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Should I Go No Contact?

Ending a relationship with anyone is a huge decision, in particular when it comes to family members.  If you read anything about people who are victims of narcissistic abuse, they’re frequently told, “Just go no contact.”

No contact is a very viable option for victims, & usually the best one.  However, it also isn’t an easy solution.  I have yet to talk to one person who has implemented no contact that came to that decision easily.  It often came after months or even years of wondering if there was any other solution & much trying to turn a toxic relationship into a healthy one.

The purpose of this post today is to help you to gain some clarity on whether or not no contact is your best option.

To start with, I always recommend prayer.  Ask God to show you the truth about your relationship, what you should do, how to handle the situation & to give you strength, courage & wisdom to do what is best.

Then, consider your relationship.  There is a difference between someone who is abusive & someone with whom you just don’t get along.  Personality clashes can be very challenging & frustrating, but they also don’t leave a person feeling badly about themselves or even doubting their own sanity.  How does this relationship make you feel?

Are you the only one in the relationship who is trying to make it healthy?  If not, that’s great!  If so, that is a sign this person is toxic.

Does the other person make excuses or blame you for their bad behavior?  Do you come away from a confrontation feeling as if you’re the problem every single time?  That is a huge red flag!  Healthy people accept responsibility for what they do wrong.  They also apologize, try to fix things when possible & change their behavior.

How does the other person react to you setting reasonable boundaries?  Healthy people are fine with boundaries.  Unhealthy people, not so much.  They get angry, pout, behave in passive/aggressive ways, ignore & mock boundaries.

Probably by now, you have more clarity on whether or not you should end the relationship.  If you think you do need to end it, there are other things you should consider too, especially if this person is a family member.

Possibly the most important thing to consider is this.  If you go no contact, will you be able to stay no contact, no matter what?  Going no contact then later resuming a relationship with an abuser never ends well for the victim.  Reason being is abusers see this as a victim having weak boundaries that mean nothing.  They can be trampled over with no real consequences for the abuser.  This means an abuser will behave worse than ever when they understand this.

For your own peace of mind, I also believe it’s important to know you tried your best in the relationship.  No, one person can’t fix any relationship on their own.  However, having peace of mind knowing you did your best is very beneficial.  So many abusers do anything they can to make a victim think they didn’t do enough before severing ties or if they just would have done that one thing, the relationship wouldn’t have failed.  When you truly know you did your best, those sorts of tactics don’t work.

Going no contact also means losing friends & family who side with the abuser.  You need to be aware that will happen, even with those who you never expected to abandon you.

Lastly, what do you feel in your heart is the right move for you to make?  Instincts are a wonderful thing & I believe God’s still small voice speaking to us.  Trust what you feel in your heart, & you’ll know if no contact is the right decision for you.

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Narcissistic In-Laws & The Ex, part 2

 

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The Truth About Being The Bigger Person

Have you ever been discussing the abuse from the narcissist in your life with someone who has told you that you need to be the bigger person & let this go?  I have.  Lots of times.  So have many other victims of all kinds of abuse.

Recently, this came to mind for some reason.  I thought about it & realized that this never felt right to me.  It seemed somehow patronizing, invalidating, manipulative & shaming but I was unsure why I felt that way.  After thinking about it, I think I figured the reasons.

If a victim is told they need to be the bigger person, it’s shaming.  It basically says, “Something is wrong with you for being upset about this! Get over it already!”  Shaming can be utterly devastating to victims of narcissistic abuse.  Nothing can shut down a victim faster than shame, in my opinion.  Saying, “You need to be the bigger person!” is an easy way for someone to stop a victim from discussing their abusive situation & pain.

Some people who have survived abusive relationships absolutely refuse to face their pain.  They ignore it, or even pretend the abuse didn’t happen or that it wasn’t really abusive.  When someone discusses their abusive history, these people are determined to shut them down immediately, because they don’t want any reminders of their own pain.  They may not be acting out of malice as some people do.  They simply don’t have the strength or courage to face their pain.  Telling a victim to be the bigger person is an effective way for them to shut the victim down without sounding harsh.

If the person who says this is also a narcissist, that puts an interesting spin on the situation.  That person probably sees no problem with the abuse, since they act in a similar way.  When the victim points out it’s wrong, that could be offending this narcissist’s sensibilities.  He or she wants to shut down the victim so he or she can go on acting terribly without any remorse.  Not to mention, it’s not about the narcissist, so the narcissist couldn’t care less.  Narcissists also lack empathy, so the narcissist doesn’t want to be bothered with what he or she sees as your petty problems. Or maybe the person could be a flying monkey of the original narcissist, & simply trying to shut the victim down & force the victim to continue to tolerate the awful & abusive behavior from their narcissist.

“You need to be the bigger person!” also shows that the person saying it thinks that the victim has the ability to be mature.  They aren’t saying it to the abuser, after all.  That can be flattering, & as victims, most of us aren’t used to someone believing anything good about us.  It can be a good way for someone to shut down a victim while assuring the victim won’t get angry with the person saying this stupid phrase since it can sound flattering.

I truly believe that someone saying, “You need to be the bigger person!” basically boils down to a way that people try to silence victims by using shaming while simultaneously making victims feel they should not be angry at the person who is attempting to shut them down with this phrase.  And in many cases, the person saying it also is trying to convince the victim to tolerate the abuse.  It’s a lot packed into one phrase, isn’t it?

If someone says this to you, please take it as a red flag!  This person isn’t safe for you to open up to about the abuse that you’ve endured!  Of course you should talk about it not only to help yourself heal but also to help raise awareness of the horrors of narcissistic abuse.  However, not everyone is safe to talk with about your experiences.  Use wisdom in choosing who to open up to.  Anyone who tells you to be the bigger person is NOT someone you need to open up to!

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The Narcissist’s Feelings Are NOT Your Responsibility!

A major pet peeve of mine when it comes to narcissism is how so many people think the victim is responsible for the feelings of the narcissist.  Here are a couple of examples from my life…

  • When my mother’s abuse hit its peak when I was in my late teens, she spent a great deal of time daily screaming at me, telling me how terrible I was.  One afternoon, her friend called.  I answered the phone since my mother was busy.  This person told me how I needed to start ‘behaving myself’, obeying my mother & how lucky I was to have a mother who loved me so much.  I didn’t feel lucky!
  • When I broke my engagement with my ex husband in 1990, everyone who knew us told me I was making him miserable & should get back together with him.  No one cared that I was miserable with him or asked why I even broke up with him.
  • When my father was dying in October, 2017, I can’t even tell you how many people told me I needed to say good bye to him so he could die in peace, I wasn’t honoring my parents, I was a “bad Christian,” I needed to “put my feelings aside” & more nonsense.  Not one person cared why I was no contact with my parents.

Pretty disgusting, isn’t it?  And I know I am far from the only person who has experienced situations like this.  It seems to me every victim of a narcissist has been made to feel responsible for their narcissist’s feelings not only because of the narcissist making them feel this way, but other people too.

Dear Reader, although you may know this already, this is WRONG!  You are absolutely NOT responsible for the narcissist’s feelings any more than you are responsible for any other human being’s feelings.  Each person is responsible for their own, & that includes narcissists.  Even though narcissists often act like spoiled, bratty little kids in adult bodies, they’re still adults & that means that their feelings are their responsibility, not yours.

When faced with people who do their best to make you feel responsible for the feelings of the narcissist in your life, chances are slim you will make them see the error of their thinking.  Probably it will be best for you simply to ignore what they say.  Change the subject, tell them you won’t discuss this topic with them, or ignore their text or email.  Why frustrate yourself trying to change the mind of someone who is determined that their thinking is right while you are absolutely wrong?

If you feel you must say something to the person, treat them as you treat any flying monkey.  Remain calm & don’t let them see that you’re frustrated with them.  You can ask them logical questions too.  “What makes this person’s feelings so much more important than mine?”  “Why are this person’s feelings my responsibility?”  “Other people take responsibility for their own feelings- what makes her exempt from doing that?”  Questions like that may shut the person down because really, there is no reasonable answer to those questions.  Of course, they may try to come up with excuses, such as the infamous, “But that’s your MOTHER/FATHER/etc.!”  If they do, let logic prevail again.  “So you’re saying that because this is my mother/father/etc we’re talking about, that I should be responsible for his/her feelings?”  “You mean that you honestly think I should do ___ to make him/her happy, even knowing how miserable that would make me?  That really makes sense to you?!”

