Tag Archives: complex post traumatic stress disorder

Emotional Flashbacks & Sensory Flashbacks

Most people have heard of flashbacks, where you feel as if you are reliving a traumatic event.  It can be so difficult to tell reality from the awful memory during a flashback.  They are horrible, & I wouldn’t wish them on anyone.

But, this isn’t the only type of flashback.  Emotional flashbacks happen too.  They are when something triggers an overwhelming feeling in you.  For example- being late makes me feel tremendous anxiety & shame.  My mother would get me to high school at the last possible moment to show me she was in charge, telling me how lucky I was she would do this or anything at all for me, considering how awful I treated her.  It’s been almost 30 years since she did this yet anxiety & shame still kick into overdrive if I’m running late.

Other examples of emotional flashbacks are things like believing if you make a mistake it makes you bad or feeling shame if someone disagrees with you, or doesn’t like something you like.

There is also such a thing as a sensory flashback.  Sensory flashbacks are brought on by something that affects the senses.  For example, smelling a certain perfume or seeing a style of clothing like your narcissistic mother wore creates terrible anxiety in you.

Emotional & sensory flashbacks can be managed with the same methods used to manage regular flashbacks.  Grounding techniques can help you to get through it.  Use something to stimulate the senses, such as smelling something with a very strong scent, or touch something with a very coarse texture or even hold an ice cube.  Something that strongly stimulates at least one of your senses will force your mind to take notice, & help to loosen the flashback’s hold on you, keeping you in reality.  And, once it’s done, don’t forget to take care of yourself while you recover.  Flashbacks, even mild ones, can take a lot out of you.  You need to rest & pamper yourself to recover afterwards.

Although flashbacks can be extremely painful to experience, they also can be beneficial.  They show you what areas you need healing in.  I encourage you to try to use that awful flashback to help you in this way.  As you feel strong enough, face whatever issue came up & cope with it the best you can.  Pray- ask God to help you to heal.  Learn about ways to forgive your abuser, because you deserve to be happy, without carrying around anger or bitterness.  Learn ways to take care of yourself, to be the nurturer you never had.

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Anger Isn’t Always Bad

I just got myself a little ice cream. Rocky road, my favorite  🙂  Hubby brought it home probably close to a month ago by now.  I’ve been the only one eating it & it’s maybe 1/4 gone. Realizing that I haven’t been over indulging triggered a flashback.

 

When I was growing up, my mother would get candy bars at the grocery store, & often when we came home, she’d give one to my father, one to me then take one for herself.  Often, she forced me to take another one, then when I finally did, she’d call me a hog & give me a very creepy, maniacal smile.  It was so scary looking!  If I confronted her, she’d say “But it’s cute when I do it” & continue the scary smile.  I also had to eat the stupid candy bar or she’d have treated me even worse, more shaming.  I still flippin’ HATE Fifth Avenue candy bars because of her.  Not sure if they even make them- I’m not a big candy bar fan.  Gee, I wonder why??

 

It was kinda funny though.. for once, I realized how angry I am about what my mother did to me.  I also realized it wasn’t a bad thing.  I certainly have a right to be angry about this!  Not only did this awful behavior of my mother’s trigger a flashback (I sincerely hate them!), it’s things like this which are directly responsible for me having eating disorders in my younger days.  I wasn’t overweight growing up, but my mother consistently commented on my weight or my body.  She also very harshly criticized whatever I ate or didn’t eat.  Everything about me, my body, my looks & what I ate was wrong.

 

God’s been working with me on getting OK with my anger for quite a while. I’m never angry all that long, I forgive easily & I don’t get vengeful or cruel.  I’m not consumed with anger.  Also for quite a while now, I’ve envied those who say they don’t let things bother or anger them & felt guilty for not being so “good”,  being a bad Christian or even worse, proving my mother right when she said I have a terrible temper.  The Bailey temper, as she’s always called it.  According to her, the Bailey temper is the worst plague in all humanity, past or present.  So not being ashamed of my anger or feeling like it was misplaced or over the top was a breakthrough!

 

If you struggle with anger too, Dear Reader, please know you are not alone!  Many of us raised by narcissistic parents go through this.  Also, please know that feeling anger is human!  God gave people emotions so we are aware of things.  Joy means what you’re doing is a good thing- have fun with it!  Sadness helps us grieve when we lose someone we love.  Anger is a sign someone is mistreating us.  Emotions are God-given & there is absolutely nothing wrong with any of them, including anger!  It’s what you do with emotions that can be a bad thing.  Simply feeling anger isn’t bad at all.  Hurting someone in the heat of anger, however, that is bad.

 

So the next time you feel angry, feel it!  Don’t ignore your anger!  Ignoring or burying your anger only leads to problems.  Feel your anger.  Tell God what you’re feeling.  Journal about it.  Talk to a safe friend or relative.  Beat up some pillows if that helps.  Write angry letters you never send.  Find a safe way to get your anger out, & rest easy that your anger is not only normal, but God ordained.  There is nothing wrong with you for feeling angry for being mistreated!

 

Also once you get the anger out, know you’re going to be tired.  Emotional work can be very draining.  Take care of yourself.  Rest & relax.  Lay around & watch movies if that helps.  Do things that comfort you & make you feel nurtured.  It’s  good self-care to take it easy after any emotional work.

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The Butterfly Project

As many of you remember, I created The Butterfly Project a few months ago in a simple attempt to help offer inspiration & comfort to victims of narcissistic abuse, while also raising awareness of the horrors of narcissistic abuse.  I hope you have visited the website or follow the Facebook page, & have decided to participate!

 

I also created a twitter page.  You can visit it at: https://twitter.com/ButterfliesProj  Everything that posts to the Facebook page will publish on twitter now, so if you are one of those who doesn’t like Facebook, then I hope twitter will give you a new option for following the page!

 

If you haven’t visited The Butterfly Project, please take a few minutes to check out the website.  It explains in detail what the project is about.

 

Thank you for your time!  I hope you will consider joining me in this project!  It won’t cost you much money or take up much of your time, but the potential to help others is great!

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Does Your Narcissistic Mother Make You Sick?

I’ve been living with a sinus infection for longer than I care to admit.  Finally it seemed to be improving some.  It was wonderful not having a fever or sneezing & coughing every three seconds!

 

Then my narcissistic mother called.

 

As we were on the phone, I started coughing & sniffling more than I had in a while.  Not that she noticed, mind you.  By the time we hung up, I was feeling yukky.  I checked, & I had a slight fever for the first time in a while.

