so there just isn’t a point in frustrating myself by speaking up.

God also has enabled me to be much stronger with setting & forcing very strict boundaries with my mother.  She has no choice but to go along with them now, whereas I used to have very weak boundaries, if any.  Does she like this?  No, but I really don’t care.   They are reasonable, & I am taking care of myself.  I think by doing this, I have gained a slight amount of respect from my mother for the first time ever.  Narcissists are bullies, & one thing I’ve learned about bullies is that they respect someone who has the guts to stand up to them.  They may not like that person, but they respect her!

I’ve also gotten a real revelation on something else- my mother can’t hurt me anymore!  When I was a kid, she threatened me with military or catholic school or to have me locked up in a psyche ward, she screamed in my face, calling me filthy names, she was also strong enough to throw me into a wall so hard when I was 19, my back was injured to the point I had to quit working a few months later.  Even in my early 20’s, my mother once threatened to contact my landlord because I had more cats than the lease allowed, all because I disagreed with her about something.  Those times are gone now.  We’re both much older, & now I’m the physically stronger one.  I also don’t need to sit there while anyone screams at me- I can walk out & never come back if I’m so inclined.  She also can’t have me taken away or contact my landlord because I am now a home owner.  The only weapon my mother has left are her words, & frankly, that weapon is rather lame.  She called me so many terrible names & said so many terrible things about me when I was growing up, while her current tactics may hurt me, they really don’t hurt me all that badly.  After all, I’ve been through worse!  The comic Chris Titus once  talked about how critical his father was when he was growing up, & said something like, “Thanks to him, I’m like an insult Navy Seal!”  That is how I feel about my mother.  My mother accused me of terrible things like doing drugs & having sex with the entire high school football team when I was a teenager (neither of which I did) & called me awful names. After surviving that, what else is there?!  What else can she say?  Nothing!  And, I’ve also realized that my mother needs me much more than I need her.  I have my own home & life now- I need nothing from my mother.  She has no hold over me.

These things have been very freeing to me, & very helpful in dealing with my narcissistic mother. I pray they will help you to find ways to deal with yours as well.

Leave a comment

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

Rambling & More Thoughts On Narcissistic Mothers

Good morning, Dear Readers!

Again, thank you so much to every one of you who has prayed for me & shown me concern these past 10 days.  My father is now home to recover after a caifoplasty (I think it was called?) yesterday to repair a compression fracture on his spine. I took him home last night & he was moving much better already.  🙂

These past 10 days have been brutal.  My father went into the hospital with this terrible back pain at 3 a.m. on Tuesday the 9th, then quickly had a bad reaction to the morphine & was delirious for several days.  They weren’t sure at first if it was pain, meds or what making him delirious, but thankfully figured out it was the morphine.  No more morphine for him!  EVER!  I warned him never again- I’m not happy with him calling me Mom!  lol

Those of you with a narcissistic mother can imagine the  “fun” this has been.  As if the drama with my father’s health wasn’t enough, she managed to turn everything around on her.  Even yesterday, the day he had an operation on his spine, my mother still turned everything around on her.  Amazing!!  Absolutely amazing!!  & not in a good way!  By the time I got home, much later than expected mind you, I was in tears of anger & frustration.  Not to mention anxiety because I spent the entire day at the hospital- not good for the agoraphobia.  My husband, bless his heart, listened to me tell all of the day’s awful events.  He also said, “I have seen the light!  I really get it now about your mother!  I am so sorry!!”  Thank God!!  I can’t put into words how grateful I am for that.  My husband is accustomed to his own narcissistic parents, & due to his upbringing, always tried to make excuses for or defend my mother.  I think that is a thing of the past now.  God is truly good- I never expected that to happen!

After I took my father home, I had to leave fast.  One of my cats has diabetes & a couple of other health issues, & I’ve found testing his glucose & giving him an insulin injection when needed at about 5 p.m. works well for us, usually keeping his glucose levels pretty stable.  By the time I got my father home, it was already 7:30!  I told my parents I need to go- Pretty Boy is late for his insulin.  My mother kept dragging her feet, pretending she didn’t hear me or coming up with reasons I needed to stay.  I ended up pretty much walking out on her.  *sigh*  She didn’t care that my boy needed help, my husband wasn’t home yet from work & couldn’t take care of him- I had to go.  It was maddening!!

The icing on the cake was when I was walking out the door.  My mother gave me a hug & said “I love you.  You’re doing such a good job!”  Maybe with a normal, non-narcissistic parent, this would be a nice thing to say.  However… with a narcissistic parent, this made me very angry.  The only time my mother tells me she loves me, is proud of me or other such positive things is when I’m doing what she wants me to do, as she wants me to do it.  I could count on one hand how many times my mother has said those type of things to me in the last 25 years.  Maybe even 30 years.

It was just so maddening!!  The only time I’m worthy of any praise, even just a small amount, is when I’m doing her will?!  Really?!  Never mind I’ve run a non-profit organization designed to help people with depressive disorders.  Never mind my writing helps other people often (I know- I get the emails to prove it!).  Never mind I’ve rescued over 25 cats since 1990 & 3 dogs who were in horrible situations. (I’m not trying to brag on myself with this information, by the way!!)  None of that matters to my mother.  All that matters to her is what I do for her.  ARGH!!!!  It’s not that I’m after her approval- I’ve accepted that I’ll never have it.  Even so, the reminders of this fact still hurt.  Reminders like this show me, yet again, that I’m not even human to her.  That I am simply a tool to be used when needed, according to my mother.  I don’t matter to her, nor do my needs, wants, feelings or even my furkids as she showed me so clearly last night.  It hurts!!

I guess my point of sharing all of this (aside from venting) is to let you know, Dear Readers, I really do understand.  I understand your frustration with your narcissistic mother.  I understand your pain & hurt.  I understand how aggravating it is when others don’t get it.  Having a narcissistic mother is truly a lonely road!

I really hope my experiences can help you somehow to cope with your own narcissistic mother.  If nothing else, I hope you realize that you truly are not alone, in spite of how it feels.  I love you & am praying for you!  xoxo

Leave a comment

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

Aging & Narcissists

This morning, I read an interesting article about the final years of Jim Jones.  He was a notorious cult leader who led over 900 of his followers to commit suicide in 1978.  Like all cult leaders, Jones was a narcissist.  His final years were full of more bizarre & controlling behaviors, & the article I read discussed why he was this way.

For years, I’ve wondered why so many narcissists get meaner as they get older, while your average person becomes gentler & kinder.  It began to make some sense to me as I applied what I read in the article to my own narcissistic mother.

As we age, we lose some qualities of youth, such as good looks, health & physical strength.  While most people accept this, narcissists don’t.  At the root of narcissism is an extreme insecurity.  They count on such things to always be there for them, yet those things aren’t.  When they aren’t, this makes the narcissist more insecure & they will lash out at those around them out.  Anything that makes a narcissist feel more insecure or that threatens their illusion of their perfect, false self angers them, & the aging process is no different.

Also, losing such qualities can mean losing control over those the narcissist once controlled easily.  A narcissist who was big, strong & healthy could physically intimidate another person when young, but once that person is older, not so strong or healthy, that ability is gone.  The narcissist must change how she controls her victim.  I have seen the changes with my mother.  When I was a child, it didn’t take much effort for her to control me- the vicious looks & cruel words always scared me easily.  In my late teens, I wasn’t so easily controlled, however.  She began screaming at me, sometimes inches from my face, calling me terrible names & saying horribly cruel things.  Once I moved out of my parents’ home at 19, my mother often said cruel things, but without screaming at me.  She also did other nasty little things.  For example, after she threw me into a wall & hurt my back when I was 19, she would constantly hand me something heavy or slap me on the back where it was injured when I saw her.  Now that she is older & frailer than she once was, her method of attack has changed yet again.  She loves to say cruel things to me quietly while we’re in a public place, such as a restaurant.  That way, either I have to take it quietly, or if I speak up, I’ll draw attention to my “awful” behavior & look like the crazy one.

If they continue to feel they are losing control, narcissistic tactics will get more vicious, as I have shown with my mother’s behavior.  I personally don’t believe this means you have to cater to the narcissist or tolerate the abuse.  Instead, I believe there are 2 options- either sever ties with the narcissist, or if you can’t or are unwilling to do so, strengthen yourself to withstand the abuse.  There are several ways to do this…

First, pray.  A strong relationship with God is vital.  You need to be secure in knowing He loves you, supports you & will show you ways to cope.

