Tag Archives: Christian

God’s Love For You

On this day ten years ago, I was blessed with one of God’s best gifts. My car. Maybe that sounds odd, so just read on- it will make sense.

My granddad had a beautiful 1969 Plymouth Fury when I was born in 1971. Four years later, my father’s car was stolen, & Granddad gave my father this car. In 1979, my father sold the car to a junkyard because he didn’t want to replace the failing transmission & rear end.

In 2005, my father was in the hospital. One Saturday morning, I woke up early, & couldn’t go back to sleep. It was too early for visiting hours, so I suggested to my husband we go to the local flea market, then the hospital.

Once we arrived, I saw a beautiful car at the other end of the parking lot. A green 1969 Fury that looked identical to my granddad’s. My husband suggested I leave a note on the car, saying I’d like to buy it if the seller was interested in selling. I’d never done anything like that before, but decided why not.

The seller did want to sell! He called me two days later. My husband & I met up with him to look at the car better, & decided to buy it. Unfortunately we were refinancing our mortgage so our money was tied up. Thankfully the seller was understanding & patient.

November 23, 2005, I was able to get the car. It was a wonderful day, but things got even better…

My father came by one day to see the car. He said it was his car. I thought he had to be mistaken but he was adamant. Shortly after, he showed back up at my home with an old log book where he had written down maintenance records on some of his cars. He had torn out the pages on the Fury after getting rid of the car, but he had missed the page with the VIN on it. We compared it to the VIN on my Fury, & they were identical! I couldn’t believe it- my car was also Granddad’s car! It was (& still is) a miracle to me that this car is back in my family after 26 years. And, not just any car- my favorite car that either my granddad or my father had. I’ve always loved cars, & there was always something special to me about this one.

I’m telling you this story today, Dear Reader, not only because I love sharing it, but hopefully to inspire you. God is capable of great miracles. All things are possible with God.

God is also very well aware of your deepest desires, even if you aren’t aware of them. I had no idea how much I would love having this car, but God knew & sent her to me. Driving this car is one of the greatest pleasures in my life, & I had no idea until God arranged for me to have her.

God can do the same for you. He can grant you a special blessing too amazing for you to comprehend! Ask Him to bless you! You aren’t being greedy or selfish- you are simply asking Him to do something He wants to do. You will be amazed at what happens!

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Narcissism

Just Because Someone Is A Christian Doesn’t Mean They Are Perfect

It seems to me that people who aren’t Christians think those of us who are should be perfect, never making mistakes or having bad things in our past.  I assume this mindset is perpetuated by the holier than thou Christians who act as if they never made a mistake before.

The truth though is Christians make mistakes.  Before & after we became Christians, we’ve made mistakes.  It’s part of being human.  Accepting Jesus as our Lord & Savior doesn’t change the fact we have made mistakes & will continue to do so until the day we die.

I’m no exception.  I have a divorce in my past that I’m not exactly proud of.  I cheated on my ex husband too.  I’ve also hurt people & I’m not a particularly good daughter.  Do these things mean that I’m a hypocrite or a bad Christian?  I don’t think so.  They show I’m human.

One of the most inspiring pastors I’ve heard preach is a lovely woman whose first book I edited. When I saw her preach, I was moved to tears.  She is a powerful woman of God, yet in her earlier years, she was a drug addict.  Now?  She is an inspiring pastor who helps & inspires countless people on a daily basis.  God is obviously at work in her life.

Don’t let it bother you when people pick apart your walk with God because you have made mistakes in your life.  Everyone makes mistakes, especially before accepting Jesus into their life.  Even after, you’re still going to make mistakes because you’re human & therefore not perfect.  What is most important is that you are trying to be like Jesus.  Your effort counts with God.  He knows you are imperfect, & only expects that you try your best.

Also, don’t forget to apply this to others as well.  Other Christians are just as imperfect as you, so they too will make mistakes.  They may even have sordid pasts.  Don’t let that affect how you treat them, however!  I’ve found the people with the worst pasts are often the most grateful for God’s love & try the hardest to please Him & treat people well.

Of course, if someone is deliberately hateful to you, there is nothing wrong with setting boundaries.  In fact, I believe that to be loving, Christian behavior.  God wants what is best for His children, & sometimes “no” is what is best.

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

Miracles Still Happen

I know many people don’t believe that miracles still happen.  They were just for Biblical days.  I respectfully disagree!  There is no time limit on miracles!

Yesterday I was looking at facebook.  One of my old posts popped up from October 15, 2013.  It was the day I took our cat, Pretty Boy, in for his annual check up.  Since he has diabetes we have to keep on top of his health.  I expected the normal results- he’s doing fine, just check his glucose levels & email us a report.

That isn’t what happened though.

The vet said he lost almost 2 pounds.  She also said something felt odd & she wanted to do an ultrasound.  Blood was drawn, then an ultrasound was done.  A while later, she came back into the exam room with the results of both.  She said Pretty Boy had liver carcinoma, & probably wouldn’t be around much longer.  His liver was enlarged & his red blood cell count was only 25 (it should be 35-45, she said).  I took him home, & prayed for him often.

Then this past February 9, we took Pretty Boy in for his check up.  Another vet, the owner of this hospital who I’ve known for many years, saw him since the first one had changed jobs.  He kept saying Pretty Boy looked “great” & my little guy had gained 2 pounds.  Another vet talked to us about the diabetes he’s lived with since 2011, & said she thought Pretty Boy was going into remission.  The first vet then told me to call him the next day for the results of his blood work.  I did, & was in for a surprise!  He said three times that Pretty Boy’s blood work was “perfect!”  I asked about the liver carcinoma.  He asked what I was talking about, so I explained the previous exam’s results.  He said, “She must have made a mistake- Pretty Boy is doing great.  His blood work is absolutely perfect.”  Prayers were answered, & God healed our sweet kitty!

Pretty Boy’s healing was a miracle, as far as I’m concerned.  As I’m typing this, he’s lying on the sofa, a couple of feet away, grooming himself & looking content.  I’m so grateful to see that!

Healing cancer, whether for a cat or a human, is a miraculous event!  It’s also proof that God still does miracles,  answers prayers & loves His children enough to care about what we care about.

Dear Reader, please be encouraged today.  What God did for my furbaby, He can do for you.  Or if you need a financial miracle instead of a healing , He can do that too.  Praying for the salvation of a loved one?  He can save them as well.  Whatever your need, God has the answer.  All you have to do is ask & know that He is your answer.

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers

You Are Where You Need To Be

It seems like human nature to envy where other people are in life.  Many people envy their friends’ financial status, work position or even their prayer life.  When you’re healing from narcissistic abuse, you also may envy others who seem to be so much farther along in their healing.  I’m not immune to it- I feel the same way sometimes.

The problem though is there is no good reason to feel that way.  If God wanted you to be in the same position as another person, He’d put you there & nothing could stop Him.  God has you where you are in life for a reason.

So what is the reason?  Honestly, I don’t know.  However, I do know that part of the reason is to bless you & to bless others.  I’m not saying God is like a faery godmother, granting wishes.  Instead, He uses things that happen in life, good & bad alike, to help you to learn & grow to be more like Jesus.  And, He uses you to help others to do the same.  Even your mistakes can help others.