Whenever these situations come up (& they will if you have any relationship at all with a narcissist), be sure to pray about the best way to handle them.  God won’t let you down & He will give you some very creative & effective ways to shut these people down.

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Narcissistic In-Laws & The Ex, part 1

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What Can Happen When Ending A Relationship With A Narcissist

When a relationship ends, the average person is sad for some time.  They may fondly remember special times with the other person or great conversations.  They miss such things, but in time, they’re ok.  They move on & get involved in other relationships.  This is a healthy way to cope, because it allows a person to heal.

Nothing like this happens with narcissists.

Narcissists are incapable of truly loving.  Because of this, a relationship that has ended doesn’t affect them in the same way as it affects your average person..  They don’t miss the person they love, but instead, they miss their favorite source of narcissistic supply.  This is why they act differently than functional people when a relationship ends.  Narcissistic supply is like a drug to them.  When a relationship ends, they’re losing their “fix”, if you will.  That isn’t an easy thing for any addict to handle.

To start with, narcissists don’t usually understand why someone ends a relationship with them.  To understand, they would need at least some empathy, which most people know is something that all narcissists lack.  They don’t understand why their ex would object to them cheating, why that former friend complained that they took advantage of their good nature, or why their adult child was hurt when they cut their child out of the will for simply telling the parent, “no.”  Narcissists are incapable of grasping such concepts.  In their minds, they’re entitled to whatever they want.  Besides, the behavior didn’t hurt them, so it isn’t important to them.  If it had hurt them, they’d change their behavior at the speed of sound.  Since it didn’t though, they are left baffled why their partner, friend or child ended the relationship. What the other person wanted or felt wasn’t so much as a blip on their radar.  All that matters to a narcissist is what they want, which usually boils down to their precious narcissistic supply.  Since the wants of the narcissist & victim are vastly different & the victim’s are not even considered by the narcissist, usually the end of a relationship catches them by surprise.  Their victims often warn them for months or even years in advance that they won’t tolerate the abuse forever, yet still, narcissists are shocked when someone ends a relationship with them.

Narcissists also don’t like rejection.  No one does, of course, but narcissists are infuriated by it.  Rejection is a narcissistic injury.  It makes them feel badly about themselves, so the person who rejected them must pay for making them feel that way.  Rather than walk away from the failed relationship with some semblance of dignity, most narcissists opt for revenge.  Overt narcissists often harass & stalk their victim, & get their flying monkeys in on the process as well.  They also will unleash a very impressive smear campaign, lying about the victim being the cause for the failure of the relationship because of being selfish, crazy, controlling & even abusive.  This often isolates the victim from friends & even family who believe the lies.  Covert narcissists are much less likely to harass & stalk their victim, since they prefer to look like a good person, but some will or have their flying monkeys do their dirty work for them.  They also don’t have any trouble creating a smear campaign, but it is much different than their overt counterparts.  Rather than say outright their victim is crazy & abusive, they phrase their smear campaign in a way so as not to sound critical, but concerned instead.  They may say something along the lines of, “I’m not surprised my ex left me.  She got so mean when she took drugs.  She just wasn’t herself.  I hope she’ll be ok…”  See how this smear is?  It makes the person saying these things sound concerned & as if he isn’t trying to destroy the reputation of his ex girlfriend.  People will believe this type of smear campaign very easily, even if they know the ex in question & know she never took drugs.

There is also the likelihood of the narcissist trying to “hoover” the victim back into the relationship.  When this happens, the narcissist may do their best to make the victim believe they have changed.  They may make promises that they have no intention of keeping such as they won’t do whatever the victim complained about anymore.  Some other empty promises are if the victim would only take the narcissist back, he or she will be faithful, they’ll be less selfish, they’ll think more of their victim’s needs.  The narcissist also may shower the victim with expensive gifts or love letters.  They may send their flying monkeys to tell the victim how miserable they are without the victim, & how desperately they want to resume the relationship.  This is a tough one, I know.  When I first broke up with my now ex husband, it seemed like everyone we knew was telling me how sad he was, how miserable he was, how much he missed me & how I really should get back together with him.  I felt so incredibly guilty at that time that I agreed not only to return to him but to marry him after only a short time apart.

Sometimes, narcissists fall into depression after a relationship ends, too.  They have no coping skills & aren’t fully aware of their emotions, plus they just lost their narcissistic supply.  It’s normal they wouldn’t handle any break up well when you consider these facts.  This can be so hard for the person who ended the relationship.  When people tell you how sad this person is or he says he doesn’t want to live without you, it can be incredibly hard to take.  It can make you feel incredibly guilty & responsible, which is truly unfair.

If you experience these things after ending a relationship with a narcissist, I urge you to remember that the narcissist is acting this way not out of a genuine & healthy love for you, but because he or she is a narcissist.  They are incredibly dysfunctional people.  You stick to no contact, & remind yourself often exactly why you came to that decision.  Write things down if it helps, since writing can be an incredibly useful tool.  Also remember that person’s emotions aren’t your responsibility.   Don’t forget to document everything in case you need to involve the law at some point.  Even if you don’t, the documentation will help you a great deal to remember why you’re no contact.  It’ll also help you to see the way this person tries to manipulate you.  And, if the narcissist creates a smear campaign against you, never, ever react to it.  Any reaction would give this person narcissistic supply, so you deprive this person of that supply.  In time, he or she will get bored with your lack of reaction & give up the smearing.  Lastly, if the narcissist sends the flying monkeys after you, remember that few are truly innocent people who are fooled by the narcissist.  Most are also narcissists, I believe.  Treat them accordingly.  Remember to tell them nothing that you would object to the original narcissist knowing, in particular anything about the original narcissist.  Chances are the flying monkey will share everything you say with that person, so give them no material to work with.  Most importantly, pray & lean on God to help you get through this.  He truly will help you!

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Seeing Through The Lens Of Victim-hood

When a person has been abused, they tend to see the world differently than other folks.  People like this aren’t as trusting as the average person, & with good reason.  They have survived some pretty terrible stuff!  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, considering how many untrustworthy people there are in the world.  However, it can become a bad thing.  A good friend of mine once called it “seeing things through the lens of victim-hood.”  I thought the term made perfect sense.

When a person sees others as out to hurt them with little or no evidence to prove this is happening, it’s a bad thing.

Or when a person reads so much into every small comment or action that they see others as out to get them, this is a bad thing.

Unfortunately, it can be very easy to turn out this way after surviving abuse. It can be especially easy to see problems online over face to face contact.  Once you’ve been badly hurt, you obviously want to avoid it again.  It’s very easy to become hyper-vigilant, seeing abusive behavior everywhere.  A person looks at you a bit odd or cracks a joke that isn’t like your sense of humor & suddenly you think they’re out to hurt you when nothing could be further from the truth.  This is no way to live!

Rather than succumb to this miserable lifestyle, change yourself!  It is possible!  I was this way & managed to change.  If I can do it, so can you.

As always, I recommend prayer as the place to start.  God can & will help you to make whatever changes you need.  He also will show you what you need to do.  Why not let Him?

Also slow down when a situation happens.  Respond, don’t react.  Responding isn’t instantaneous.  It requires time to consider the situation.  Reacting is instantaneous & done in the heat of emotions.  Reacting often happens when seeing situations through the lens of victim-hood.  Give yourself time to consider the situation before you respond.

Don’t automatically assume that your knee-jerk reaction is correct.  Consider it.  Question it.  Slow your thoughts down for some time & ask yourself why you think the way you’re thinking.  Is there evidence to back up what you believe is happening?  What is that evidence?  Are there red flags that show you this person isn’t safe, such as a lack of empathy for example?  Write it down if it helps.  Writing can help you to see things clearly, often more clearly than speaking or thinking about things.

Think too about the person in question.  If this is someone you know well, you will know what this person is & is not capable of.  You know if this person is safe or not.  Ask yourself, is it likely this person is out to hurt me or not?