Second, you also will need to have strong boundaries.  You need to know what you can & can’t tolerate.  You’ll need to have good, effective ways to enforce those boundaries.  If a topic comes up that you don’t want to discuss with your narcissistic mother, then change the subject, for example.  Change it over & over as necessary- eventually she will get tired of this.

Third, keep your conversations superficial.  Don’t divulge information about your personal life to your narcissistic mother.  That information only becomes ammunition for her to use to hurt you later.

Fourth, remember- you do NOT have to be available 24/7.  Don’t answer the phone every time she calls  Don’t spend a lot of time with her.  Keeping some distance will help you to preserve your mental health.

Lastly, don’t neglect yourself.  Spend time with God & with empathic, caring people who understand what you are going through & won’t judge or criticize you when you get angry.  Get good at being good to yourself.  Get yourself little gifts periodically, treat yourself to bubble baths or manicures regularly, or whatever nourishes your soul.  Taking good care of yourself will help to strengthen you when you have to deal with your narcissistic mother.

Below is a link to the article I read about Jim Jones that inspired this blog post.

http://jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=40230

3 Comments

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

Reassuring The Narcissist When You’re The One Who Is Hurting

Why do narcissists expect you to reassure them when you are the one going through problems?!  This seriously irks me.  Maybe I’ve lost all patience as I’ve gotten older, but lately this pushes my buttons badly.

My husband will be visiting his parents today, & I’ll be alone. We’ve spent a few holidays together in our 20 years as a couple, but most he has spent with his family.  I’m ok with it now.  I decided to change my perspective several years ago & now look at holidays as a laid back day I can enjoy by myself.  (I discussed this in my last postif you care to read about it.)

So last night, my father called.  He invited me to go to Thanksgiving dinner with my parents again.  I thanked him & declined again.  Suddenly he has a bee in his bonnet about me spending a holiday alone.  I ended up reassuring him it’s ok.  This really ticked me off.  Why is it I’m the one who in the past has been hurt badly by this, yet I am supposed to reassure my father who isn’t in the least bit affected by this scenario?  How does this make sense on any level??   Yet, I realize this is a very common scene when dealing with a narcissist, be they overt or covert.

When my dog, Danya died suddenly in 2009, my mother called as my husband & I were trying to get his body (he was over 100lbs) to the car so we could take him to the crematorium.  I told her what we were doing, & she went on to tell me how hard this was for her, & wanted me to comfort her.  Really?  She never gave Danya the time of day when he was alive…

When I told my father I was divorcing my ex-husband, his response was, “Can I still be friends with him?”  He was upset that he might lose his “friend,” & I told him it was up to him & the ex (even though inside I was hurt this was even an option).

If you think about it, I’m sure you have had similar experiences with your narcissistic parent as well.  Am I right?

I am trying to think of ways to deal with this especially annoying habit.  So far, all I can come up with is to say you have to go then leave the room or hang up the phone, or change the subject.  After all, narcissists aren’t like normal, healthy people.  If you explain that the behavior is wrong or painful, they will take offense & either go into a narcissistic rage or they’ll use the behavior more often just to hurt you.

If anyone else has a better idea, I would love to hear it.  Not just for my benefit but for the benefit of others who read this blog as well.  Please leave your suggestions in the comments below.

6 Comments

Filed under Mental Health, Narcissism

Handling Holiday Drama

The holiday season has begun.  This is a lovely time of year & my favorite season – the leaves are changing, the temperature is dropping, hoodies & hot chocolate or tea come out.  I absolutely adore fall!

And then there is the stress dealing with demanding relatives.

I used to love the holiday season as a kid.  My parents & I went to my grandparents’ home in northern Virginia on the Sunday between Christmas & New Year’s for a big family get together.  It was always fun.  But then I grew up & got married, & was no longer able to visit my grandparents’ home for the holidays.  My ex husband wanted to spend every Thanksgiving & Christmas with his family that lived about 2 hours away, & it had to be on the exact day- never a visit before or after the holiday.  It also didn’t matter if I was sick or didn’t want to go.  He told me he was going to be with his family.  I could go with him or not- he didn’t care.  Our anniversary was Christmas eve, & to me, it always felt like he endured our anniversary while watching the clock, anxious to get to his family’s gathering the next day.  Not a lot of fun.  Then after our divorce & I later married my current husband, his mother demanded we attend their family get togethers, sometimes at his parents’ home, other times at one of his sister’s homes about 3 hours away. Often, I also had my mother demanding we spend time with my parents on at least one holiday.  Needless to say, after years of this, I no longer love the holidays.  I no longer celebrate them.  In fact, I dreaded them for years.  I’ve been told that is wrong & I need to let go of the bitterness & celebrate the holidays again, but I no longer feel the desire.  I’m fine not celebrating, thank you very much.

Sadly, I know I’m not alone.  Many of my friends feel the same as I do & for very similar reasons, so I am sure there are many of you reading this that also feel the same way.  To those of you who dread the holidays, you’re in good company!  Don’t let others dictate how you feel- you’re allowed to celebrate them or not celebrate them.  If you opt not to celebrate them, why not do as I do?  I take the day as a quiet day to myself.  I often get Chinese take out & relax with good movies all day, or maybe work on my latest book.  It has turned into something to look forward to instead of a day to dread.

If you feel obligated to spend family time with your relatives or in-laws, just remember- you are an adult, & you can determine when you spend time with them & how much time you spend with them.  I know many in-laws are like mine- expecting their daughters in-law to act as if she doesn’t have a family anymore, & spend the holidays with her in-laws, ignoring her parents.  If you feel you must do this yet you resent it, then set a time limit!  Tell your husband you don’t want to spend all day with them, maybe two hours instead, & that you want to spend time at home with him too.  Or, suggest you visit his family the day or weekend before or after a holiday, & spend the actual holiday home with him.

Unfortunately I know some men are more concerned about spending a holiday with their family of origin than their wife.  As I said though, I’ve turned holidays into a day to look forward to & you can do the same thing. It is either do that or be angry, so why not try to turn this negative into something more positive?  Do something you enjoy that your husband doesn’t.  Take a long bubble bath.  Give yourself a manicure.  Participate in your favorite hobby.  Read a good book.  It just makes more sense to me to try to be positive about this than be angry about something that won’t change until & unless your husband wants it to change.

A funny story- about 10 years ago, I was in counseling.  My counselor was great- he was very nice, understanding & supportive.  One time I saw him just after Thanksgiving.  He asked what my husband & I did. I told him- hubby went to his parents’ house, & I stayed home knitting & watching movies.  He was flustered!  He understood why I didn’t speak to my in-laws, so he was shocked my husband went without me.  I told him it’s happened many, many times.  “But aren’t you angry?”  I said no.  “But!  But!  You have a right to be angry!”  I told him I know that. I also know it doesn’t do any good since I can’t change my husband’s behavior.  I prefer to change my perspective & just enjoy my quiet day at home.  Poor man.. he didn’t know what to say!  LOL  He did understand my point, & agreed with me.

Anyway, just remember- don’t give in to holiday pressure from demanding & often dysfunctional relatives!  Do what you feel comfortable doing!  You have every right to celebrate or not celebrate the holidays however works for you!

In case you’re wondering what I’m doing on Thanksgiving?  I’m going to spend my day relaxing, probably with netflix on the TV, furkids by my side & maybe getting in some writing.  My husband will most likely spend the day with his parents.  My mother invited me twice to go to dinner with my parents, but I refused.  She isn’t happy about it, but she will survive. She will survive & I will enjoy a peaceful, relaxing day!

I wish you, Dear Readers, a very happy, peaceful Thanksgiving as well!  xoxo

1 Comment

Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

How To Deal With Those Who Invalidate Narcissistic Abuse

My always “fun” narcissistic mother called me the night before last.  She told me that one of the few movies with both like, “Duel” from 1971, was on TV.  I was pleasantly surprised not only because I enjoy the movie, but that my mother thought to let me know it was coming on.  I thought that was oddly not narcissistic & very sweet of her.

Then last evening, she called me again.  She asked if I watched the movie & we ended up having a rather pleasant chat for a while about movies & actors.  I relaxed for once while we spoke (that is a VERY rare occurrence).   Suddenly my mother asked me a favor- she asked me to give her a home perm.