I encourage you today, Dear Reader, to stop griping about where you are, & to ask God to help you see the good in it or the good that will come of it.

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Filed under Animals, Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

Free To Be You

I have learned that something rather magical happens to many folks when they hit 40.  Suddenly they no longer have the patience for abusive people & will confront them on their behavior.  They become more outspoken without being hurtful, & more free with their praise.  They begin to practice self-care for the first time.  They are more compassionate & caring, because they have seen & been through some pretty rough things.  They finally are freer as well.  Free to be themselves, & free to do as they like without caring about the criticisms & judgments of others.

It’s a wonderful thing!!

If you aren’t 40 yet or if you passed 40 without experiencing this, don’t think you need to be 40 to experience this.  It’s never too early or too late to improve yourself!  Ask God to help  you change however you need or want to.  He will do so gladly.  He wants you to be happy & if changing will help you accomplish that, He will be glad to help you.

Also think about some things & ask yourself questions.  You don’t really need to worry about what other people think of you, so why does it matter to you what others think?  Are you putting others before yourself constantly?  Why?  If you were raised by a narcissistic parent, I’m sure you believe (as I still battle with sometimes) that everyone else is more important & you don’t deserve to do good things for yourself.  That is a lie!  You DO deserve to do good things for yourself & take care of yourself.  In fact, if you want to help others so much, you need to take care of yourself.  If you don’t, you won’t have the physical or mental strength to help other people.

Do some soul searching.  Ask yourself the tough questions like the ones in the previous paragraph & honestly answer them.  You may surprise yourself.  You also will become aware of some  changes you need to make to help yourself live a happier life.

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Filed under Narcissism

Why Christians Should Love Animals

I’ve been noticing something disturbing lately.  So many Christians openly hate animals.  This bothers me terribly, because there are so many Scriptures that show God loves the animals that He created & wants people to care for & appreciate them.  Some examples are:

  • Proverbs 12:10  “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.”  (KJV)
  • Ecclesiastes 3:18-21  “I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.  19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.  20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.  21 Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?” (KJV)
  • Job 35:11 “Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven?”  (KJV)
  • Psalm 145:9  “The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.”  (KJV)

These are only a few examples.  There is much more in the Bible on the topic of animals.  I found enough for me to write a book on this topic several years ago.

It hurts my heart that so many devoted Christians openly hate animals, hunt only for sport or even think humans are so much better than animals.  Ecclesiastes 3:19 clearly shows people are not better than animals.  Read that verse again: “19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.” (KJV) (emphasis added)

How can anyone who calls himself or herself a Christian truly feel this way about animals after reading that Scripture??  Yet, many people do every day & harshly criticize those of us who feel differently.

It’s simply wrong.  Obviously, God loves animals.  After all, He created them.  Hating them is no different than hating other people.  Personally, I’m not fond of bossy people, but that doesn’t mean I hate them or wish them harm.  If I did, I would be criticized for it.  “Love your neighbor as yourself,” people might say.  However, if I hated animals, hunted them only for sport, called them “just dumb animals”, etc. most Christians wouldn’t bat an eye.  Do you see how wrong this is?

If you are one of these people, I urge you to reconsider your position.  I’m not saying you need to become a vet or stop eating all meat.  Instead I’m suggesting you give animals a chance.  They are intelligent, caring, empathetic companions.  Get to know some animals, maybe friends’ or relatives’ pets.   I have 10 cats, 1 dog & 1 finch, all of whom make my life better each day.  This morning, for example, I sat on my bed.  I’m having a very bad day, & I just needed a few minutes to refocus.  My cat Zippy joined me, showing me a great deal of love while purring loudly.  He often is the first one to show he cares if I am upset, sick or even having a flashback.  In fact, after becoming very sick in February, he has become my shadow.  Once I got home from the hospital, he didn’t leave my side for a good 2 days.  Since, he stays close to me at all times, watching me closely.

Animals can teach you so much, too.  I learned how to be a good pet parent from my first cat, Magic who was a naturally loving father.  Vincent, my granddad’s cat, taught me not to take the little things for granted, but to appreciate them instead.  Jasmine, my snowshoe siamese, had 4 strokes in her final 2 years of life, & watching her fight to regain her faculties after each one was an inspiration.

God has blessed humanity with a wonderful gift in animals.  I would like to encourage you today not to take that gift for granted.  Instead, appreciate it & have fun with it!  Animals truly are a gift from God in many ways.

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Filed under Animals, Christian Topics and Prayers

Thinking Of Making Some Changes

Lately, I’ve been thinking.  (Scary huh??  lol)

I really would like to be able to expand the topics I write about.  In all honesty, I’m tired of thinking so much about narcissism.  Not that I want to quit writing about it entirely of course- I’d just like to talk about other things sometimes too.  Be a bit more diverse

I’ve asked God to guide my writing.  I ask God to show me what to write about (admittedly, probably not as often as I should..) which is where my blog & book subject matters come from.  I’m going to be praying more about this topic though & would appreciate your prayers as well.  I’m sure this urge to cover other topics isn’t only me- it’s God guiding me, probably preparing me for something else that is on its way.

I’ve started a little.. I’ve decided once my current book on recovering from narcissistic abuse is done, my next book project will be finishing the fiction book I started a few years ago.  That book is maybe one third done..it’s time to finish it.

I also added some information about my experiences with carbon monoxide poisoning on my website.  I’ve read a lot about it since I went through it last February, & what has struck me as truly sad is how many others who have been through it feel so isolated.  People don’t seem to grasp just how serious & horrible it is to live with the disruptive symptoms.  Writing about it is my attempt to help these people feel less alone, & less crazy.  It also seems to have helped me a little to write out my experiences.  (Bonus for me!)  If you know someone who has suffered through carbon monoxide poisoning or you would care to read it, then click this link:  http://cynthiabaileyrug.com/Carbon-Monoxide-Poisoning.php

Maybe I could write some about natural/herbal things.  I know many people associate such things with casting spells & such, but I don’t.  I believe God created herbs & plants with the properties they have for a reason & for our use.  Why shouldn’t we benefit from them?  I love herbal remedies & beauty recipes.  I’d love to share what I know as well as learn from others.

If there are other topics you would like me to write about, I’m open to suggestions.  I may not use them, it will depend on what I believe God wants me to do, so please don’t be offended if I don’t write about what you suggest.   Anyway feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments of this post, or email me at:  CynthiaBaileyRug@aol.com  I look forward to hearing from you!  🙂

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Filed under Miscellaneous, Writing

My Favorite Story Of God’s Tremendous Love

God keeps encouraging me to be open, which is a real challenge for me.  I’m so introverted it’s tough to talk about private things. But, I’m trying..

One very private thing I felt like I should share has nothing to do with the usual topic of narcissism, but we all need a break from that negative topic anyway.  I wanted to share a story with you that shows how gentle & loving God is during our times of greatest need.