If you want advice, don’t talk to someone else about the situation in a way that will get them assuming the worst about this person.  If they believe you, they will only feed your fear.  They’ll automatically respond to your fear with fear, especially if this is someone you’re close to.  If you want to talk about your situation with someone safe, that’s totally fine.  An objective opinion can be a truly great thing!  Just make sure you say things in such a way that the person who you’re speaking with can form their own opinion.  Say things like, “I think this person is looking to hurt me in some way.. what do you think?”  then state the facts without emotion.  Let this person form their own opinion if you want their best advice.

Just remember, Dear Reader, not everyone is abusive.  Not everyone wants to cause you pain & suffering.  Pray & seriously consider the situation so you can respond to it appropriately, rather than reacting because you’re seeing it through the lens of victim-hood.

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Narcissistic Grandparents

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Accepting Your Parent Is A Covert Narcissist

I remember when I first realized that my mother was a narcissist.  Although it was painful, I was glad finally to understand why she treated me as she did.  The raging, the silent treatments, the manipulation & control.. suddenly it all made sense.  She blamed me for all of it, but the truth was it wasn’t me.  It was her!

It was another few years before I realized my father was a narcissist as well.  It took me so long because he was a covert narcissist.

My mother being an overt narcissist made it obvious something wasn’t right.  Normal mothers didn’t keep their daughters from getting to know their extended family.  They also didn’t scream at their teenage daughters daily, often multiple times in a day.  They didn’t accuse their daughters of completely uncharacteristic behaviors, such as having sex with their entire high school football team, especially when there was no evidence to support this wild claim.

My father was nothing like this at all.  For most of my life, I was convinced he was my one nice, normal parent.  I was wrong.

While my father didn’t scream at me or accuse me of outrageous behaviors, he abused me nonetheless.  He didn’t protect me from my mother.  In fact, when I told him of some of her abusive behaviors, he would tell me how hard this was on him, & how there was nothing he could do to protect me.  In spite of my pain, I often ended up comforting him after my mother abused me.

Compared to my mother’s constant criticisms & rages, I didn’t think this was a problem.  He told me he loved me, unlike my mother who stopped saying it when I was in my teens.  My father also complemented me, & bragged about me to other people.  My mother didn’t do either.

As an adult, married with my own home, I finally noticed some subtle changes in my father’s behavior.  He became critical.  Nothing obvious like my mother at first, but still critical.  He became more critical over the years.  He also became more controlling in subtle ways.  If I didn’t answer his call immediately, the next time we spoke, he would tell me how he thought I must be mad at him since I didn’t answer the phone.  If I said I wasn’t home at the time, he didn’t believe me.  Or, he would call folks we both knew, asking them to contact me & have me call him immediately because he was worried about me.

Eventually, I realized my father was a covert narcissist, & that fact truly hurt.

My situation is quite similar to that of many adult children of narcissistic parents.  Accepting the overtly narcissistic parent is abusive is difficult, but it can be done.  Accepting their covertly narcissistic parent is abusive is a much more difficult task, & can be impossible for some people.

The nature of a covert narcissist’s abuse is what makes the abuse so hard to comprehend.  There is no obvious abuse.  They don’t hit or scream.  Their abuse is so much more subtle.  They use guilt, disapproval, silence & portraying themselves as innocent, naive, in need of saving or protection.  They also can turn a situation around to where they look like the innocent victim instead of the abuser, rather than the other way around as it should be.

This creates a cognitive dissonance in victims.  In other words, the victim often may see the truth, but doesn’t want to accept it because it’s so painful.

There is also the fact that it’s hurtful enough to accept that one parent didn’t love you.  Accepting both parents didn’t is even more so.  Even when you understand it’s because they’re narcissists, knowing both of your parents didn’t love you can make you feel unlovable.

If this describes your situation, I’m so sorry, Dear Reader.  You are in an extremely painful situation.  Pray, journal, talk to safe people… do whatever you have to do to help you face this ugly truth & to heal.  It will help you in the long run to face this awful situation.  You can do this!

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A Suggestion For Getting Rid Of A Narcissist

In a recent conversation, I’ve come to realize something that may help at least some of you who follow my work.

The conversation was with someone who is involved with a very covert narcissist.  She has broken off their relationship months ago, but he continues to call & to try to hoover her back in.  She has wanted to tell him to stop calling her, but hasn’t.  Based on some of his past controlling behavior, she & I both believe that he is one of those narcissists who would harass & stalk her.  She knows what that’s like, having gone through it with me at the hands of a narcissist I went no contact with several years ago, so she wants to avoid that if at all possible, & understandably so!

Rather than face the probability of stalking & harassment, she has opted to use the Gray Rock method, in the hopes that her ex will lose all interest in her.  So far, it has worked pretty well.  He no longer calls her daily, only a few times a week.  This is big progress!  Even so, she still wants rid of him completely.

As we talked, I had a thought that I think might work well for her, & it might benefit some of you as well..

Obviously, he is losing interest in her, which is why he isn’t calling so often.  Now might be a good time to give him some narcissistic turn offs.   She is great with not providing narcissistic supply, but I suggested she also try to take some from him using ways that aren’t bad enough to provoke rage.  Turn offs, basically.

One thing that he wants her to do to provide him with supply are always look good.  Dress well, makeup done.. things like this.  When he sees her, I suggested she dress frumpy.  Wear sweats & no makeup.  Also never call him since that can make him think she is still interested in him thus providing narcissistic supply.  He likes to go out or travel, so she will make a point of exaggerating her naturally introverted & home body ways.  She can talk about how glad she is to be at home & have nowhere to be for the weekend, things like this.

Little things like this can be explained away easily, like she just wanted to be comfortable which is why sweats & no make up.  This means they most likely won’t bring about a narcissistic rage, especially considering he is trying to behave so she will come back to him.  But, these things don’t provide supply, they also are big turn offs & they will get under his skin.  At some point, he is going to get sick of her lack of supply & my guess is he will discard her.  The good part of this is that if he discards her, he thinks ending the relationship is all his idea, so he won’t stalk or harass her.  He will leave her alone.

I did mention that if she does this & he discards her, he’ll probably do the smear campaign thing.  She said she really doesn’t care what people think of her, so thankfully that isn’t going to be a problem for her.

Dear Reader, I don’t know your situation with your particular narcissist, so obviously I can’t say making the narcissist want to discard you is your answer if you’re having trouble going no contact.  Only you know if this will work for you.  I urge you to pray & seriously consider it though.  So many narcissists, after a victim has gone no contact, harass their victims in real life, over the phone & on social media.  Others who are more covert do the same but with less hostility than their overtly narcissistic counterparts.  They claim just to want answers, promise they’ll change, use guilt or portray themselves as the victim as they harass the true victim.  If this awful behavior can be avoided or even just minimized by acting this way, then isn’t it worth considering at least?

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Toxic In-Laws

I’ve been working on a book for a while now about toxic/narcissistic in-laws.  I’m struggling to write it for a few reasons.  I’ve been really distracted by things going on in my life since I started this book 2 years ago.  I also felt that I needed to put it on the back burner to write other books.  The topic is such a hard one for me to write about too, because I honestly have been through hell because of some of my husband’s family, & I’m still healing.  And, in spite of taking frequent breaks, I’m pretty burned out on all things narcissism.  These issues make this one tough book to write.  That being said, I believe the topic is an important one so I will finish it.  It just may take some time.

Since my book is delayed, here is a post to help identify whether or not your in-laws are toxic.  I will write from the perspective of a daughter in-law with a toxic mother in-law, since that is the bulk of my experience as well as the bulk of the experiences of people I’ve spoken with.  The information is good for toxic sisters in-law, fathers in-law, etc. though.

Does your mother in-law ignore you?  The purpose of this behavior is to show you that you mean nothing to her.

Does she refuse to accept responsibility for treating you badly?  Rather than say something like, “I shouldn’t have said that.. I’m sorry,” does she make excuses for her words or actions or deny them completely?  This is a big red flag.  Functional people accept responsibility for what they say & do.

Does your mother in-law have a different personality depending on whether or not you are alone with her or others are around?  Another big red flag!  Any abuser will behave differently to their victim depending on whether or not there are witnesses.  They want to hide their abuse from other people.

Does she expect you to be blindly devoted to her family, even to the point of rejecting your own family & friends?  Many toxic mothers in-law remind me of the Borg from the tv show “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”   They expect their son’s or daughter’s new spouse to become completely enmeshed in their new in-law family.