*sigh*

I’ve done it many times, & really never minded it all that much, in spite of her often treating me like the hired help.  Then the arthritis in my hands got worse, & putting those little perm rods in her hair became quite painful for me. I told her this probably 2 years ago by now, maybe longer ago but I’m not sure, & haven’t done a perm for her since.  So last night’s request came as a surprise to me.  For one thing, we were talking just fine, then suddenly, she expects a favor that I’ve told her I can’t do.  UGH!  I had to remind my mother yet again that I have arthritis in my hands, & can’t do this for her.  Her response?  “So you’re saying you can’t give me a perm, huh?”  Really???  All she took from what I said was what directly affected her.  Fantastic.. typical narcissist. *banging head into walls*

I was thinking about this conversation this morning.  It’s things like this that happen over & over, & many people just do not grasp the severity of such incidents.  People who know my mother may think she’s rather eccentric, but not a bad person.  In fact, if I tell them stories like this, they say I’m oversensitive, reading into things, need to shake it off, etc.  These people act like I am the one in  the wrong, not my mother, who treats me as if I’m just here to be used.  They ignore the fact that things like this reinforce the fact my mother thinks I’m just here to serve her, that I’m not allowed to have needs, feelings or anything else.  My sole purpose in life is to be used by my mother, according to her.  So what I have arthritis?  I should suck it up, Buttercup, & do what she wants because she wants it!  Ugh.. & to tell the truth, I think my mother thinks I’m lying about having arthritis just to get out of doing for her.  Never mind it’s a medical fact, on record & I’ve had it for 12 years now…

This kind of behavior is it invalidating, & it’s plain hurtful!  It also has made me wonder why people are so quick to defend a narcissist & blame the victim.

I think many people are afraid of becoming uncomfortable.  Their comfort zone is so important to them that they cannot tolerate anything that doesn’t fit into said comfort zone.  They would rather be invalidating & hurtful to you than forced to believe the narcissist they know is anything less than a good person.  Maybe the narcissist is good to them (for the moment anyway, until the mask slips off..), & they simply do not want to face the fact that she is capable of heinous acts.  Learning someone you care about isn’t a good person is a painful thing, & many people do not want to deal with that pain.

What does this mean to you, the victim of a narcissist?

This means that you are going to need to be aware of people like this, as they are everywhere.  They even can be a close relative or friend.  Chances are, they don’t intend to hurt you- they are simply oblivious to the fact they are abusing you by invalidating you.  However, even intentions that aren’t bad don’t make this behavior hurt any less, or make it acceptable.

Once you’re aware of these people, you need to stop discussing your relationship with your narcissistic mother  (or father,or sibling, or friend, etc.) with this person if you wish to continue this relationship. If you continue to attempt to force this person to see your perspective, they will become resistant, & angry with you for trying to force them to see what they don’t want to see.  They will flatly refuse to see the truth, & it can put a big wedge in your relationship or even cause them to sever ties with you. Did you read my post “Two Good Lessons From One Dream“? If not, please read it now.  In that dream, God showed me clearly that you have to use wisdom on who you discuss narcissistic abuse with.  Don’t frustrate yourself & ruin relationships by discussing it with people who are hell bent on not hearing a word you have to say!  It’s not worth it!

How do you not discuss the cruel things your narcissistic mother is doing to you when people ask you?  By telling them that this topic is not up for discussion…

  • “I’m not going to discuss this topic with you.”
  • “Let’s talk about something else.”
  • “I don’t want to discuss this.”
  • Change the subject as often as necessary & ask the other person something about his/her life.
  • Walk away or hang up the phone if they insist on discussing this topic even though you set appropriate boundaries.

You owe no one any explanation, & an explanation only will start an argument anyway.  If they say anything to you on  the topic, the best way I have found to avoid discussing it is to change the subject.  Eventually, most people will get frustrated & give up trying to discuss the topic they originally wanted to, especially if you ask him/her about his/her life.  Most people, even non-narcissists, will talk readily about themselves.

Protect yourself from people like this, Dear Reader,& use wisdom  when you must deal with them.  You deserve it.  You have been abused enough by your narcissistic mother- you don’t need further invalidating abuse from “friends” or “family” even if they are well-meaning.

7 Comments

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

Ranting & Raving.. (revised)

Good morning, Dear Readers!

Well, it isn’t really a good morning for me.  I really do want to keep my posts as encouraging & as positive as I can, but I also promised you readers that I would also be real.  That means some posts won’t be all happy & positive.  This post is going to be one of those.  In fact, I was going to write it only in my journal, but I felt I should write it in here.  Maybe someone needs to read this today.  It’ll probably be pretty long, longer than normal at least, so get yourself comfortable if you want to read this.. lol

The last few days have been really rough, & the C-PTSD is flaring up badly as of yesterday.  My head is simply swimming.  To start with, our little American Eskimo dog, Dixie, has been sick.  Thankfully, she is well on her way to recovery now, but not recognizing her symptoms at first terrified me.  My pets are like my children, so  when they are sick, I get extremely concerned.  Then my husband’s mother went into the hospital a couple of days ago.  I’m not sure she didn’t put herself there for attention, to be completely honest about it.  It wouldn’t be the first time she’s done that.  I think it was last year just before Christmas my husband told me she said that she quit taking her meds for a few days prior to going into the hospital.  Yep, I love narcissists.. NOT.  *sigh*

And, as the icing on this crappy cake, my husband & I saw my parents yesterday.

Recently, my parents bought a new chair.  Once it was delivered, my mother decided she didn’t like it, & wanted to exchange it for another one.  She called to ask if my husband would mind picking it up with his truck, as she didn’t want to pay another $80 delivery charge.  He said he’d be fine with doing it Saturday (yesterday).  So Friday, I said I should call her to be sure of what time to meet my parents at the furniture store.  He volunteered to make the call instead, which was fine with me at the time.  Now, I’m not happy he did this at all & that will not be happening again as I have learned a painful lesson.  Although I have told him many times, do NOT say anything about our furkids or his parents to my parents other than everyone is “fine”, he told my mother Dixie was sick & probably needed to see the vet in the morning, & also that his mother was in the hospital so we couldn’t make it a long visit.  If my mother hears anything other than FINE about any of them, I will end up very angry with either her nasty comments about my furkids, or fake concern over my in-laws.  The fake concern hurts me very badly, because she knows perfectly well I haven’t spoken to my in-laws since 2002 because of how cruelly my narcissistic mother in-law has treated me.  And a side note here- I asked God once why my mother does this.  He showed me that my mother thinks my in-laws have a perfect life- been married 60+ years, financially comfortable, nice home in a nice area, their children, grandchildren & great-grandchildren visit them often.  She fails to see the mountains of dysfunction in their family, only what looks good on the outside.  My mother, being a narcissist & naturally overly concerned with appearances, wants to impress them. By me refusing to tolerate my mother in-law’s abusive ways, I’ve embarrassed my mother.  In return, she wants to hurt me as much as possible by showing concern for them, as well as showing them even though I’m a “terrible person,” at least she isn’t bad like me.  She is good enough to care about them even if I don’t.  This is also why she has sent them Christmas cards since I first told her how cruel the mother in-law is.  Amazing what goes on  in the mind of a narcissist..

Back to the original topic..

The visit started at the furniture store.  My mother sat in the car, & my father approached us in hubby’s truck.  He handed hubby a booklet about county services for seniors I’d given my parents a couple of months ago.  He said it was because hubby’s parents probably needed it.  Really?  Hubby told my father no, they’re fine- my parents need it.  My father said my mother thought they needed it more, so they should have it. Hubby grabbed the booklet & spoke to my mother, telling her SHE needs this, his parents are taken care of.  I heard snippets of their conversation- she kept changing the subject, showing concern for his mother being in the hospital.  ARGH!  So while this happened, my father & I walked into the customer service area & gave them the receipt.  We waited a few minutes for him to bring the chair outside for us, & chatted.  Finally we were loaded up & ready to go.  I moved the truck over to beside my mother’s car to get it out of the way.  My mother said hi to me, I ignored her & waited for hubby.

At my parents’ house, my mother asked me how Dixie was.  i said fine.  She said “Oh?  Your dad said she was really sick.”  I said nothing further.  (I feel somewhat bad about that, because knowing her, she’ll jump on my father for lying to her even though he wasn’t lying.  But, not trying to be vengeful here, he has no problems throwing me under the bus with my mother.  Why should I feel bad that I inadvertently did the same to him once, yanno?)  So she then talked to hubby about his mother.  I continued ignoring her, but was stewing inside.  How dare she?!  Plus i was also angry hubby told her about Dixie when I have said many times mention NOTHING about her or the cats to my mother.