When I was growing up, my narcissistic mother did her best to keep me distant from my father’s family.  I wasn’t allowed to play much with my cousins or spend the summer with my grandparents.  When my parents & I visited family, I had to stay at my mother’s side most of the time.  As a result, I was never very close to my paternal grandparents, although I loved them dearly.  Then at age 17, when the abuse was at its peak, my mother told me how they were deeply ashamed of me for how terribly I was acting.  I knew better, or so I thought, but even so, when my ex husband later agreed with my mother, I thought I was wrong.  After all, he hated my mother as much as she hated him- if he is agreeing with her, she must be right.  As a result, in my early 20’s, I drifted out of their lives.

Several years later in 2000, I wrote a letter to my granddad.  (Grandmom had passed in 1996).  Shortly after, I went to visit him at his home.  I was nervous, but that faded immediately.  As soon as he opened the door & gave me one of his bear hugs, I knew all was fine.  We ended up being very close by the time he died on May 31, 2003.  He was not just my grandfather- he was my friend, confidant & cheerleader.

His death hit me very hard.  I could barely function for the first month after.  I asked hubby to drive me to Bristow, VA to his grave about one month after his death.  I hoped maybe it’d help. Besides, the drive was beautiful- Bristow is a peaceful, country town.  The cemetery there is among the prettiest places I’ve ever seen.

Off to Bristow we went.  For the first time, I saw his headstone, & it tore me up.  It made his death final.

valley view cemetery (2)

Hubby left me alone for a while, & sat in the car. I prayed, telling God how painful this was & how much I missed Granddad.  Suddenly the most bizarre thing happened.  I heard my granddad’s voice speaking to me as if he was standing beside me.  He said, “I’m always with you- in your heart.  I love you.  Whenever you see a butterfly, I want you to remember that.”  at  this point, I looked up & there were 2 pale yellow butterflies fluttering together about 5′ from me.  “You tell Eric to take good care of you.  I love you.”

This incident shook me up at first.  I wondered was I crazy?  But no, I wasn’t crazy.  Hearing his voice one last time helped me to start healing.

Some people have told me I only heard what I wanted to hear, or God doesn’t do things like that, but I disagree.  God knew what I needed when I didn’t, & provided that.  Plus, since then, a few times when I’ve seen butterflies, God has spoken to my heart & said things like “Your granddad is thinking of you & wants you to know he loves you.”

Since that day at the cemetery, I’ve seen butterflies.  Lots of them!  I even saw one during the winter once, in my car.  I was particularly stressed at the time since hubby was sick, & on my way home from the hospital, a little moth appeared in my car!  There was no earthly reason for that, as butterflies & moths only survive in the warm weather.  When I work on my car (which was once Granddad’s car), butterflies often appear. If I’m upset, I can guarantee I’ll see butterflies in the oddest places.  Once in a store, I saw butterflies on t-shirts, dishes, stuffed animals, dishes & books.  That was the day that God told me Granddad had been thinking of me.

If you’re in a painful place, please know  God still loves you.  He will comfort you if you allow Him to.  It may be in a completely unexpected way like what happened to me, but it will be just what you need.  And, if you’ve lost someone you love, don’t doubt their love for you has vanished or even changed just because they’ve passed away.  They still love you & think of you often.  Nothing, not even death, will change that.  Take comfort in that.  It truly helps.

As for me, I’ll continue to smile every time I see butterflies, because I know it means my favorite person is sending me his love.. 🙂

Granddad at 50th anniversary party

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

Are You Always The Strong One?

There is a saying that is pretty common, but especially here in the South.  “That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”  I believe it to be very true.  The very things that have been meant to kill me, such as narcissistic abuse, have instead strengthened me in the long run.

But, the truth is, in spite of being grateful for the strength I’ve gained, I’m pretty tired!  Tired of the nonsense I’ve lived through, & mostly tired of always being the strong one who carries other people can fall apart.

Many people, especially those of us who have survived narcissistic abuse, are a great deal stronger than we realize.  This doesn’t usually escape the notice of other people, however.  They notice it right away & often, don’t hesitate to use our strength to help themselves out.  Even when they know we’re going through a crisis, they’ll come to us for comfort, advice or to meet some other need, often without even asking how we’re doing.  When faced with a difficult person, we are the one who is always supposed to be understanding or the “bigger person”, & let the offenses go.  People know we’re strong & can handle bad situations, so they assume we never need help, a shoulder to cry on or, well, anything really..

The simple truth is that even the strongest among us need help sometimes.  Being strong can be hard enough, but feeling as if you’re completely alone in your struggles with no one to help, & you have to be strong all of the time for others is incredibly hard.  It’s extremely depressing, because you know you can’t count on anyone else to let you lean on them.  It’s also mentally & physically draining.

Chances are, if you’re reading this post, then you understand this all too well.  I would like to encourage you today to make self-care a priority.  Take breaks as needed from work or from other people (especially the ones who lean on you without reciprocating).  Set & enforce healthy boundaries to protect yourself.  Do nice things for yourself often.  What makes you feel good?  Make it a priority to do those things as often as possible.  Participate in your hobbies often.  Express your creativity often.

And, remember- sometimes you need to lean on others as they have leaned on you.  It’s actually a good thing for a relationship- it makes you depend on each other instead of the relationship being one sided.  It also increases intimacy in the relationship, because asking for help makes you vulnerable.  I understand that it is very hard to do, but I encourage you to step out & try it.  Ask God how to do this & who to ask- He won’t guide you wrong!

And, speaking of God, don’t forget to lean on Him as well!  He loves you so much, & wants to help you in every way you need help.  I’ll never forget what happened when I was sick at the end of February.. I was relaxing, just playing a game on my tablet, & I couldn’t get past this one level.  It was frustrating me.  I muttered & asked God to help me get past this stupid level.  Suddenly, I did it!  I started to cry.  Granted, I was super emotional because of the concussion I got only a few days prior, but even so, it was a lovely moment.  I knew God helped me to win that game because He loves me so much that He even cares about something so trivial that means something to me.  He loves you just as much- allow Him to show it.  Trust Him & lean on Him.  He won’t disappoint you.

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

A Little Kindness Goes A Long Way

Last night I had a very bizarre dream.  I dreamed that there were a bunch of small children in my yard, making a lot of noise.  It was irritating me (I like peace & quiet) & I went to chase them off.  As I was getting my coat, I heard them in the backyard as well & was becoming more irritated.  Who were they & why were they on my property?  I went outside & they were gone, so I came back inside.  I looked at a shelf & found they’d left me things I need, like soap, cleaning supplies, food & even my favorite perfume from my teen years.  I knew they weren’t actually children, but angels when I saw this.

Upon waking up from this bizarre dream, I had no idea what it meant, but it reminded me of a Scripture…Hebrews 13:2 “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” (KJV)  

I wonder how many people really believe this Scripture?  The actions of most people don’t really show that they believe it.

I’m not saying that we have to cater to everyone we meet, ignoring our own needs.  Not by any stretch.  I’m saying just be civil & kind to one another.  Be an example of God’s love- patient, kind, caring, all while exercising healthy boundaries.  Believe it or not, sometimes saying “no” is actually the most loving thing you can do for another person.  If it wasn’t loving behavior, God wouldn’t tell us no sometimes, would He?