Like the Borg, toxic mothers in-law expect their new sons or daughters in-law to adapt to their opinions, religion, way of life, etc.  Individuality is highly discouraged by toxic mothers in-law.  I once told my late mother in-law I hate to cook.  I do it, but hate it.  For Christmas a few months later, she & her 2 daughters gave me nothing but cookbooks, utensils, food & other cooking paraphernalia.

Toxic in-laws show no respect.  Toxic in-laws show no respect for personal space, choices, likes/dislikes, parenting, & even boundaries.

And speaking of a lack of respect, your mother in-law makes it clear to you that she doesn’t like you.  Unless you abuse your mother in-law’s adult child or your children, if your mother in-law had any respect whatsoever for her child, she would be civil to you no matter how much she disliked you.  The inability to be civil even only for the sake of her adult child proves she is toxic.

Is she manipulative & controlling?  Toxic people, in particular narcissists, must be in charge.  Chances are, your mother in-law controls her spouse & children.  Since you married one of her children, she expects you to be as control-able & easily manipulated as everyone else.  When you say no, she is NOT happy.

If your toxic mother in-law is nice to you, it’s short lived & in front of others only.  Very few people are cruel 100% of the time.  Toxic people bring out their nice side when it can be advantageous to them.  Being nice sometimes will make their victim want to see it more, so they work harder to please the toxic person.  Also, being nice to a victim in front of others helps the toxic person prove to others that if you complain about the relationship, you are obviously the problem.

Mothers in-law like this care nothing of their adult child beyond what he can do for her.  They clearly have no respect for him either, since they treat the person he chose to spend his life with so badly.  His marriage is nothing more to this kind of mother than an embarrassment, & she would like it simply to go away.  Since she can’t file for divorce on his behalf, she becomes extremely destructive to the adult child’s marriage with her abusive ways.

Your spouse no doubt suffers greatly from his mother’s abusive behavior, yet tolerates it anyway.  This is because he is accustomed to how his mother behaves.  This is his norm & many adults in this situation have accepted this as their permanent reality.  By complaining about his mother’s behavior or even confronting her, this threatens his norm.  Facing the truth can be incredibly painful for many in this position, which is why many refuse to face the truth.  This feeling is known as cognitive dissonance.  Rather than face this miserable feeling, many people in this situation will do their best to shut down their spouse.  They don’t want to hear about the bad things their mother is doing, so they will tell their wife they don’t believe her, she is over sensitive, she just doesn’t understand Mom, that’s her problem so she needs to leave him out of it & more.  They refuse to confront their mother on behalf of their wife.

Naturally, the wife in this position feels rejected, unloved & hurt.  She wants to fight for her marriage, but it seems whatever she does is wrong, & whatever his mother does is right.  Her trying to save her marriage only causes more problems.  The reason for this is she doesn’t know that when you’re dealing with a narcissist, normal ways to cope don’t work.

For anyone in this position, you need to think of this situation more like a game of strategy than a relationship.

As always pray.  Ask God to help you to know what to do & to give you whatever you need to enable you to do it.  Pray for your husband to see the truth & for God to enable him to be able to cope with it, too.

Cope with your emotions as best you can by journaling, talking to a safe friend, pray.. whatever works for you.  Whatever you do, don’t hold in your emotions!

Don’t focus on your mother in-law’s bad behavior when it can be avoided.  Instead, focus on being the loving wife that you are.  Don’t neglect to remind your husband how much you love him.  If he complains about his mother to you for any reason, don’t join in.  Listen quietly to him & give him objective advice if he asks for it.  The reason being, the mindset of many people in this situation is they can complain about Mom, but if anyone else does, they jump to her defense.  This would only cause more problems in your marriage.

Along those lines, if you discuss his mother’s behavior with him, stay calm.  State your issues in a matter of fact way, lacking emotion.  If you rant & rave, that too will make him feel he must defend his mother, which only will hurt you & possibly your marriage.

Limit your exposure to your mother in-law as much as possible, but especially alone.  No narcissist wants to abuse their victim in front of the person they want to think well of them, so stay glued to your husband’s side as much as possible.

Keep your emotions in check around your mother in-law.  Narcissists love to twist a victim’s normal reaction around to prove how mentally unstable or even abusive the victim is to other people.  In her presence, stay calm.  Vent later when you’re away from her as needed though, so you don’t hold in all the bad emotions.

Having to deal with toxic, narcissistic in-laws is tough.  I know, I’ve been there.  But, with prayer, love, patience & wisdom, you can survive it with your marriage in tact.

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Don’t Let Anyone Silence You!

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Personality Traits That Narcissists Don’t Like

I recently read an amazing article entitled “11 Signs Your Personality Is So Intense That It’s Intimidating To Others“.  Later on, I thought about the article & realized that many other victims of narcissistic abuse share many if not all of these qualities.  It’s no wonder narcissists have issues with us!  It’s also proof that we are some pretty amazing people, in my opinion!

#1 in the article is “you’re honest to a fault.”  And what a fault honesty is to narcissists!  They want victims to be willing to lie to & for them, to pretend they’re perfect & to protect their reputation.

#2, “You’re a problem solver, not one to wallow.”  This is another big no no to narcissists, because that means a person like this won’t tolerate abuse indefinitely.

#3, “You aren’t afraid of intimacy.”  Many people when they hear the word intimacy think sex, but actually it can be much more beyond sex.  Two people who are open with each other, & love, trust & respect each other can have a very intimate relationship with or without sex.  If this is something you want, chances are excellent you’ll see behind the narcissist’s mask before he or she is ready for that to happen, which means you won’t be a good victim.

#4, “You’re intense in all that you do.”  Intense people don’t settle for things that aren’t intense.  They want passion & deep relationships.  They don’t want superficial anything, which is yet one more problem for narcissists.  They do want superficial relationships.  Deeper would mean they might actually have to do some self reflection, which is one of their biggest fears.  Even narcissists don’t want to see what’s truly behind their masks.

#5, “You ask a lot of questions.”  Narcissists demand blind trust from their victims.  That doesn’t come from someone who asks lots of questions.  They will trust, but they want to know beyond a doubt they can trust before doing so.

#6, “You refuse to waste your time waiting around for others.”  Narcissists MUST be in control of victims, & that even includes when they spend time with people.  My mother is perpetually late, unless it’s with someone she wants to impress.  Being late is her way of forcing someone to wait on her, so basically she’s in control of that person even if only for a short time.

#7, “You’re like a human lie detector.”  Definitely a very, very big turn off for any narcissist.  They want to be able to lie to their victims & get away with it indefinitely.  Someone who won’t put up with lying is going to call them out on their actions, & we all know narcissists don’t tolerate that well.

#8, “You’re incredibly open minded.”  Another problem as far as narcissists are concerned.  If you’re open minded, you might *gasp* think for yourself at some point.  No victim of any narcissist is allowed to do that!  It’s an unpardonable sin to them.  Narcissists want their victims to think however the narcissist wants them to think, period.  Independent thought may lead to victims realizing that this abuse they’re enduring is wrong, & figure out a way to escape it.

#9, “You always have a clear picture of what you want.”  Another problem according to narcissists.  If you know what you want, you also have a good sense of boundaries & you know what you aren’t willing to tolerate.  This means you may be too tough to manipulate & control for a narcissist.

#10, “You’re a creature of habit.”  Another no no for narcissists.  Victims need to be pliable so their narcissist can control them.  If you have & like your routine, you won’t be open to a lot of change, which is a sign you’re not pliable.  This simply will not work for a narcissist!

#11, “You have no interest in shallow relationships.”  Narcissists love shallow relationships because they aren’t demanding & don’t require much of them.  People who like deeper relationships come across as highly demanding & unreasonable to narcissists.  How dare you expect the narcissist to care about your feelings, thoughts, family, job, etc?  That means the spotlight would be off the narcissist, & we know that narcissists can’t handle that.

If you share any of the qualities on this list, then enjoy them knowing that they make you unattractive to narcissists, so enjoy these qualities & wear them proudly!

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My Ebooks Are On Sale

From March 3-9, 2019, my publisher is having a sale!  All of my ebooks will be 25% off.