My husband, father & I assembled the chair.  While working on it, my mother brought out a plate of cookies & demanded we all eat one.  I refused.  All my life, my mother has insulted what I eat, how much I do or don’t eat, demanded I eat what she wants when she wants me to & ridiculed me for being fat no matter how little I may weigh.  When she tells me to eat something now, I refuse in order to set a boundary.  Plus, the emotional flashbacks I get make me feel like I did at around 10 years old when her abuse regarding food was so bad that I became anorexic then later bulimic: terrified of her anger if I didn’t do as was told or take her criticisms with a smile, angry, like I am too hideous & disgusting to live.  This feels HORRIBLE & it makes me angry that at 43 years old, I quickly can revert to feeling like I did as a child.

Finally, the chair was done, & we were ready to leave.  As I said goodbye to my father, my mother spoke to my husband about his parents again, feigning such great concern for their well-being.  I could feel the anger inside me bubbling by this point.  Then, as I moved to say goodbye to her before my head exploded, she said “Wait a minute.”  My mother went into another room & came back with a plate of cookies & a get well card for my mother in-law!!  She handed them to hubby.  I was in shock at this point.  She then hugged us both & told me she loved me as we left.  I practically ran to the truck.  I also realized when she has been especially cruel to me recently, she always says she loves me.  No other times.  In fact, I could probably count on one hand how many times she has said that in the last 30 years until this behavior began recently.

I cannot put into words how hurt I am by this whole episode.  I know my mother is extremely angry with me because I set boundaries with her early last month.  (See this blog entry)  I’ve been expecting a narcissistic rage because of that as I mentioned in that post, which meant I was expecting her to say excessively cruel, hurtful things to me in a public place.  But this betrayal & flaunting it?  And to top it off, my husband basically handed her the weapon on a  silver platter & doesn’t understand why I’m upset?

I am just depressed, hurt & angry today.  I feel so alone in this situation, & am so tired of feeling that way. I can’t talk to my husband about it since he doesn’t really understand.  I can’t talk to my father- he’s got his own concerns with how cruel she is to him, & those concerns are very valid.  He also won’t speak on my behalf to my mother.  I also feel like I don’t matter.  Again. I am so tired of this feeling!  My mother made me feel this way growing up.  Being a typical malignant narcissist, I was only there to be an extension of her, meet her needs & please her.  I wasn’t to “bother” her with having needs or feelings. Growing up, things haven’t really improved with her in that area.  My husband’s invalidating “I wouldn’t give it any credence” comment about my mother’s actions yesterday have made me feel the same “I don’t matter” feeling.  I’m so tired of it!!!

I’m also incredibly frustrated.  Something must be done with my mother, but I am too frazzled at this moment to figure out what.  If I speak up about her “Caring” about my mother in-law, it’ll feed her- she will be sure to show more concern for her just because she knows exactly how much it hurts me.  If I remain quiet, she will show more concern to be sure she is getting to me.  Damned if I do, damned if I don’t… So, I need to pray about how to handle this after I feel better.

Right now, I’m wallowing in the self-pity place.  I know  this all too well, & I don’t like it at all.  But, I have learned some things since I’ve been here so many times in my life: this place is necessary, & it doesn’t last forever.

So many people will tell you things like “pick yourself up by your bootstraps” but sometimes you need to wallow for a bit, to feel sorry for yourself because you have been through something very painful.  I think of it as feeling compassion for yourself.  If someone told me what I just told you, my heart would break for them.  I would want to tell them everything will be fine & somehow make it better if I could.  So why not have that same compassion for myself?

I also think that the self-pity times allow us to process painful things, & we need to process painful things!  Sweeping things under the rug or ignoring the pain they cause do no good at all!  In fact, ignoring things can cause a great deal of harm.  I never really dealt with the abuse I endured until I was around 30 years old.  By the time I was 41, I developed full blown C-PTSD after living with many of the symptoms my whole life.  I wonder if I had been able to deal with things earlier, if I would have C-PTSD now.  Not dealing with things also can cause physical problems such as arthritis, heart problems, ulcers, high blood pressure, & much more.

If you made it this far, God bless you!  Thank you for listening to me rant & rave.  I hope somehow you were able to glean something helpful from this post.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

I’m revising  this post only slightly…..

 

I saw yesterday that the card my mother gave my husband for his mother wasn’t in a sealed envelope- the flap was just pushed in.  Seemed odd to me, but I figured that meant my mother wanted me to read it.  Knowing her, that just made sense in her dysfunctional little world.  So, I finally gave in a few minutes ago.  This is the card- nothing has been altered at all. This shows just how hell bent my mother is to hurt me- she is sending a nicer card to someone she can’t stand than she has ever sent to me.  I honestly don’t even know if she’s ever given me a get well card…

 

This is the outside of the card...

This is the outside of the card…

& here is the inside... lovely wording, isn't it?

& here is the inside… lovely wording, isn’t it?

 

 

12 Comments

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

Being An Introvert

Good morning, Dear Reader!  Today, I thought we would talk about being an introvert.

 

Introverts are often very quiet people,  people who gain strength from being alone rather than being around others,  become mentally & physically drained after being around other people, hate being the center of attention, focused, introspective, highly intelligent, explore their few interests deeply, become irritable without sufficient alone time & prefer having only a few very close friends rather than many acquaintances.

 

This describes me very well.  I absolutely cannot tolerate much time around other people, even those I love dearly.  In fact, a lifelong friend of mine is also an introvert, & when we get together, it doesn’t take us long & one of us will say, “You ready for some introvert time?”  Neither of us is offended by this, since we both understand the strong need for alone time.  Instead, we both laugh about it & go home.

 

It seems to me that most people are extroverts.  They need to be around other people often as it energizes & strengthens them.  They are highly energetic people & often bubbly & excited in the ways they express themselves.  If they are alone for any length of time, they become depressed.  They have many friends & many interests.  Being the center of attention is a positive thing for them.

 

The large amount of extroverts compared to introverts can make being an introvert rather challenging.  Introverts often think there is something wrong with them for not being like most other people.  We feel like we are weird or  flawed. We also feel like there isn’t anyone else who prefers the company of a good book over people.

 

Also, extroverts can’t understand us introverts any better than we can understand them.  Often, they try to “help” us by making us more social, such as wanting us to go places with them when we would prefer the solitude of our own home with a good book.  They also may think we are depressed rather than introverted, & try to “cheer us up” by wanting us to do things that cheer them up.  If you are fortunate, the extroverts in your life understand that you are simply different than they are.  They quickly learn not to try to change you, & that there is nothing wrong with you for being introverted- it is simply a personality trait rather than a flaw or illness.

 

If you are not as fortunate with the extroverts you know, life can be a bit more challenging.  I had a friend years ago who I cared a great deal about, but he was very extroverted.  He constantly wanted to go places & hang out with me.  We always had fun together & I enjoyed it when we went spent time together, but due to my introverted nature, there were many times I would have preferred to stay home alone.  I ended up hurting his feelings quite a few times for turning down an invitation to go to a bookstore (our favorite activity) or out to lunch.  I didn’t mean to- I just needed my introvert time, & he didn’t understand that as he didn’t like to be alone for very long or stay home.  He did accept my boundaries, & usually with only a little trying to convince me to change my mind.

 

Unfortunately, this is unavoidable when an introvert is friends with an extrovert.  The good friend, like mine was, may have his feelings hurt, but will accept that you don’t want to hang out together 3 times a week (or however often he wants to).  Some extroverts aren’t as nice as my friend was.  Some may get pushy or use guilt to try to manipulate you into doing their will.  They may push you hard to try to become more extroverted as they are.  Don’t give in if you are uncomfortable doing so!  You have every right to be as introverted as you would like to be, just as others have the right to be as extroverted as they would like to be!  Set your boundaries & stick to them.  You have that right!

 

Also try to explain to your friend that it is nothing personal or wrong with him- you just need some alone time.  As he gets energy from being around others, you have that exact same reaction to being alone.  Maybe explain it this way- “You know how good you feel after you spend an afternoon with friends (or at a party or whatever social activity your friend enjoys)?  That’s how I feel after some time to myself.”

 

Most extroverted people will understand & respect your boundaries.  As for those who don’t, or those who continually try to change you into an extrovert?  You may want to reconsider your friendship.  Normal healthy people don’t try to change other people.

 

If you are an introvert reading this, just remember- you’re not alone, you’re not weird & there is nothing wrong with you for being an introvert.  There are plenty of us out there, but you may not know it as we’re most likely spending time alone in our own homes… lol

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under Mental Health

Triggers And Coping With Narcissistic Games

Good afternoon, Dear Readers!

I had a strange call from my parents last night.  I realized some things from it that I’d like to share with you today..

