Tag Archives: disorder

Narcissistic Mothers Abuse Their Daughters About Their Weight

Many narcissistic mothers have issues with food & weight, & in typical narcissistic parent fashion, they pass those issues on to their daughters.

My mother told me how fat & ugly I was so often in my childhood that I went through anorexia at age 10, & later bulimia in my teens.  She continued to insult my weight very harshly until we stopped speaking when I was 45 years old.  Many other daughters of narcissistic mothers I have spoken to have similar stories with their mothers.  Even if they didn’t develop a full blown eating disorder, their mothers convinced them that they were ugly because they are too fat or too thin.

I think this is often because insecurity the reason many people became narcissists.  Insecurity is at the root of their behavior, so everything they do is an attempt to make them feel better about themselves.  The more a narcissist can beat someone down, the more this builds up the narcissist.  They love having the power to destroy another person’s self esteem.  It’s a “high” to them.

Narcissists also like to project their issues & insecurities on others.  In other words, they accuse other people of thinking or acting like they do, even when it’s very obvious that the victim is doing nothing of the sort.  Projection allows them to be angry about their own issues while at the same time not admitting their flaws, accepting any responsibility for them or making appropriate changes in their thoughts, beliefs & behavior.

Also, narcissistic mothers look at their daughters as competition.  If the mother is overweight or underweight, but her daughter has a good figure, it is a guarantee that she will do her level best to make her daughter feel badly about her figure & her appearance in general.  The narcissistic mother can’t handle thinking her daughter is better than her in any area, so in her mind, her daughter must be punished for this.

Narcissistic mothers also want to control their daughters, & one way for them to accomplish this task is to obliterate her daughter’s self esteem.  A person who thinks poorly of herself is easy to manipulate & control.  That person doesn’t believe she is smart enough to know what is right, so she’ll rely on someone else to tell her these things.  She also doesn’t believe she deserves to be treated well & will tolerate some pretty terrible abuse.

If this describes your situation with your narcissistic mother, please remember these things! The things she has said to you are a lie! She is only saying those things to hurt you so she can feel better about herself. DO NOT LISTEN TO HER!!!

Never forget to run to God with your problems.  Ask Him to tell you the truth. Ask Him if what your mother said is accurate or not, then listen for His response.  It may be an audible voice, or it may be a knowing in your heart.  Or, you may hear nothing at the time, but at a later time, you hear a song or read a passage in a book or your Bible that somehow speaks to you, & you know beyond a doubt it is God sending you a message.

I know it can be hard to do these things, but you need to!  You don’t deserve to feel badly about yourself or have eating disorders, especially because of someone else cruelly putting their own issues on you.  You are fearfully & wonderfully made, according to God’s word in Psalms 139:14.  You deserve to love your body, not hate it, especially because of someone else has issues.

Advertisements

1 Comment

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

Asking God For Justice

Did you know that it is acceptable to ask God for justice and expect Him to provide it?  It is.  It is actually in the Bible…

 

 

  • Job 11:20“But the eyes of the wicked will fail, And they will not escape [the justice of God]; And their hope is to breathe their last [and die].” (AMP)
  • Job 36:6“He does not prolong the life of the wicked, But gives the afflicted their justice.” (AMP)
  • Psalm 11:7“For the Lord is [absolutely] righteous, He loves righteousness (virtue, morality, justice); The upright shall see His face.”  (AMP)
  • Psalm 37:28“For the Lord delights in justice And does not abandon His saints (faithful ones); They are preserved forever, But the descendants of the wicked will [in time] be cut off.” (AMP)
  • Psalm 70:2“Let those be ashamed and humiliated Who seek my life; Let them be turned back and humiliated Who delight in my hurt.” (AMP)
  • Isaiah 1:17“Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.”
  • Amos 5:24“But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream”
  • Luke 18:7-87And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (NIV)

In Psalm 7, King David very eloquently asked God to protect him from his enemies as well as to get justice for him:

Psalm 7:

1 O Lord my God, in You I take refuge;

Save me and rescue me from all those who pursue me,

2 So that my enemy will not tear me like a lion, Dragging me away while there is no one to rescue [me].

3 O Lord my God, if I have done this, If there is injustice in my hands,

4 If I have done evil to him who was at peace with me,

Or without cause robbed him who was my enemy,

5 Let the enemy pursue me and overtake me;

And let him trample my life to the ground

And lay my honor in the dust. Selah.

6 Arise, O Lord, in Your anger;

Lift up Yourself against the rage of my enemies;

Rise up for me; You have commanded judgment and vindication.

7 Let the assembly of the nations be gathered around You,

And return on high over them.

8 The Lord judges the peoples;

Judge me, O Lord, and grant me justice according to my righteousness and according to the integrity within me.

9 Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous [those in right standing with You];

For the righteous God tries the hearts and minds.

10 My shield and my defense depend on God,

Who saves the upright in heart.

11 God is a righteous judge,

And a God who is indignant every day.

12 If a man does not repent, God will sharpen His sword;

He has strung and bent His [mighty] bow and made it ready.

13 He has also prepared [other] deadly weapons for Himself;

He makes His arrows fiery shafts [aimed at the unrepentant].

14 Behold, the [wicked and irreverent] man is pregnant with sin,

And he conceives mischief and gives birth to lies.

15 He has dug a pit and hollowed it out,

And has fallen into the [very] pit which he made [as a trap].

16 His mischief will return on his own head,

And his violence will come down on the top of his head [like loose dirt].

17 I will give thanks to the Lord according to His righteousness and justice,

And I will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.”  (AMP)

(Notice how David asks for justice, not revenge.  There is a big difference between the two.  Justice is a correct punishment for a wrong done to a person.  Revenge is inflicting suffering on someone.)

I am not saying you have to ask God for justice, that it will make people suddenly behave properly or you will no longer hurt by anything they have done.  However, if you want to, there is nothing wrong with asking God for justice in your situation if you feel so inclined. Maybe it would help you somehow to do it, and if it would, then it is absolutely worth doing.  Besides, maybe when God sends them His justice, they will learn that their behavior was wrong, and not behave that way any longer.  It is certainly possible.  All things are possible with God!

When my father was dying & I was abused daily by the flying monkeys, I did not ask for justice at first.  It took me a couple of months before I prayed for justice.  I also asked that when His justice happened to these people that they would learn never, ever to treat anyone else the way they treated me.  I also only prayed this prayer a couple of times.  It certainly is not a part of my daily prayers.  It did help me to feel a bit better to pray for justice those two times, though.  I am not a vengeful person at all.  I am however, very tired of people getting away with hurting innocent people without consequences.  It is not right, and people need to know that they cannot simply treat anyone however badly they feel like without consequences.  Since talking to these people would do no good, I believe that praying for justice for what they did to me is the next best thing.  God can get through to them like no mere mortal can!

4 Comments

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

Encouragement For Those Still In A Relationship With A Narcissist

I’m writing this post for those of you who are currently  unwilling or unable to go no contact with a narcissist.

Almost every article out there regarding victims of narcissistic abuse says the same thing – “just go no contact.”   The tone in many of these articles & even some fellow survivors can be downright shaming.  They make it sound like being unable or unwilling to go no contact means you’re weak, stupid or something is very wrong with you.

No contact is almost always the best way to deal with a narcissist, but that still doesn’t make it an easy solution.  It always hurts to end a relationship, even when the person with whom you’re ending it is abusive.  The closer the relationship the more it hurts, too.  If you’re ending a relationship with your parent, that is going to hurt a great deal more than ending it with someone you have dated only a month.  Narcissists usually abuse those closest to them.   This is why the most abusive relationships with a narcissist are close relationships, such as parents & spouses.

There is also the fact that narcissists are able to behave & treat people right (they just prefer acting the way they do because it gets them what they want).  When they behave, they can be so very good & loving!  Seeing that, it’s hard to want to leave them because you can’t help but hoping that good part of them will stick around for good.

Not wanting to end a relationship with a narcissist doesn’t mean something is wrong with you or you’re weak.  It means you’re normal!

It often takes a lot of time to work up the inner strength to be able to go no contact.  Narcissists beat their victims down so badly, they can utterly destroy their victim’s self esteem.  Even when you learn what is happening, it still takes time to repair your self esteem & to build up enough strength to sever ties.

Or, maybe you believe in your heart that the timing isn’t right just yet  for no contact.  That happened to me with my parents.  I wanted to go no contact with them for well over a year before I felt God was saying it was time.

A lot of times, a victim who lives with a narcissist is financially dependent on that narcissist.  Narcissists love using money as a means of control, so often they take away any access a victim has to money, even if it’s his or her own paycheck.   It takes time to be able to find means of supporting oneself in these situations.

There are also some narcissists who are pretty low on the spectrum.  Yes, that person causes problems but they aren’t over the top in their behavior.  In cases like this, some people would prefer to learn ways to deal with these people than end those relationships, & it is their right to do that.

None of the above situations make a person weak or flawed.

For those of you who are in situations like these, I want to encourage you today.

It’s very difficult at best being in a relationship with a narcissist, I know.  Until the time comes when you are ready & willing to go no contact, there are some things you can do to make your relationship with this person a little easier.

The first thing you should do is ask God to show you creative & effective ways to cope with this person & also to enable you to go no contact if that is your desired result.

Always remember that narcissists are all about gaining narcissistic supply.  It’s the motivation behind everything they do.  Any attention or reaction you give them, good or bad, provides supply.  Learn to be as boring to the narcissist as possible.  Show them no anger, sadness or happiness.  Be calm & collected in the presence of the narcissist.  Offer simple answers without explanations.  Provide no personal information.  This is known as the Gray Rock method.