Come check it out at: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CynthiaBaileyRug

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My New Accomplishment

I recently added something new to my repertoire, & I’m pretty proud of myself for it.  I now have an Amazon Alexa skill for the Echo, Echo Dot, etc. about narcissism.  It describes some signs of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  There isn’t much available in the Alexa skills about narcissism, so I thought it might be a good idea to add some to it.  I don’t know much about creating these skills, so this first one, being very simple, was a good experiment for me.  I am hoping to add more skills about NPD as time goes on.  I’m thinking of adding some of my free ebooks maybe?  Not sure yet… I’m figuring this out as I go, so this may be my only one.  We shall see though!  I’ll share when (& if) I add new skills.

If you’d like to check it out, here is the link:    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07P1T5163/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-skills&ie=UTF8&qid=1551105049&sr=1-1&keywords=narcissism

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How Narcissists Use Shame To Abuse, part 2

 

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How Narcissists Use Shame To Abuse, part 1

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Lies People Believe Rather Than Believing Victims Of Abuse

When a victim of abuse has proof of abuse, such as bruises or broken bones, that person is usually believed.  Sadly, the emotional warfare narcissists dish out doesn’t leave such obvious physical evidence behind, & many victims aren’t believed because of that.  As a result, victims are often re-victimized by people who don’t believe them, & who accuse them of exaggerating, lying, seeking attention or being the abuser who is trying to cover our tracks.  This often includes a victims own friends & family.

The excuses people give as to why they don’t believe a victim may sound plausible, but in reality, they aren’t.  This post shares some commonly used excuses.  I apologize in advance to those who find this post triggering or upsetting!  

“She is too nice.  I can’t imagine this sweet person abusing anyone!”  Abusers hide their cruel activities from everyone but their victim.  By acting “nice” around other people, this protects the abuser’s reputation & makes people believe him or her over the victim.

“This person is a pastor/teacher/ nurse… there is no way he could be abusive.”  Wrong.  Narcissists are drawn to helping professions such as pastor, teacher, & the medical field because people in these fields are admired.  Such positions also offer power over other people.

“But she is so active in the church!  She carries her Bible everywhere she goes!”  Being active in the church & carrying around a Bible doesn’t mean a person couldn’t be abusive.  There are abusive people in every area of life, & that includes in the church.  This role of being “religious” can bring them the admiration they want while protecting their reputation in such a way if their victim speaks out, they often won’t be believed.

“He brags about his kids all the time.  I can’t imagine this person abusing those kids.”  Narcissists have children as yet another means of gaining narcissistic supply.  When people think well of their children, narcissists take it as people thinking well of them, so yes, many narcissistic parents will brag about their children as a way of gathering narcissistic supply.

“She’s your mother!  Mothers always love their children & never would hurt them!”  This is delusional.  While most mothers do love their children, not all do.  The same goes for fathers.  Some people, like narcissists, are simply incapable of loving anyone & this includes their children.

“He’s always nice to me.  He can’t be abusive.”  All this means is the abuser hasn’t let you get close enough to them to see their true self.  They are keeping you at a distance.

“She says you’re lying & she never abused you.”  Seriously.. do you really think an abusive person would accept responsibility & admit being abusive?  Not gonna happen.  If they admit anything happened, you can guarantee they will have excuses or their version will be much different than the victim’s version.

“He never hit her!  That means it’s not abuse!”  So wrong!  Abuse can be more than simply hitting a person.  Abuse also can be manipulating, invalidating, harshly criticizing, destroying a person’s self esteem, or forcing someone to do sexual acts they want no parts of.

“The victim is an angry person.  That doesn’t mean the narcissist was abusive!”  Ok, that can be true.  However, if you know the victim, you will know if this person is generally angry or not.  And, if the victim is just an angry person, chances are super slim that anger will be focused only on one person. He or she would be angry with pretty much everyone.

“They were just not a good match.”  There is a big difference in a mismatched couple & abuse.  A couple who isn’t compatible can still involve good people.  Abusers aren’t good people, period.

“They were toxic for each other.”  If this is the case, both parties involved will admit their shortcomings.  One person will not claim total innocence while the other claims abuse.  They also will work on trying to improve their relationship or mutually agree to end it.  And, if they end it, one person won’t stalk or harass the other.

The next time someone says one of these types of comments to you, I hope you remember this post & it helps you!

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Some Red Flags That The Person You Just Met May Be A Narcissist

When you first learn about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, it can feel like you see them everywhere.  You can feel like every person you pass on the street is a narcissist.  Most people wonder if we’re paranoid or if they really are everywhere.  It’s very normal!  This post is about some red flags to help you discern narcissists from normal people quickly.

Narcissists are predators, which means they have a predatory look about them.  They study people intently.  The predatory studying they do isn’t usually something glaringly obvious. There is something about the way they look at you that makes you uneasy, almost as if they’re looking through you.  My mother did this.  If I gained or lost as little as 2 or 3 pounds, she noticed.  If I trimmed my hair slightly, she noticed.  It always felt creepy how she noticed even the tiniest of details.

What you say means nothing to a narcissist.  They prove it by talking non stop without letting you get a word in edgewise or interrupting constantly when you talk.  (Some folks who interrupt only do so because they don’t want to forget things, but they aren’t rude.  They also don’t act as if what you say isn’t important & they’re entitled to talk over you).  If by some chance you do get a sentence in, they will turn it around to themselves.  If you mention that you had a kidney stone last week, the narcissist will interrupt to tell you about how she had one in 1995, in all its yukky detail.

In fact, if you do mention something about yourself, it will be a contest with a narcissist.  Your kidney stone wasn’t as painful as the one that she had in 1995.  In fact, no one has ever experienced that kind of pain that she did.  You just bought a new car?  The narcissist has a nicer & more expensive one that is better for the environment to boot.

Narcissists can be extremely moody.  They can go from hot to cold back to hot in a matter of 60 seconds.  While everyone has mood swings from time to time, no one can rival a narcissist in how quickly or destructive those mood swings can be.  They can be engaged in a friendly conversation, then suddenly turn ice cold, leaving their victim completely confused when suddenly they “thaw” back out & return to acting friendly.  And, as the icing on the cake, they act like this behavior is totally normal.  If you were to mention their behavior, chances are excellent the narcissist would deny this even happened.

Many narcissists love shock value, especially if they feel they aren’t getting the attention they deserve.  They may suddenly interrupt a conversation to start talking about a dark topic of conversation such as details of how a serial killer murdered his victims, the Holocaust or even the occult.  Anything that gets a narcissist attention is a good thing, as far as they’re concerned, so uncomfortable topics work very well for them.

Narcissists often exaggerate their mannerisms somehow.  They may use exaggerated mannerisms with their body language, or they may speak with a very loud voice at all times, even in quiet situations.  These mannerisms garnish them attention.  People naturally notice who is speaking with such a loud voice even when they aren’t a part of the conversation.  Or, for people in the conversation, they automatically notice the loud person or the one who is moving around a great deal.

Narcissists often love gossip.  Even upon just meeting you, they may fill you in on the latest happenings.  If you’re new to the place where the narcissist works, she will fill you in on the latest office gossip.  She may even let you know just what her neighbors are up to.  The fact you never met them is irrelevant.

Beyond these signs, you need to listen to your instincts.  If something feels “off” about the person you just met, pay attention to that feeling.  It’s there for a reason!  Watch this person closely & the truth will show itself pretty quickly.  The truth always has a way of making itself known.

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What Scares Narcissists

Most narcissists, in particular overt narcissists, come across as fearing nothing.  The fact is though that underneath that brazen, rough facade often lies a very scared person.

There are some things that frighten all narcissists to the very core of their being, & this post will share those things.

Being criticized is a big one.  All narcissists work hard to create a false image of a really great person to the world.  If they are criticized, this can damage that image.  The image must be maintained perfectly at all times, & criticism can threaten that image.  While narcissists are often quick to criticize other people, they can’t tolerate it being done to them.

Being treated without respect is another fear of narcissists.  To be respected helps them to maintain that false image they work so hard to present by showing them that they are worthy of respect.  Any sign of disrespect can damage that fragile false image, so they will not tolerate disrespect no matter how slight or unintentional it may be.  My overtly narcissistic mother always told me, “I demand respect.”  I’ve heard others say that their narcissistic parents or spouses said the same thing.  They obviously don’t realize a person can’t truly respect someone simply because they are ordered to respect that person.