Last night, my husband was on the phone for a while.  When he hung up, he told me my parents had called but he hadn’t clicked over because of not wanting to interrupt his other call.  Shortly after telling me this, our phone rang & my parents’ number popped up on the caller ID.  I answered it.  It was my mother.  She said that my father had been trying to call but couldn’t get through, so SHE had to call (always she does things right when others can’t yanno- typical narcissistic behavior).  She said for me to hang on & she’d get him.  Ok.. this was odd, I thought, plus the tone in her voice sent shivers down my spine.  Probably anyone else who heard it wouldn’t notice anything out of the ordinary, but it made me feel like I was a teenager again, waiting on my mother to scream in my face & accuse me of awful things I hadn’t done.  The tone basically said, “I’m being civil because there is a witness, but just wait until we’re alone.  All the immense disgust & hatred I feel for you will come out!”  *sigh*

So then my father got on the phone.  It turns out he has a new health concern & is going to get it checked out on this coming Monday.  He asked if I could take him to the doctor nearby in Annapolis.  I said fine.  (It isn’t- it interrupts my routine which makes me extremely anxious- but to take care of his health, I’ll deal with it).  I asked for details & he said that he & my mother would be by to pick me up around 9:45.  HUH?!  I asked why do I need to be there if she is driving him?  I assumed I’d be driving him since he isn’t allowed to drive after last month’s mild stroke.  He said she claims she can’t remember where the office is.  Ok, but how about getting directions?  It’s super easy to find!  It’s 8 turns (including turning out of their driveway & into the doctor’s parking lot) to find this place from their home.  Something felt very fishy & with a little prayer, God showed me what was going on.

My mother is angry with me because, being the “horrible” person I am, I set a boundary with her a few weeks ago as I’d mentioned in another blog post.  She decided to feign being clueless about where to to in order to get me alone so she can dish out her narcissistic rage.  She also knew I would go, because if I don’t, she will claim she can’t take my father to this important appointment, forcing him to miss it.  She will enjoy having me trapped in her car with no means of escape, & trapped with her at the doctor’s office for that purpose.  She loves to let me know what a horrible person I am, how crazy I am, how wrong I am for liking & disliking the things I do, what a piece of junk my car is, etc. in public places now, because if I speak back to her, I will look like the unreasonable daughter abusing her dear, elderly mother.  Her car is another good place for her, because I can’t escape.  The days of her screaming these things in my face are gone now that she is no longer bigger & stronger than me.   Those days are now replaced with quiet, scathing disapproval & verbal abuse in an attempt to bait me into looking like a raging lunatic.  Thank God, I am well aware of this game & know what to expect.

So what did I learn from this conversation??

First, I learned to appreciate triggers.  As painful as they can be, triggers also serve a purpose.  When something makes you feel afraid or angry as you felt as a child, it makes you feel that way for a reason!  It’s a warning that something isn’t right.  My mother’s tone of voice mentally took me back to the days I was a teenager & suffering the worst of her abuse.  God showed me that the familiar tone of voice was to warn me a narcissistic rage is in my near future with her.  (Something I will remember regarding future triggers!)

I also learned that I really have learn to prepare better- it’s only good self-care!  Normally in these situations, even when I have known something was brewing, I failed to prepare.  My husband suggested I take an mp3 player with earbuds so I can escape into music if it gets too bad.  A very wise idea that hadn’t occurred to me!  An idea that I had was to contact friends & see who may be available during that time so I can leave if need be.  Someone can come pick me up if I need to walk out.  I’m in the process of finding someone now.

Triggers can serve as a very good warning that something is about to happen that we need to prepare for, such as last night’s call from my parents.  If you, too, have a narcissistic mother, triggers can benefit you as well.  Pay close attention to them.  If you are unsure why her tone of voice or body language triggers fear in you, ask God for help.  Ask Him to show you what you need to know.  He will!  And, once you realize what the trigger was about, prepare to the best of your ability.  Unfortunately, all narcissists can catch their victims off-guard sometimes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t avoid much of their cruelty.  Again, ask God for help if you need to, & He will show you very creative & effective ways to cope.

Although often severing ties with a narcissistic personality disordered individual is best, sometimes it simply is not possible, or you know in your heart it isn’t right for you at this time.  With prayer & help from God, you can learn ways to cope with a narcissist.  It may not be easy, but it is possible.

3 Comments

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

Helping Someone With C-PTSD

Helping someone with C-PTSD isn’t easy for either you or her.  The symptoms are so frustrating, & can be embarrassing.  Mood swings, extremely high anxiety levels & muddied thinking are not fun to live with or manage, nor are they fun for someone to witness.

If you live with a partner who has C-PTSD, your life isn’t easy either.  You are living with someone who just wants to be “normal” but can’t be due to this disorder.  You are affected, too, by the awful symptoms.  Watching someone you love suffer yet not knowing how to help is a terrible & helpless feeling.

Below are some ways that you can help your loved one who has C-PTSD.

  1. Research this disorder.  Learn all you can about the symptoms & treatments.
  2. Ask your loved one questions.  Just be sensitive in how you ask questions.  Avoid sounding judgmental or critical.
  3. Show her that you are interested.  If she complains of nightmares, ask what they were about.  If she says she doesn’t feel well, ask why.  She needs to know that she can talk to you about her battle with C-PTSD without fear of you judging her.
  4. Don’t expect her to control symptoms 100% of the time.  As much as she may want to, she can’t hide all of her symptoms all of the time.
  5. Don’t pressure them in the recovery process.  There’s no time schedule. And remember, most people with C-PTSD or PTSD never recover, they only learn to manage their symptoms.
  6. Help her to feel loved, without expecting loving gestures in return.  She probably will offer them often, but there are times she won’t feel able to do so.  It doesn’t mean she doesn’t love you- it means she has C-PTSD.
  7. Try to be helpful & supportive.  Do what she asks promptly, & try to anticipate needs.  Be observant.
  8. Offer distractions.  Suggest going out to dinner, or going to a movie, or some other activity she enjoys.  Focusing on this disorder constantly is simply depressing!  Distractions help both of you from becoming too depressed.
  9. Try not to smother her.  Be there, but if she wants to be alone, leave her alone.
  10. Find support for yourself, too.  Talk to a counselor or friend you can confide in.
  11. Take breaks.  You need to take care of yourself so you will stay healthy (physically & emotionally) & so you can be strong for her.

Leave a comment

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

Self-Care

Have you ever noticed how when you’re stressed or depressed, self-care becomes a huge chore that you avoid even though these are the times you need it most?

I keep realizing this.  I’ve been going through a lot of really challenging things lately, making the C-PTSD flare up badly.  I keep neglecting to take care of myself, even though I need to do so. It’s frustrating, because I know lots of things that will help me feel better.  I also know I should be doing them.  Yet, I have no clue why I’m not doing them more often.

Have you ever done this too?  For some reason, it seems to be human nature.

Self-care is of the utmost importance, but no more so than during challenging times.  It’s easy to neglect yourself during those times, but focusing on even just simple ways to be good to yourself is so rewarding.  Walking barefoot in the dewy grass, listening to bird’s singing early in the morning, sit by a roaring fire with a mug of herbal tea or glass of wine on a snowy evening, a bubble bath, playing with/snuggling your pets or buying that new book you’ve been wanting can help to improve your mood.

Also don’t neglect a beauty ritual, Ladies!  It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or elaborate.  I personally keep mine very simple.  I exfoliate my skin often in the shower with my own concoction of equal parts ground oatmeal, cornmeal & salt, then follow this with a nice lotion.  I use shampoo & conditioner that I love, & hand & nail products that soften my hands & strengthen my nails.  Frequent manicures/pedicures also are part of my beauty ritual.  These little things help me to feel pretty, which is always good for the mood.

The next time you’re going through some stressful times, I hope you won’t push your self-care & beauty rituals to the back burner again!  You are worth it!  Take good care of yourself!

Leave a comment

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

To Stay In Relationship With A Narcissist Or Not

I’ve liked quite a few pages regarding narcissism on facebook.  This morning when I got online, several of those pages were singing the praises of having no contact with the narcissist in your life.  “It’s the only choice you have!” they say.  While that sounds logical, & often is the best choice, sometimes for various reasons, there isn’t an option to have zero contact.  Sometimes, people had children with a narcissistic partner, & while they can separate or divorce this person, they still have to have some contact due to having children with this person.  Others may live with an elderly narcissistic parent & they can’t afford to move out.  Still others may be in a situation like mine where I have chosen to limit contact drastically because I don’t feel severing all ties is the right choice for me at this time.

People who are unable or unwilling to go no contact are the people I want to talk to today.