I just wanted to take a moment today to make you think about how you treat people, even the strangers you pass on the street or the cashiers at the grocery store.  Simply smiling at a stranger can make their day.  So many people are rude & unpleasant to strangers, so why not be different?  Be nice instead.  Be polite.  Ask how someone is & wait for an answer that you genuinely care to hear.  Don’t give the impression you’re only asking to be polite- let the other person know you really care how they are.  Little gestures like this truly make a person’s day.  They say, “I care about you” & there is a great shortage of caring people in the world.  Be one of those who do care!

Since many of you reading this are also adult children of narcissists, I can’t help but think you may be hoping I don’t mean include your narcissistic parents in this niceness thing.  Well, sort of I do.  What I said about exercising good boundaries?  That is extremely important when you deal with narcissists, & truly, boundaries are very loving.  They mean you won’t enable certain behaviors from others.  Narcissists don’t think boundaries are good or loving, but they really are in God’s eyes, & that is what really counts!  😉

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

How Do You Treat Those Who Are Suffering?

I was talking with a good friend recently.  She told me about something traumatic that happened to her a while back.  She also said that many of her friends & relatives told her that she needed to get over it & trivialized her awful experience, rather than offer her compassion & support.  Naturally, it upset her badly that people she expected to be compassionate were instead cold & unfeeling.

Unfortunately I understand her feelings all too well.  Since I got sick at the end of February, I’ve experienced this same thing first hand more times than I can count, starting at the hospital.  Apparently even a potentially deadly illness isn’t enough to warrant compassion from most people.

There is a terrible lack of love, empathy & compassion in the world today.  2 Timothy 3:1-5 says, “1 But understand this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear].  2 For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane.  3 [They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good.  4 [They will be] treacherous [betrayers], rash, [and] inflated with self-conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God.  5 For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them].”  (AMP)

I firmly believe this is what is happening today, why people are so indifferent to the suffering of others.  Look at how people behave.  Money & things mean more than people & relationships.  Animal & child abuse are commonplace, as is hypocrisy.  And most importantly, God is rarely invited into, well, anything.  Not many people have God as their top priority in life.  Without God, it’s impossible to truly love people God’s way- full of compassion, caring, & great empathy.

Dear Reader, I’m certain you have been on the receiving end of this hurtful type of behavior. Your pain has no doubt been trivialized or even invalidated.  (This is especially common for adult children of narcissistic parents, since our parents didn’t always leave bruises or broken bones like physically abusive ones did, & they act like good people around everyone but their own children.)

While there is certainly no way to control how people act & completely avoid their coldness, you can remember that a person who acts this way has a problem.  That will help you not to internalize their words, thinking something is wrong with you for being upset over whatever trauma you experienced.  You need to remember that, because you are not wrong, crazy, oversensitive, etc. for being upset when something bad happens to you.

And, also remember that people with problems naturally turn self-centered to varying degrees.  Some people become so self-centered that they don’t have it in them to care about others who are also suffering.  Remembering this too will help you not to internalize being treated so poorly.

I would like to also encourage you to consider how you react when someone tells you about a painful or traumatic experience.  Do you offer compassion?  Empathize with their pain?  Or, are you so wrapped up in your own problems you refuse to see anything or anyone except what relates directly to you?

If you are the type to have a hard time empathizing when you too are suffering, it may be time to change that.  Aside from the fact that behavior can be hurting others, being good to others also is good for you.  It takes your mind off your problems, even if only temporarily.  You also may learn that this person & you share a common problem, & now you have someone to talk about your problems with.  You may be able to help each other!

Don’t know how to change this about yourself?  Ask God for help.  Ask Him to increase your empathy, to make you more aware of the feelings of others  & to give you wisdom on how to help those He puts in your path & wisdom with your words.  God will honor your prayer, & bless you for wanting to help others.

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Do You Celebrate Enough?

Do you celebrate the good things in your life?  Not necessarily throw a big party over every good thing, but at least revel in your joy for a few moments.

Life can be so hard & full of negative things, the good can get pushed aside.  It’s very easy to do.  However, I would like to encourage you today to start looking for more good things & celebrating them.  Focus more on what you have accomplished than what is still left to do.  Be proud of the fact you lost five pounds or finally painted your living room.  Think about how blessed you are that a good friend of yours brought you lunch when you were sick, or offered to take your child to school when you were unable.  Enjoy the fact your spouse took off work on your birthday to celebrate & spoil you.  Take a few moments just to think about those good things & feel good about them.  Bask in the good feelings for a few minutes.  Truly this will help you to feel good, & it will help to cement these positive experiences in your memory by attaching good emotions to them.  Experiences with emotions attached stick with us much better than those with little or no emotions.

I have stressed many times the importance of taking a break from emotional healing sometimes, as it can be very draining.  As much as you need to heal from narcissistic abuse, it can be very complex & deep, so periodic distracts are very important.  However, I think equally important is looking for & celebrating the good things.

Growing up with a narcissistic parent, accomplishments were always undermined.   We heard negative, critical, judgmental things our entire lives.  In fact, I think of my parents as the “could be a tumor” kid from the movie, “Kindergarten Cop.”  Do you remember that kid?  If not, here you go:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaTO8_KNcuo&list=FLyHVkrFotB51_ZKqh7BqAXg&index=27

These things our parents did became habits.  We learned to do them to ourselves.  We became highly critical & negative about ourselves, even trivializing the good things we’ve done.  Why continue the abuse that your parents started?  Stop it & stop it now!  You deserve so much better than that, & you deserve to be happy.  Start today by celebrating something good.  Take a few minutes to bask in the joy of the blessing or the event, whatever it is.  Focus on how good it feels to have received something or to have accomplished something.  Even if it’s simply cleaning your house- doesn’t it feel good to have that task completed?  Focus on that good feeling for a few minutes.  Thank God for the good things.  That’s all you have to do.

Now, try that celebration with other things, big & small.  Relish the enjoyment!  You’ll be a happier person for it!  xoxo

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New Ways To Cope With Anxiety Taught Me A Way To Deal With Narcissists

I was talking with a good friend of mine recently.  She, too, has problems with anxiety, although hers isn’t associated with C-PTSD.  It still sounds pretty bad, unfortunately.  While we were discussing our experiences, I told her that since I got since in February, my anxiety levels have been a lot better.  She asked what I have done to change things.  Honestly I couldn’t think of what to say at that time.  I had to get alone, pray & really look at things later on.

I got a new revelation on how quickly life can change or even end when I got sick.  When I got sick that February day with carbon monoxide poisoning, I didn’t realize just how serious it was, nor did anyone at the hospital tell me.  I read about it on the Mayo Clinic’s site & Wikipedia after I got home & was shocked at just how close I came to death or the possibility of permanent brain damage.  I made myself face how I felt about this situation instead of ignoring my feelings (as I learned early in life to do), & although it’s been painful to go through, it’s been good.  Coming  that close to death really gave me a new revelation on just how fast life can change, or even end.  That revelation has helped me tremendously to have a better perspective.  I don’t sweat the small stuff so easily now.  I don’t want to waste whatever time I have upset if I can help it.  We only have a relatively short time on this earth, & I have wasted enough years upset, angry, hurt & anxious- I want to enjoy the rest of the time I have as much as possible!