Ignoring a narcissist is something they simply cannot tolerate.  Narcissists thrive on attention & the narcissistic supply it provides.  If you adore a narcissist, you’re providing supply.  If you hate a narcissist, you’re also providing supply.  Love & hate are both very strong emotions & take up much of a person’s thoughts.  That is why both emotions are great sources of narcissistic supply.  Ignoring a narcissist shows you feel nothing for that person, which not only fails to provide narcissistic supply, it damages their ego.  Narcissists who are ignored often behave worse than they did when in a relationship with their victim because that victim has ceased to provide their precious narcissistic supply.  This is why so many narcissists resort to vicious smear campaigns, harassment & even stalking if their victim ignores them.  If they can’t make you love them, they will be satisfied to make you hate them.

A huge fear all narcissists have is their abusive behavior being exposed to anyone other than their victim.  Since narcissists want to be well thought of by everyone, being exposed as the abusive monster they are would destroy that.  Rather than run the risk of exposure, they find it much better to keep their victims silent by any & all means necessary.  They isolate them by ruining their relationships with friends & family, they scare victims, use guilt, shame & gaslighting to keep them silent.  They also run damage control by convincing those in their circle that the victim is crazy, irrational, over sensitive or even mentally ill.

Rejection is another huge fear of narcissists.  They take rejection as a personal attack.  While no one likes to be rejected, narcissists take it to a very different level.  Most people examine their behavior & make appropriate changes.  They also hurt, but they also move on.  Narcissists do NOT examine their behavior & move on.  They get angry that anyone would dare end a relationship with them.  Their abusive ways are no reason to end that relationship, after all.  The victim should just take it indefinitely without complaint.   Since that didn’t happen, narcissists get angry & again, may resort to a vicious smear campaign, harassment or even stalking.

Possibly the biggest fear narcissists have is abandonment.  (Ironic, when you consider that by the time they’re elderly, they have chased away most of their friends & family with their awful & abusive behavior.)  Narcissists need narcissistic supply to function like the rest of humanity needs air.  They can’t function without a steady stream of narcissistic supply, so they have a deep fear of abandonment.  To avoid this, they will rage & threaten victims in an attempt to make them stay.  If a victim leaves them, they will promise to change & love bomb as a way to lure their victim back.  If left alone, narcissists will have to face their own company & they don’t like to do that.  No one wants to see the ugliness on the inside of a narcissist, not even the narcissist!

If the narcissist in your life is acting even worse than usual lately, one of these scenarios may be why.  There is nothing you can do to make the situation better, so if at all possible, avoid this person as much as possible.  Also, never forget to practice the Gray Rock method, & provide no narcissistic supply.

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Do Narcissists Know Right From Wrong?

 

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How To Prevent A Narcissist From Wanting To Resume The Relationship With You

Severing ties with a narcissist is never easy.  Not only due to the simple fact that ending any relationship is hard, but also because of the fact they don’t exactly handle this well.  While no one likes to have someone end a relationship with them, it can become devastating to a narcissist.  They will do about anything to get their victim to return to the relationship, often only so they can later discard their victim on their terms.  This article will help you to avoid behaviors that can encourage a narcissist to want you back.

Naturally, do your best to avoid any interaction whatsoever with the narcissist after no contact.  Narcissists don’t think like normal people, obviously, so they are prone to taking any interaction after no contact as a sign the relationship has been resumed.  Take away their hope in that area if at all possible.

Sometimes even when doing your best to avoid a narcissist, they find ways to interject themselves into your life.  One way they do this is by stalking & harassing their victims.  They inundate victims with constant phone calls, text messages, social media messages & even postal mail.  Or, they may show up places they know you frequent such as your favorite coffee shop.  This can be incredibly unnerving.  I’ve been on the receiving end of such behavior from two narcissists in my life, & I found it terrifying.  I also learned that narcissists often know stalking & harassment laws well, so they stay just barely legal.  This means getting a restraining order is very difficult, if not impossible.  The most effective ways I know how to handle such behavior are never to respond to anything they send you & to block the narcissist at every pass.  Granted, he or she probably will find ways around your blocks, such as creating new email addresses or social media accounts, but block them too.  Keep blocking.  If they have flying monkeys who tell you to talk to them, block them too.  Do NOT engage either the narcissist or the flying monkey at all.  Ever!

If you can’t avoid the narcissist completely, always remember the Gray Rock method.  In other words, provide zero narcissistic supply.  You know this person well, so naturally you know what makes him or her happy.  Deprive this person of it.  Provide no praise, no complements, no offers to do things for him or her.  Also share absolutely no personal information about yourself.  If she asks what you’re doing later, say you have plans & leave it at that.  How is your job going?  “Fine.”  One or two word answers are the best.

Show no emotions to this person.  You aren’t happy, sad, angry… anything.  You are completely neutral in his or her presence.  Emotions feed narcissists.  If you’re happy, they can destroy it so you’re as miserable as they are.  If they make you sad or angry, they feel powerful, so they’ll do that thing again to get their “high”.  Deprive them of that feeding.

Show no remorse for anything you have done, including no contact.  If you show you feel any sadness, guilt, or regrets, the narcissist will pounce on you like a hungry lion.

Do not give in to anything the narcissist tries to make you do.  I don’t care if it’s something silly like passing them the salt shaker over lunch, don’t do it if it can be avoided.  If not, do it perfunctorily.

By doing these things, you are essentially making yourself very unattractive to the narcissist in your life.  They want people who will prop up their egos, blindly obey them & make them the center of their world.  People who refuse to do such things are of no use to a narcissist, so a narcissist will leave them alone.

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About Understanding Narcissistic Behavior

Some time ago I was mopping the floors on the main level in my house (the glamorous life of an author!  lol).  As I went towards the bathroom, I remembered something very painful that happened to me in  2009…

As I was mopping my floors one day, my mother called.  I took her call & continued to mop.  My bathroom floor is ceramic tile & there is a big marble threshold strip at the doorway, as is common in many old houses like mine in this area.  As I went to leave the bathroom, my bare foot slipped on the wet tile & crashed into the marble, breaking my pinky toe immediately.  The pain caused me to spew a trail of obscenities that probably would embarrass your average truck driver or mechanic, yet my mother didn’t even notice.  She continued talking as if nothing had happened.  I loudly said to her, “Mom, I have to go. I just broke my toe & it’s killing me.”  “Oh” she said.  “Did you hear me?  I’m in a lot of pain here.. I’ll have to call you back later.”  My mother let out an obviously bored sigh.  That infuriated me, & I said, “Are you listening at all?  I broke my toe & need to go.  I’ll talk to you later.”  At that point she said “Oh ok.. bye!” & we hung up.  I called her back later that day.  She never asked if I was OK or what had happened.

It was either that evening or the following evening, my father called.  He asked how I was doing.  I said laid up with a broken toe, didn’t Mom say anything?  No, she didn’t.  In fact, when he called back again the next day, he said he told her about my toe & she said, “Oh?  When did that happen?”

I have quite a lot of stories along these lines that display my parents’ blatant disregard for me.  Even having studied narcissism in depth since 2011, these stories still blow my mind.  I mean, I understand a lot about the disorder & the utter lack of empathy narcissists have.  Yet, at the same time I can’t fully comprehend how anyone can be so indifferent to the suffering of other people, in particular, their own child.

When I’ve mentioned this inability to fully comprehend narcissistic behaviors on various social media pages or groups, I’ve been attacked several times.  People have told me things like, “They’re evil & you just need to accept that.”  “Stop expecting narcissists to be normal!”  There have been more comments, but honestly I don’t even remember them anymore.

Since I’ve experienced this, I figured some of you who read my work have too, & this should be addressed.

If you can’t “wrap your mind” around the behavior of narcissists, in my opinion, there is nothing wrong with this.  In fact, I take it as a good sign because I think the only people who can fully understand narcissistic behaviors are narcissists.

If someone tells you there is something wrong with you for not grasping the behavior of the narcissist in your life, the best thing you can do is ignore them, because the truth is their nasty response isn’t about you.