Please, please, please- don’t let anyone pressure you into going to contact with the narcissist in your life.  No one knows your situation like you do, nor do they know what you are able to handle.  You alone need to decide when & if booting the narcissist out of your life is the right choice for you.  And, when making that choice, you need to think & pray about this situation carefully.  Never make this decision in the heat of the moment, because you may regret it later.

If you decide not to cut ties with the narcissist, there are some ways to deal with them.  Granted, there will always be frustration, hurt & anger when dealing with any narcissist, but you can cut back on these things.

  • Remember, the narcissist’s hurtful behavior isn’t about you- it’s about her.  Her lack of empathy, judgemental ways & verbal abuse are all on her.  They don’t mean there is anything wrong with you!  Don’t believe her when she tries to make you feel bad, ugly, stupid, wrong, crazy, etc.  Know your worth, & don’t let her determine how you feel about yourself.  No one so dysfunctional should determine your self-worth!
  • Set & enforce strong boundaries, & be prepared for them to be met with hostility.  Narcissists don’t like anyone trying to have boundaries, since they like to overrun them.  She will  be angry with you for daring to have boundaries, & will try to make you feel crazy or selfish.  She may even give you the silent treatment to punish you for doing so.
  • Prepare for what you know she will do.  For example, I know my mother hates my car.  It once belonged to my granddad (her father in-law), & later my father.  She will criticize it at any given opportunity, often by saying “I’d never own a car that YOUR grandfather owned!”  At the moment she said it, I was too angry to think of it, but later I came up with the perfect comeback- “Really?  You owned this car for 3 years.  Could’ve fooled me.”  What nasty thing does your narcissist do often?  Think of a good way to counter it!  Ask God for some creativity- He’ll give it to you!
  • Keep calm in the presense of the narcissist.  Don’t let her see your anger or hurt- she will feed on such things & become crueler.  Stay calm until after you are no longer in her presence, then pray, vent to a safe friend or relative, journal or whatever helps you get out the anger & hurt.
  • Get good at self care.  Dealing with a narcissist is exhuasting, physically & mostly mentally.  Take care of yourself.  Get plenty of rest, do things that restore yourself, nurture your relationship with God, participate in relaxing hobbies you enjoy, spend time with people who genuinely love & care about you.

I hope these tips help you if you are unable or unwilling to sever ties with the narcissist in your life.  ❤

Leave a comment

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

My Narcissistic Mother Fired Me! Setting Boundaries With A Narcissist

Good morning, Dear Readers!

It looks like my caregiving days are over with my parents.  My mother called me the other day & told me how my father’s health has suddenly taken a turn for the better.  He was doing a little light yard work & other things.  She asked him if he could resume doing the laundry (she claims her back is too bad to carry the laundry or maneuver those basement steps).  She told me he said sure, he can do it, so I don’t need to come by on Sundays anymore.

I’ve been fired!  lol

I’m not sure I believe that my father is suddenly doing so much better than he was.  It hasn’t even been one month since he had that mild stroke.  He’s had really bad dizzy spells & weakness since.

I have a theory on his sudden “miraculous healing.”  My mother would rather make him suffer (she knows he won’t disobey her) than respect the boundaries I put up last Sunday.

As I mentioned before, I told my parents last Sunday that I have arthritis in my knees & climbing their basement steps to do their laundry in addition to doing my own thing hurt me.  Going in, I knew it would, but didn’t expect it to be as bad as it was.  This meant I wasn’t sure how reliable I was going to be in my helping them (when dealing with this situation with a narcissist, turn it around to how it affects them!).  My mother has said for years now she wants her washer & dryer moved upstairs, yet has continually dragged her feet on accomplishing this task. I offered to help clear the spot where she wants them, & help get this task done.  She said she couldn’t do it, had (lame) reasons why, & deflected off the topic.  (When my husband spoke to her on the topic, she even brought out the crocodile tears!)  When I said my knees were bad, she shut me out entirely, so I spoke with my father on the topic.  I said if they won’t get the washer & dryer upstairs, then I have a number for the county.  A social worker will come & evaluate their needs, & let them know what sort of help they qualify for.  Even if they don’t qualify, I have more numbers for home health care aides who aren’t very pricey.  My parents don’t need much help, so it wouldn’t cost much at all for a little help.  My father was all for either solution, & since my mother wouldn’t listen to me, he said he would talk to her.  Apparently he did…

When my mother called on Friday, she said my father told her I have bad knees & asked skeptically, “Is that even true?”  WHAT?!  I told her yes, & as I’ve said many times, I’ve had arthritis in my knees since 2002 when I was 31.  She asked if the doctor was talking knee replacement, & I said I haven’t seen a doctor in years about it because I don’t have insurance. She then told me how if I would just lose weight, it’d help.  I was shaking at this point due to an emotional flashback.  Growing up, my mother was so hard on me about being “fat” (even though I wasn’t), I developed anorexia when I was about 10 & it later morphed into bulimia which I lived with into my teens.  At 43 years old, I was shaking with fear & anger just like I did as a child, waiting for her to say the terrible shaming things she used to say to me about how fat & gross I am.  Thankfully, it didn’t happen.  Instead, she went on to tell me how much worse others in her family have it with their knees & how a knee replacement is no big deal (bet she’d feel differently if she had one!).  The rest of the conversation was not any better.  Constant snarky, cruel comments followed, criticizing all kinds of things about me.  The volume of the criticisms was impressive, even by my mother’s legendary standards.

This is my mother’s new narcissistic rage.  Gone are the days of her screaming in my face, calling me awful, degrading names as she did when I was a teenager.  Now that she is older & frailer, & I am stronger than her, she won’t do that.  Instead, she uses the common weapons of narcissists- invalidation, criticism, gaslighting- as often as she possibly can work into the conversation.

Why the rage?  Because I set boundaries.  Rather than seeing them as me taking care of myself while also trying to take care of my parents as any emotionally healthy person would, she saw it more as me being disobedient or disrespectful to her.  She is so accustomed to being blindly obeyed by everyone, that she simply cannot handle someone not obeying her wishes.  I think the plan was for me to continue doing for my parents, & ignoring my own physical pain.  She loves to be waited on, just like her mother, & she believes I owe it to her, as her mother also believed of her children & grandchildren.

Anyone who thinks their narcissistic mother will mellow with age is sadly mistaken.  Yes, it can happen, but it is rarer than the spotted owl.  In my personal experience plus what I have heard talking with other daughters of narcissistic mothers, they get meaner.  Just because they don’t scream in your face anymore doesn’t mean they are nicer!  Getting older only means their tactics change.  They are still as evil & hurtful as they ever were.

On a positive note, I did get an inspiration for another blog post out of that awful phone call that I’ll share tomorrow.  It’s full of good information that can help you in relating to a narcissist.

4 Comments

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

Changes

Happy Saturday, Dear Readers!

This has been a somewhat sad day for me.  I shut down my facebook page.  Kept my personal one, but shut down my writing one.  Due to someone harassing me for just over a year now & using that page to contact me, I felt it was best to shut it down.  This has made me a bit sad.  But, in a way, I’m thinking this may be a good thing in a way.  I have a group on facebook where my fans & I can interact.  We talk about all kinds of topics including animals, abuse & related issues, Christianity & naturally narcissism, & share some laughs.  It’s a nice little place, so if you’re on facebook, I’d love it if you’d come check it out.  If you aren’t on facebook or don’t care to join groups, then please check out my forum.  It’s very quiet as it is just starting, but I hope it will pick up the pace quickly.

Both the group & forum are going to be very safe places.  I will police them to be sure troublemakers are removed as soon as they join.  Both also offer some privacy- on facebook, the group is closed, which means although others can see you’re in the group, no one but members can see what you post.  And, the forum?  Only other members can see your posts. I strongly suggest creating a false name as your user name so others who do read your posts won’t know it is you posting if you want annonymity.

I hope to see you soon!  🙂

Here is the facebook group link.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/FansOfCynthiaBaileyRug/

And, the forum link.

http://cynthiasforum.boards.net/

Leave a comment

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

Lessons Learned & Question Answered

Good morning, Dear Readers!

I thought I’d share some things with you today…

I am gaining a new appreciation & respect for dreams as of late.  All of my dreams seem to have some valuable message in them these days.  I seldom understand them immediately, so I look up various symbols on my favorite dream interpretation site, http://www.dreammoods.com, jot notes down, ask God what it all means & wait for His answer.  It comes fairly quickly & is always eye opening.  God truly speaks to us via our dreams!  You would be wise to start paying attention to yours as well.

