Tag Archives: change
Over the years, some of my readers have told me that they believe I’m a warrior for those who have endured narcissistic abuse. That has always stuck in the back of my mind because I knew it was important.
Just recently, their words came to the forefront of my mind & wouldn’t leave. I knew it was important but didn’t know why. Every time I got onto Facebook the other day, I got a hint. I kept finding memes that said things about how victims of abuse need a voice when they can’t speak up, don’t be afraid to speak up against abuse, & other similar topics. I think it was 7 memes I found that spoke such messages to me. I realized what the purpose of all of this was.
I need to be more outspoken against narcissistic abuse, & to help educate people about its devastating effects. People don’t know much, if anything, about such topics unless they have been a victim, & that needs to change. I realize that I alone can’t change the world, but hopefully I can make a difference.
How I need to make a difference, I’m not entirely sure! So far, I think I need to focus on promoting & encouraging people to participate in The Butterfly Project with me, & share what I learn no only here in my blog, but also in my Facebook group & personal page.
I’d like to ask for prayer on this topic from you, Dear Readers. I need to know what to do & how to do it. I also need wisdom & courage to do God’s will.
While I feel peace about this, a part of me is also somewhat nervous.
I feel that God will want me to make some of the posts on my personal Facebook page public, which is something I never do. This also allows people I’m not friends with to see those posts, which makes me uncomfortable. I don’t want strangers peek into my life. This also could include people my parents know who are on Facebook. While I know the things I write about regarding my parents are true & never said in a hateful way, they would be furious if they knew what I write about. I really don’t want to deal with that.
Sharing on my personal Facebook also makes me nervous because when I’ve shared things about narcissism, C-PTSD & (rarely) my own experiences, some people I know have been less than supportive. I’ve been told to get over it, I’m using C-PTSD for attention, I need to figure out how to work things out with my parents, they won’t be around forever & other invalidating, cruel things. While I can handle their ignorance or spitefulness, it’s just not something I care to deal with. I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m simply tired of people who think I’m stupid, unreasonable, etc. or who project their own issues onto me. I try to avoid that as much as possible, & putting things on my personal Facebook page, even just attempting to educate people, could potentially open the door for such people
So as I mentioned, I really could use some prayer to help me do whatever it is God would have me do. Thank you so much, Dear Readers! And, you’re in my prayers as well! xoxo
One year ago today, I nearly died.
February 27, 2015, I got carbon monoxide poisoning from my fireplace, causing me to pass out for over twenty minutes & get a concussion by hitting my head on the adjacent log holder.
It’s been a long year. I’ve had to learn to live with some pretty yukky symptoms that are most likely permanent. Some are embarrassing, too- my brain doesn’t function so well anymore & I feel stupid often now. Yet, even so, some good has come from this experience. I’m very grateful for the good things!
I’ve realized that life truly can change in an instant. It’s not just a cliche! In only one day, I became a different person. Knowing how suddenly things can change or your life can end has given me a new perspective.
I want to enjoy whatever time I have left in my life as much as possible. I love doing little things that bring me joy such as drinking herbal tea more often or lighting candles.
I don’t want to take anyone for granted- that is an extremely hurtful thing to do to someone & it can steal your joy.
Neither do I want to take anything for granted. I’m enjoying things more now than I used to. I’m wearing my favorite expensive perfume often even if my plans are only watching a movie at home. I wear the most comfortable & cutest pajamas I can find since they make me feel good, & spend plenty of time in them (yes, even in the afternoon if the mood strikes!).
I have gained a better perspective & sweat the small stuff much less than I once did. Little things really aren’t worth the energy & stealing of joy.
I listen to my favorite music more, too- not only is it good for brain health, but it is good for the mood.
I’m working on being more open with people by paying complements more freely. I’ve always been quiet so it’s not easy to talk more sometimes, but it’s worth it to see other people happy to hear some kind words.
I’m avoiding people I’m not as comfortable with & setting firmer boundaries with them. I’ve lost friendships, too, which although it may sound sad, really isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I only want real, caring people in my life now. I have zero patience for those who only talk about themselves & never ask how I’m doing.
I also try to push myself out of my comfort zone more often. Granted, with C-PTSD, that isn’t an easy task, but I at least try. Even if I fail, it makes me feel accomplished knowing I tried. I recently went out alone to the grocery store, car wash & a craft store one afternoon. Having agoraphobia, this is a real challenge. I was in a panic by the time I was done my final stop, but at least I did it!
I’m trying new things, or even old things I long ago gave up. I loved drawing as a child, & started doing it again right after I got sick & was recovering. I’m not that great at it, but it’s fun to do. I also have started tinkering with photography, since one of my best friends ever gave me a wonderful camera.