 

Later in the day I mentioned this to my husband.  He said “I’m not surprised.  Her calls often leave you feeling bad.”  I thought about it & he’s right.  I often hang up from her calls with a bad headache, a backache or if I’m already sick, my symptoms get worse.  It’s not a guarantee that every time I’ll feel bad, but it happens often enough.

 

Have you ever noticed if this happens to you too?

 

If it does, I would hazard a guess to say it’s normal.  Years ago, I read somewhere that many people who have experienced trauma or have PTSD have lower back pain with no physical cause.  In fact, 51% of people with PTSD fall into this category.  If dealing with people who have caused you trauma can cause back pain, why couldn’t it also cause you headaches or exacerbating symptoms of an illness you already have?

 

Honestly, I haven’t found a way to avoid this from happening.  Instead, I have decided that I have every right to avoid talking to her if I am not up to the possible physical problems it may cause me.  It is my right to protect my physical & mental health.

 

The same goes for you too, Dear Reader.  If your narcissistic mother makes you feel bad, either physically or mentally, you do NOT need to answer her calls or texts, or visit her if you don’t feel up to it.  I’m not saying cut all ties- certainly that’s an option & often a good one for narcissists, but that decision is entirely yours.  I won’t advocate going no contact or staying in contact,because no one should influence you on such an important & individual matter.  That being said though, limited contact is a good alternative if you are unable to go no contact or unsure if it’s the right solution for you.

 

Limited contact simply means what it sounds like- limiting the time you spend with your narcissistic mother.  Not answering her call every time she calls, not responding to her texts or emails right away & not spending a great deal of time with her- instead only doing so as you feel able to do so.  This is the option I’ve chosen with my mother & although it’s not a perfect solution (no such thing exists, especially with narcissists), it works pretty well for the most part.

 

I urge you to pray about it, Dear Reader.  If dealing with your narcissistic mother affects your physical & mental health, you certainly have every right to go limited contact with no guilt.  As I said earlier, you have the right to protect your physical & mental health.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There Are No One Size Fits All Solutions

When people discover that what they have experienced is narcissistic abuse, they look for answers.  Some make the mistake of thinking there are obvious answers, but unfortunately, there isn’t any such thing.

 

Every narcissist is different.  Every victim is different.  There are also many gray areas when it comes to dealing with narcissists- very little is black & white.   As a result, what works for someone else may not work for you & vice versa.  You aren’t going to find anything that maps out your perfect way to healing yourself of ways to cope with a narcissists.  You have to try different things to figure out what works best in your situation.

 

An online friend & I were discussing this topic recently.  For her, understanding that her narcissistic mother was abused as a child didn’t help her in the least.  In fact, it seemed to make her angrier that her mother would take her issues out on her daughter.  While I get that, for me, learning my narcissistic mother was abused helped me to be more understanding & compassionate with her while still maintaining my healthy boundaries.  I was able to stay calmer than I once had around my mother.  I realized she was wounded & acting out of those wounds because she has no healthy coping skills.  Neither my friend nor I are wrong- we’re doing what works for us.

 

As an author who writes primarily about the topics of narcissism & narcissistic abuse, I have come to realize that as much as I want to help everyone who reads my work, I can’t.  The best I can do is explain what I have learned, talk about what works & doesn’t work for me, & discuss my experiences.  It’s up to each reader to glean from the books & articles what works for them.  Unfortunately, some will be disappointed that what I suggest doesn’t work for their situation.

 

And, ignore those who say things like, “*fill in the blank*  will work for you”.  It may work for you.  Hopefully it will.  But, it also may not work for you.  People who say they have the answers may, in fact, be narcissists themselves.  I realized that after reading a  blog about healing from narcissistic abuse some time ago.  The blogger wasn’t open to opinions other than her own.  She seemed to think what worked for her would work for everyone, & if you disagreed, you were wrong.  For example, no contact.  It was the only solution this blogger supported, & there were no excuses for not going no contact.  While that makes sense to a degree, not everyone is willing or able to go no contact.  What if the narcissist is low on the spectrum?  They may be hard to deal with but also tolerable.  Plus, going no contact is very hard, especially with your own parents.  Not everyone feels capable of going no contact.  Low contact may be a better option.  Still others live with their narcissistic parent & can’t afford to move out so again, no contact isn’t an option.

 

That is just one example.  There are other authors that are the same way- they believe they have all the answers & you need to listen to them.  Be careful whose advice you take when reading about narcissism!   If something seems off, trust that feeling.  Pray & ask God to show you who you can trust & who you can’t, & help you to get the information that will help you the most.

 

 

 

 

 

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Another Book Sale!

This time, my publisher is offering 15% off all print books & free mail shipping until June 12.  Simply use code COOKBOOK15 at checkout.

 

My books can be found at: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

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Print Book Sale!

My publisher is offering a sale on all print books: $5 off any $20 or more purchase.  Simply use code NEWMOON at checkout. (code is case sensitive, so use all caps!)  Sale ends June 5 at midnight.

 

You can find my books at this link:

 

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

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Some Ways To Deal With Narcissists

Most people who know anything about Narcissistic Personality Disorder say the only way to deal with a narcissist is not to deal with a narcissist.  Cut ties with them & never look back.

 

Sometimes, though, that isn’t a possible solution, & other times, it isn’t a desired one for various reasons.  I understand this- I have opted to go limited contact with my narcissistic mother.  This comes with challenges, but even so, in my heart I believe it is the right solution for me.

 

Limited contact has forced me to get creative with ways to deal with her.  Today I thought I would share some of them for those of you who are also still in a relationship with your narcissistic mothers.

 

  • Distance.  It’s really our friend.  Limit your contact with your narcissistic mother as much as possible.  When you visit her or are on the phone with her, limit your time with her to what you’re comfortable with.
  • Keep focused.  Narcissists love to gaslight & confuse their victims.  Don’t let her distract you.  Keep the conversation on the topic at hand, not how much more successful your sister is, what a good daughter her friend has or how badly you’ve disappointed your mother by not doing what she thinks you should do with your life.
  • Always respond, never react.  Reacting happens out of emotion where responding happens after a moment of contemplation.  When your narcissistic mother angers you, stop for a second.  Take a deep breath, collect your thoughts, then speak.
  • Keep your sense of humor.  It’ll help you keep your sanity when you realize just how over the top ridiculous some of her antics really are.  It also helps her nastiness hurt you less when you can laugh.
  • Be emotionless.  While stuffing your emotions is not a good thing in general, in the presence of narcissists, it is a necessary survival tactic.  If you show your hurt or anger to a narcissist, they see they have power over you & get even more abusive.  Showing no emotions while in their presence minimizes the verbal abuse.  Then, once you leave them, find a safe outlet for your anger & frustration.  Journalling, talking to a safe & supportive friend, etc.
  • Use logic.  Want to frazzle your narcissistic mother?  Use logic. For example, if you lose your job & your narcissistic mother responds by reminding you that you have rent & a car payment, you can respond by asking (in a very matter of fact tone of voice) how is this supposed to help you?  Did she really think this hadn’t crossed your mind?  She won’t know how to respond to you.
  • Live your life on your terms.  Nothing will drive a narcissistic mother crazier than you living your life, your way.  It will bother her that she can’t make you do whatever it is she thinks you need to do with your life.  And the best part is you will enjoy your life!