I also learned something valuable Sunday while at my parents’ house.  In typical narcissistic mother fashion, my mother tried to shame me for liking a couple of things she doesn’t like.  Obviously, something is wrong with me because I’m different than her yanno!  lol  As she was making absolutely certain I knew this, a joke I absolutely love popped into my mind…

These 2 proper Southern belles were sitting on a veranda, drinking mint juleps & talking.  The one said to the other,

“You see this diamond necklace?  My husband gave that to me when we got married.”  

The second said, “Well ain’t that nice?”  

“You see this pearl bracelet?  My husband gave that to me when our son was born.”  

“Well ain’t that nice?”

“You see that Jaguar in the driveway?  My husband gave that to me for our anniversary last week.”  

“Well, ain’t that nice?”  

“Speaking of anniversaries, you & your husband had one recently.  What did he get you?”  

“He paid for me to go to charm school.”  

“Charm school?  What on earth did you learn there?”  

“I learned how to say well ain’t that nice instead of who gives a ****?”  

As my mother was finishing up her shaming me because I said I kind of like mincemeat pie & she doesn’t, I simply said, “Well, ain’t that nice?”  My mother is from PA- a northern woman through & through- so she just looked at me funny when I said that, & changed the subject immediately. My father, however, is from VA, & thoroughly Southern.  He knew what that meant even though I’ve never told him that joke, so he snickered a bit.  I realized saying that joke’s punchline worked very well for me.  I was able to tell my mother her opinion means nothing to me in a respectful way, & she stopped that shaming thing that irritates me so badly.  I’m thinking “well, ain’t that nice” is going to be said a LOT in my near future.  You may want to try this one with your narcissistic mother too.  😉

Speaking of my parents, I’ve had several people ask me lately why I’m helping my parents out.  Considering how poorly my mother has treated me as I’ve been helping her plus my own health issues, why even try?  I thought I would answer this question here.  I guess it’s because I’m my parents’ only child.  They don’t have any other family they can rely on besides me.  Yes, they can hire help (which I’m working on getting that going- I can do some, but more help would be very nice), but I want to at least try to help out.  This has been a learning experience for me, too.  I’ve come to realize I was thinking more like their child instead of their daughter, & am changing that.  I’ve gotten stronger with setting/enforcing boundaries.  I’m learning new ways to cope with nastiness & gaslighting (such as the “well ain’t that nice” comment).  I’m also getting better at self-care out of sheer necessity.  I’ve found local resources that may prove to be valuable to them as well, so while they are not in dire need of a lot of help at the moment, if, God forbid, that happens, we will know where to turn.  So, as difficult as things are, at least I’m getting some good from it while providing them with the help they need.

1 Comment

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

Interesting Revelations

Good evening, Dear Readers!

I’ve been thinking this afternoon & decided I’d share my thoughts with you. Seeing things in writing helps me clarify things in my mind anyway, & I’m hoping this post will help you as well.

As I mentioned, the last time I helped my parents out was a very difficult day. My narcissistic mother found a new way to degrade me that was so low, I don’t even want to discuss the details. She also knew I was in pain- while helping hubby use the log splitter the previous day, a good sized log landed on my left foot- yet she insisted I do at least 3 loads of laundry & make a couple of extra trips to & from their basement. Oh, & she also insisted on telling me all about the problems she has with her feet, interrupting me explaining what happened to my father.

Stupidly, I put up with it all too. Silently. I did set a boundary on the laundry as she wanted me to keep going, but for some reason, I tolerated the rest. I’ve been kicking myself since.

This is nothing but bullying behavior from my mother. It’s also nothing new to me. My mother has bullied me my entire life. A girl in junior high seemed to think it was her job to bully me from seventh through ninth grades. Another girl did the same briefly in seventh grade. Even my father in-law tried bullying me (like he has done to the rest of his family) occasionally during the first few years of my husband’s & my relationship. And, currently, someone who has been harassing me for the last year periodically uses bullying behavior as well.

Bullies don’t scare me at all, since I am so accustomed to them. I know they are nothing but immature cowards at heart who back down immediately once confronted. My mother is no exception. I’ve made her back down before when calling her out on her actions.

I also realized since that day at my parents’ home, I haven’t been myself at all. I’ve been withdrawn & depressed. My husband keeps asking what’s wrong, & I tell him I’m fine, refusing to show any emotions. I also tried to make him happy when he was in a foul mood yesterday rather than let him work it out on his own. Ridiculous! I know that my behavior is partly because I don’t want to hear his assessment of my situation, but there is more to it. I realized I have reverted back to my childish survival mechanisms.

Tolerating the bullying from my mother is what I knew to do as a child to avoid her anger, shaming me, disappointment, etc. It kept the peace. It’s also a reflex for me to do. I also know that showing any anger at her bullying will only feed her- the more hurt or anger I show my mother, the harder she tries to push every button I have, & the happier she is.

I also realized something else- I’ve been trying to make myself invisible (like I felt I was in childhood) by not bothering anyone with my feelings. WHY?! I asked God this because it makes no sense! Emotions are a part of everyone. God gave them to us, so how can they be bad? Immediately, He began to show me some things. I found it interesting because they reminded me of the dream I had recently where God showed me I need to move away from old ways of thinking. (see that post here: https://cynthiabaileyrug.wordpress.com/2014/10/02/another-interesting-dream-to-share/ )

When I was in the eighth grade, there was an after school dance coming up. All of my friends were asking boys to the dance. I was uncomfortable with the thought of it, but since they were doing it, I figured I should too. At the end of a school day, I asked a boy who it turned out had been asked by several other girls. I was embarrassed, & later my mother saw me crying. She demanded to know what was wrong, & I didn’t want to tell her. Finally after her continued pushing, I did tell her. She told me no man would ever want me because I was so pushy & this was no big deal, stop crying. She acted like I was bothering her with petty problems by sharing this with her. I had always known it’s best to keep my emotions controlled, but this cemented that belief in my mind. I rarely showed any emotions to my mother again except when her abuse was exceptionally bad.

As an adult, there have been a few episodes with my husband where he too has shamed me for feeling certain things. For example, when we first got together, I learned he liked pancakes. I don’t, so I had no idea how to make them. I learned, but frankly, I stunk at it. I would get frustrated sometimes when trying & slam a kitchen cabinet door or something. He then would come into the room, say something like “tsk tsk.. soooo much anger,” then walk away, shaking his head. Also, when I got mad at his mother for her constant verbal abuse, snooping through my purse, criticizing my pets & family, he would tell me I had to understand her better or “be the bigger person” & ignore it. Basically, these behaviors of his showed me that something was wrong with me for having the feelings I did, & I shouldn’t bother him with those petty things. After years of this kind of behavior, it cemented in my mind that I need to keep my emotions from him as well.

Can you relate??

No one needs to tolerate bullying, but especially from their own mother! How ridiculous is that?! What kind of sick woman tries to hurt & intimidate her own child? A narcissist, that’s who. “Honor thy mother & father” does NOT mean tolerating abuse in any way, shape or form. There is nothing good or holy about that. How does anyone benefit from being mistreated or mistreating others? However, it is loving to put an end to such behaviors & making the abuser face uncomfortable consequences for her actions. God’s kind of love wants what is best for others, & that sometimes means confrontation or setting & enforcing boundaries.

And, if you too have been made to feel ashamed of your emotions or like you need to be invisible too, I am so sorry for what you are feeling! I know how miserable this is! You do not need to hide your emotions another moment. You have every right to feel them & process them however you need to. They are a part of you, a part of what makes you the unique person you are! Granted, it’s unwise to share your emotions with just anyone (such as narcissists or even plain old judgmental people), but there is nothing wrong with sharing your feelings with safe people.

As for me, I’m angry right now about this, & odd as it may sound, I think it’s a good thing. As the Bible says, be angry yet do not sin, so I won’t allow it to make me behave foolishly. I will, however, allow my anger to give me courage the next time I help my parents out. I will not allow my mother to bully me anymore, & I will set & enforce some strict boundaries. I also will not allow her to mock or invalidate me again either. If it comes down to it, I will walk out of her house. There is really nothing she can do to hurt me anymore.

