Tag Archives: faith

Spiritual Bypassing

I recently read about a term called spiritual bypassing.  It was coined by a psychologist named John Welwood in the 1980’s.  The term is used to describe when a person uses their religious beliefs to avoid dealing with uncomfortable things, healing old wounds & meeting important psychological needs.

 

While the term applies to all religions, I thought of it as to how it relates to Christianity since I’m not overly familiar with most other religions & most of my readers are also Christians.

 

Also, please know that I’m not trying to judge anyone.  I’ve been guilty of doing some of these things myself.

 

Becoming very active in church activities.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with being active in your church, but when you spend more time at church than with your family, something is wrong.  It needs to be done in balance.  Otherwise, resentments can build & trouble starts in your relationships.  You may even develop a superior attitude because you participate so much in your church.

 

Judging people for being angry or hurt.  The Bible says we shouldn’t let the sun go down on our anger.  Jesus said we are to forgive those who trespass against us in the Lord’s prayer.  Seems obvious to me that we’re going to feel angry or hurt sometimes, otherwise the need to forgive wouldn’t be mentioned in the Bible.  Remember, there is nothing wrong with anger or hurt.  They are God-given emotions that tell us when something isn’t right.  It’s what we do with the emotions that can be wrong.

 

Ignoring your own anger or hurt in favor of saying you forgive that person.  Maybe you think it makes you holy to claim forgiveness rather than facing your negative emotions, but it only sets you up for problems.  Emotions demand to be heard, especially the strong ones like anger.  If you ignore them, they will find another way to be heard, & most likely, not such a good way.

 

Being too positive.  So many people in the world emphasize the importance of thinking positively.  Positive confessions are stressed as very important.  People are criticized for “being too negative” if they admit they are struggling or hurting.  In fact, people can be downright shamed for discussing abuse since it’s so “negative”.  I’ve been told I need to “get over my childhood hurts” for example, which at the time, was extremely painful to hear.  I felt ashamed.  I felt like I was making too big of a deal out of being abused.  I felt like a bad Christian for not just forgiving & forgetting.  The truth is though, that when I tried to be positive, not talk or think about what I’ve gone through, & to “forgive & forget,” I was miserable.  Now that I’m open with my experiences, & facing things head on, I’m not so miserable.  I started using good boundaries.  I’ve gotten a more balanced view of my situation- bad things happened to me.  Horrible things, really, but God brought me through them & is helping me to heal.  He’s also helping me to write about my experiences to help others which I love doing.  I can’t honestly say I’m grateful for my bad experiences, but I’m grateful good has come from them.

 

Claiming to be happy 100% of the time.  Yes, in God’s presence is fullness of joy, according to the Psalms.  Yes, Jesus told us to “be of good cheer.”  However, no one is above feeling bad sometimes.  It’s not a sin to feel sad, scared, hurt or angry.  They are natural reactions to abnormal circumstances. Jesus wasn’t exactly happy in the Garden of Gethsemane now was He?  Or, when He flipped over the vendors’ tables in the church.  He also got frustrated with the apostles & their lack of faith.  Even Jesus wasn’t above feeling emotions other than joy.

 

Trying to be perfect all of the time.  People are NOT perfect!  If we were, we wouldn’t need Jesus now would we?  ’nuff said!

 

Seeing the best in people.  I have given up looking for the best in people, & instead, look for the real in people.  If you only see the best, you can set yourself up to be taken advantage of or victimized in some way, because you’d feel guilty for being negative or judgmental.  It just makes sense to be realistic about people.  There is nothing wrong with that!  Jesus basically told His apostles the same thing.  Matthew 10:16 says, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” (KJV)  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

10 Comments

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

Feeling Sorry For Narcissists

I feel a degree of pity for narcissists, even the ones who have tried to destroy me.  It’s so sad to me that they felt they had to resort to behaving so horribly to cope with the pain in their lives or their insecurities.  It’s sad how afraid so many are & everything they do is out of that fear.  It’s sad that they waste their entire lives being angry, bitter, hateful & pushing away those closest to them.  Many are even full of anger, bitterness & hate on their death beds.  These people live pathetic lives not knowing what it is like to love, really love.  What lonely, empty, superficial lives they live.