Wanting to enjoy my life as much as I can also made me enforce my boundaries better.  I’m learning to respect how I feel & say no sometimes.  I began asking myself some tough questions:  What is good or right about making myself miserable just to make someone else happy?  If someone wants that, they certainly are selfish & don’t have my best interests at heart.  And, what makes that person so much more important than me anyway?  Why is their happiness so much more important than mine?

Before I got sick, I was too stressed & anxious.  So much so, my hair is damaged & broken.  This was another sign that things had to change.  If my hair was showing such awful signs of stress, what could be happening on the inside to my heart or other organs?  I made the decision that I deserved better than this- it’s time to fight the anxiety & stress.  Making that decision was important.  The decision enabled me to slow down or even stop when anxiety kicks in & talk to myself.  I ask myself is this going to hurt me, is there something I can do to make this situation better, what am I so worried about?  Questions like that make me think about the situation logically, which cuts back on  or even eliminates anxiety.

I have begun to focus more on relaxing.  When I take my daily shower, I enjoy the feel of the warm water instead of just rushing through it.  I exfoliate my skin often & use a good quality lotion I like after my shower so my skin feels great.  I shampoo & condition gently with good products to take care of my fragile, recovering hair.  Often too, I turn on some good music, & light a scented candle while in the shower.  This turns a boring daily ritual into something I enjoy & that relaxes me.  I also turn on music when I do household chores, as the music makes me feel good.  When I get into bed, I take a moment to relish how comfortable & cozy it is.  I have a collection of pictures on my tablet that make me feel good- pictures of serene scenery, Victorian era images or even inspiring quotes that validate me.  Little things like this add to squelching anxiety.

Often, people talk to me about their problems.  (I think many adult children of narcissists are often the friend everyone talks to about their problems).  I’ve recently begun to remind myself that I’m not God- it’s not my place to fix other people’s lives.  Just because my parents raised me to fix their problems doesn’t mean that fixing people is my responsibility!  My job is to offer compassion, advice if asked, help them in some way if I feel God is leading me to & direct them to God.  This has enabled me to feel less anxiety because I can detach emotionally some now in these situations.

Most importantly, I also remind myself constantly that God is in control & is my provider. No matter what we do, God still is in charge.  He wants what is best for me & wants to bless me.  He has brought me this far for a reason, & has not once forsaken me.  Reminding myself of such things has brought me closer to God & our relationship has drastically improved.  Not that I have complaints about how it was before, but even so,  I feel so much closer to Him now & my faith has grown.

Granted, this doesn’t conquer all anxiety every time it happens.  I still battle agoraphobia every time I leave my home or wake up with panic attacks sometimes.  However, things have improved greatly.  And a bonus has happened- by slowing myself down to deal with anxiety, it’s become such a habit, I’ve also started doing it automatically when dealing with my narcissistic parents.  Instead of immediately getting angry or hurt over what they do, I am now able to remind myself that whatever they’re doing isn’t about me- it’s about their dysfunctional behavior.  For example, if they try to make me feel guilty for not calling more often, I remember that they don’t want me to call more because they care about me, but because they want that narcissistic supply.  The result is I don’t feel guilty- I realize they are trying to get supply from me & I have the right to protect myself from  it.  Talk about a bonus!  I can cope better with anxiety & my parents too?!  It feels good not to feel guilty, hurt  or angry every time I hang up the phone from talking to my parents!

I believe what I have learned can help you as well.  I urge you to pray about what I’ve written & put it into practice if God leads you to do so!

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Suicidal Tendencies After Narcissistic Abuse

Many people are quick to judge anyone who either is suicidal, has attempted it or has followed through on committing suicide.  It’s such a shame people can be so heartless!

Many people who have survived narcissistic abuse live with depression, & as a result are suicidal.  In fact, many also have developed C-PTSD or PTSD as a result of the abuse, & depression & suicidal ideation are symptoms of both dreadful disorders. The judgmental attitudes of others make this awful situation even more painful.  People readily accuse suicidal people of being selfish, weak, wanting to take the easy way out or seeking attention.  Others say it’s a sin that God won’t forgive, so if they do it, they’ll go to Hell.

This is horrible & it shouldn’t be, but sadly not a lot of people have much compassion or are able to see things from another’s perspective.  Feeling suicidal isn’t exactly the walk in the park many people think it is.  It’s a dismal, depressing place where you believe the only means of escape is death.  It doesn’t sound like a bad choice- your pain will be over, you’ll have no more misery of this life & it’s not like anyone would care if you’re gone anyway.  (At least that is how you feel.  That doesn’t mean it’s the truth however!)

If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, the last thing that person needs is to be lectured or judged.  The person instead needs a great deal of compassion, empathy & love.  They need to know that their presence makes a difference, & they would be greatly missed if they died.  They also need to know that you are willing to help them through this dark patch.  Make sure this person knows that you love her, are willing to pray with & for her, listen to her without judgment & are willing to do whatever you can do to help.

If you are the one who is suicidal, please know that you are here on this Earth at this time for a reason.  If you don’t know what that purpose is, ask God to show you.  Also follow your passion- that is where your calling(s) lie.  Although it probably doesn’t feel like it at this time, there are people who love you & would be devastated if you were no longer around.  You make a difference to many people.  Please remember that losing you would hurt them terribly, & you don’t want to do that.

There is a way out.  God.  Pour your heart out to Him- He loves you & wants to help you.  Let Him pour His love out on you & comfort you.  Spend time alone in His presence sharing your most intimate feelings- He will help you come out of that dark place!  Remember Psalm 23:4 “Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me.” (AMP)  God is with you, even in this dark place, taking care of you!  I know this may sound trite to you, but please believe me- it is very true.  I’ve been suicidal many, many times in my life, so I have plenty of experience on this subject.  God has been the only thing that has helped me during the darkest of times.  If He helped me, He will help you too.  All you need to do is ask..

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

Toxic Shame Resulting From Narcissistic Abuse- There Is A Way Out!

As of yesterday, it’s been one month since I got sick with carbon monoxide poisoning & a concussion.  It’s been quite an interesting month, too.

My recovery is a slow one, but at least it is giving me a much needed break from life.  It’s also given me more time to think & pray.  

Shortly after returning home from the hospital, God showed me that I had a big problem with toxic shame, which stems from emotional neglect & criticisms in childhood.  (it’s why I felt I didn’t deserve any help from the ER staff, even though that is their job, & my husband shouldn’t help me recover- I should do it all on my own.  That’s pretty bad, especially considering the severity of my illnesses!)  I believe this is a very common problem for adult children of narcissistic parents, so I thought I would share a bit about this past month’s journey with you.