Don’t forget to question whatever the narcissist says.  They are masters of gaslighting & manipulation, so basically almost everything they say needs to be examined.  Ask yourself if what they say is true or not.  You also can question the narcissist directly.  If you opt to do that, do it calmly in your best gray rock way.  “Why do you think that?”  “Explain how that makes sense.. I don’t follow you.”  Logical & calmly asked questions can throw a narcissist off balance.  They show her that you’re onto her.

Never forget to keep & enforce healthy boundaries.  You have every right to tell the narcissist no & to expect to be treated with respect.  Don’t explain your boundaries either, as the narcissist will tell you why your boundaries are wrong, & may make you doubt yourself.  Or, if you feel you absolutely must explain something, remember to stay gray rock & keep all explanations minimal.

Never forget that whatever any narcissist is doing isn’t about you.  It’s about them.  Everything is always all about them!  Yes, that person is hurting & abusing you, but it’s because it makes her feel better.  It’s not because you have done something to deserve it.  Also, nothing that person says about you is true.  Narcissists project their own flaws onto their victims.  It doesn’t mean you actually are whatever the narcissist says you are.  In fact, if you listen to what the narcissist says about you, you can learn a lot about that person.  If she calls you a liar, it’s because she lies often.

If your goal is to go no contact in the future, low contact may be an excellent option for you.  It’s as the name describes – you are in low contact with the narcissist.  You don’t take phone calls or visit  often, but only when you feel able instead.  Low contact can be a really good stepping stone to no contact.

While there are no easy, one size fits all solutions for narcissists, these tactics can help you at least.  And, don’t forget – there is nothing wrong with you for being unable or unwilling to go no contact.  It’s a very big decision, & every person has to do it only when & if they feel equipped to do so.

6 Comments

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

Spiritual Abuse

Narcissists abuse their victims in many ways –  emotionally, mentally, financially, physically & sexually.  Some also abuse their victims spiritually.

Spiritual abusers aren’t only those who are preachers, deacons or others who are active in their church.  Anyone can be a spiritual abuser.  When my mother’s abuse peaked when I was in my late teens, she became very spiritually abusive.  She frequently told me that I was going to hell for the terrible way I treated her.  She never was active in a church or taught me anything about God.  In fact, she always said she hated Christians.

If you’re wondering if the narcissist in your life is abusing you spiritually, there are some signs to look for.

 

  • Twisting Scripture around or eliminating parts of it to suit their agenda is a big red flag.  A narcissistic parent who tells their child the commandment says to honor your parents, yet never considers where the Bible says parents shouldn’t exasperate their children is guilty of this behavior, as is the narcissistic husband who says wives should submit to their husbands while conveniently forgetting the rest of the verse says husband should also submit to their wives.
  • Narcissists also may lie to the victim, saying they are doing God’s will by abusing the victim.  This can do a tremendous amount of damage to a victim.  It can turn someone against God, or destroy their faith in Him.  I did not believe in God as a child, since I had no real teaching about Him, but my mother using Him as a weapon to hurt me made sure I didn’t want to know anything about Him either.
  • Someone who reminds victims of the imperfection of human nature as an excuse to abuse is being spiritually abusive.
  • Claiming a victim shouldn’t get angry because it’s not Godly is spiritually abusive.
  • Anyone who tells a victim to “forgive & forget” the abuse, to stay with an abuser no matter what or gets angry when a victim gives an abuser consequences is being spiritually abusive.
  • Some narcissists are quite active in their church, making themselves very valuable to the church with their service.  They will recruit enablers who are also in the church, so when their victim speaks out, they shun the victim.  The logic is something like, “He couldn’t be like she says!  Look at all of the good things he does for our church!”
  • They also may tell people that the “good” people at church are disappointed in the victim for behaving so badly, whether or not this is true.  This can leave a victim feeling unable to reach out for support.

 

Coping with spiritual abuse isn’t easy, but it can be done.

 

  • Do you know Jesus as your personal savior?  If not, I really suggest you turn to Him now because you truly need help!  There is information available on my website at this link: Salvation Through Jesus Christ.
  • Learn what the Bible has to say.  Use an easy to understand translation like the Good News or New King James version.  The more you learn & the closer you draw to God, the more truth you will see & the more you will see the narcissist has been lying to you.
  • Question things the narcissist says to you.  Not necessarily out loud, but to yourself at least.  “How does this coincide with the Bible?”  “Is there Scripture that backs up what he/she is saying?”
  • Pray.  Pray often & pray a lot.  Ask God to show you the truth & to give you clarity.  While God is holy, He is also a very loving & gentle Father.  He will guide, teach & even correct you while never making you feel badly about yourself.
  • Do you have good Christian friends?  If not, it’s time to find some!  If you know someone who has been a Christian for a while, & is actively trying to be a good example of their faith, this person can help you to keep focused on the truth.  If the narcissist prevents you from having friends (as so many do), see what you can find online.  There are many online forums & groups.  You can find friends there that the narcissist doesn’t know about.
  • Never forget that your Heavenly Father loves you a great deal.  He does NOT want you suffering & miserable.  He does NOT condone abuse nor does He want victims to suffer in silence.  Speak out & protect yourself.

 

6 Comments

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

Types Of Flashbacks & How To Cope

I would guess about everyone has heard of flashbacks, but I don’t think all that many people realize there are different types of flashbacks.  This post is going to explain them.

The first flashback is the type everyone knows.  It’s where the person having the flashback feels as if they are reliving a traumatic event.  It’s much like you’re watching a movie in your mind, but it seems so real, it can be very hard to differentiate between reality & the flashback as it’s happening.

There are also emotional flashbacks.  Instead of feeling as if you’re reliving a traumatic event, you feel the emotions of a traumatic event flooding back to you.  Something seemingly unrelated can trigger this, such as someone using a phrase your abuser used during the traumatic event or speaking to you in a similar manner to your abuser.

Both types of flashbacks also can trigger a sort of body flashback where you feel physical pain that you felt during a traumatic event.  As an example, I’ve told the story before of how my mother threw me into a wall when I was 19.  I had back pain for 10 years after that, then God healed me.  Although God healed me over 18 years ago at this time I’m writing this, if I have a flashback of the night that happened, or sometimes if I just think about it, my back starts to hurt.

Having had all three types of flashbacks, I’ve learned some ways to cope with them that help me, & I hope will help you too.

During the flashback, I find it extremely important to keep myself grounded.  People do all kinds of things to make that happen.  Some clap their hands loudly, stomp their feet hard or hold an ice cube.  I prefer touching something with either a very coarse or very soft texture.  Smelling something with a strong scent is helpful too, such as lavender essential oil.  A bonus of lavender is it has anti-anxiety properties to it, so not only does it smell lovely but it helps calm you naturally.  I actually keep a small vial of lavender essential oil near me at all times just in case I need it.  Whatever you choose to do, it needs to be something that basically “assaults” your senses to override the flashback & keep you grounded in reality.

It’s also a very good idea to remind yourself that this is only a flashback.  It isn’t real.  There is nothing that can hurt you happening right now.  You’re completely safe.

Also try not to focus on anything else as the flashback is happening.  Instead, focus only on getting yourself through it.  Nothing else.

Once the flashback has subsided, chances are you’re going to feel tired.  They take a lot of energy, physically & emotionally.  That is totally normal.  Try to take it easy if you can, & get some rest.

When you have recovered & feel able, I really recommend thinking about the topic of your flashback.  If it was reliving a traumatic event, what was the event about?  If it was an emotional one, do you know why this flashback was triggered?  What happened that made you feel the way this event did?

From there, you can begin to deal with the event however works best for you.  Pray, journal, talk to a close friend, a pastor or therapist or a combination of these things.  Don’t forget to really feel the emotions connected to this event.  You’re allowed to cry or get angry about it!  In fact, you need to do so.  Feeling the emotions will help to get the out of you & help you to heal.

A wonderful thing will happen as you heal from this painful & traumatic event.  It will lose much of its power over you.  It won’t hurt so much to remember it anymore, & it’s likely you won’t have a flashback about that particular event again.

10 Comments

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

How Narcissists Use Cars To Abuse

Narcissists will use anything at their disposal to abuse & control their victims, & that even includes cars.

If a victim has hurt a narcissist somehow or even simply set boundaries with the narcissist, the narcissist may drive like a maniac in an attempt to scare the victim.  After I broke off the engagement with my now ex husband, we went somewhere together & he was driving very erratically.  It terrified me & I asked him to stop it.  He said it was my fault he drove that way, because after I broke up with him, he didn’t care if he lived or died.

Cars are also an excellent place for a narcissist to have complete control over their victims.  The victim has no means of escaping the narcissist’s car, so there is no choice but to tolerate whatever is done in that car.  In my late teens when my mother’s abuse was at its worst, she refused to let me get my license & a car.  Naturally, this meant she took me to & from school & work.  Each ride was sheer hell for me because she screamed & raged at me the entire ride.  I had no way of escaping either since I needed to get to my destinations, so there was no choice but to tolerate it.

Narcissists also often want to be the driver because this means their victim/passenger only can go where the narcissist wants to go & on her time schedule, not the victim’s.   If they want to go somewhere with their victim, they will tell the victim what time they will pick him or her up, or tell the victim to come to the narcissist’s home so the narcissist can drive them to their destination.  It’s all about control, & all victims know, narcissists love to have control over their victim in every possible way.

There are also some narcissists who don’t drive.  This is most prevalent with covert narcissists rather than overt.  They may play the naive & innocent role, claiming it is just too hard to drive.  Since overt narcissists usually avoid appearing in a way that can look weak somehow, they usually drive.  Again, this is all about control.  If a narcissist can’t or won’t drive, this forces the narcissist’s victims to take care of her by either taking her places or doing things for her.