Some people are simply very logical & not quite so open minded simply due to how logical they are.  It’s not that they don’t have feelings or are closed minded, but that logic rules their minds a lot.  These people may narcissists in the “evil box” or say who cares why they do what they do.  Well, not everyone is that way.  That doesn’t mean anyone is right or wrong here.  It simply means some folks have different personalities which means they have different ways of coping & understanding things.

There are also those who write about or make videos about narcissism who are pretty burned out on the topic.  If someone asks them a question or makes a comment, these people are very short with their reply, & often even rude.

The truth of the matter is everyone is different.  Some people can heal just fine not understanding the reasons behind the narcissist’s actions.  Others need to understand the reasons, & get frustrated when they can’t fully grasp those reasons.  Neither is wrong.  You do whatever works for you!

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What To Expect From Yourself After Going No Contact

Going no contact with a narcissist is an incredibly challenging thing to go through.  As if the agonizing over whether or not to do it wasn’t enough, there is also the likelihood of the narcissist refusing to accept your boundary, & making your life miserable.

Once the narcissist has gotten bored with trying to lure a victim back into the relationship, the victim is left to move on with their life.  Although in a way that life is so much simpler without the constant influx of narcissistic abuse, that doesn’t mean all the victim’s problems are over.

After severing ties with my parents,  I had more nightmares & flashbacks than usual for quite some time.  I believe this is because when there is a narcissist in your life, that person basically takes up all the room in the relationship.  You’re so focused on keeping them happy & avoiding their abuse that you have little time to think of anything else.  When the narcissist is out of your life, your brain finally has time to think of other things.  Since it constantly processes everything in life, it naturally wants to make sense of what happened with the narcissist.  It tries to make sense out of the nonsensical.  When it happened to me, I realized this was going to happen, like it or not, so I tried to make it work in my favor.  I coped with whatever came up as it came up.  It ended up being a time of quite a bit of healing for me.

After experiencing stalking & harassment, even after it stops, you still may experience a feeling like, “What’s next?”  When your day is filled with constant messages that you don’t want, it can really shake you up!  Plus, with many narcissists, they stop but start up again, which puts a person in a state of being on high alert.  Even if the narcissist hasn’t contacted you in months, that doesn’t mean he or she won’t start up again.  How can you relax knowing that is possible?  The best you can do is block all access the narcissist has to you, & save all evidence in case you need it to pursue legal charges against him or her.

Even if the narcissist in your life hasn’t stalked or harassed you, he or she may still send you Christmas or birthday cards as a way of attempting to keep their foot in the door with you.  These little reminders can be surprisingly upsetting to a victim.  They can make you start to wonder if you made the right decision by going no contact, make you feel guilty for not spending this holiday with the narcissist & bring up a plethora of conflicting, confusing feelings.  Unfortunately this is very normal.  When it happens, I urge you not to make any rash decisions.  Just because the narcissist sent it to you & expects you to read it doesn’t mean you have to read it.  Put it aside & pray.  If you then believe in your heart you need to read it, & have no doubts, then read it.  Otherwise, it is most likely best not to read it.  You can throw it out, return it to the sender or even save it if you feel you want to read it in the future.  Also, just because it is a special day, doesn’t mean the narcissist has changed.  The narcissist is simply using an opportunity to attempt to hoover you back into the relationship.

Even if the narcissist doesn’t try to contact you, doubts after no contact are very normal.  Ending a relationship is always hard.  Never forget what made you decide to go no contact.  Writing it out can help tremendously.

Remember, if you are considering going no contact with a narcissist or have recently done so, don’t expect no contact to mean your problems are over.  Yes, many of them will be, but there are some new ones that will come up.  You can get through them!  A bad day without a narcissist in your life is still better than any day with a narcissist in your life!

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What To Expect From A Narcissist After Going No Contact

Narcissists are an incredibly difficult bunch.  Usually, the best way to deal with them is not to deal with them.  You see it everywhere, “Go no contact.”  Sadly, that often is the only solution victims face if they want to protect themselves from the vile narcissistic abuse.  However, severing ties with a narcissist is often very complex, & the problems don’t end just because you told this person you want him or her out of your life.

Narcissists don’t exactly handle rejection well, in any form.  Many narcissists will lash out in all kinds of ways when their victim ends their relationship.

The smear campaign may be the most common tactic narcissists use after someone as ended a relationship with them.  They tell everyone what a terrible person the victim is, how unreasonable, crazy & yes, even abusive the victim is.  Overt narcissists most likely will use those words, but covert narcissists are much more discreet.  Rather than say something obviously bad, they disguise their insult under a veil of concern.  This way, they not only get to insult the other person, but people think they are kind for caring about someone who obviously was so mean to them.  For example, they won’t say, “She’s crazy.”  Instead, they may say something like, “Poor Sue.. I worry about her mental health.  Things were getting really bad before she left me, & when she left, she didn’t even tell me what the problem was.”

Narcissists also may try to lure their victim back into the relationship.  They try to accomplish this in various ways.  One way is what is known as love bombing.  The narcissist will inundate the victim with gifts, promises of change, sweet words pledging their undying love & more.  This can be very difficult for a victim to resist, because the narcissist appears to have changed back into the good person the victim thought he or she once was.  It’s very important to remember that this is most likely nothing but a ploy!  Narcissists rarely see the error of their ways & improve their behavior.  If this is happening to you & you’re wondering if the narcissist has changed, seriously examine their behavior.  The narcissist should admit their behavior was wrong & accept responsibility for what they have done.  They shouldn’t make excuses or blame you or anyone for what they did to you.  They should be willing to do whatever it takes to gain your trust back, & be willing to wait as long as it takes to do that.

Another common ploy of narcissists is to stalk &/or harass a victim.  If they can’t lure a victim back with sweet words & fake promises, narcissists aren’t above trying to wear down or scare a victim into coming back to them.  They will overwhelm a victim with calls, texts, cards, letters, & social media messages.  They may show up at places they know their victim frequents such as a favorite coffee shop or at work.  The volume of their contact can be absolutely overwhelming & even terrifying.  It’s no wonder many victims return to a narcissist at this point.  Unfortunately, that is the biggest mistake a person can make, however!  If this happens in your situation, ignore all contact.  Block the narcissist’s phone number, email & social media accounts.  When he or she creates a new one to contact you, block that one too.  Keep blocking!

Lastly, another common ploy narcissists implement after a victim has gone no contact with them is their beloved flying monkeys.  They send their wicked minions to talk to you on their behalf, to “talk sense” into you about how you should return to the narcissist.  After all, she misses you so much, or he doesn’t mean those things he says- it’s just how he is.  The best way to handle this situation is to refuse to discuss the narcissist in any capacity with this person.  Flying monkeys are only loyal to their narcissist, not you.  They don’t care how miserable the narcissist makes you, so this means they aren’t worth listening to.

Whatever the narcissist is doing to you after you implement no contact, I truly wish you the best.  You can handle this situation.  God will get you through it!

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Thinking Of Writing A Book?

Since I recently wrote a post for those who are considering writing a blog, I though it’d be a good idea to write another post focused on those who are considering writing a book since I hear from quite a few people who have thought of doing just that.

Quite a few people who have experienced narcissistic abuse want to tell their stories to the world.  They are tired of the secrecy, of hiding things that they never should have had to hide.  They also want the world to know about narcissistic abuse so other people don’t suffer like they have.  I understand how that feels, but still, writing a book isn’t for everyone.

You need to be absolutely positive you can handle your story being able to be read by anyone in the world.  This includes your narcissistic parents & their flying monkeys.  Is this something you think you can handle?  If they find out what you wrote, it could be a very ugly situation, so you need to be emotionally & mentally prepared to handle this possible scenario.  I always prayed my parents & their flying monkeys wouldn’t find out what I wrote about, & thank God, they didn’t until after no contact.

Like with writing a blog, you also need to be aware of the slander & libel laws in your state.  The last thing you need is a legal battle with a narcissist.  Do your best to protect your abuser’s identity.  Use fake names.  Or, use a pen name for yourself that is nothing like your real name so no one knows it’s you.

There is a lot involved with writing a book.  Not only is it a lot of work to write, there are a lot of details involved.  How good are you with handling details?  How are your writing skills?  If they could use some work, a writing class may help you.  Read work by authors whose style of writing you like.  It may help you find your writing voice.