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When People Come To You With Problems, How Do You Treat Them?

I think most of us who have experienced abuse have met at least one person who, upon sharing our story, invalidated us & caused a great deal of pain.  The person who says you’re suffering because you haven’t prayed enough, you don’t have enough faith, let it go- that’s in the past,  I don’t know why you insist on hanging onto this when all you need to do is forgive & forget…

 

Unfortunately it isn’t just people who haven’t been abused who say such things.  Sometimes it is people who have been through trauma, yet refuse to deal with it.  They honestly think they are healed from the damage when in fact, all they have done is sweep the entire incident & aftermath under the rug.

 

Healing isn’t pretty, & sometimes we all need some help getting through.  When someone comes to you for help, how do you respond?  Do you tell her to pray more or do you cry with her?

 

While certainly prayer is wonderful & a vital ingredient to healing, sometimes people need more than you saying you’ll pray for or with them.  They need someone to hug them, to hold them while they cry or even get angry for them.  They need someone who won’t judge them even if they cussing like a drunken sailor or wishing their abuser was dead.  They need understanding, compassion & validation!

 

How do you treat people who come to you with problems?  Do you simply say you’ll pray with them or are you willing to get into the trenches with them?

 

Getting more involved can be a tricky thing for someone who’s been abused, as hearing another person’s story may trigger your own issues.  It also can be extremely emotionally & physically draining.  If you do opt to help another, then build yourself up as much as possible.  Pray & ask God for whatever you need.  Journal if it helps you.  Be good to yourself- eat healthy, get plenty of rest, relax..whatever helps you to feel good.

 

And remember, it is incredibly rewarding helping other people, even when it is hard!  Recently, I wasn’t feeling particularly well when a friend called me.  Someone she knew was having emotional problems & the more she told me, the more I realized it was due to being raised by a narcissist.  By the time we hung up, I felt so much better.  Being able to provide information that helped her, helped me.

 

Truly helping other people, above praying with & for them, can be a wonderfully rewarding experience.  You are blessing not only the other person, but yourself as well.

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Sale On My Books- 20% Off & Free Shipping

My publisher is having another sale!  Use code APRSHIP20 at checkout to receive 20% all print books & free mail shipping until May 1.

 

You can find my books at: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

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Feeling Ashamed Of Being A Victim Of Narcissistic Abuse

Being a victim of narcissistic abuse is often a very shameful  feeling.  If the narcissist was our parent, we are often ashamed of the fact that our parent didn’t love us & that our childhood was so different than other kids’.  If it was a spouse, that too is embarrassing because we feel stupid- how could we not know how bad a person he was?  How could we be so stupid, we ask ourselves.

While feeling this way is understandable, that doesn’t mean it is right.

As the victim, you had absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.  You are innocent.  What was done to you was done because of someone else’s dysfunction, not because of anything you did.  Damage was done to that person long before you came along.  Nothing you did could have made that person do what was done to you.

As you are healing, rather than hiding your problems, why not discuss them?  Be open with safe people as you feel able to discuss things.  Again, you have nothing to be ashamed of.  You are damaged because someone deliberately hurt you.  Would you be ashamed of yourself for having a broken leg if someone hit your leg with a tire iron?  Then why be ashamed of having C-PTSD, anxiety, depression, etc. after surviving narcissistic abuse?  You reacted normally to a very abnormal situation.

Talking about what you have experienced helps you & it also helps others.  It puts a face to narcissistic abuse.  It shows that the victims aren’t crazy, drama queens (or kings), or overreacting like so many people think.  It also shows that narcissistic abuse can happen to anyone, no matter how intelligent or how strong they are.

I’m not saying it’s necessary to talk non stop about narcissistic abuse.  That isn’t good for anyone to focus constantly on something so negative.  I’m saying though to be more balanced.  There is nothing for you to be ashamed of.  You have nothing to hide.  Don’t carry the shame of what was done to you for another day.  That shame belongs on your abuser’s shoulders, not yours.  Let him or her carry the shame & refuse to carry it any longer!

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Shipping Sale On My Books!

My publisher is offering free mail shipping or 50% off ground shipping until Friday.  Use code APRSHIP50 at checkout.

 

My books are available at this link:  http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

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“You Can’t Blame Her Forever!”

So many  who grew up in happy homes tell those of us who didn’t that we can’t blame our abusive parents forever.  We have to take responsibility for ourselves one of these days!

 

While this sounds good, I have an issue with it.

 

Parents are responsible for raising their children.  Some do a wonderful job, putting a great deal of time & effort into making sure their children grow up happy, healthy & loved.  Other parents aren’t so good.  They tear down their child rather than build her up.   They expect their child to take care of them, rather than taking care of her as God intended.  They are so self-absorbed that they have no time or energy to devote to their child.  Some may not even meet the child’s basic needs such as food, clothing or shelter.  Others may use their child to meet their needs, & take their anger out on the child or sexually abuse her.  When parents behave in such ways, that child will grow up scarred, either physically or emotionally or both.

 

Abused children grow up with problems.  Some have lifelong injuries because of the physical or sexual abuse they survived at the hand of their parents.  Some have addictions due to their desire to escape the pain inside caused by their upbringing.  And often, many have PTSD or C-PTSD.

 

How can you not blame your abusive parent as long as you have such problems because of that abusive parent, especially when those problems interfere with your daily life even years later?!

 

I firmly believe that the abusive parent deserves 100% of the blame for the problems that he or she caused.  No one can do anything to deserve being abused!  Abusing is the responsibility of the abuser, never the victim.

 

That being said, the victim does have some responsibility.

 

It is the victim’s responsibility to heal as best she can from the abuse she endured.  It is up to the victim to seek help, to research or do whatever she needs to heal.  While some problems may be lifelong such as PTSD or C-PTSD, she certainly can learn ways to manage her symptoms.