I’m certainly not saying that everyone who is a bad driver, who prefers to be the one driving or doesn’t drive is a narcissist, of course.  Some people are simply more daring behind the wheel than others.  There are also many people who develop serious anxiety behind the wheel, & they realize they shouldn’t be behind the wheel.  There are others who love driving or who feel safest when they are driving.  These people obviously aren’t narcissists, & you can tell they aren’t narcissists by their behavior.  The daring driver is daring all of the time, not only after someone has upset him somehow.  The anxious person asks for rides &/or offers gas money rather than expects others to help.  The person who prefers being the driver never gets upset when someone says they want to drive or meet them somewhere.

If you have recently met someone, & think the person may be a narcissist, this is one way to help you to figure it out.  Watch how the person is when it comes to driving.

8 Comments

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Narcissism

Narcissists & Special Days

Much like my last post, this one was inspired by some random ponderings related to my first marriage.

Let me set the stage for our third wedding anniversary.  My ex & I were living with his parents, which was his idea & not something I wanted to do.  About 2 months prior, I spontaneously severed ties with my mother.  I don’t even remember why anymore, but I was angry at her.  My ex also pressured me about kicking her out of my life for years.  I pretty much just snapped.  I hadn’t felt right about severing ties with my mother since doing it, because it wasn’t well thought out.

On the day of our anniversary, both of his parents were home, & planning to drive to my ex father in-law’s sister’s home in PA for Christmas, as they always did.  My ex mother in-law & I were in the kitchen talking when the phone rang.  She answered it, & suddenly darted around the corner.  It was unusual, but I didn’t think much more of it.  Later after my ex got home from work, I looked at the caller ID in our room & saw my parents’ number.  Immediately it clicked- that was why his mom hid from me while on the phone.  I mentioned it to him & said maybe I should call her back (obviously this was well before learning about NPD).  He got furious with me & I got furious back.  I got in my car & left to cool off for a bit.

When I got home an hour or two later, my ex mother in-law was waiting for me.  She took me aside & told me I had to make things right.  I upset my ex so badly, he was punching walls after I left.

I ended up being the bad guy in this whole situation.  For upsetting my ex & also upsetting his parents by “storming out of the house without telling anyone i was leaving” (I was 22- didn’t realize I had to check in with anyone at this point in my life..).

You know something though?  If my mother hadn’t called, none of this would have happened.  She knew my ex hated her as much as she hated him.  She had to know her calling would start a fight between us.  Yet, she called anyway, & on our wedding anniversary of all days!

There’s also my ex.  Another narcissist, he had to make my painful situation with my mother all about him & what he wanted & what he thought I should do.  He also had to make sure his parents knew just how upset he was & how that was all my fault, knowing his mother would intervene.

This is typical narcissist behavior!!  They just had to ruin what should have been a special & happy day.  They use anything they can to destroy any joy in their victim’s life.

My point in sharing this with you, Dear Reader, is this.  If you have a narcissist in your life in any way – parent, spouse, cousin, anything –  be prepared for your special days to be ruined.  This is one of their favorite tactics.  My third anniversary with my ex is hardly the only special day that has been ruined by narcissists in my life.  Countless birthday have been miserable.  So many Thanksgivings & Christmases have been ruined by narcissists like my pushy, demanding in-laws & my ex & current husbands opting to spend those days with them over me that now I absolutely dread those two holidays.  I used to thoroughly enjoy Christmas (not Thanksgiving so much), & now once November 1 arrives, I start dreading the pending holidays & am pretty angry until they’re done.

Narcissists love to destroy any joy in their victims.  Probably because they want their victims to be as miserable as they are.  It also makes them feel powerful if they can have some control over a person’s emotions.  Feeling powerful is great narcissistic supply, after all, so it’s no wonder they enjoy this scenario so much.

Obviously, there is no way to stop a narcissist from ruining your special days.  The best advice I have is to keep in mind that they are going to try ruining them at some point so you aren’t shocked when it happens.  It will help you to be prepared.

Your best bet is if  at all possible, avoid the narcissist completely on special days.  If you can’t, try to keep in mind they aren’t happy until those around them are totally miserable like they are.  Deprive them of that narcissistic supply.  Don’t let them see that what they do & say bothers you.

2 Comments

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

After The Divorce

Today would have been my ex husband’s & my 28th wedding anniversary.  Naturally, realizing that made me think about our relationship.  I thought I’d share my random ponderings with you, since many of you who read my blog have been divorced as well.

When I decided to end my first marriage, although I wasn’t yet a Christian, I still felt terrible for breaking my vows.  I took them very seriously.  I also felt like a total failure for not being able to make that marriage work.  No matter what I did, that marriage was still not good & he was never happy with me.  I was never good enough for him.  I also felt incredibly guilty.  Guilty for not being able to fix the marriage, for never being able to please my ex, for doing everything wrong, for wanting the divorce & more.  I felt that intense guilt for a long time, for at the very least, a couple of years after we separated.

Looking back now, I realize how wrong I was.

While marriage vows should be taken seriously, they should be taken seriously by both partners, not only one.  If one doesn’t take them seriously & mistreats or even abuses you, there is nothing wrong with breaking the vows to protect yourself & your children if you have them.  There is nothing good or holy about tolerating abuse from anyone, period!

One person also can’t save a relationship.  It takes two to make any relationship work.  It’s impossible for a relationship to work when only one person is trying to make that happen, especially if the other person is a narcissist.  They will do their best to sabotage your efforts & refuse to give you what you want or need.  So, if you couldn’t fix your marriage, welcome to the club!

Although I still don’t like that I hurt my ex, there really was no other choice.  He hurt me plenty as well, which is why I wanted a divorce in the first place.  I certainly didn’t decide to divorce him because things were going well!

Does any of this sound familiar to you, Dear Reader?  If so, I want to encourage you to change your thinking like I did.

Remind yourself that did the best you knew to do at that time.  How can you be mad at yourself for not knowing then what you know now?  It doesn’t even make sense.  That would be like being angry at a year old baby for not knowing multiplication.  We all learn as we go, even as adults.

Narcissists are also fantastic actors, so even if you knew about narcissism & married this person anyway, you still can’t beat yourself up because of what fantastic actors they are.  We all can get fooled sometimes, no matter how much we know about narcissism.  It doesn’t mean you’re stupid – it just means they are ridiculously good actors!

Don’t forget – if you grew up with narcissistic parents, you also were wounded because of your upbringing, which means you didn’t have the ability to make the best decisions. Unfortunately, this happens!  You’re learning, growing & getting healthier now & that is what matters most.

Also, never hesitate to go to God.  Ask Him to tell you the truth.  Were you stupid to marry that person?  Are you a failure for your divorce?  He really will answer you & you know what He says is the absolute truth.  Let Him help you!  He will do so & gladly!

And never, ever forget – while you may not have been the perfect spouse, that doesn’t mean the divorce is absolutely, completely your fault.  Narcissists would have their victims believe that, but it’s not true.  Wanting to escape the torture & abuse isn’t a bad thing!  In fact, quite the opposite.  It shows you love yourself enough to know you don’t deserve this kind of treatment.

3 Comments

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

Anger After Narcissistic Abuse

One topic that I haven’t seen a great deal of information on is anger after narcissistic abuse.  It’s a pity too because most victims face a great deal of it, & rightly so!

Not long ago, as I was praying, God spoke to my heart & said that I have a lot of anger inside.  He was not accusatory, simply stating a fact.  He also said it’s time to face it.

I was less than thrilled with this.  Like all other victims I have spoken with, anger was just one more facet of myself I ignored rather than face my mother’s ridicule or shaming for my terrible temper.  It’s only in the last couple of years I’ve begun to recognize & face when I get angry, & it’s not fun!  I’m still not used to it.  Even so, God’s been helping me.

He showed me why this happens in victims, why so many of us stuff our anger.  It isn’t only due to the ridicule & shaming from the narcissists.  It’s also because in many cases, we had two narcissistic parents, & when the overt was abusive, the covert turned the situation around to him or her, & how painful it is for that parent.  As children, we comfort that parent rather than face our anger regarding what was done to us.

There is also the fact that most narcissistic parents don’t give their children time to recover from one abusive incident before inflicting another.  There simply isn’t time to process the anger!  The victim is too busy trying to survive, so emotions get pushed aside so survival instincts can work.  This becomes a habit, even into adulthood, & victims ignore their emotions without even realizing it.

Often, people don’t want to hear our stories.  “It’s in the past”  “Let it go”  “Stop wallowing” “You need to forgive & forget!” & other callous phrases show victims it isn’t safe to talk about their experiences & emotions, so they continue ignoring their emotions.

We can’t forget the flying monkeys, either.  Prior to learning about narcissism or in the very early stages of learning about it, it’s easy to buy into their nonsensical logic.  “That’s your mother!”  “You only get one set of parents!”  “They won’t be around forever yanno!” Such gibberish can make a person feel guilty for their feelings, & resume the dysfunctional lifestyle that is so familiar.

While these situations are understandable, that doesn’t mean they need to be permanent!  Dear Reader, maybe it’s your time to face your anger too!

I know facing anger is scary, especially when you haven’t done it before, but it is also necessary for your mental & physical health!  Holding it in can cause all sorts of physical & mental problems such as high blood pressure, kidney problems, pains without a physical cause, depression & more.  You deserve better than that, don’t you agree?

Once you decide to start facing it, pray.  Let God help you through this difficult process.  I found He guides me to what I need to face & only allows things in small doses.  The anger isn’t overwhelming that way.  I also talk to Him a lot about what I feel, which helps so much in getting it out of me.

Journaling about it is also very helpful!  Seeing your story in writing can be shocking at first, but it also reminds you that yes, this happened, yes it was awful & no it was not something you deserved.

Talk to safe, non judgmental friends.  They can be a gift from God!  They’ll understand, support & validate you, all of which are so very important!