 

This being said, it certainly doesn’t mean I think narcissists deserve a free pass to abuse.  Being abused is NOT an excuse to abuse others!  Being abusive is a choice, not a consequence of experiencing abuse!  If you don’t believe me, consider this example: your narcissistic mother ignores your requests to change her behavior so she doesn’t hurt you.  She clearly is opting to continue abusing you, isn’t she?

 

The pain in their pasts also doesn’t negate your pain.  Please never tell yourself that it’s OK- the narcissist had a hard life too or they had it harder than you did.  It’s not OK!   Never invalidate your own pain!  You don’t deserve that!  You were no doubt invalidated enough by your narcissistic parent- don’t do it to yourself too!  Invalidation is abuse, no matter who does it, even when you do it to yourself.  It has the potential for causing a victim all kinds of problems- bad coping skills, low self-esteem, guilt, shame, placing the needs of others before yourself even when you are in crisis, & even Borderline Personality Disorder.  Don’t do this to yourself!  It is very possible to feel sorry for your narcissistic parent while not trivializing or invalidating your pain.

 

Why pity narcissists?  They are horrible people, right?  Honestly, I don’t think it’s necessary to pity narcissists to heal.  Some people think it’s foolishness, in fact.  And this works fine for them.  There is nothing wrong with that thinking.

 

For me, however, feeling that degree of pity that I do for narcissists enables me to pray for them.

 

The Bible tells us to pray for our enemies…

 

Matthew 5:43-48  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor (fellow man) and hate your enemy.’ 44 “But I say to you, [a]love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may [show yourselves to] be the children of your Father who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on those who are evil and on those who are good, and makes the rain fall on the righteous [those who are morally upright] and the unrighteous [the unrepentant, those who oppose Him]. 46 For if you love [only] those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers [wishing them God’s blessing and peace], what more [than others] are you doing? Do not even the Gentiles [who do not know the Lord] do that? 48 You, therefore, will be perfect [growing into spiritual maturity both in mind and character, actively integrating godly values into your daily life], as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  (AMP)

 

Praying for those who hurt you isn’t an option if you wish to live a holy, Christian life.  It also isn’t easy.  In fact, praying for someone who hurt you is hard enough, but praying for someone who tried to destroy you is a thousand times harder.

 

God dealt with me a couple of years ago about praying for my parents & in-laws.  I didn’t feel able to do it.  My parents & mother in-law were incredibly cruel to me, & frankly I didn’t much care about any of them.  Once I started thinking about them, I felt some pity for them.  My mother was abused by her mother, which is why she turned narcissistic I believe.  My father wasn’t abused, but had a terrible traumatic brain injury at only 15 that I believe may be at the root of his narcissism.  His behavior changed after it.  That TBI has given him many health problems.  My mother in-law had a very sad upbringing & many difficult years married to my father in-law.  Thinking about such things plus the other things I have mentioned above their behavior has caused stirred up pity in me for them.  I now pray for my parents & in-laws daily, & even set up reminders on my cell phone so I don’t forget.  Not knowing what they need specifically, I simply ask God to save them, meet all of their needs & bless them.  Praying this way I hope has been a blessing to them, but at the very least, it feels good to me.  It shows me that try as they might, they haven’t destroyed my good heart.

 

Feeling pity for narcissists isn’t always necessary & certainly isn’t easy.  However, it can benefit you by enabling you to pray for them.

 

 

4 Comments

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

Talking About God’s Blessings

Psalm 26:6-7 “I wash my hands to prove my innocence and come before your altar, 7 singing a song of thanksgiving and telling about your miracles.”  (TLB)

Before I became a Christian, my parents said good people go to Heaven, bad people to Hell.  This left me confused wondering what exactly defines good & bad people.  Later, I remember people telling me I was going to hell if I didn’t accept Jesus right then & there.  Not that they told me how or why to accept Him- they just said I had to do it, period, with no explanation.

 

Eventually, in spite of all of the nonsense, I did become a Christian.  Then I heard more confusing, vague statements such as “God tells us to forgive so I just do it.  I don’t know why you’re having any problem forgiving those who abused you.”

 

Comments like these have done one good thing for me- they have shown me how NOT to treat people.

 

Whether you are trying to witness about your faith to an unbeliever or trying to comfort a brother or sister in the faith, you need to exercise wisdom in what you say to them.  One thing that is often good no matter what the circumstances is bragging about the great things God has done for you, & reminding them that He can do the same & even more for them.