Best of all, I also talk with God much more than I once did. Constantly, in fact. Rarely any semblance of an elaborate prayer, just normal conversation, like a daughter talking with her Father. Our relationship is much closer than it once was, & the things that have come out of it are amazing. God has given me many dreams that show me helpful information on my life. He’s also given me answers to questions I’ve had for a long time. He’s even taught me a lot about narcissism, which obviously helps my writing. He has also helped to show me areas where I need to heal, & helped me to do so.
There is a point to all of this. Please don’t be foolish like I’ve been. Although I’ve always known you never know when your life will end, I never had the much better perspective I have now. I guess I’m a slow learner & it took a traumatic, life altering (nearly life ending) experience to wake me up. Please learn from me, & make similar changes to your life that I have, so you can enjoy your life more. Life can be short, & you don’t want to die with regrets. Use your good china. Burn that special scented candle you were saving for a special occasion. Tell the special people in your life you love them & why, & do it often. Crank up music you love & dance around your house like crazy. Life truly can change or even end in an instant. Make a decision today to enjoy whatever time you have to the fullest! xoxo
No one can go through something life altering & not change in some ways. Whether the experience is losing someone you love, a divorce, abuse or something that threatened your life, that experience will change you somehow.
While sometimes the changes aren’t positive ones, like developing PTSD or C-PTSD (which are unavoidable, unfortunately!!), sometimes the changes can be good. That can take a deliberate choice to make the changes good, but it’s worth it. Some examples are:
- Losing a loved one, which causes you to realize how suddenly life can end. You can either become terrified or you can decide to enjoy life more. Also, you can decide that it’s time to start showing those you love just how much you love & appreciate them more often.
- Going through a divorce can make you give up on love, or you can think of it as a stepping stone to find the person God meant you to be with.
- Abuse can make you bitter & afraid, or you can learn from it. You can learn how to identify abusive people, how to be compassionate with & help other victims of abuse & learn ways to heal. Also, surviving abuse gives you a different perspective than others who haven’t been abused. You can appreciate the fact that you’re strong & don’t get flustered easily over the little things.
What have you been through that has changed you? Are you trying to learn from your experiences? If not, I encourage you to do so. If you’re at a loss as to what good could come from your pain, ask God to show you. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (KJV) Although it may not feel like it, there is some good that can be gleaned in your painful situation, & God will show it to you, gladly.
I mentioned a while back how I went through a potentially life-ending experience with carbon monoxide poisoning. Aside from the fact I survived, I wasn’t sure if any good could come of it, but it did. God showed me through that event that I had a big problem with toxic shame, which was causing me a great deal of pain & suffering. He also showed me what I needed to do to cooperate with Him to set me free of that, & I’m making progress! I also grew up with narcissistic parents, & also have narcissistic in-laws. In the last few years, I have learned a great deal about narcissism, which has enabled me to help others in similar situations. Although I’m not grateful for the painful experiences, I am grateful that God has been able to make something good from them. That is my wish for you too, Dear Reader- that you too can see something good that has come from your awful experiences & appreciate those good things.
I had the most incredible dream last night, & I wanted to share the valuable lesson learned from it. 🙂
I dreamed that I saw my car parked in front of my parents’ home. I was a few feet away. My car is a lovely dark green with a matching vinyl top, but in the dream, she was painted (very poorly I might add!) white on the sides & yellow on the top, hood & trunk. Somehow I knew my mother had done this. I was horrified upon seeing this, wondering how was I going to afford the high price of having her repainted green. I simply said, “God, what am I going to do?” It suddenly started to rain a bit. A nice steady rain. The paint started washing off my car!! Most of it came off easily but there were a few spots that I had to scrape at with my thumbnail. Before I knew it, there was my ’69 Plymouth, all beautiful & green again! In fact, she looked better than ever, now that I think of it…
I woke from this dream a bit shaken, since my car means the world to me. She once was my Granddad’s car, then my dad’s. Dad sold her in 1979 to a junkyard, & in 2005, I found her! Wasn’t looking, but apparently God decided I needed a big blessing, & being a car lover, blessed me with my favorite car of my Granddad’s. So anyway, dreams where this car is messed with in any way shake me up pretty badly.
Later, I decided to figure out what this dream meant, so I asked God & immediately, He gave me my answer.
Cars represent your life in dreams. White & yellow are colors representing purity, innocence, joy, positivity. Rain represents cleansing. In the context of this dream, this all translates to this: growing up with a narcissistic mother, she did her level best to change me into what she wanted me to be. In fact, still tries to do this even though I am now 43 years old. My mother likes to present herself as a wholesome, wonderful person. She wants me to act more like her, like what she likes, dislike what she dislikes, etc. That is why in the dream she painted my car those particular colors, to make me more like her. The rain was a result of me allowing God to wash away what others have done to make me into what they think I should be (my mother isn’t the only one who has tried to change me, but she is where the problem started). Me scraping off the little bits of paint that remained represented me doing my part, cooperating with God, to get the person He made me to be back.