When God first revealed this to me, I was happy & sad.  Happy because I finally understood what was wrong, why I felt I deserved nothing.  Also sad because, well, let’s face it- this is pretty depressing realizing I was made to feel so poorly about myself.  I also had no idea how to cope with this problem, & had to ask God to show me.  He gave me some really good  ideas, which I shared in the post I originally wrote on this topic.  Please read that post at this link.  I’ve been trying to do the things I mentioned in that post. I also have been doing other things, such as paying more attention to my dreams, which have been revealing a great deal to me about how much I need to take care of myself.  (Almost nightly, I’m having dreams that show me that, so obviously God thinks it’s important!)

I also told God I want to change this problem- I want to be rid of this toxic shame once & for all, & I want to learn to take care of myself too instead of only everyone else.  Was that a powerful prayer!  He has been helping me tremendously!!

About a week after I got sick, I got an email from a jewelry company.  They had a lovely ring on sale that reminded me of one my paternal grandmother had when I was a kid.  This wasn’t a real diamond like hers, but it was still beautiful.  I felt that instead of thinking it’s pretty & ignoring it, I should ask hubby if we could get it.  That took a lot of guts for me- I hate asking him for anything, let alone something frivolous.  He said sure, go ahead & get  it.  When I got on the website to order it, I saw they had an identical ring with a much larger stone that I liked even more.  I ordered it, even though it cost a bit more.  For once, probably the first time in my life, I realized I deserved something special & felt no guilt about it.   Getting myself that prize was a big step towards shedding the “I don’t deserve…” mindset of toxic shame.  Now the company has failed to fulfill my order, but I’m not giving up- I will just get that ring from another company .  🙂

Also, I’ve had trouble with my recovery.  I need to relax, avoid any strenuous physical activity & stress until I am healthy again.  This means hubby gets to do the bulk of housework.  It’s been hard just laying around while he works, then comes home & does laundry & cleans.  Every time the guilt comes up, God reminds me to relax.  I need to recover- I’ve been poisoned by carbon monoxide & have a nasty head injury.  Anyone in that situation would need to relax & recover so stop beating myself up!  Besides, hubby has never really had to take care of anyone before, so this is good for him, having to prioritize another person’s needs.

Although I haven’t told my parents about my illnesses, I’ve spoken with them a few times during my recovery.  Instead of the usual feelings of guilt, hurt or anger when they play their head games, God has reminded that they have problems.  For example, my father recently said I should call if I need anything or just want to talk.  I felt guilty for not calling more often, like a bad daughter, but only for  a second.  Almost immediately, I realized he only wants more contact with me to receive his narcissistic supply, not to spend time with me.  The guilt was alleviated immediately.  I realized I’m not a bad daughter, but instead am someone who doesn’t wish to be used.  Life is too short to be someone’s narcissistic supply!

Something else interesting just happened that made me realize what progress I’m making. I just had a good, long cry.  You see, when some of my pets have died, God has comforted me by telling me shortly after their death that a certain song reminds my recently departed of me- the song then becomes our song.  Aerosmith’s 1988 hit “Angel” just came on. That’s my lovely snowshoe Siamese cat Jasmine’s & my song.  When I heard the song, I started to cry.  I miss Jasmine so badly, & maybe because I’m very sensitive due to my illnesses, the magnitude of missing her hit me very hard.  As the tears finally came to a stop, I realized something- I felt no shame for them!  As much as I love my animals, because my grief at losing them has been so severely invalidated repeatedly, I’ve often felt shame for crying because of them & did my best to ignore my pain.  Especially years later, when I “should be over it”, according to many people. Today was different.  It was the first time I can say I honestly felt no shame, & was able to cry without holding back.  It was actually a very good feeling.  Jasmine was a very brave, amazing & special cat. She survived 4 strokes before she passed away in 2011 & fought hard to come back from each one.  She deserved the love & respect of being grieved properly, yanno?

I’m sharing these things with you today in the hopes of encouraging you.  If you too suffer with toxic shame, God can help you to heal as He is helping me.  He is breaking the hold of toxic shame in my life & will do the same thing for you!  Living with toxic shame is no way to live!  You deserve so much better than that, as do I.  God wants us to be happy & healthy- two things no one living with toxic shame can be.

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Trauma Changes You

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.

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God Wants To Bless You!

I want to share this story to encourage you today, Dear Readers.  God does care about infinitely about you, & what you care about!  He also still does miracles today- miracles weren’t reserved only for Biblical times!  I know it can be hard to believe such things, especially when you’re dealing with a narcissistic mother, but they’re very true!

As I mentioned in this post, hubby & I had to take one of our cats into the vet for his annual checkup on Monday.  I was to call the vet yesterday for the results of his bloodwork, & wow, did I get a surprise!  The vet’s exact words were, “His bloodwork was PERFECT.”  I was stunned, & even asked the vet if he was sure.  He was!  I asked about the liver carcinoma that Pretty Boy had been diagnosed with in October, 2013.  The vet was obviously confused, & said there’s no sign of it- maybe the other vet who saw him mistook a benign mass for carcinoma.  Normally, I respect anything this man says- he’s been our vet for 20 years, & is among the best in the Baltimore area.  However, the other vet who diagnosed Pretty Boy with the liver carcinoma didn’t make a mistake.  She was almost as good as he is, plus she did a blood test & an ultrasound, so there was no doubt as to her diagnosis.  It obviously also difficult for her to tell me there was nothing that could be done for him, & she didn’t expect him to be around much longer.  I began to pray for him regularly as soon as we got this news, & God truly answered my prayers!

God truly hears our prayers, even when we feel like He doesn’t.  He also truly cares about what we care about.  When you pray, please be encouraged that God is listening!  He may not answer your prayer as you think He should, but still trust Him!  He knows best, & is worthy of your faith!

And, for those of you pet parents reading this, please never doubt that God loves your furkids even more than you do.  I know, many in the Christian community doubt this, believing animals have no souls, or are only here for people to use (or eat) as they see fit.  I must disagree with this however!  Ecclesiastes 3:19 says, “For that which befalls the sons of men befalls beasts; even [in the end] one thing befalls them both. As the one dies, so dies the other. Yes, they all have one breath and spirit, so that a [a]man has no preeminence over a beast; for all is vanity (emptiness, falsity, and futility)!” (AMP)  Here it is in the Message translation, too “19-22 Humans and animals come to the same end—humans die, animals die. We all breathe the same air. So there’s really no advantage in being human. None. Everything’s smoke. We all end up in the same place—we all came from dust, we all end up as dust. Nobody knows for sure that the human spirit rises to heaven or that the animal spirit sinks into the earth. So I made up my mind that there’s nothing better for us men and women than to have a good time in whatever we do—that’s our lot. Who knows if there’s anything else to life?”  This tells me that God loves animals just as much as people.  So, I encourage you to pray for your pets!  They are entrusted to us to care for them, to feed & shelter them, to love them.. what better way to care for them than to pray for them?