As you work through your anger, you may feel like suddenly you’re angry about all kinds of things that never bothered you before.  I firmly believe this is normal.  I believe facing the unfairness of the awful things done to you seems to make you more aware than you once were of just how many awful or even simply wrong things have been done to you.  I don’t mean things like someone stealing your parking space.  I mean things like how you are usually the one to compromise with your spouse.  Maybe you’ve just always done it, but suddenly you’re seeing that isn’t right & your spouse could do some compromising too for a change.  Just work through that anger like the rest, & have a talk with your spouse when you are able to do so calmly.

You can get through this ugly process, Dear Reader, & you will be so much better for doing so!  You’ll feel freer & more peace & joy than ever.  xoxo

11 Comments

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

Phrases That Shut Narcissists Down

Don’t you wish you knew some ways to shut the narcissist in your life down & make them behave?  Well, I can’t promise you some magical words that make narcissists behave, but there are some things you can say to shut them down temporarily…

  • Don’t let the narcissist change the subject.  When you need to discuss something important to you such as the narcissist’s bad behavior, you can count on her changing the subject in an attempt to avoid being called out.  As frustrating as it can be, keep changing the subject back to what you want to discuss.
  • Let the narcissist know she doesn’t scare you.  Narcissists love to intimidate their victims, but truthfully, most of their “intimidation” is nothing but smoke & mirrors.  In typical bully fashion, narcissists often make threats they won’t follow through on in an attempt to scare victims into doing their will.  What is the worst this person can do to you?  Chances are when you think about it, you’ll realize it’s not really a lot.
  • Use logic.  Ask logical questions.  “So you think I should do what you want even though I don’t want to do it.  Why?  How does doing that benefit me?  Seems to me it benefits you & hurts me.”  “You think I’m fat?  You know I weigh 110 pounds.  Unless a person is 2′ tall, that’s not fat, & I’m taller than that.”  “How is it my fault you lost your job?”  Doing this in a calm way calls the narcissist out in such a manner that she can’t get mad at you without looking foolish.  Often, they simply change the subject when a victim does this.  End of nasty comments!
  • Do not allow the narcissist to make decisions for you.  Any decisions that the narcissist makes for you gives her a bit of control over you, even if it’s something as simple as what you order for dinner.  If she tells you to try the soup, order a sandwich.  Simply say something like, “No thanks.. I want to do/try this instead.”  in a calm manner & follow through.
  • Do not take orders from the narcissist.  Narcissists do love to control others, don’t they?!  My mother used to bark out orders to me like I was the hired help.  I found a way to put a stop to it when I realized just how much she enjoyed doing this.  When she told me to do something, I would do it but add in a comment like, “Of course!  I’d be glad to do it since you asked so nicely.  You’re welcome!”  The first time I did that, the look of shock on her face was priceless.  But, it did change her behavior for a bit.  When she slid into her old habits, I said the same kind of comment & she behaved again for a while.  Or, if it was something I didn’t want to do, I’d nicely say, “Nope.  Not gonna happen.” & change the subject.  Usually a small narcissistic rage followed both of these, but it was very small usually consisting of a few snarky comments.
  • Say, “no” without any explanation.  This might just make the narcissist’s head explode.. lol  There isn’t one narcissist alive who is ok with being told no, but especially sans a good explanation.  You owe no one any explanation, especially a narcissist who will just twist your words around to make you look & feel bad, so don’t give them that opportunity.  Honestly, doing this can kinda be fun too.. if you’ve read this story of mine before, I apologize for the repeat but it’s such a good example!  Years ago, when my husband & I were at his parents’ house, my mother in-law said she wanted me to do something for her.  I didn’t want to, plus I had an appointment on the day in question.  Although I could’ve rearranged things, I opted not to because she was so hateful to me.  “Quality time” with her was not something I wanted.  When she told me I could do this thing, I said no, I couldn’t.  She said, “Oh.  Well it must be awful important if you won’t help me because of it.”  I gave a non committal “hmm mm.”  As the visit wore on, she kept bringing it up.  “You must be doing something for your parents that day.”  “Nope.”  I forget what all she asked me, but each time, I either said no or didn’t respond at all.  By the time we left her house, I was surprised her head didn’t explode!  She was dying to know my plans & couldn’t get mad at me for not sharing them without looking like a jerk to my father in-law & husband!  It was amazing!!!

Although nothing can stop narcissists completely, doing these simple things will help you to keep your sanity & make them behave better even if only temporarily.  I wish you the best in your situation!

24 Comments

Filed under Mental Health, Narcissism

Thoughts On Anger While Healing From Narcissistic Abuse

Recently I wrote this post about the time my mother tried to kill me, & the tough time I’m having regarding this incident.  I wondered something.  Why now?  Why this year?  Every other November 28 since 1990 when it happened hasn’t been this hard.  Difficult sometimes, sure but not like this.  So what is going on?!

A thought crossed my mind that answered that question.  

A couple of weeks ago, my husband & I went to dinner at this little local bar/restaurant we like.  As we ate, someone started playing the juke box.  The song “Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line” by the Kentucky Headhunters came on.  It immediately made me think of a story I told in this post last year.  The abridged version is this… 

The day of my father’s funeral,  I asked my Amazon Echo Dot to play music by Wham! since I wanted something light & fun, but instead it mysteriously played Waylon Jennings’ song, “Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line”.  I just knew in my heart that God & my father wanted me to know that song is kinda how my father felt – trapped & unable to protect me from my mother.  I thought about my father’s notes I’d found documenting some of the abuse my mother inflicted on me & terrible things she said about me as I listened to the song.  I read them that day & it was pretty overwhelming to say the least.

Anyway… when the song played at the restaurant, immediately I felt transported back to that experience.  It triggered a ton of intrusive memories of abuse & naturally a big C-PTSD flare up.

Later, I prayed about it all & asked God what was that about?!  He clearly spoke to my heart & said, “This was a gift from your father.  He knows you have a lot of anger inside, & rightfully so.  He wants you to face it & heal.  He knows you’re strong enough to do that.  I agree.”  

Since then, I’ve been getting very angry about things as they come to mind, & my mother’s attack on me is no exception.  I never realized before that I hadn’t been overly angry about it.  Why?  Because I felt I had to be more concerned with how others were affected.  

My father complained about my mother locking him out of the house when he left the night she attacked me.  His keys were in his pocket!  He could’ve let himself back in at any time!!!  But that was what was wrong with the situation, not my mother trying to kill me.  Years later, my father complained to me about having to fix the wall my mother threw me into.  He expected me to apologize.  That did NOT happen & I told him it never would.  Not my fault she broke the wall with my back.

When it happened, my ex husband was upset about it, but not because I’d been hurt.  It was more because it upset him that she did this, rather than her actions causing me harm, if that makes sense.

Both my father & my ex wanted me to comfort them.  As a result, I did (I was only 19 & knew nothing of NPD obviously), & ignored my own anger.  That anger is now at the surface after 28 years & it’s time to face it.  

I’m seeing more & more how valuable anger can be.  Yes, we should forgive, not be full of anger or try to get revenge on people, but at the same time, anger has its place!  It is an excellent motivator for change.  It is also a big part of the healing process, & should NEVER be ignored!  The only way to heal from anger that I know of is to get angry.  Feel it.  Yell, cry, write hateful letters you never send, or whatever works for you, but feel that anger & get it out of you.  Then you can release it fully.

Forgiving too easily or early is an issue, like it was with me.  Once I became a Christian in 1996, I heard a lot about forgiveness.  I thought I forgave my mother for her attack, but what I really did was just ignore the anger that I felt.  I think many victims of narcissistic abuse do the same thing.  

I believe one of the best things you can do for yourself when trying to heal from narcissistic abuse is to decide early on that you will forgive your abuser, then face your anger head on.  It’s miserable to do, I know, & scary when you’ve never really felt anger before, but you have to do it.  Remember that anger is from God like all of our emotions, so that alone proves it is valuable.  Feeling it helps you to cope with injustices done to you & motivates you to make appropriate changes.  It also helps your self esteem when you get angry about what was done to you because it’s like it shows you that you are valuable!  You deserve to be treated right!

 

12 Comments

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

My New & Improved Websites!

After a couple of months of struggling & attempting to drive myself crazy, my new websites are now live!!

I’m going to guess there are still some bugs in there because I never seem to make a website without a bug or two once it goes live, but I’m working on fixing any & all bugs as soon as I’m aware of them.  Please bear with me!

I added a lot of information about NPD to my site as well as other things such as some pictures.  I enjoy photography even though I’m not particularly good at it, so I thought why not add some pictures?  Beauty is always a nice distraction from NPD anyway…

Come check out my site at www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com

Don’t forget my companion website, www.TheButterflyProject.CynthiaBaileyRug.com

8 Comments

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

November 28, 1990 Was A Day I Never Will Forget.. Even Though I’d Like To

This day is a difficult one for me.  On November 28, 1990, my mother physically assaulted me.

It was the day before Thanksgiving.  I got home from work & as soon as I walked through the door, I could tell my mother was itching for a fight.  No idea why.  My father could see it too, so he quickly said he got a new model airplane & wanted me to see it (we shared a love of models).  I practically ran downstairs.  I knew it was best never to give in when she was in that mood, so I was grateful for the means of escape.

We were downstairs for a few minutes when my mother stood at the top of the steps, yelling at me.  I’m not proud of it, but I finally had enough when she called my car “a hunk of junk” or something like that.  I snapped & cussed her out.  It just happened.  I don’t think the words went near my brain – they just came out.  This enraged her, & she started yelling at my father.  “Did you hear what she just said to me!?  Are you going to let her get away with that?!”  My father quietly went upstairs, & left the house while my mother raged at him.