 

It is also the victim’s responsibility to be sure that she doesn’t repeat the familiar patterns of abuse.  Sometimes those who were abused as children become abusers.  I don’t understand how this works exactly, but it is a pretty common phenomenon.  It is up to the victim not to allow this to happen!

 

It is up to the victim to learn & grow as a person, rather than stay the stifled person she was raised to be.  It is her responsibility to become the person God wants her to be, even when it clashes with what her abusive parents wanted her to become.

 

It is also the victim’s responsibility to forgive her abuser.   Mark 11:25 says,  “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”  (ESV)  I know it is hard to forgive others, especially when they deliberately hurt you.  I know they don’t deserve your forgiveness.  However, I also know that you deserve better than to carry around bitterness & anger inside of you!  Don’t get me wrong- I don’t mean you need to forgive & forget.  That only sets you up for further abuse.  I am saying that you can, in time & with God’s help, release the anger you feel inside.  You will be so much happier for it!  Your health will benefit too, as repressed anger can create a myriad of physical & emotional health problems such as high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, heart problems, kidney problems & more.

 

Lastly, I believe it is also the victim’s responsibility to educate others & help to raise awareness.  For example, many people have heard the term narcissistic abuse, but do they really know what it means?  Probably not, so why not start a blog on the topic?  Write about your experiences or what you are learning as you heal.  If you wish, do so using a false name.  Writing the truth using your real name can be a scary prospect since you wonder if the abuser will learn about your writing.  I know- it honestly makes me very anxious sometimes that my parents will learn what I write about (as it is, they don’t have a computer, but they do have flying monkey relatives who do).  If you don’t feel confident in writing a blog, then what about checking into laws on the kind of abuse you endured?  Do you see where the laws need changing?  Then look into changing those laws!  Start petitions or create a website on the topic.  There are plenty of ways you can make your painful experiences count for something!

 

 

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Book Sale Again!!

My publisher is having another sale.  Been plenty of them lately!

 

This sale is for 20% off of all print books until April 3, 2016.  Use code SHOWER20 at checkout (all caps- codes are case sensitive).

 

You can see my author’s spotlight at: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

 

 

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Book Sale!

Save $5 on every $25 or more print book order from my publisher.  Use code SAVE5 at checkout.  Sale ends March 25.

Visit my online store at: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

 

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My Books Are On Sale- Today Only!

My print book & sometimes ebook publisher is offering a really good sale but it’s today only.  All print books are 25% off, ebooks 5% off!  Use code AMAZING16 at checkout!

 

You can see my books for sale & free ebooks at this link: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

 

 

 

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Ways To Cope With Agoraphobia

As mentioned in my previous blog post, agoraphobia is a part of anxiety.  It is the fear of public places.  It commonly accompanies PTSD & C-PTSD.

 

And to put it bluntly, it sucks!

 

I have a hard time going out with someone, but alone is an extremely nerve-wracking prospect.  It’s been very challenging trying to come up with ways to cope.  I have found a couple of things that help some, so I thought I would share them with you today in the hopes they help you as well.

 

Valerian root is an herb with anxiety combating properties.  Taking a pill before going out can be quite helpful.  It may not make you super calm, but it does help to take a great deal of the edge off.  If you haven’t tried it before, you’d be best trying it on a day when you don’t have to drive.  Normally one pill won’t make you sleepy, but there is a chance it may.  Not something you want to deal with behind the wheel!  I have found one pill about every 12 hours can help with anxiety, but more than that puts me to sleep unless my anxiety levels are exceptionally bad.  Many people are the same way, so just be forewarned you may be as well.  Valerian root capsules are readily available in some stores that sell vitamins & herbal supplements as well as online.  It’s usually quite inexpensive too.  Also be sure to follow the dosing on the bottle, as manufacturers sometimes make different strengths.  If you’re taking other medicines, it would be a good idea to check with your doctor to make sure it won’t interact with valerian.

 

I also make sure to go out during quieter times.  The middle of the afternoon during a Tuesday is often a time stores are less crowded.  Early Tuesday or Wednesday morning for DMV.  Also, off times also mean less traffic- an added bonus!

 

I like to reward myself with a little something when I’ve had to go out.  A milkshake, a new bottle of nail polish, or something similar can help motivate me to do what needs done.

 
If I’m able, I try to either go out with someone or meet someone.  Even if I go to lunch with someone then do the errands I need to do, it helps because I had some fun.

 

Motivational thoughts can help some too.  Things like,

  • The sooner I get this trip done, the sooner I can come home & relax.
  • Once this trip is done, I can do something I enjoy- watch that movie I’ve been wanting to see, do a manicure, snuggle the furkids, etc.
  • I also try to focus on something positive, like I am grateful I have this wonderful car to drive, & I am able to go out without having to rely on someone to take me out.

 

I hope these tips help you to better manage living with agoraphobia!

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About Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia can be a crippling phobia.  It is a part of anxiety, & is common among those with PTSD & C-PTSD.  Agoraphobia is a fear of public places.  In fact, some people are even afraid to step outside the door of their own home.

 

I developed it in 1996 when my paternal grandmom died.  When my husband told his mother then later his sister of my loss, both completely ignored the news, changing the subject back to themselves.  Something in their reactions made me think that I do not matter.  Nothing about me is worth acknowledging, & I shouldn’t bother anyone with my problems or even my presence.  Granted, this wasn’t new- growing up with a narcissistic mother certainly made me feel that way.  However, God showed me that their lack of acknowledging my loss cemented such awful, dysfunctional beliefs in me, & made me believe I shouldn’t even bother people with my presence.  Then, developing C-PTSD in 2012 made the agoraphobia even worse.

 

Not everyone develops it in a way like I did.  Some people develop this nasty phobia along with C-PTSD or PTSD.  No matter how it starts, anyone with agoraphobia knows it is extremely challenging to live with.  It strips you of your independence.  It devastates your self-esteem since you feel crazy or useless by not being able to go out as you once did.  You feel like a burden because you need people to go with you or do your grocery shopping for you.

 

If this describes you, please know that you are not alone, Dear Reader.  Many people, especially those who have been subjected to narcissistic abuse, suffer with agoraphobia.  It doesn’t mean you’re crazy or useless or even a burden.  It means you have been through some bad things that made you sick.  I’m sure you don’t feel that is the case, but truly it is!  You are fine- you simply have a problem resulting from trauma.

 

Tomorrow’s post will offer some suggestions I have found for coping with agoraphobia when you simply must leave home.

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Stop Comparing Your Struggles To Others!