Isn’t that fascinating?
Since many of you who read my blog, website & books are also children of narcissistic mothers, I pray this encourages you as it has me.
Narcissists try to change their children, friends, relatives & basically anyone into what they think that person should be. I believe it is especially painful for children, because as children, we are so starved for our parents’ love & approval, we’ll do anything they want us to do. This also sets the stage early in life for you to believe you must please other people, even at the expense of losing yourself- changing your likes, dislikes, beliefs, how you dress, how you act & more. It’s not right! No one should have to change so much of themselves just to be in a relationship with another person! If you do feel you have to change to be in a relationship with someone, maybe it is time to reconsider being in that relationship. At the very least, it’s time to consider getting you back & being the person God made you to be!
How do you get “you” back??
- To start with, stop listening right now to what others say you should do, like, how you should feel or think. Their opinions really aren’t important! Of course you want those you love to have good opinions of you, but if they disagree with some things about you, that is perfectly ok! No one can be pleased 100% of the time. If they try to make you feel bad for not pleasing them, that is a big red flag saying this person isn’t safe.
- Ask God to help you. Ask Him to show you who He made you to be, to have the courage to become that person & to help you shed the person you became only to please others.
- Step out of your comfort zone. Try things that pique your interest that you never had the nerve or opportunity to try before. You may discover a new passion, or at the least, will start to learn what you like & don’t like for yourself rather than what others have told you that you should like or not like.
- Try different clothing. I know this sounds silly, but your clothing affects your mood. Buy clothes that make you feel good when you’re wearing them. Better to have 2 outfits you like than 10 you hate because someone else wants you to wear them!
At first, these things can feel kind of weird & hard to do, but I can tell you, they get easier with practice. I’m trying them myself, & have off & on for a few years now. From my experience, the hardest thing to do is stay focused on doing things for yourself like this. It’s so easy to slip back into the old, dysfunctional habits! That is what happened to me- this dream made me realize that. To avoid conflict with my husband, I’ve even gone as far as hiding the symptoms of my C-PTSD from him no matter how hard it is on me. This dream made me really see how bad it’s been, & how it has to stop right now.
Be good & true to yourself, Dear Readers! You are so worth it! I pray that God will help you if you are struggling in this area. ❤
Last night, I was watching Jesse Duplantis preach on the TBN channel. I love his preaching- not only is he fun, his preaching isn’t “fluffy” like some other preachers. He touches on deeper issues than how to be blessed, how to be healed, how to prosper financially, etc. such as holy living.
So anyway, last night’s topic was very interesting. It came from his sermon series “Gospel Casino” (available at http://www.JDM.org if you’re interested). He mentioned how when he was first saved, & first going to church, there were so many traditions & ways the church he went to did things. Their traditions were extremely important to them. Rev. Duplantis said something in his heart felt wrong so he started looking up what the Bible had to say about certain things. The first thing he found was Mark 7:13 ” Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.” He realized his church’s traditions were more important to them than God’s word! Upon reading this, he started researching what God says about all kinds of things in the Bible. As a result, he has become an absolutely wonderful, inspiring preacher!
I got to thinking a bit after listening to this sermon.. how many people do this very thing- put their own traditions, habits, whatever ahead of God’s word? This is a very common behavior especially for us daughters of narcissistic mothers. We grew up knowing our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, even instincts were all flawed-Mom knows what’s right, not us. So, we often continue dysfunctional behaviors into adulthood because it is what we were told to do- it became habit.
In my last entry, I mentioned how when I got together with my husband, I quickly lost “Cynthia” & became “Eric’s wife.” This is a good example of what I’m talking about- I grew up thinking I was such a terrible person, no wonder I became what I thought my husband wanted instead of hanging onto my real self! I carried my old, dysfunctional beliefs into adulthood just because it was what was normal to me. Thank God He’s been pestering me for years about getting myself back! Only recently have I had the inner strength to begin doing just that, & I am grateful He is helping me do it!
I want you to think about your life. What do you do because Mom always did it? What do you do a certain way because that’s how it was always done in your family? Do you go to a specific church because Grandma went there, then Mom & it’s expected for you to go too? Did you get into a certain line of work because that was expected of you?
Whatever you are doing, I encourage you to pray about it. Ask God what He would have you do, then make changes as necessary. Once you begin doing that, you will feel such indescribable joy! There is an amazing satisfaction & peace knowing you are doing God’s will for your life.