Meanwhile, I went into my room to grab my keys & purse so I could do the same.  As I walked back down the hall to get to the door, my mother stepped in my path.  She told me she wasn’t going to let me leave.  I told her get out of my way before I make you do it.  She blocked the doorway by putting her hands & feet against it.  I pushed her aside (not knocking her down, just knocking her a bit off balance so I could rush past her).  I ran to grab my shoes & by then she was steady on her feet again.  Before I knew it, she was in my face, & slammed me into the wall beside the front door, & held me there.  My head was the only part I could move.

Two things went through my mind at that moment…

 

  1. The pain was intense as my back popped from my tailbone to my neck.  It was this incredibly loud POPPOPPOPPOP sound that felt like it went on forever.
  2. My mother’s eyes had turned BLACK.  Jet black!  I’d seen that before & it always terrified me.

 

Suddenly I blacked out, I assume from the intense pain & fear.  When I came to a moment later, I was biting her on the arm.  She & I were both shocked at what I had done.  My shock wore off a bit faster than hers, so I ran out the door & to my car & sped off in a cloud of tire smoke.

I believe my mother wanted to kill me, & if I wouldn’t have blacked out like that, she probably would have succeeded.

Interestingly, I caught up to my father at a traffic light.  We pulled over & I told him what happened.  We then went to my now ex husband’s parents’ home since it was nearby.  My father later went to his parents’ home in Virginia.  I moved in with a friend’s parents that night, & got my things from my parents’ home a couple of days later.

Naturally, my mother never accepted any responsibility in this.  In fact, when I had to quit working a few months later, she told people I was just lazy & faking back problems to get out of working.  And, in 2014, my father mentioned this incident..  He told me it’s ok, I didn’t have to apologize for busting up his wall.  How kind, right?!  I never even thought of how the wall was damaged, but he said it was really bad.  He fixed it though, so I didn’t need to apologize.  I told him I had no plans on doing so!  Not my fault my mother broke it by slamming me into it!

This incident along with having extremely selfish in-laws who have demanded my husband & I spend the day with them no matter what (I spent it alone when I refused to go) is why I absolutely hate Thanksgiving.  Kinda hard to feel warm & fuzzy about the day when  there are memories like this assault & years of jerky acting in-laws associated with it.

I honestly thought I was ok with this incident.  (Well, as ok as one can be when they think about their mother trying to kill them & father abandoning them to an obviously raging lunatic.)  What makes it even harder, I think, is this year, the dates have fallen on the exact days they fell on in 1990, so in some weird way, I almost feel like I’m reliving that time of my life.  I feel some of the same shock & anger I felt when it happened, just to a much lesser degree.  I feel disappointment too.  In my father for abandoning me that night, in my ex for making it all about how he felt about the incident & not caring about my pain (I think he even spent Thanksgiving with his family out of state the following day, if memory serves correctly), & my friend’s father who found it hilarious I bit my mother. I’m even disappointed in my mother for not only attacking me but using it as one more weapon to trash me to other people then expecting me to act like it never happened.  I’m also disappointed in myself for failing to press charges against my mother.  The thought never crossed my mind until not long ago when I friend mentioned it.

I’m also less than thrilled that thinking about this has made my C-PTSD flare up.  Hardly surprising though.  So if there are spelling or grammar errors in here, please pardon me.  I tried to catch them all a couple of days after writing this, but it doesn’t always happen with flare ups.

I don’t even know why I’m writing all of this as a blog post.  I do promise to keep my writing real but even so, this isn’t like me.  Usually things like this I write in my journal, maybe sharing details later once I have had some time to come to terms with whatever the trauma was.  For some reason though, I felt I needed to write this in my blog instead. Maybe someone who reads my blog needs to see this.  If that describes you, Dear Reader, I really hope this post helps you somehow.  ❤

30 Comments

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

Comfort In Chaos

When a person grows up surrounded by chaos, that person often ends up comfortable with chaos.  Knowing nothing else such as peace & calm, those things feel foreign & even scary.   There can be comfort in the midst of chaos simply because it is what you know, it is what is familiar.

Some people who have grown up abused even create their own chaos & drama without realizing it simply because they can’t stand peace & quiet.  Even if they hate such stressful situations, the familiarity of them provides a degree of comfort.

Most people gravitate to the familiar, even when it is painful or dysfunctional.  This is why a woman who grew up beaten by her drunken father later marries a man who gets drunk & beats her.  She doesn’t like being beaten- it’s simply familiar to her & she naturally gravitated to it.

Other people grew up being the “fixers” in their family.  They were the ones who calmed down their parents when they were fighting or denied the fact their parents were abusive if anyone questioned them.  They kept their dysfunctional parents happy at all personal costs.  Being the family fixer means these people feel they have no real purpose unless they are able to fix things.  They are comfortable with chaos because it means they have a job to do, & it’s a job they know how to do well.

As dysfunctional as this behavior is, there is hope.  The healthier you get & the more you heal from the abuse, the less comfortable you will feel with chaos.  It will happen naturally.  I’m not sure there is a way to address this issue specifically.  I’ve just noticed that it seems to diminish on its own as a person gets healthier.  So take care of yourself.  Address whatever issues you have as they come up.  Pray, ask God to help you to get to the root of the problem so you can deal with it the most effectively.  In time, you’ll notice you become more uncomfortable with chaos & much more comfortable with the peace that you deserve.

3 Comments

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

The Consummate Victim

Some covert narcissists are what I think of as the consummate victim.  They are the ones who are always wronged, always the victim, & never at fault for anything.  Some examples of their behavior are as follows.

 

The narcissist says something cruel.  You get angry, & rightfully so.  She claims she never meant to hurt your feelings.  She was just trying to help & had no idea what she said would upset you.  She then stops speaking to you for weeks, even if you apologized.

 

The narcissist tries to manipulate you into doing something you don’t want to do.  Naturally, you refuse to do it.  She claims you don’t love her.  How could you refuse to do this one little thing for her, especially after all she’s done for you?!

 

The narcissist is your elderly parent who expects you to come at their beck & call.  You tell your parent you only are available one day a week to do what she needs.  She tells your family how you refused to help her, & they attack you for being a bad daughter, ungrateful, a spoiled brat & more.

 

Narcissists who claim life is so unfair to them or that they are mistreated when people confront them on their abusive behavior are also consummate victims.  There are also those who blame their victims for their abusive behavior.  They are also consummate victims, as are those who complain about their problems, yet refuse to do something to change the situation.

 

Dealing with these people is incredibly frustrating, I know.  My late father & late mother in-law were both covert narcissists & consummate victims.  I repeatedly asked my father not to call after 9 at night.  When I refused to take his call when he called at 10 one evening, he called my in-laws & a cousin who lives almost 500 miles away.  He told both he was so concerned about me for not answering the phone, & asked them to have me call him immediately.  Another time, I was angry with my mother in-law because she had snooped through my purse yet again.  She asked my husband why I was angry, & he told her.  I overheard the conversation.  She claimed not to know what she did would be upsetting to me.

 

Both situations were similar.  As a result of my father’s & mother in-law’s actions, my husband & I got into an argument about his mother & my cousin & I argued about my father.  Being the typical consummate victims, their obnoxious behavior caused problems for the real victim while making themselves look good.

 

There are some things that you can do that can help you if you must deal with this behavior in covert narcissists.

 

Always rely on God to help you in this situation. He will be glad to help you discern the truth & strengthen you to do whatever you need to do!

 

Remember the type of person that you’re dealing with.  No matter what you do, this person will twist the situation around to make you look bad & them look like the innocent victim of your cruelty.  Expect nothing else because this person has no desire to behave any other way.

 

Also remember that there is nothing wrong with you setting boundaries or confronting this person on their abusive behavior.  Both of those are good things to do.  They are healthy & show you have self respect.

 

Consummate victims are very skilled at recruiting flying monkeys.  When you set those boundaries or confront the narcissist about her behavior, no matter how gently & reasonably you do so, it’s a safe bet someone will tell you how cruel, unreasonable, wrong, etc. you are.  When this happens, ignore whatever these flying monkeys have to say.  They don’t know the truth, only what the narcissist has told them.  Also, it’s best to refuse to discuss the narcissist with them.

 

Lastly, it’s also important to remember that consummate victims may project their status on their real victims.  It can be easy to believe their lies since narcissists are talented actors who give very convincing performances.  To avoid believing their lies, remember that you are NOT a consummate victim if you are angry about being abused, setting healthy boundaries or refusing to be manipulated.

 

If you are faced with a covert narcissist who portrays herself as a consummate victim, you can cope.  You have the knowledge & strength to handle this ugly situation.

4 Comments

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

Narcissistic Families & Cults

2 Comments

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

Forgiveness After Narcissistic Abuse

One thing that every adult victim of narcissistic parents I have spoken with has struggled with is forgiving their parents.

So many people, particularly Christians, think that these victims need to forgive & forget.  They often quote Ephesians 4:26 which says, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:”  When victims struggle with forgiving & forgetting, they are shamed & even shunned by the very people who should support them, creating even more pain, guilt & shame in the victim.

I want to give you a new perspective on forgiveness that I think can help you today.

If you look at the definition of forgive, nowhere does it say you don’t feel anger.  According to Merriam-Webster.com, to forgive means:

1 : to cease to feel resentment against (an offender) : PARDON; forgive one’s enemies
2a : to give up resentment of or claim to requital for; forgive an insult
b : to grant relief from payment of; forgive a debt

It’s possible to forgive someone while still feeling anger for them.  What I mean is when you forgive someone, you decide that they don’t owe you an apology or repentance. You won’t try to collect that “debt” from them.  You have released that person from paying you the debt that they owe you.  This is what I try to do any time someone mistreats me- give up expectations of an apology immediately.  That way, I have forgiven that person, as God wants me to do.  Yet, even forgiving quickly doesn’t mean I may not still feel some anger for that person for a while.  See what I mean?  You can forgive while still feeling anger.