So many of us who have survived narcissistic abuse compare our experiences to others’ experiences.  “What I went through wasn’t so bad- that other person was beaten regularly.  My mother only hit me sometimes.”  Or, we hear of someone who has gone through a similar experience then wonder why we aren’t as healed as that person is.  Does that sound familiar to you?

 

Today, Dear Reader, I want to tell you to stop it!  Stop it as of right now!

 

Abuse in every single form is bad, period.  Whether you were beaten or molested or a victim of narcissistic or psychological abuse, something terrible happened to you!  Never trivialize that!  And, don’t invalidate yourself by saying “Maybe it wasn’t so bad- someone else I know had it worse.”  That isn’t fair to do to yourself.  People respond differently to things.  Two people can have the exact same thing happen to them & both will have very different reactions.  Thanks to narcissistic abuse, I have C-PTSD.  If someone else had been through what I have, they may not have developed it.  Or, they may have ended up killing themselves.  Any scenario is possible simply because people are individuals with their own unique feelings & coping skills.

 

Don’t judge yourself, Dear Reader!  You have been through something bad.  Very bad.  You survived & are learning how to heal.  That is something to be extremely proud of!  Validate yourself!  It is perfectly ok to say you were abused & that abuse caused you harm!  There is no need to compare your story to someone else’s.  It’s not a competition!

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It’s Not All Your Fault

Like many survivors of any type of abuse, one thing I have struggled with my entire life is thinking that everything is my fault.  It’s very easy to see why this has happened…

  • My mother blamed me for making her abuse me.  She claimed she was “saving me from myself”, if I wasn’t so bad she wouldn’t have to do the “tough love” thing on me, & I was too upset to drive after a fight with her when I was 19 so her solution was to throw me into a wall & hurt my back.
  • On our third anniversary, my ex-husband started a big fight.  I needed time to calm down & think, so I left.  When I came back, his mother (we lived with his parents) chewed me out for making him punch her wall after I left, & told me how I needed to fix this.  I needed to apologize to him & never leave during an argument again.  She also wanted me to apologize to her husband for making my husband so angry.
  • My current in-laws blame me for stealing my husband from them & keeping him from his family, according to my husband’s sister.  They also don’t understand why I have a problem with how my mother in-law has treated me (she’s a very devious  covert narcissist).
  • When talking about problems with my parents, I have been told that I need to make things work with them.  It’s my job to fix things, period.

You simply can’t survive things like this without learning that everything is your fault, and you deserve whatever you get.  It’s your fault for making people act that way.  You need to try harder.  If the relationship is going to work, then you have to be the one who makes it work.

This type of behavior is extremely common among adult children of narcissistic parents.

Can you relate?  If so, read on..

I want to tell you today, Dear Reader, that there is no way that everything is your fault.

It is simply impossible for one person to do every single thing wrong in a relationship while the other does every single thing right.  Even people with the best intentions & good relationship skills will make mistakes sometimes.

It’s also not one person’s responsibility to make a relationship work.  Relationships are not a one way street- they are a two way street.  Both people need to be willing to work on the relationship, no matter what kind of relationship we are talking about.  Whether the relationship is husband & wife,  friends, relatives, co-workers or parent/child, both parties need to work on the relationship if it is to be a successful.  One person simply cannot make it work, no matter how hard they try.  Sure, one person can make the relationship work briefly, but it won’t last long.  The one with all of the responsibility will become resentful quickly at best, or feel like a complete failure when it falls apart.

You need to know today, Dear Reader, that not everything is your fault or your responsibility!  You have your own voice, your own feelings, & your own needs.  Never let anyone convince you otherwise!  You have your own worth & value, no matter what anyone else says.

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Trauma Changes You

Trauma actually can cause physical changes in the brain. That is why PTSD & C-PTSD happen- the brain is actually broken due to traumatic experiences. The physical damage to the brain causes the awful symptoms of both disorders.

However, I don’t believe you have to have an actual disorder to be changed by trauma.

I have C-PTSD, but the symptoms didn’t fully manifest until the spring of 2012. Prior to that, I have experienced many traumas, & I realized I changed after several of them, long before the C-PTSD.

In 2010, my house was hit by lightening while my husband & I were at a friend’s wedding reception. When we came home we learned a window unit air conditioner had been hit, & caught fire, but somehow the fire went out. The neighbor’s tree beside our driveway, where my car sits, was hit, as was their brick chimney. There were large limbs & bricks surrounding my car, but nothing touched my car. Coming so close to losing my car, furkids & home was extremely traumatic. It made me appreciate them all even more. I constantly snuggle & tell the furkids how much I love them now (sometimes to their disappointment..lol). Cleaning my home & car also aren’t as big of a nuisance as they once were.

Shortly after the lightening incident, upon leaving a store, my shoe got caught on the curb & flung me into oncoming traffic.  Thankfully I was only sore & embarrassed, but that oncoming truck that came within inches of hitting me scared me!  It made me realize that life can change or even end in an instant.  Since then, I take better care of my mental health now instead of ignoring when the C-PTSD flares up. I am less rigid in my routines, opting to do fun things whenever the opportunities arise. I also constantly reevaluate things in my life & am much more open to making changes than I was.

Things like what I have experienced are normal. Trauma is so dramatic, how can it not change you in some way?

The changes may not be as drastic as mine have been. Sometimes, it’s small changes. For example, since I developed C-PTSD, I am not as interested in knitting & crocheting as I had been. I loved doing both ever since I was five years old, so suddenly losing interest has been very strange to say the least.

Have you changed as a result of trauma? If so, you are completely normal! It’s ok! These changes may simply be a part of the new you. Why not embrace the changes? You may discover new interests or a renewed passion for an old one. You may have a new appreciation for the people, pets or even things in your life. You may wish to end old relationships that aren’t beneficial to you or the other person, & that too is fine. It may be a good thing. Maybe it’s time for a fresh start. You also may change often, your likes or dislikes changing frequently.

I encourage you to pray if you are unsure of or uncomfortable with the changes happening to you. God will reassure you of what is fine & let you know if something is wrong.

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Learning About Anger

As I’ve mentioned before, like most children of narcissistic parents, I learned young never to show anger.  Instead, I stuffed it down inside & never dealt with it.

 

This year, I finally begun to stop stuffing anger & dealing with it in a healthy way.  It feels foreign, & like I’m disobeying my mother, but good at the same time.

 

I’ve realized something recently, & I think it may help others who are also finally learning how to manage anger in a healthy way.