For further information about what the Bible says about animals, I have written a book on the topic.  You can find it at this link: Pawprints On Our Hearts paperback or Pawprints On Our Hearts ebook

Also, here is a picture of my handsome little miracle kitty, Pretty Boy…

pretty boy's best diabetes day ever 01272014

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A Grateful Attitude Can Help Reduce Symptoms Of C-PTSD

Yesterday was an eventful day.  One of my cats, Pretty Boy, needed his annual checkup, which was late.  A little background: Pretty Boy was diagnosed with diabetes since 2011, a condition called Somongyi where his body responds oddly to glucose in 2012, & then with a liver carcinoma in 2013.  That is when the vet said he may not be around much longer, & chances are his glucose wouldn’t be regulated ever again.  In spite of it all, he’s been doing GREAT!  Mostly his glucose has been regulated, & he’s obviously feeling good.  However, I was still nervous (as always) about his checkup.  Turned out the vet said he is doing extremely well, I’m happy to say.  Two vets saw him, one who specializes in diabetes, & she told me she thinks he’s starting to go into diabetic remission!!  It’s very unusual- cats often go into diabetic remission, but usually within about the first 3 months after their diagnosis.  The longer they have diabetes, the lower the chances of remission are.  Leave it to my little guy to be unique.. lol  It’s truly an answer to prayer!  I’m so excited!

This all got me to thinking last night how much I have to thank God for.

Lately, the C-PTSD has been especially bad, leaving me extremely depressed, tired, anxious, having a hard time concentrating & really unable & unwilling to be around people.  It’s been hard to think of anything to be thankful for, but this vet visit was the kick in the butt I needed to change my attitude.  OK, I’m still having some trouble feeling grateful, but I am doing better at it today.  I’m grateful my special little kitty is much healthier than anyone could’ve expected.  I’m grateful too that he’s such a sweet baby- he knows every emotion I have, & if I’m upset, he is right there, offering lots of love to try to make it all better.  I’m grateful for another one of my cats, Punkin, who also has PTSD & how we can help each other when symptoms flare up.  I’m grateful God has blessed me with the many wonderful cats I have & had in my life.   I’m grateful that even during the worst of times with C-PTSD, God still cares & helps me to get through it all.  I’m grateful I survived all of the traumas that caused the C-PTSD, & still have a pretty decent attitude about life most days.  I’m grateful I have people in my life who care about me.  I’m even grateful for the classic car I drive, because it was once my grandfather’s car (my favorite car he ever had) & God found a miraculous way to send it back into my life after not even seeing it in 26 years. (I wrote that story in ebook form- it’s a fascinating story even if you aren’t a classic car fan like me.  Here’s the link: http://www.lulu.com/shop/cynthia-bailey-rug/my-life-the-story-of-a-1969-plymouth/ebook/product-18462742.html )

As a result of thinking about these things & more that I am grateful to God for, for the first time in a couple of weeks, I feel the C-PTSD starting to improve some.  I’m not expecting grateful thoughts to make all of the symptoms magically disappear of course- that would be very naive- but, I have noticed a grateful attitude does help to reduce the severity of C-PTSD symptoms.  I think because it makes me feel closer to God as well as more appreciative of the good things He has blessed me with.  Thinking about such things also increases my faith in God.  Really focusing on the blessings He gives you can’t help but to increase your faith!

I know sometimes when symptoms are raging, it feels like there is absolutely nothing to be thankful for.  I’ve felt that way many times myself.  However, if you can try to think of the good in your life, or ask God to show you the ways He’s blessed you, it may help to reduce your symptoms.  Even if it only helps a little bit, isn’t it worth it?

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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.

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Why Not Tolerating Abuse Is A Godly, Loving Behavior

One thing it seems like all adult children of narcissists share is the large amount of people who  think that we should continue to tolerate anything & everything our narcissistic parents dish out, because of such logic as, “That’s the only mother you’ll ever have!”, “She’s doing her best!”  or, “She won’t be around forever yanno!”  So many people think tolerating abuse is loving, Godly, martyr-like behavior.  How people can think this is utterly beyond me.

Consider Mark 12:32-33, & notice the last part of verse 33…

Mark 12:32-33   “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”  (NIV)

What exactly does it mean to love?  Here is how love is defined in the Bible..

1 Corinthians 13 “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”  (NIV)

I see nothing in there that states how tolerating abuse is a good thing for anyone.  Basically, I see 1 Corinthians 13 this way- love wants what is best, & tolerating abuse is hardly best for anyone.  The victim certainly doesn’t get what’s best- instead they end up hurt & angry at best, or possibly even doubting their sanity at worst.  Depending on the type of abuse the narcissist dishes out, they may also end up in financial straights or with physical injuries.  The abuser doesn’t end up with what’s best when abuse is tolerated either, because being allowed to get away with bad behavior certainly isn’t loving!  Getting away with bad behavior only encourages that bad behavior to continue, & probably even to escalate.  Narcissists in particular, when not confronted with boundaries or consequences for their behavior, will continue to push the limits to see just how far they can go.

People who try to tell you that you need to let your narcissistic parent abuse  you truly have no inkling of God’s definition of love.  Sadly, many of them are very convicted in their beliefs, so trying to explain this to many of them will be a waste of your time.  However, if this is someone you know well, you will know if this person will be open or not to hearing you explain what God’s definition of love really is.  If they are, then hopefully your relationship will survive this bump in the road unscathed.

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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!

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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

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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Update & Sharing What I’ve Learned Recently

Good evening, Dear Readers, & happy new year to you!

I’m sorry I’ve been missing in action lately.  I’ve been having computer troubles, plus I’ve been busy.  I’m reworking my website, so I can make changes easier.  Thankfully it’s about 2/3 completed! Not easy with a cranky computer!  And, I’m happy to say my Facebook fan group has been growing & is quite chatty lately.   Plus, my forum is starting to grow as well, for those not interested in joining the Facebook group.  If you’d like to visit either, the links are on my website, http://www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com

These positive changes are very exciting, yet also very intimidating.  I don’t do change well, even when it’s good change.  Plus, although I’m honored God trusts me to help others, that’s a lot of responsibility!  I never want to let anyone down, even though I will sometimes because I’m only human. 

I’m trying to focus on the very positive things as much as possible, though.  It’s not always easy to do, especially when my anxiety levels go crazy (gotta love C-PTSD huh?), but I’m trying & it’s helping.  I’m also getting better at self care.  It’s truly amazing how a little time spent with some candles, a good movie & the furkids can relax me.

I’ve also gotten better at grounding myself during flashbacks.  Touching & focusing on a rough surface, such as a coarse fabric, helps me a great deal, as does looking at traffic that passes in front of my house.  Not sure why, but what helps isn’t important.  The fact it helps is.

Why have these things happened?  I believe they’re simply answers to prayer. 

I have a bad habit of praying for other people, but rarely for myself.  While God loves it when we care about others, He still wants us to care about ourselves.  (Remember, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”?)

Recently my parents have needed quite a bit of help from me, especially while my father was hospitalized last month.  This caused me a lot of anxiety, & the only thing that enabled me to get through was God’s help.  I started praying for myself more than ever, & God has truly blessed me in return.

I think as a daughter of a narcissistic mother, I always felt selfish praying for myself.  If you too have a narcissistic mother, no doubt you can relate.  After all, we’re not supposed to have needs, wants or feelings according to our mothers.  We’re called selfish if we do have them.