I also firmly believe that releasing the anger you feel can be a process.  If the waitress makes a mistake on your order or a clerk is rude, those minor incidents are easy to forgive.  Big issues though, it takes time to work through the anger.   Processing anger from years of abuse takes a lot of time & work, especially if you learned early in life to ignore your anger which is the case with most children of narcissistic parents.

There is also the fact many people think to forgive your abusive parents is a one time thing.  You just forgive everything in one fell swoop & *poof* you’re not angry & you never will be angry again with them.  As anyone who has tried to forgive their narcissistic parents knows, that isn’t how it works.  You have to work through many different traumas individually, not lump them all together as one big trauma.

I honestly can say I have forgiven my narcissistic parents.   However, there are still some times I feel anger at them.

When a repressed memory comes back to mind, I feel anger at my parents about the incident.  When I have flashbacks, nightmares, the anxiety & depression get bad, I also feel  anger.  It’s their fault I have C-PTSD, after all.  Plus, when I told my father about having it, he ignored me then changed the subject.  Sometimes I also feel anger when others talk about what a great relationship they have with their parents.  I wanted that with mine, but wasn’t able to have it, because their narcissism was more important to them than me.

Do you think this means I haven’t forgiven my parents? If so, I’d have to respectfully disagree.  I have released my parents from any responsibility to apologize or make amends with me, which is the definition of forgiving.

Yes, there are times I still feel anger at them, as I admitted, & I think it’s very normal.  I also work through the anger & release it quickly.  That is the best I can do, & I know God honors that I am trying.  That’s all He asks of us, to try our best.

If someone tells you you’re wrong for not forgiving your narcissistic parents, Dear Reader, please remember what I said in this post.  If you don’t expect your parents to apologize or repay you for the trauma they inflicted on you, you already have forgiven them.  The more you heal, the less anger you’ll feel towards them.  It just takes some time.

11 Comments

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

Feline PTSD

As I’ve mentioned a few times, I have a wonderful kitty by the name of Punkin who has feline PTSD.  Here is his picture.. is he not incredibly handsome!?

 

Punkin, September 29, 2017

 

A few months after adopting him in 2014, one morning out of the blue, he attacked our little American Eskimo dog, Dixie.  She wasn’t even looking at him when he suddenly jumped her.  My husband & I both hollered Punkin’s name, which got his attention fast.  He looked almost as if he woke up.  He looked at us & Dixie, then ran off & hid.  We checked on Dixie & thankfully she was fine, just very shaken up.  While consoling her, my husband & I talked about what happened, & I told him that the way Punkin looked reminded me of how I felt after a flashback.  I knew animals could be traumatized of course, but I was unsure if it could develop into PTSD.  I did some research & learned it absolutely can.  Since I have C-PTSD, I felt somewhat equipped to deal with the situation.  It’s been quite the learning experience to say the least!  But, my husband & I have learned & I wanted to share it for you other cat parents out there in case you too have a traumatized furbaby on your hands.

 

In all fairness, I’m not positive how the symptoms show up in other animals, but I believe they’re rather similar.  Our late dog, Bear, had been abused & once in a while he acted quite a bit like Punkin does.  I believe he had a milder case of PTSD than Punkin has.  That leads me to believe the symptoms are probably quite similar among animals, not just among cats.

 

PTSD symptoms in cats are quite similar to humans.  They have an extremely sensitive startle reflex, so they sometimes react inappropriately to situations.  If they get scared, fight or flight instincts may take over.  Punkin tends to freeze- his pupils dilate & he won’t move.  They can be very anxious too, which means they may be skittish, hide or potty outside the litter box.    Separation anxiety can happen too.  They’re hyper vigilant, always extremely aware of their surroundings.  Getting angry easily can be another symptom. as can being depressed.  Signs of depression can mean losing interest in things they normally enjoy such as food, playing or snuggles,   They may have nightmares, which you can see by how they sleep.  Most cats twitch a bit in their sleep, but a cat with PTSD will do so more often & violently.  Another big clue is they avoid things that can be similar to the traumatic event.  I believe due to how Punkin attacked Dixie his trauma was related to a dog.  She was the only animal or person in our home he ever attacked.  And yes, they can have flashbacks.  If you haven’t seen someone have a flashback or if you don’t have them, it can be hard to identify.  When Punkin has had them, he doesn’t look  quite like himself.  His eyes get huge & you see fear written all over his face.  He also acts completely out of character, like when he attacked Dixie, then suddenly stops.  The first time it happened, he hid for quite a while, but after that, he returns to normal in a few hours.  They also make him very tired.

 

There are some ways to cope with feline PTSD that I have found to be pretty successful.

 

I talk to Punkin.  I tell him I understand what he’s going through, & it stinks.  It’ll be ok, though, there is no one or nothing here that will hurt him.  He’s safe & surrounded by other cats & people who adore him.

 

I also follow his lead.  Punkin is very loving, but not particularly snuggly.  Sometimes when the PTSD flares up, he wants to be left alone & other times he wants me to hold him.  I do whichever he wants.

 

When Punkin has bad days, I do my best to remain completely calm in his presence.  Cats pick up on the energy of their humans, so if I’m calm, he’ll be calmer.  I don’t tell him “calm down”.  Instead, my energy says everything is fine, & there is nothing to be upset about.

 

Catnip is a life saver!  I started giving it to him to try to help his anxiety levels.  It didn’t take him long to learn that it helps, so he goes to it often & voluntarily when his symptoms flare up.  I got some very soft, fuzzy socks from the dollar store for this purpose.  I put some catnip in a small rag, tie it up, & put it in the sock.  Punkin also likes jingle bells so I have some with bells inside, some without.  He picks whatever he likes as he needs his ‘nip.  Since it doesn’t work for dogs, I used to give Bear valerian root pills.  The smell is very strong & it tastes pretty yukky, so it wasn’t easy to get him to take it at first.  It didn’t take him long to realize that it helped though, so he began going to where I stored it to let me know when he needed some valerian.

 

Some pet parents also get tranquilizers for their pet from the vet or use other calming aids that are readily available.

 

If you too have a pet with PTSD, following these steps really can help.  I’m happy to say that Bear turned into a very loving, gentle dog from an aggressive one & Punkin’s symptoms are managed very well.  He rarely has flashbacks anymore, & his anxiety levels are much lower in general.

12 Comments

Filed under Animals, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

My Father Documented My Mother’s Abuse.. I Have Proof

Many years before my father died, he gave me his Bible and asked that I place it in his casket when he died.

 

He died October 23, 2017.  I remembered the Bible, and knew that even though I hadn’t spoken to him or my mother in quite some time, I needed to keep my promise about placing it in his casket.  The day after he passed away, I got it off the closet shelf, and opened it up for the first time.  I skimmed through things, putting aside things that didn’t look sentimental and putting the sentimental things back into the Bible.  I came across a piece of paper that was folded up very small.  It was something my father had written & I’d never seen.  Notes documenting some things my mother did to me & said about me to him.  Pretty sure my heart skipped a beat when I realized what I was looking at!  I was absolutely shocked!  I assume because my father’s memory was so damaged from a TBI at age 15, he documented things to be sure he wouldn’t forget.  It was a smart move, especially considering the gaslighting my mother put him through (yes, knowing about the brain damage, she used it to her advantage!).  Anyway, I put his notes aside to read later since I couldn’t cope with that at the time.  My focus had to be to get that Bible to the funeral parlor to be placed in his casket.  I accomplished my mission with the help of my husband that day, by the way.

 

A few days later, I read the notes.  It was quite overwhelming to put it mildly.  Even after all of this time, it’s still pretty overwhelming.  I’m still glad I have them though.  They helped validate my pain as well as give me some insight into my father & why he failed to protect me from my mother.

 

I thought I’d share them here.  Now you, Dear Reader, can see what I experienced, & know you’re not alone.  Narcissistic mother’s do terrible, terrible things, & I have written evidence of some of those things.

 

I also wrote comments of what I believe was happening in these events so others can learn about narcissistic behavior from examples.

 

I have another purpose for sharing this information, & that purpose is selfish, I admit it.  I have zero doubt at least one of my abusive flying monkey relatives (but I believe more) read my work.  I want them to see this undeniable proof that my mother abused me & my father didn’t protect me.  These people are what they were so blindly devoted to.  I know I can’t make them accept the truth, of course, but I can fling it at them & hope for the best.  Maybe a seed will be planted…

 

Reading these can be very triggering.  If you don’t feel strong enough to read details of narcissistic abuse at this time, you really should consider skipping this post.  You can always come back to it at another time.

 

Here we are… my father’s notes.  His handwriting can be a bit hard to read so I typed everything out.  I’m showing both versions to see side by side, so no one can say I’m lying.  I typed each line out exactly as he wrote it for clarity, & my comments are on the side.

 

My father’s notes…

my father's notes 1

 

My copy

my father's notes 1 with my comments

Second page of my father’s notes

my father's notes 2

 

My copy

 

my father's notes 2 with my comments

 

Last page of my father’s notes

my father's notes 3.jpg

 

My copy

my father's notes 3 with my comments

5 Comments

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

When Your Narcissistic Parent Dies

One year ago today my father passed away.  It’s been quite a year to say the least.  It’s also been a real learning experience.

When my narcissistic grandmother died in 2001, I gained a pretty good idea of what it’d be like to lose a narcissistic parent.  When she died, I felt such a relief that the abuse was finally truly over, & the normal guilt that comes with that feeling.  I went through a lot of anger & sadness things were as they were with her.  I was prepared for that when my father died.  I was NOT prepared for other things.

I was woefully unprepared for the constant inundation of attacks from flying monkeys who thought I should go see him & the incredibly cruel & stupid things they had to say in an attempt to force me to do their will.  I also was unprepared for their dogged determination to get around all the blocks I had in place (on social media, blocking emails, phone numbers, etc).  When they continued their harassment, I was stunned & frustrated that I couldn’t seem to get rid of these monsters no matter what I did.