 

I’m getting angry often over things that happened a long time ago.  Things have started just popping into my mind at random..bad memories of times when I was abused, invalidated or mistreated in some way.  Not necessarily repressed memories- things I remembered, but never really thought much about.   I finally asked God about it.  This was getting on my nerves, & I wanted an answer.  He reminded me that I  have had a lot of years of not allowing myself to feel the anger I had a right to feel.  Now that I’m getting a better grip on anger, I am finally able to process certain unpleasant events in a healthy way.  That is why these things are coming up so many years later.

 

Dear Reader, if you too are learning how to deal with anger in a healthy way for the first time, don’t be surprised if this happens to you, too!  It just may!  I doubt I’m the only person who this has happened to.  It seems like this is a logical course of events, yanno?  Especially since God wants what is best for His children, & what is best is to deal with painful things so they are no longer so painful.

 

When these events pop into my mind, I talk to God about it as soon as possible.  For whatever reason, they usually come to mind as I’m about to get into the shower, which is good- I have some private time to talk to Him uninterrupted.

 

Once alone with God, I just let it out.  Cry, tell Him how unfair it was, tell Him how much it hurt, whatever needs to get out of me.  He listens & that helps me a lot.  I also sometimes write it out in my journal at a later time.  When you feel anger, you need to purge yourself of it so it gets out of you.  It’s poison if left inside, & can cause many physical & mental health problems.  Getting it out is so much better.

 

When I’m done getting the anger out, I just sit quietly in God’s presence for a while.  It’s amazing how doing that can soothe your soul & mend your broken heart.  He doesn’t even need to say anything to you- there is just something peaceful & restorative about sitting quietly & focusing on God, His greatness & His love.

 

Once these things are done, I often find I’m a bit tired for a while & feel sort of raw emotionally.  Emotional healing is very tiring, very hard work.  If you feel that way, it’s normal.  Just try to take it as easy as you can for a little while until you feel better.  Be gentle with yourself.  You’ve been through something painful, & need to recover.

 

I hope this helps you, Dear Reader.  I know it’s no fun remembering something traumatic or painful, but it really can be helpful in your healing journey.  When things come back to your remembrance, you might as well just deal with them & get it over with rather than continue to ignore it.  Ignoring it does not benefit you in the least.  Dealing with it, especially with God’s help, however rids you of the damage it was doing to you.

 

 

 

 

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Something New

As you may remember, last year, I created The Butterfly Project.  I would send people a small butterfly to remind them that they are much like the butterfly- they’ve been through a dark place (narcissistic abuse) yet emerged into a beautiful new creation in spite of the pain, like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis.

 

I decided to make some changes to The Butterfly Project.  You can see the new website for it here: TheButterflyProject.tripod.com   And, you can check out the new facebook page for it here: The Butterfly Project  (Please feel free to like the page & share it as well as my site!  Thank you!)

 

To summarize, I decided not only to send people butterflies if requested, but also to make them, pray over the recipients of each one, attach a tag to the butterflies to bring people to the above mentioned website & leave these little critters around town in public places where they can be found easily.  My hope is that I won’t be the only one doing so- I’m hoping other people in various areas will do the same.  Information on how to participate can be found here: http://thebutterflyproject.tripod.com/want-to-help.html

 

Please consider joining me in The Butterfly Project.  I think it’s a fun way not only to help offer some inspiration & comfort to victims of narcissistic abuse, but also to help raise awareness.

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Illness In Victims Of Narcissistic Abuse

Many of us who survived narcissistic abuse have trouble with being sick or injured.  We repeatedly have heard statements like,  “Others have it worse so you should stop complaining!”  “That’s no big deal.  What I have is so much worse!”  “You have a bad back?  It’s nothing compared to mine..”  These kind of things sink in.

As I’ve mentioned here before, last February, I got sick with carbon monoxide poisoning & when I passed out, hit my head, resulting in a concussion.  Since that time, I haven’t fully recovered, & may never do so.  In spite of that knowledge & the symptoms I live with on a daily basis, there have been plenty of times I wonder if I’m faking it.  My husband was floored when I told him that, & he said it’s impossible- I even look different when the symptoms are really bad & I can’t fake that look.

I firmly believe my irrational behavior is a direct result of being raised by a narcissistic mother.

As a child, I rarely saw a doctor or dentist, not even when I experienced anorexia when I was around 10 years old.  Fevers didn’t mean anything, I was fine according to my mother.  She made sure I knew it was hard on her if I had a problem.  Mother’s Day, 1986- I was on crutches & my father had hurt his back.  She has complained since that she had to sacrifice her Mother’s Day waiting on us hand & foot, it was such a hard time for her.  As an adult, any problem I have, she doesn’t believe.  I have had arthritis in my knees since 2002.  I told my father that was why I couldn’t do more to help my parents out sometimes around their home.  He told my mother & her response was to call me later & ask if that was even true.  Have I even seen a doctor?  Did she say I need a knee replacement?  That’s all I need- to get my knees replaced, it’s no big deal.  For 10 years I lived with back pain she caused, yet she accused me of faking.  She would slap me in the back or hand me something heavy every time she saw me.

Does any of this sound familiar to you?  If so, please know I understand your pain & frustration & that you are ok!  This is a normal reaction to an abnormal lack of empathy.

I know it is maddening when you are raised this way & as an adult, you don’t even believe yourself that you are sick or injured.  The doctor said you have a problem or you feel the pain, so why do you doubt it?  Then add in feeling that you don’t deserve to take it easy when you need to because someone else has it worse, & you really feel awful.

It’s time to start rejecting what the narcissist says.  Remember, they say nothing to help others- everything they say & do is about themselves.  Your narcissistic mother accuses you of faking your illness?  That’s because she is projecting her bad actions onto you.  She’s faked an illness before.  She says what you’re experiencing is no big deal?  It’s because she doesn’t want to be bothered with your problems, because it doesn’t provide her with the coveted narcissistic supply.

Trust the symptoms are real.  How could you fake them anyway?!  You aren’t doing this for attention or sympathy!  Narcissists do that, not normal, mentally stable people.

Another helpful tip is to read about the disorder or disease you have.  It helps make it more real.  Once I read about Edgar Allan Poe’s experiences with carbon monoxide poisoning, it helped me tremendously!  I realized that someone else felt the exact same way I did, I wasn’t crazy & I wasn’t making anything up!

While you are coming to accept what is happening, also don’t forget to ask God to heal you as well.  He wants you to be happy & healthy!  Allow Him to do that for you!

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A Helpful Tool For Responding In Difficult Situations

Much information I’ve read about Alzheimer’s stresses the importance of treating the patient with respect.  They are more frustrated than you because they can’t remember things or function like they once did, & your lack of respect will upset them even more.  One article gave a very valuable tip for the caregivers that is also extremely useful for dealing with difficult people in general.  Although I have mentioned it before, I want to stress it again because I believe it is extremely valuable.