Leave a comment

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

I’ve Been Thinking…

Today, I’ve thought a lot about yesterday’s disastrous episode with my parents.  I’m somewhat angry with myself for not handling things better with my mother, but it’s hard to deal with a malignant narcissist.  More like impossible, especially when she is out for blood.  Which led me to think- why was she especially vicious?  I believe jealousy is the answer.
I believe insecurity & jealousy often go together.  A secure person doesn’t feel jealous over the blessings another has, only an insecure person does.  And, those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder are extremely insecure.  (That is why they act as if they’re so superior- they’re trying to convince themselves & everyone else how great they are.)  So yesterday, my mother’s friend set the wheels in motion to trigger my mother’s insecurities & jealousy by repeatedly saying how pretty I am.  My mother responded first by cutting this lady off each time she said it.  Once she left, my mother told me she is, “very slow,” & “not very bright.”.   I only can assume to discredit the validity of the complements.  Obviously, what she thinks doesn’t matter since she isn’t smart.  Funny- she seemed nice, caring & even intelligent to me.  Anyway, as I posted yesterday, the rest of our time together was a disaster. 
This type of situation has happened many times. I go out with my parents, they see someone they know, that person complements me or nice to me, then the rest of the visit with my mother is full of nastiness.
Jealousy isn’t pretty, is it?
It’s mind boggling too.  I don’t see why my mother is so jealous of me, but she obviously is.  It’s sad, but mostly maddening.  I am so tired of not so much her lack of love & approval, but the constant reminders from her that I’m just not the daughter she wanted in any way, shape or form.  They hurt!
I was hoping as I wrote this, I might gain some insight on how to cope with the malignant narcissistic mother’s jealousy & hopefully help others as well as myself.  Unfortunately, nothing new came to me.  Distance & reinforcing healthy boundaries are the only ideas I have. 
If your narcissistic mother treats you the way mine treats me, just know you aren’t alone.  I understand your pain & frustration.   ❤ ❤

2 Comments

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

Coping With A Narcissistic Mother

Good morning, Dear Readers!

Yesterday, I got an email from a lady looking for advice in dealing with her narcissistic mother.  It turns out she was unaware of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, NPD, until she found my website.  Reading about it gave her the answers she was seeking for many years, I am happy to say!  She also asked me for some ways to deal with her mother.  I thought it’d be a good idea to share some tips here, too..

  • Keep in mind how a narcissist thinks.  Appearances are everything.  If you look more successful, attractive, etc. than the narcissist, she is going to be upset.  Narcissistic mothers also can’t handle if you get attention, & they don’t.  If either of these things happen, you will pay.  They will do their best to make you feel bad about yourself & your accomplishments, or undermine that complement someone just gave you.  Lying is a way of life for the narcissistic mother- she will recreate the past, to make herself look good, & you look bad, as frustrating as that is.  Constantly remembering how the narcissist thinks helps you not to be surprised when she does hurtful & abusive things, which will enable you to handle the situation to the best of your ability.  
  • Stay calm.  If you get upset, she can act like a victim.  She’ll act like you are crazy, wrong, evil, mean, etc. for daring to be upset.  It doesn’t matter she was out to hurt you- you have no right to be upset, in her mind.  So, when your narcissistic mother is hateful to you, stay calm.  Maintain your composure, & be reasonable.  It will frustrate her to no end!  Then, once you are away from her, you can cry or rant to your friend or whatever you need to do to feel better.
  • Have & enforce healthy, strict boundaries.  Know what you will & will not tolerate from your mother, & stand by it.  If you give in, even only a little, she will see it as a sign of weakness, & push you further & further.
  • Sometimes there is no right answer, only less wrong answers.  Yes, this is maddening, but that doesn’t make it any less true.  When dealing with your narcissistic mother, do what is right (or less wrong in some cases) for you.  You aren’t going to please her anyway!
  • Remember, you have every right to take care of yourself!  If things get too painful, take a break from your mother.  You don’t owe it to her to be at her beck & call.  
  • Remember what it means to honor your parents.  Nowhere in the Bible does it say that honoring your parents means tolerating abuse.  There is no honor in that!  To give them honor means to respect their place as your parent.  Honoring also means loving someone.  Loving God’s way, not man’s way.  Part of loving God’s way means wanting the best for others, whether it is comfortable or not.  And sometimes, love must be tough- tough for you & for your narcissistic mother.  Not allowing her to mistreat you is actually a very loving, honorable thing.  It protects you from abuse, & it encourages her to improve her behavior.  She may or may not change, but even if she doesn’t change, you can rest assured that you’re doing the right thing by both you & her.  Honoring your mother isn’t easy when she is abusive.  God only asks you to do your best.  I know I’m not a very good daughter in some ways- I never volunteer to spend time with my parents.  I don’t call them often. I offer help when need be, as they are in their 70’s now & have some health problems.  I used to beat myself up because of not being a better daughter.  When praying about it at one point, God told me, “You’re doing your best- that is all I ask of you.  And, if they had done better by you, you would be more willing & able to do more with & for them.”  I encourage you to keep that in mind.

Leave a comment

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

October 25, 2013

Good afternoon, Dear Readers!  I hope this post finds you well today & ready to enjoy a lovely autumn weekend!

 

Yesterday was a very trying day for me.  I had to run to the vet’s office & get some medicine for my kitty, Pretty Boy.  With agoraphobia, even leaving the house let alone driving 15 miles to the vet is a challenge.  Thankfully, the vet’s office is usually one place that I can handle fairly well.  For good measure, I took my dog, Dixie along for a ride- her presence helped calm me.  So I got home & was quite proud of myself!  I did this trip with no panic!  YAY ME!

 

I saw when I got home that my mother called while I was out.  I changed into my bumming around the house clothes & was going to call her back when she called me instead.  While I am glad to say she is still not deliberately being cruel to me, it was a rough talk.  She explained what it’s like to have back problems (as usual, not acknowledging the fact I had back pain for 10 years resulting from her throwing me into a wall when I was 19).  She also complained so much about my dad & the problems between them.  *sighs*

 

After I hung up from that call, I made some chamomile tea & sat down with my computer to goof off for a bit.  As I sat here, snuggling kitties & reading email, a few minutes later I heard a sound.. I knew it was my car- I thought maybe a branch fell off a tree & landed on the car.  I got up to check & saw my dad.  He had a doctor’s appointment not far from me & stopped by on his way home.  While he was here, he spent his time complaining about my mother.  *sighs again*

 

This is what is called Emotional Incest or Parentalizing.  When a parent treats their child (of any age) as an equal by confiding in them about personal problems (especially romantic ones),  expects that child to take care of their emotional well being &  fix their problems, it is emotionally damaging to the child.  Some problems resulting from being parentalized are:

 

  • An over-developed sense of responsibility (if someone is upset, you feel it’s your job to fix the problem & make them feel better).
  • Guilt.
  • Putting others first, even when you have genuine needs.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Depression.
  • Anxiety.
  • Feeling “in the middle” with your parents.

 

I have experienced all of these things & more.  On days like yesterday, I was physically shaky for a while.  I also was achy all over, for no physical reason.  This also made the Complex PTSD flare up- I normally cry easily but yesterday was worse, & I was so anxious.  I also felt like I was a child again.  The same fear & anxieties of my parents arguing when I was a child rose up in me.

 

Unfortunately I have not found a way to stop my parents from doing this entirely.  The best things I have found to do are:

 

  • Set & enforce boundaries to protect myself.
  • Keep a distance- only talking to them when I am able to handle it emotionally.
  • Change the subject often.  When they start complaining about each other, I bring up any other topic I can think of.  Often, they go right back to their conversation, so I have to change the subject again.  Eventually, they will go along with me.

 

If you too go through the pain of being your parent’s parent, please know I understand.  You are not alone in this, even if you feel like you are.  Hugs to you!!!

 

Also, please check out my website.. I have some information on there for adult children of abusive mothers the following link:  http://www.cynthiabaileyrug.com/Problem_Mothers.htm.  And, on my free ebooks page, I have a free ebook available on the topic of Emotional Incest.  Check it out..

 

God bless you & I’m praying for you!  ❤

Leave a comment

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

June 25, 2012

It came to my attention a couple of days ago that someone who knows me in real life was a fan of my facebook page.  While normally, this would be a good thing, this time, it wasn’t.  This person & I  haven’t spoken in about 10 years now, which has been absolutely fine with me.  I thought we were friends for a few years, but learned around 10 years ago that we were not.  It really hurt, but I have moved on.  I since removed & banned this person from my facebook page.

Rather than humiliate this person by divulging all of the gory details, I will skip that.  I just want to say that if you know me in real life, & have a negative opinion of me like this person, please ask yourself why you want to follow my blog, website or writing page.  It is concerning to me that someone who obviously dislikes me so intently would wish to know anything about me.   Doesn’t seem healthy at all.

Take care, Dear Reader.  Have a great day,  & may God bless you!  🙂

3 Comments

Filed under Miscellaneous