The good news is God disagrees with that.  He wants to help us by meeting our needs & wants, & He cares about our feelings.  In fact,I’ve grown much closer to Him since I’ve been praying more for myself. 

If you don’t pray for yourself much or at all, I’d like to encourage you to start now.  What do you have to lose?  But, you have so much to gain!  Blessings, help as you need it, & best off all, a closer relationship to God.  😀

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

“And We Know That All Things Work Together For Good To Them That Love God”

Good morning, Dear Readers!

I read a lovely quote yesterday by Budda.  It says, “Every experience, no matter how bad it seems, holds within it a blessing of some kind.  The goal is to find it.”  I thought it was a very true & lovely quote, & it reminded me of Romans 8:28 which 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)

I am not of the delusional mindset that if you are just positive enough, all the pain from the painful experiences will magically disappear.  I also will never, ever say I am grateful for the abuse & traumas I’ve experienced in my life, or that they were a blessing.  And honestly, I have yet to find any blessing in some situations even years later.  However, I am happy to say that some good has come from them.  My horrible first marriage taught me it’s better to be alone than with an abuser, to recognize certain warning signs in a man that show he isn’t good for me, & to recognize signs of abuse in a romantic relationship.  The narcissistic abuse from my mother taught me so much about what makes her act the way she does, how it has affected me, setting & enforcing healthy boundaries & more, plus it’s enabled me to help others in similar situations.

By saying these things, I’m not saying abuse or trauma is a good thing, or is necessary for building character or anything so ludicrous.  I’m also not trying to trivialize trauma.  I’m just saying I think it can be a good & healthy thing to find the little bit of positive in a sea of pure crap.  For years, I thought my pain had no purpose at all & nothing good could ever come from it.  Realizing it has, has helped me be more at peace with the traumatic events.  By that I mean that I’ve been able to accept that they did happen & cope to the best of my ability, which is so much better than how I used to handle my pain- by stuffing it down inside & trying to ignore it.

It just amazes me how God can pull some good out of so many terrible situations.  Regarding Romans 8:28, when I thought about that Scripture this morning, I thought about my gorgeous snowshoe Siamese cat, Jasmine. Jasmine was a lovely cat, but her first 7 years of life, she had irresponsible owners who passed her from home to home.  Her last owner before me was good to her, but she passed away in 2003, which is when I inherited Jasmine.  I learned early Jas had a wall up- she was obviously tired of getting close to someone only to have them abandon her.

On Christmas day, 2009, my husband found her barely responsive.  We couldn’t see the vet until the following day, but we immediately got her in that day.  The vet had taken such good care of Danya, my husky/wolf, when he had diabetes, that I was positive he’d be equally as great with Jasmine.  Not only did he misdiagnose her as having cancer or pancreatic issues, he coldly told me I should “just put her down.”  I don’t believe in doing that, plus Jasmine’s pleading eyes told me it would’ve been a mistake.  I took her home, expecting my beautiful girl to die in 1-2 days.  Instead, she started to improve.  She moved a little, then ate & drank a little.  Five days later, she sat upright!  In looking online for answers for her symptoms, I met a good friend who is a vet tech, who diagnosed Jasmine as having had a stroke!  Once she said that, i was able to take care of Jasmine & she recovered with only a little sway to her rear end as a sign she had a stroke.

During following 2 years, Jasmine had 3 more strokes, only her final one giving her any problems.  She fully recovered from the other 2.  We became even closer as I cared for her.  That wall she had built crumbled, & she became not only dependent on me for her care, but also for comfort & love.  She also fought so hard after each stroke to recover fully until she no longer could do so after her last stroke.  And even then, she fought so hard to stay alive.  Her blue eyes stared into mine for her last few hours with such love.. it was beautiful, the love she showed me.

While I can’t say her strokes were a good thing by any means, I still am grateful that she let them change her.  We became so close, much closer during her last 2 years than during the previous 6 years when she was in better health.  She also became very close to the other cats & dogs, rather than ignoring them.  She even became more clear in her communications with me, which struck me funny since one of our dogs at the time was very good at communicating with me, & she always had looked down on him for that.

Out of such a tragic event as a stroke, something beautiful happened.  Jasmine was able finally to accept the fact she had a loving family, & to accept happily the gestures of love we all gave her.  It even seemed to give her strength & a strong desire to fight with every fiber of her being to heal after the strokes.  It really amazed me, & still does, that something so positive came out of such a horrible situation.  Her courageous love (as a good friend of mine describes it so perfectly) was an inspiration to me, & I thank God for blessing me with that amazing, lovely creature.

If you think about the bad situations in your life, what good has come from them?

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

Adult Child Of A Narcissistic Mother, Be Compassionate With Yourself!

Tomorrow, Christmas eve, would’ve been my 24th wedding anniversary, if I had stayed married to my ex husband.

The day always brings some conflicting feelings.  Mostly, I am grateful I was able to get away from him, as he was a narcissist who treated me much like my narcissistic mother used to treat me.  I can’t imagine how bad things would’ve been for me if I had stayed with him.  Chances are good that I would have killed myself if we had stayed together.  I was that depressed with him.

It also makes me sad though, when I think of how damaged I was back then.  I knew marrying him was a mistake, which is why I had broken up with him a few months prior.  Yet I still allowed him to talk me into marrying him anyway.  I married him instead of continuing to date someone who I really enjoyed being with, because I believed my ex when he made me feel guilty for leaving him, & like I owed it to him to marry him for hurting him so badly.

It’s amazing the things that a child of a narcissist will do, isn’t it?

I’m sharing this embarrassing bit of information about myself with you today for a reason.  I’m sure you too have things in your past that you regret.  Bad choices made out of dysfunction, pain or even desperation to be loved.  I want you to know that you’re not alone!  You have nothing to be ashamed of! Mistakes like mine are a normal part of being raised by a narcissistic mother.  You grow up so dysfunctional because all of your growing up years, you were told you were a horrible, stupid, ugly, selfish, etc. etc. person.  You were blamed for things that weren’t your fault, & made to be responsible for things no child should be responsible for, such as her mother’s emotions.  Things like this cause a tremendous amount of damage that permeates your innermost being well into adulthood.  It is completely normal!

Please don’t do like I did for many years.  I beat myself up for being so stupid & marrying someone I didn’t love, for falling for all of his manipulations, for being so starved for love that I believed him when he said he loved me, for ignoring my instincts that told me to stay far from him & for passing up a good man for a narcissistic one.  I asked myself so many times how I could be so stupid, basically continuing the beating up of my self-esteem that both my mother & ex-husband started.  It was wrong & cruel, & I showed myself no understanding or compassion.  Don’t make that same mistake!  You deserve so much better than that!

While yes, you have made mistakes & done dumb things, everyone has!  No one is immune from making mistakes in their life, especially someone raised by a narcissistic mother.  Show yourself some compassion & realize that you have been through some damaging things- it’s only natural you have made mistakes.

Also remember, God loves you & forgives you.  If He forgives you, how can you not forgive yourself?

Be gentle & understanding with yourself, Dear Reader.  You deserve it.  xoxo

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

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