Rather than reacting out of emotion, take a moment to take a deep breath, think, then respond instead.

Reacting is done without thinking while responding requires thought.  Reacting causes stress & disagreements, where responding can avoid them.  No matter how functional or dysfunctional your relationship, or whether or not the other person has an awful illness like Alzheimer’s, responding is always better than reacting.

As I’ve mentioned, my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in July of last year.  Also as I’ve mentioned before, Alzheimer’s & dementia exacerbate narcissism in a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  Dealing with him has become very difficult sometimes even though the disease hasn’t progressed too badly yet.  I have found the pause to take a deep breath tactic very useful for dealing with him.  As an added bonus, I learned it’s also useful in dealing with my narcissistic mother.

Deep breathing is relaxing, plus the pause gives you a moment to calm down your anger.  Both really help in dealing with narcissists!

This technique also helps me to deal with the frustration of flaring symptoms that accompany C-PTSD like having trouble finding the right words.  The brief pause often means the word comes to me when it wouldn’t during moments of frustration.  It also can help to trigger remembering something that was lost a moment before.

It also helps my marriage.  Thanks to the C-PTSD & a brain injury, I can be very moody & irritable.  Unfortunately there are times I have snapped at my husband for no reason, but I have found this technique helps to cut back on those times a lot.  If we’re talking while I am irritable, I stop & take a deep breath.  It helps me to have more control, & not snap at my poor husband.

No matter the status of your relationships or your mental health, I hope you will consider what I have said & begin to employ this technique.  It really can be helpful in even the most challenging of relationships!

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Why Does It Feel Wrong To Tell Your Story?

Those of us who have been through abuse tend to feel that we are doing something wrong by telling our story.  We may even wonder if we are making things up because so few people truly believe what we’re saying.  (Having your feelings invalidated or told you’re exaggerating truly can make you doubt the reality of what happened to you.)  Things like this tend to keep us quiet.

However, the fact is that we have every right to tell our stories, & by the way, no, we didn’t make it up.  So why do we feel this way?

Victims are groomed by their abusers to keep the abuse a secret.  To tell anyone about it would incur a terrible wrath.  We learned early on that it is better to stay quiet than to talk about it.  When my mother suspected me of telling someone what she was doing once, I was shamed deeply for “airing our dirty laundry.”  When I got myself into therapy to figure out how to deal with her, she demanded to know everything that I talked about with my counselor.  It became much easier not to talk about it than to deal with her wrath!

Abusers also groom their victims to doubt themselves, while only believing the abuser.  It’s called gaslighting or crazy making.  Abusers do their best to determine their victim’s reality.  This makes it easier for the victim to accept abuse, because although a part of them realizes it is wrong, they are told it is acceptable so much that eventually that false belief overrides their belief it is wrong.

Being too afraid to tell your story when you feel it’s time to share it also means you are carrying your abuser’s shame.  It’s not your shame!  You have done nothing wrong by being abused!  The one who abused you is the one who should be ashamed!  It is not your job to feel the shame for her even if she refuses to feel it herself.  Remind yourself of that often, & the shame will lift.

You have every right to tell your story if you want to do so.  It is your life & your story.

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What Exactly Is Harboring Anger?

When you have been abused, you eventually get angry.  It’s only natural.  Many people think that this means you are harboring anger.  It can be very discouraging & painful for you, because so many people will tell you you need to let it go, it was so long ago so why are you still holding onto this & other painful, invalidating things.  Christians often will quote verses on forgiveness & make you feel guilty for being angry.  I actually was told once by a Christian lady, “God says forgive so I do it.  I don’t know what your problem is.”  *sigh*  I can’t even express how ashamed of myself I felt when she said that.

I always find it interesting that these judgmental people never have good advice on how to forgive, but they sure are quick to tell us we need to do it!

The truth of the matter is anger is not easy to deal with.  Some people are very blessed & are able to let it go easily, but they are pretty rare.   The rest of us have to feel it, & get really angry before we can let it go.  Often several times.

Anger can also be somewhat deceptive.  You can think you are done, you’ve forgiven someone, when suddenly something triggers anger at that person all over again.  I experienced that a few months ago regarding my ex husband.  I thought I’d forgiven him long ago, then after my mother bringing him up in conversation, it triggered a flashback which made me very angry at some things he had done to me.  It was frustrating because I was sure I’d completely forgiven him.

Anger is a complex emotion that demands to be heard & dealt with in some way.  So long as you are trying to deal with it however works best for you though, this doesn’t mean you are harboring anger, resentful, bitter, etc.

Harboring anger, however, is different.

Harboring anger involves not trying to let the anger go.  People who have no desire to forgive are harboring anger.

It also includes a disdain & intense hatred for the person who abused you,

Harboring anger also means you don’t care why the person hurt you- you only care that you were hurt.  A mature person tries to understand why someone acted the way they did rather than only knowing their actions. They know if they can understand, even a little, it may help them to forgive the other person & not take on the blame for that person’s actions.

People who harbor anger are very bitter.  For example, if someone has a spouse who cheated, she assumes all men are cheaters or he assumes all women are cheaters.

These people also hold grudges for years.  They can still be just as angry today as they were the day they were hurt 37 years ago.

These people also talk badly about whoever hurt them at every opportunity.  Those who aren’t holding onto anger are different- if they discuss that person, they do so in a matter of fact way, without name calling or insulting.

Today I encourage you, Dear Reader, to examine your actions.  Are you harboring anger or are you angry but trying to forgive your abuser?  If the latter, then please, stop listening to those who are trying to convince you that you are a bad person for feeling the way you do!  Ignore the ignorance of other people, & do what you need to do to heal & forgive!

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How Do You Talk To Yourself?

 

Like I said in my last post, I realized how incredibly verbally abusive I am to myself.  My narcissistic mother has always been extremely critical of me, as have the other narcissists I’ve been in relationship with.  As a result, I copied their behavior & became very critical of myself.  Unfortunately I think this is quite normal for survivors of narcissistic abuse.

 

As I said, I was berating myself a few days ago for my anxiety levels being so high, even though it’s a normal part of C-PTSD.  In fact, many other times, I have told myself I’m stupid, weak & a failure for having C-PTSD.  I have said similar things to myself for other reasons, such as for being depressed after losing someone I love or even being sick.

 

Does this type of self-talk sound familiar to you?  If so, then like me, you need to put a stop to it!  This kind of talk is abusive!  It is basically continuing the verbal abuse of your narcissistic mother!  Why do that?!  Didn’t she do it enough?!