I also didn’t expect to end up in a state of shock that lasted for months because of the flying monkeys, or that the shock would prevent me from experiencing any grief over losing my father.

I was also unprepared for the incredibly strong & constant need to pray for my father’s salvation at that time.  I’d been praying for him for some time, but his final few weeks, I felt I had to pray often & hard about it & ask friends to pray with me.  Thankfully, God answered those prayers, & I shared that story here: Some Recent Miracles That I Believe Will Encourage You

I also didn’t realize the lack of support that I would have.  Truthfully, I’m only very close to a few people, but I do have a larger group of friends who I’m simply not as close to.  In theory, I should’ve been surrounded by support at that time, but I really wasn’t.  Those closest to me checked on me often, but those who aren’t as close to me didn’t.  Only a couple even offered any sympathy when my father died.  Yet, when my father in-law died last June, many of those same people offered their condolences to my husband, even ones who don’t know or barely know him.  When this happened, it made me mad.  I felt hurt.  Why was his father’s death worthy of sympathy but not mine?!  I finally realized.. it’s because they didn’t know what to say or do.  They weren’t being hateful, it wasn’t that they didn’t care.  They simply didn’t know what to say.  Most people will avoid a situation rather than admit they don’t know what to say.

The reason I’m telling you these things, Dear Reader, is that if you’re facing the death of your narcissistic parent, you may experience similar things to me.  The experiences I mentioned are very common among adult children of narcissistic parents.  You need to be prepared for these things as best you can be.

I wrote a book about my experiences entitled, “When A Narcissistic Parent Dies”.  If you’re interested, it’s available on my website at www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com 

6 Comments

Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

How To Deal With Guilt Trips

 

Leave a comment

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

Simple Ways To Set Boundaries With Narcissistic Parents

As I’ve said many times, my heart goes out to those in the position of being unable or unwilling to go no contact with their narcissistic parents.  You’re in a tough, tough place, & I understand since I’ve been there.  I want to help you if I can, & that is what today’s post is about.

There are some small, easy ways you can set boundaries with your narcissistic parent while not eliminating them from your life entirely.

For starters, reduce the amount of time you spend with your narcissistic parent.  Don’t visit or have your parent visit you as often.  Stop taking their calls every time they call.  Ask yourself if you feel up to dealing with your parent, & if not, don’t take that call or visit.

When you must visit or speak with your parent on the phone, set a time limit.  Don’t allow your narcissistic parent to waste half your day when that is so hard on you!  Set a limit, then say “I have to go” & go.

Also if you visit your narcissistic parent, have a way out.  Plan something to do so you only have a limited time to spend with your parent.  If you can’t think of something, say you just remembered something you have to take care of & go.  It’s not a lie- you remembered you have to take care of yourself!

Remember to keep the conversation away from you.  Your love life, in-laws, job, troubles & even your mental & physical health should be off the table for topics to discuss with your narcissistic parent.  Giving any narcissist personal information is just asking for trouble such as criticism & unasked for, useless advice.  Change the subject if your parent wants or demands to know something personal about you.  If all else fails, ask your parent about something that matters to her.  Chances are excellent she’ll drop the matter at the opportunity to talk about herself.

If you’re dependent even slightly on your narcissistic parent financially, find ways to put an end to it.  Narcissists love controlling their adult children with money, so remove that tool if at all possible.  If not, then at least find ways to reduce the amount.

If you have pets or kids, have strict boundaries in place.  It is your job to protect them & that includes from abusive & narcissistic parents.

When it’s time to set boundaries with your parent, remain calm.  Show no emotion, simply state the facts.  Any signs you are upset will fuel your narcissistic parent’s behavior.  Stay calm, state your boundary & the consequence of your parent not respecting the boundary, then enforce it if necessary.

If you’re friends on social media, unfollow your narcissistic parent.  You will remain friends, but you won’t see her posts which can reduce stress.

If you must go somewhere with your narcissistic parent, drive separately.  That way, you are free to leave at any time if need be.  Also, cars are a great weapon for some narcissists.  There is no escape- you have to put up with whatever they do when you’re in a car together.   My mother loved having me trapped in her car, & used it to scream at me when I was a kid or belittle me as an adult.

Always remember the Gray Rock Method.  Think about what gives your narcissistic parent narcissistic supply, & refuse to provide it.  Basically, you need to be boring to her.  Don’t admire her.  Don’t praise her.  Don’t get angry at her so she can portray herself as the victim.  Don’t coddle her.  Don’t share anything personal about yourself that she could use against you or as fuel to spread lies about you.  Don’t empathize with her if someone has hurt her.  Show no real interest in her problems.  If she needs your assistance with something, do the bare minimum, don’t go above & beyond.  Gray Rock can be hard at first because every tiny thing can provide narcissistic supply, but the more you do it, the easier it gets.

Lastly, pray & pray often.  Ask God to help you cope with your narcissistic parent, to give you the right words to say, & to give you effective, creative ways to cope with her behavior.  He will NOT disappoint you!

Leave a comment

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

Changes Happening With My Website

I have recently changed my website domain registration & hosting to a new company.  It’s going through those changes as we speak.  From what I see, it may take about a week for things to change then possibly add in more time for me to learn the new website building software & get it back up & running.

 

I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause!  It’s unavoidable, though- my last website host & domain registrar went out of business without telling its customers.  In order to make any changes to my site, I had to make a change.  I really think it’s for the best though- this new company has no limits on how big my site can be or how many visitors it has each month!  Pretty cool, really.. just the change that isn’t so cool.

 

Anyway hopefully within the next 1-2 weeks, my site will be back & better than before at www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com .  Thank you, Dear Reader, for your understanding & patience!  xoxo

2 Comments

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

When There Is A Narcissist In The Family

Families that have at least one narcissist in them have some very serious problems.  It may not be evident at first glance.  Everyone may act like they get along just fine.  They may celebrate holidays together every year.  Yet, serious problems still exist in this family.

People raised by narcissistic parents have mental health issues.  There is no avoiding that.  Many struggle with C-PTSD or PTSD at worst, anxiety &/or depression at best.  Some even turn out like their narcissistic parent, emulating the awful & abusive behaviors they grew up seeing daily.  All have relationship problems to varying degrees.

The problems don’t stop at the children of narcissists, however.  If those children grow up to have children, they too will be abused by their narcissistic grandparents.

Other relatives will be drawn into the fray as well.  Narcissists love to tell other people how wonderful they are while also telling them just awful their victim is.  That way, if the victim ever tells anyone about the abuse, no one will believe the victim.  Instead, they will label the victim as crazy, mentally unstable, addicted, selfish, etc. while assuming the narcissist has done nothing wrong.

When this happens in a family situation, it seems that most people are exceptionally willing to blindly believe the narcissist & attack the victim.  That’s how my family is.  No one wants to believe someone they are related to is abusive & cruel.  That is very understandable, of course.  However, in families with a narcissist, they often take this to the extreme.

Not only do narcissistic families not want to accept the fact their relative is an abusive narcissist, they will do anything to shut down the person making the accusation.  They will ignore the victim, accuse the person of lying, being angry, spoiled, immature or unforgiving, or even personally attack the victim.  The particularly aggressive ones may stalk & harass the victim, or inundate the victim with hateful texts, emails or social media messages.  If the victim blocks their phone number, email address, etc, they will find other ways to contact the victim- get a new phone number or email, create a fake social media profile or hack someone else’s profile.  If the victim is a Christian, you can guarantee their faith will become the subject of attack.  The “family” will twist Scripture around to support their warped beliefs &/or claim the victim can’t be a Christian & behave in this manner.

It is a terrible thing finally to summon the courage to open up about the abuse you endured, & when you tell people you think will support you, to be met with disbelief & even cruelty.  It is one of the most horrible things a victim can endure- being mocked or shamed for divulging the most painful experiences in their life while watching those they thought would be on their side comfort & support the very person who abused them.

I know there is nothing I can say to make this experience hurt any less.  I’m very sorry if you’re going through this.  There are some ways you can cope though.

Always, ALWAYS maintain a close relationship to God.  He knows the truth & understands your situation.  He will give you comfort & strength.  He will show you the best way to handle the situation, too.

Remember, you do NOT need anyone’s validation but your own.  Yes, it’s a good thing having people in your life support you & even say things like, “That was awful.. I’m sorry you went through that.”  However, you don’t *need* it.

That brings me to my next point- learn to validate yourself.   To do this, accept your feelings without judgment.  You’re allowed to be hurt & angry your family treats you badly.  Be proud of the good person you are & the direction towards healing you’re taking.  You have overcome a great deal.  If you recently learned about narcissism & began speaking about it, that is a huge step- be proud of yourself for that!

And lastly, never, ever forget that these people who have hurt you so badly have serious problems.  Functional people defend victims, not attack them while coddling an abuser.  These people may get something from the narcissist, so they won’t go against her & risk losing it.  Maybe the narcissist is someone they idolize, so they refuse to listen to anything bad about them.  Maybe they’re simply cowardly, & think it’s easier to go along with the narcissist than to stand up for what’s right.  In any case, this person’s behavior says nothing about you but plenty about them.

Although I know it probably doesn’t feel like it, you will survive this awful situation, & you will be much stronger for having done so!

6 Comments

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

“Just Don’t Think About It”

I have a knack for remembering dates, including kinda obscure ones, that even having brain damage hasn’t affected.  I graduated high school on May 13, 1989, for example.

Two other dates I remember are August 23, 1990 & November 24, 1990.  Those were the dates I met & then broke up with a man I was involved with.  He made me feel so guilty for breaking up with him that ever year for many years, I dreaded those dates because I’d feel such guilt.  Although he was only in my life briefly, the dysfunctional relationship had quite an impact on me.