There are different ways to publish books, too.  Many authors like using a traditional publisher.  The author writes a book, & hands over the manuscript to the publisher.  From there, the publisher edits it, designs the cover & takes care of marketing.  The author is under a contract (terms vary from author to author) & usually has an agent to help negotiate the contract terms.

There are also print on demand publishers, sometimes also called self publishers or vanity publishers.  There are no contracts or agents involved. In addition to writing the book, the author also edits it, designs the cover & takes care of marketing.  Or, the author can pay someone to edit, design the cover & market it.

Which route you opt to take depends on your goals & personality, I think.  I use print on demand, because I have physical & mental limitations.  Not only do I not do well under pressure, but thanks to brain damage, there are days that I can’t write at all.  I need to be able to write on my own schedule, not on someone else’s.  I also edit my books which means some editor isn’t going to change my book around.  Some editors make such drastic changes, a book is barely recognizable to its author.  That would bother me to no end!  I had to learn to format my books to look good in various print formats, which took some trial & error.   As far as the covers, I have a ridiculously talented cousin who designs some of my covers.  Marketing is my weakness, but even so, I take care of it the best I can.

What I do may not work for you at all, & that’s fine.  You need to do whatever works for you!

There are also ebooks.  I create them along with print because so many people like reading on their kindle or nook.  I really recommend doing the same.  Ebooks are a great way to get your work out there.

You also need to figure out what is best- to create your writing as a business or not.  Look into it to decide if you wish to incorporate or not.  I haven’t, & one plus is it keeps my income taxes are very simple.

Whatever you opt to do, I wish you success in your endeavors!  Writing a book isn’t easy, but especially when the topic is such a difficult & painful one.  You’re brave for doing it & should be proud of yourself for taking this step!  xoxo

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

Thinking Of Starting A Blog?

Many people I talk to mention that they want to start a blog about their experiences & what they have learned about narcissism.  Today, I thought I’d write a post for those of you in that position.

Before you get started, you need to think long & hard about this.  Writing a blog isn’t hard, but there are things that need to be considered.

As always, I really recommend prayer as the place to start.  Ask God to show you if you should or shouldn’t do this.  If you believe He wants you to, ask Him guide you on this, to help you to write about whatever He wants you to write about, to reach those He wants you to reach, he courage to do this & anything else you can think of.

Where do things stand with your narcissistic parents?  How would you deal with it if they found out about your blog?  That could be a very ugly situation since narcissists want their abuse to stay hidden.  Are you prepared for whatever might happen if they found out what you write about?

Do you feel strong enough to send your words out into the world?  Although writing a blog is pretty much like writing in your private diary, unlike your diary, anyone can read it.  Some people may think you’re making things up & invalidate you because of that.  There are also “grammar nazis” out there who nitpick posts over silly little things like saying “it’s” over “its”.  They can be really irritating since they miss the point of the post just to correct a simple typo.  While this isn’t necessarily a big deal, early on in healing, it can really hurt simply because you’re pretty emotionally raw & sensitive.

How often do you think you’ll be able to write posts?  I have settled on every other day.  It’s often enough to keep my writing in people’s minds, yet not overloading them (or pressuring me!) with my work.  Other bloggers write daily posts, yet others write only a couple of times a month.  You need to decide on what kind of schedule will work for you.

Have you looked into slander & libel laws in your state?  They vary from state to state, so you need to be aware of them in your particular state.  They are why when I write, I never mention names & only use general terms.  I will mention my parents or my ex husband, not my parents’ or ex’s names or where they live.  Giving the people you’re writing about anonymity is a good move, because it shows you aren’t trying to ruin anyone’s reputation.  You also can use fake names or change the relationship.

What about a pen name?  Is that something you feel strongly about?  Then use it!  Get creative though.  If your name is Mary Smith, don’t use Mary Smythe as a pen name.  Use something very different from your real name to protect your identity.  Don’t use a family name either since again, it wouldn’t protect your identity well.  If you don’t use a pen name, be prepared.  Your narcissistic parents & their flying monkeys most likely will read your work at some point.  If they’re anything like mine, they’re too nosy not to read it, then try to hurt you with what they read.

Now that you’ve decided you definitely want to write this blog, you need to look into various blogging websites & decided which one to go with.  Compare features & see what sounds good to you.

Obviously, I like WordPress.  It has a lot of really cool features.  I love that I can schedule posts, I don’t have to write & publish posts immediately.  In fact, I have almost 6 months of posts scheduled so that way anytime I need a break, I can take it without worrying about my blog falling behind.  WordPress also has a sharing feature that I adore.  You can connect your social media accounts to your WordPress account, & every time a blog posts publishes, it automatically puts a link on your Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc. pages.

Lastly, you may have a fear like I did when I first started blogging of running out of things to write about.  I can assure you, so long as there are narcissists, you’ll have plenty of material to write about!  lol

I wish you the absolute best on your new endeavor!  xoxo

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

When No Contact Isn’t An Option

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Why Do Narcissistic Parents Side With Their Child’s Abuser?

My mother hated my ex husband from the moment she first saw him.  She barely tolerated him after we got married… until he hit me.  At that time, my mother saw me injured a couple of days after, with my ex’s hand prints still bruised on my wrists.  She told my father she couldn’t imagine what I’d done to him to make him hurt me.  Months later, I learned my parents saw my ex around town & were friendly with him.  Around 18 years later, my mother called one day & said my father told her my ex hit me.  She asked if this was true.  I said yes.  She told me how if she would’ve known, she would’ve contacted a lawyer & pursued it.  I also realized during this conversation that seeing me battered meant nothing to my mother, & she forgot it happened.

Sadly, my story is not unique.  Narcissistic parents often side with their child’s abuser.  The facts don’t matter.  According to narcissistic parents, the abuser is right & their child is wrong.  This behavior can be one of the most painful & baffling of the many abusive behaviors of a narcissist.

I have some clues as to why narcissistic parents behave in this manner.

When someone upstages a narcissist in any way, it’s bad in the narcissist’s eyes.  People pity another person covered in bruises or wearing a cast, which means there is less attention for the narcissist.  To a narcissist, this means that person should be punished, & what better way to punish someone than to side with the person who hurt them?

If their child doesn’t have physical evidence of abuse, their parent doesn’t believe them.  Narcissists lie & assume everyone else does.  It’s projection.  So unless their child has evidence of abuse, their parent won’t  even believe they were abused.

Narcissists believe they are the only ones worthy of attention, so when another person, in particular their “lowly” child gets attention, they get angry.  With narcissists, any attention is good attention.  All they see is someone got attention that they didn’t get, & that makes that person bad.

Narcissists don’t want to accept that abuse is wrong, because then they would be wrong.  Rather than face truth, it’s better in a narcissist’s mind to normalize abuse & make the victim bad.

If the abuser was the other parent, making the abuse ok means it was  also ok that they didn’t protect their child.  Remember, with narcissists, everything is about them.  If they can spin your trauma around to how hard it was on them, denying knowing it happened, or denying it happened at all, it makes their lack of protecting their child acceptable.

The abuser is someone a narcissist admires & they’re afraid the victim will make them look bad.  Narcissists care what people other than their victim think of them & certain people’s opinions they value above all else.  If that person hurts their child, their primary concern is still how that person sees them.  As an example, my mother believed my in-laws’ were a big happy family.  When I told my parents my mother in-law was abusive, even siting examples, my mother didn’t believe me.  Until our relationship ended, my mother asked my husband often how his mother was, sent his parents Christmas cards, then bragged to me about sending them cards.

Jealousy is another reason narcissistic parents side with abusers.  In cases where a narcissist’s adult child is being stalked &/or harassed, most narcissists act like the abuser really must love their child rather than realizing the abuser has serious control issues.  This makes them jealous.

Narcissistic parents are often lazy.  Just because they have a child doesn’t mean they want to parent.  They get angry if they have to care for their child, & take the focus off of them for any length of time.

Covert narcissistic parents like to rescue their child.  Coverts gain narcissistic supply from appearing good & kind, so if they can wait until their child is terribly abused, then rescue him or her in some way, it’s  supply to them.

Whatever the reasoning, remember when your narcissistic parent sides with someone who has hurt or abused you, it is just more evidence that your parent is the one with the problem, NOT you!  Normal people don’t side with abusers over victims!  xoxo

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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.

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