 

No one deserves such vicious abuse, but especially from yourself.  Absolutely nothing good comes from it!  Only bad. This sort of verbal abuse devastates & can destroy your self-esteem.  It adds to a root of toxic shame.

 

I realize it’s probably such a habit, you do it without even noticing.  That’s how it’s been with me.  I’ve noticed it some times, but never thought much about it until the other night.  If you haven’t really paid attention to your own self talk like me, then I urge you to start now.  And, if you discover your self talk is bad as mine, then it’s time to start showing yourself some compassion for a change.

 

I’m sure making changes in self talk isn’t easy.  It’s just something you’ve always done, talk to yourself that way.  Even so, I think paying attention to it & changing the negative words into more accepting ones is doable.  It seems to me it should be a matter of quitting a bad habit & turning it into a good one by showing yourself the same understanding & compassion you show other people.  It will require focus & patience with yourself.

 

Also, ask God for help as well.  He will help!  He always does!

 

Do you have other ideas?  If so, I’d love to hear them.  Feel free to post them in the comments section or email me privately at CynthiaBaileyRug@aol.com

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Are You Too Responsible?

The other day, I went out with an old friend for an afternoon of lunch & shopping.  It was a perfectly lovely day full of lots of fun & laughs.

 

For a normal person, this would be all there is to the story.  I, however, am not normal, thanks to C-PTSD.

 

Driving to my friend’s home was nerve wracking.  I was unable to drive much for about 18 months for various reasons, then add in the concussion I endured last February  that has warped some of my perception, & I feel like I’m learning to drive all over again.  Plus, being out in public makes me anxious, thanks to the agoraphobia.  I also don’t do change in my regular routine well.  And, the concussion made my already high anxiety levels worse & harder to control.  All of these factors made my anxiety level really, really high.

 

After getting home, my husband asked how the afternoon went, & I told him all about it, including my awful anxiety.  He told me he was proud of me for not only doing this but managing to enjoy myself in spite of the anxiety.  I should have said “thank you” & gone on with my day, but ohhh noooo.  I said, “I just did what anyone can do- I’m just the one stupid enough to have problems doing it.”

 

Ouch.

 

I realized two things as soon as I said those words…

 

  1. I blame myself for way too much that is beyond my control.
  2. I really don’t talk nicely to myself.  In fact, I’m downright verbally abusive.

 

These issues need addressing, & I’m sure if I need to address them, other adult children of narcissistic parents do as well.  So in this post, we’ll address self blame & the next one, how to talk to oneself.

 

Growing up with my narcissistic parents, I learned that I was responsible for pretty much everything.  When my parents would fight, if I wasn’t in the same room, sometimes they would come into the room where I was so I could stop the fight.  Both would talk to me about the other & the problems in their marriage (they still do today & I try to avoid it).  If I had any problems with a friend, my mother always told me “to have a friend, you have to be one.”  Basically she meant I wasn’t doing enough to make the friendship work.  It was all my responsibility & the other person had zero responsibility.  I was solely responsible for my grades in school- I wasn’t reminded to do my homework & not helped study once I got out of elementary school.

 

God showed me that being so overly responsible for pretty much everything led to me believing that if something is wrong, it’s my fault.  I feel that I should’ve done something to prevent that, I should fix the damage, etc.

 

Plus my mother openly blames me for things that are beyond my control.  For example, a few years ago, I got the flu 3 times in one winter.  It’s never happened before or since.  I assume it was because I was so stressed that winter that my immune system was very compromised.  My mother, however, said I deserved it because I didn’t get a flu shot.  A little over a year ago, I was helping my husband split wood with the wood splitter.  A large log slipped from his grip, landing on & breaking my big toe.  I tried to move but wasn’t fast enough.  My mother said it was my fault for not being more careful.

 

Such abusive behavior towards me cemented the false belief in me that most things are my fault, even things beyond my control.  Yesterday was proof of that.

 

I realized just how ridiculous this is.  Not one thing about my anxiety being so bad was my fault, & I need to not take responsibility for it.  So many other things aren’t my fault either that I have taken responsibility for.

 

Does this sound familiar to you?  If so, it’s time for you to make changes too!

 

Since this is new territory for me I’m honestly not entirely sure how to go about it.  I have some ideas that I believe should work though..

 

I plan to ask God to help me have a more appropriate sense of responsibility.  Call my attention to blaming myself when it’s not my fault.  Help me to assign blame to the one who is really responsible.

 

If I catch myself blaming myself, I think it’s a good idea to ask God if this is truly my fault.  Should I accept responsibility for it or not?  If not, please help me to shake feeling responsible for it.

 

And, when my mother (or anyone really) starts blaming me for something I know isn’t my fault, I will refuse to accept that blame.  Whether that means standing up to the person or simply telling myself that I’m not to blame or both, I need to do it.

 

I hope these suggestions help you, Dear Reader.  If you have any others, I’d love to hear them.  Feel free to write in the comments or email me privately at CynthiaBaileyRug@aol.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Some Encouragement For You

Last night, I had an interesting dream.  I dreamed a huge old tree fell onto the hood of my car.  Somehow I got this huge thing off my car, & realized the most amazing thing- my car wasn’t totaled like I expected!  There were a few small dents in the tops of the front fenders, but that was all the damage.  I drove the car away.

 

I woke up flustered- those of you who know me know how important my car is, & seeing it damaged, even in a dream hurts.  That hurt quickly vanished when God immediately showed me what the dream meant though.

 

In dreams, cars are symbolic of your life.  In the dream, my car survived something that was meant to destroy it with minimal damage.   God showed me this is much like me.  Going through narcissistic abuse was meant to destroy me like the tree that fell on my car in the dream.  Yet, like my car, I survived with a surprisingly small amount of damage as a result.   Yes, I have C-PTSD, but considering how much gaslighting I’ve experienced, it’s amazing my mental health isn’t worse.  Plus, God miraculously healed my back injury from my mother’s attack when I was nineteen.

 

You, Dear Reader are no different than me.  You too escaped, with minimal damage, that which was meant to destroy you!  I know, it doesn’t seem that way when you are trying to stop lifelong dysfunctional thinking patterns, having flashbacks or nightmares.  I understand that completely, as I felt the same way.  But really, think about it- the goal of narcissistic abuse is to destroy the victim completely so the victim can be molded into whatever the narcissist wants.  You weren’t destroyed!  You may have some scars (physical & mental) but you survived!  You are like my car was in my dream- some damage, but still functional!  That is no small accomplishment!  I hope you are very proud of yourself- you should be!!

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