January 31, 2014, I learned that he shot & killed his boyfriend & then himself two days before.  The news came as a complete shock to me since I had absolutely no clue of his orientation or capacity for murder.  Keeping in mind my knack for remembering dates, all those dates bring him to mind & every time, make me sad for him, his family, his victim & his victim’s family.

A few times, I’ve mentioned the date in passing conversation & the person I was speaking with told me, “Just don’t think about it.”  It sat very wrong with me, even when I knew the person had good intentions, & I’ll tell you why.

“Just don’t think about it” is invalidating.  You’re thinking about something that bothers you & are trying to talk it out, yet the other person shuts you down.  That is invalidation.  Why they do it doesn’t change that fact.

If you “just don’t think about it”, how are you supposed to heal from the incident?  If you want to heal, you have to think about it & process the emotions connected to it.  Not thinking about it is no help at all!

Not thinking about it also contributes to mental & physical problems.  It can create anxiety, depression, anger, high blood pressure, heart disease, & kidney disease.  It also reduces the effectiveness of your immune system, leaving you open to sickness.

Obviously, “just don’t think about it” is not good advice & you should NOT follow it!

I’m not saying you should think of nothing but the traumatic event you were told not to think about.  Instead, I’m saying work with it.  Realize you feel as you do for a reason.  Maybe it’s there to let you know now is the time you should face this issue.  If so, face it.  No, it isn’t easy to face past trauma, but do it anyway!  If you face it, it will lose much maybe even all of the negative effect it has over you.  It also won’t affect your physical health.

If it’s something you’ve already dealt with like I have dealt with my situation, maybe it’s a reminder to pray for the people involved.  I know, praying for a person who has abused you, especially one with no remorse or who has made you out to be the abusive one is tough, but do it anyway.  Do it not because this person deserves your prayers, but because God wants you to do it & because it really can help you.  Praying for those who use & abuse you is incredibly helpful at releasing the anger & even bitterness you feel towards them.  Carrying such things around isn’t good for your health, so why do it?  You can maintain boundaries or even no contact while not carrying around anger.

Whatever you feel when something traumatic comes to mind, honor those feelings & know they are there for a valid reason.  Accept them without judgement.  Face them however you feel you need to do in order to heal.  Pray for the abusive person if you can too.  Whatever you do though, remember that “just don’t think about it” is terrible advice.  Ignore the advice, & take good care of yourself!

7 Comments

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

Encouragement For The “Weak” & “Flawed”

Leave a comment

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

It’s Not Good Ignoring Symptoms Of PTSD & C-PTSD

Recently I read an article about symptoms of PTSD.  I didn’t think much more about it at first, but it kinda bopped around the back of my mind a bit for a few days.

A couple of days later, my husband & I had to go to the doctor for our health insurance.  His appointment was first, & we texted periodically.  He mentioned the doctor was concerned about his depression.  When I saw the doctor, I asked him about it & he said, “I see a lot of people day after day.  He has the look many have who have been depressed for years.”  I thought it was an interesting statement- he’s very observant!

A couple of days later, something hit me.  Our doctor didn’t say a word about my mental health.  Not a comment one about me looking like someone who’s been depressed for years, even though I can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t depressed.  Somehow, my lazy Susan-esque brain connected that with the article I read about PTSD symptoms.  In that moment I realized just how much I have been ignoring my C-PTSD symptoms.  I’m so good at it that even my observant doctor had no idea I struggle with C-PTSD.

Yes, I’m hyper-vigilant, but you probably wouldn’t know it to look at me.  Rather than upset people by startling easy, I am on constant guard, surveying my environment so not much surprises me.

I also get very quiet when I have flashbacks.  Naturally I’m quiet anyway so that isn’t a huge red flag  My husband has seen me have many flashbacks, but hasn’t noticed a lot of them because of that.  I don’t even tell him most of the time when I have flashbacks.  I just recover & go on the best I can.

These are just two examples, but there are others.

Thinking of such things I realized how incredibly unhealthy this is that I ignore so many of my symptoms.  On the outside, I look like I’m managing the C-PTSD just fine, but on the inside is a very different story.

In considering all of this, I think this happens simply out of habit.  Growing up with narcissistic parents, I learned early never to “bother” my parents with my problems.  My purpose was to take care of them, not the other way around.  As a result,  like most children of narcissistic parents, I learned to hide or even ignore anything that didn’t please them.  I ignored emotions, illness, thoughts, wants, & needs.  Now here I am, an adult in my 40’s with my own life, still hiding & ignoring important things that I shouldn’t be hiding or ignoring.

No doubt I’m not the only person in this position, so I thought I’d share my thoughts on the issue with you, Dear Reader.

It’s important with PTSD & C-PTSD to manage your symptoms.  Ignoring them isn’t the same thing.  Managing them means you have some control over your symptoms.  Ignoring them means you’re working hard to pretend they don’t exist, which shows they have control over you.

Ignoring symptoms also means the problem won’t get fixed or at least controlled.  It also can mean you face health problems because emotions that are ignored can cause stress & we all know stress is terrible for your physical & emotional health.

With both PTSD & C-PTSD, there are some symptoms that are just a part of life but others that can be managed.  Flashbacks come to mind.  Rather than ignoring them or simply accepting them, why not make them work for you whenever possible?  Flashbacks can be a sign of a particular issue that you need to work on.  I’ve learned that if I deal with the issue my flashback was about, I don’t have another about that particular issue.  The same goes for nightmares.  This also can work with anxiety.  Figure out what is the root of this anxiety.  Ask God to help you if need be.  Once you know the root, you can face the problem & eliminate one cause of your anxiety.  Chipping away at it one issue at a time can help make it more manageable.

Maybe your symptoms are flaring up because you’ve been pushing yourself too hard lately or it’s near the anniversary of some traumatic event.  If that is the case, your brain is trying to tell you to slow down & do some good self care.  Listen to the symptoms!  They’re trying to get your attention for a reason!

Remember, PTSD & C-PTSD are potentially life threatening disorders.  They should be taken very seriously.  Ignoring your symptoms isn’t going to help you & can hurt you.  Pay attention to your symptoms- your brain is trying to tell you something, so listen to it!

3 Comments

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

Narcissists & Dominance

Whether overt or covert, narcissists are control freaks.  They must be in control of their environment & the people in it at all times.  We all know overt narcissists use fear & covert narcissists guilt to accomplish this, but there are other methods they also use.

Narcissists may use ignoring a person as a means of control.  They accomplish this in many ways.  They may simply ignore the victim in conversation, acting as if the person didn’t say anything when they did.  The narcissist may talk over the victim in conversation.  They may conveniently “forget” to invite the victim to a gathering.  If the victim arrives with someone, the narcissist may greet that person while ignoring the victim.  When a person is ignored this way, they may shut down, fading quietly into the background which leaves more room for the narcissist to get attention.  Or, they may question the narcissist, wondering what they did wrong & pleading with the narcissist to forgive them.  Ignoring a victim also lets that person know that the narcissist thinks they are unworthy of the narcissist’s attention, so the victim may try harder & harder to please the narcissist.

Interrupting is another display of dominance narcissists use.  When most people have a conversation, & someone interrupts them, they stop talking to let the interrupting person talk.  Narcissists will use this natural proclivity to their advantage.  My father used this tactic a LOT.  In fact, he put a unique spin on it.  When I started talking, he would open his mouth as if he was going to talk, then close it quickly.  Naturally, I thought I was interrupting him, so I encouraged him to talk.  One day after a visit, I prayed about it.  I don’t usually interrupt people, so why was I doing it with him?!  God showed me I wasn’t.  My father was using this tactic to get me to stop talking so he could talk.  I hate bad manners, he knew it & used that to dominate our conversations.

Shock is a big favorite with narcissists.  If a narcissist is a part of a group of people & not the center of attention, that narcissist is incredibly uncomfortable.  She feels out of sorts, & will do whatever it takes to restore her position of being in control & being the center of attention.  One method she may use to regain her position is by shocking everyone in the group.  She may start talking loudly & suddenly about an entirely different topic of conversation.  She may blurt out some weird or disturbing facts that is so odd that it gets everyone’s attention.  She may walk away while someone is talking, make a loud noise or even spill her purse to restore the balance of power she wants.  My mother once broke into song when my father & I left her out of our conversation.  Remember the old musical, “Oklahoma!”?  Apparently my mother does.  She started singing the theme song.  Loudly.  Since this was well before I knew anything about NPD, my father & I ended our conversation at that point.  Attention was focused back on her, as she wanted.

Possibly the most disgusting way narcissist try to assert their dominance is with body functions.  Even passing gas or burping isn’t too low for a narcissist desperate enough to establish dominance.  They also may blow their nose extremely loudly or make the sounds more disgusting than need be.  If they don’t use a body function, they will at least talk about them.  My mother has irritable bowel syndrome & has absolutely no trouble discussing all the gory details of it.  Body functions are so seldom a part of a conversation in any way that when it happens, people are naturally shocked & notice the person who brought them into the conversation.

The best way I’ve found to deal with these dominant behaviors is very simple.  Ignore them.  Pretend the narcissist didn’t say or do anything unusual.  Carry on with your conversation as usual.  If she interrupts you, you can either talk over her or wait until she is finished, then resume your previous conversation.  If she ignores you, pretend not to notice.  The same goes if she uses shock value or body functions- pretend you notice nothing whatsoever.  By ignoring the narcissist’s attempts to dominate, you aren’t allowing her to dominate.  You’re depriving her of narcissistic supply, which is the best thing you can do with any narcissist.

8 Comments

Filed under Mental Health, Narcissism

Hoovering Tactics

Leave a comment

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

Bad Decisions & Narcissists

Leave a comment

Filed under Mental Health, Narcissism