I know I’m hardly the most famous author in the world. Even so, I love what I do! I get an incredible satisfaction from writing in this blog & writing my books. And, when people tell me they were inspired from something I’ve written or learned something from it, I am thrilled! 🙂
Good morning, Dear Readers…
I was thinking of something yesterday regarding narcissistic mothers. As you know, my mother has Narcissistic Personality Disorder & Borderline Personality Disorder. For some unknown reason this past June, she changed- she stopped deliberately trying to hurt me every single time we speak. We’ve even had many pleasant conversations in the last 4 months. It’s been so nice in many ways.
In other ways, though, it’s not so great. Although my mother doesn’t deliberately try to hurt me most times, she still does hurt me almost every time we speak. Why? Because she is simply oblivious to what kind of person I am, & doesn’t even listen to most things I say. She didn’t care that I was upset yesterday when we spoke on the phone. I also mentioned my in-laws in passing, & immediately she jumped to their defense, even though I have told her our relationship was so bad, I haven’t spoken to them since 2002. Ever since I first mentioned having in-law issues, my mother has been their number one supporter, as she always does when someone hurts me.
I know most people say that narcissists never change. I believe that isn’t entirely true. My mother has proven that by changing for the better & not being so cruel as she once was. However, although she has improved, all is not well now. I still have Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder- nothing she can do will fix that. I also still have to be prepared for pain. Like I said, my mother doesn’t often deliberately set out to hurt me, but she still does hurt me often. Also, like I mentioned earlier, it’s because she doesn’t know me or listen to me, but it is also because she has developed a very dysfunctional coping skill. When she remembers unpleasant things, she convinces herself the unpleasant events happened some other way. My mother has convinced herself she was a fantastic mother, always there for me, supportive, & loving. All of the psychological abuse- emotional, mental & verbal abuses- are forgotten, & replaced with words of encouragement in her mind. Throwing me into a wall & hurting my back when I was 19? Forgotten.. I’ve been told I’m lucky I’ve never had back pain.
I’m telling you this because if you too are the child of a narcissistic mother, don’t give up hope. Your mother may change for the better at some point like my mother did, contrary to popular opinion. However, if your mother does change, there still may be pain for you, just in different ways. The best way I have found to cope is to enjoy the good times as much as you can. Have some laughs if possible, & enjoy the moment, however long it lasts. Then when the bad times come, deal with them however you can in a healthy way. Talk to caring, supportive people- friends, relatives or a counselor. Pray- God always wants to listen & offer you comfort. Be gentle with yourself during those hard times- don’t berate yourself for being hurt or angry. Keep your expectations low of your mother- everyone messes up sometimes. No matter how hard she may be trying, she will make mistakes simply because no one is perfect. Set & enforce healthy boundaries for yourself. If you feel unable to spend time with your mother, then don’t spend time with her. In my book, “You Are Not Alone!” (available in ebook form & print here: http://www.cynthiabaileyrug.com/Books%20For%20Sale.htm ), I offer advice on ways to deal with abusive mothers. There is also information available on my website that may help you here: http://www.cynthiabaileyrug.com/Problem_Mothers.htm
Good afternoon, Dear Readers!
I just thought I would let you know I made some changes to this blog today.. I added various categories to make posts easier to find. I hope you enjoy the changes. 🙂
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!
Hell, Dear Readers! I hope this post finds you well today! I’m praying for you. 🙂
Again, I do apologize for not writing in this blog more often. Things have been so busy lately. Lots of stuff going on in my personal life. Also had a lot of bad C-PTSD days. Plus, since one of my external hard drives died, I’ve had to redo my website from scratch (gggrrrrr…) which although not hard, is VERY time consuming for me. So maddening! I can’t make any changes on it until I redo it then can upload the new changes. It’s almost entirely done now, thank God.. I just need to proofread it & get it online. Then I can get back to finishing my latest book, “You Are Not Alone!” for daughters of abusive mothers. It will be coming out very soon, although at the moment I’m not certain how soon. Within a month or two.
I also have some rather strange yet I hope good news.. my relationship with my mother is improving. This past week has been different. She is kinder, gentler & more understanding with me. She has 2 cousins that she is close to, who fight depression, as do 2 of their children. They have been discussing their symptoms with her, & it seems to be opening her eyes. She asked me Saturday if I’ve ever had problems with depression. I went out on a limb, & admitted that I have & do. I was hesitant to do it, but I felt in my heart I had to, that God wanted me to.
In all honesty, I can’t say I trust this entirely. That would be naive. But, I can say that she is acting different.. there is something I can’t put my finger on about how she is acting that shows me she is really trying for once. I am hoping this is a true change in our relationship. I am being cautious, but feel hopeful, possibly for the first time in my life. I covet your prayers, Dear Readers, but especially now in this very unusual situation. Thank you in advance!