 

If you’re attempting to help someone see their need for Jesus in their life, they need to see the great things He can do for them.  They need to be wooed gently to Him, not told they’re going to rot in hell for eternity!  Scaring someone into the faith just doesn’t work.  Showing them that God is kind & loving, however, will work much better.  If someone sees that God helped you in your times of dire need & that He is willing to do it for them, too, that will get their attention!

 

Or, if a brother or sister is discouraged, a reminder of how good God is can help to encourage them.  Remind them of the things God has done for them in the past or that He has done for you & will do for them also.

 

By bragging about the good things God does, you are helping people, & blessing yourself as well.  Remembering God’s blessings often helps you to stay strong in your faith.

 

Dear Reader, there is no way you can go wrong talking about the great things God has done for you.  Why don’t you try it?  Share stories with your friends & family.  Write them in your journal, or begin a gratitude journal specifically for recalling all of God’s blessings.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

New Apps

Some time back, I created an android app for my website.  In the years since, I made some changes to my site & never updated the app.  Now, I have.  It is basically the same, but looks a bit better, I think.  The original one probably doesn’t work any longer as I had to delete it & re-create the app.  If  you still have it, I recommend deleting that app & downloading the new one.

 

While I was at it, I also made an app for my website’s sister site, The Butterfly project.

 

I’m letting you know these things in case you are interested in getting them.  They are totally free.  Links are below…

 

For my website, http://www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com :

http://http://app.appsgeyser.com/4696748/Cynthia%20Bailey%20Rug 

 

For http://TheButterflyProject.Tripod.com : 

http://app.appsgeyser.com/4697063/App%20for%20The%20Butterfly%20Project

Leave a comment

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

Sharing Stories Of God’s Blessings To Build Others’ Faith

Romans 15:2  “We should all be concerned about our neighbor and the good things that will build his faith.” (GW)

 

One thing that is important for all Christians to do is share stories of the wonderful things God has done for them, big or small.  Doing so encourages others.  It’s a good reminder that God still does miracles, big & small, for everyone.  That reminder can be a blessing when times are tough & you feel like God doesn’t care.

 

I think sharing stories of God’s blessings is also good to do with non believers.  For one thing, it encourages them that good things do happen even in the worst of times.  For another, maybe telling them the story of your blessings will sow a seed in them.  They may decide they want to know more about this God of yours.  Wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing?  In my experience before I was a Christian, I was more responsive to stories of God’s love than the Bible thumping, fire & brimstone types who told me I was going to hell.  Stories of His love gently wooed me to God, while the “you’re going to hell if you don’t accept Jesus right now!” conversation pushed me far away.  I believe most people are that way as well.  Personally, I don’t witness in the traditional sense of that word.  I tell people stories of miraculous & beautiful things God has done for me instead, & I find even die-hard atheists will at least listen to me without objection.

 

Also, sharing your stories encourages you too.  It keeps the blessing close to your heart & reminds you that God loves you, even if for some reason you don’t feel His love.  You can’t always count on others to encourage you, so you have to encourage yourself.  What better way to do so than remembering the wonderful things God has done for you?

 

Telling such stories also increases your joy & your faith.  While you’re blessing others, you’re also blessing yourself.  How can you go wrong by sharing stories of your blessings?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

What Do People Think Of You?

Hebrews 12:1   “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,” (KJV)

 

 

There are people watching you every single day.  Other Christians may be comparing your faith to theirs while unbelievers are judging you to see if you’re the real thing or not.  I also personally believe our loved ones who have passed on & are in Heaven now are aware of what is happening in our lives.

 

Do you think about the kind of image you present?

 

I’ve learned a couple of very valuable things on this topic since I became a Christian in 1996, & I’d like to share them with you today.

 

People don’t respond well to the “holier than thou” types- they prefer people who are real.  As a new Christian, I quickly learned this one.  Those who looked down on me because I didn’t grow up in the church, because I was divorced, because I had once dabbled in the occult or because I was a new Christian really got under my skin.  Their “I’m better than you” attitude made me feel insecure & even doubt God’s love for me.  But, people who told me things like, “I was a drug addicted prostitute before I met Jesus” or admitted their current struggles encouraged me.  They showed me that you don’t have to be perfect for Jesus to love you.  And, you can be a Christian & still make mistakes or deal with struggles.  Being saved doesn’t mean life is perfect & if it isn’t, something is wrong with you.  It means you’re human!  Admitting your faults & struggles helps people see you’re like them- flawed, but trying to improve yourself.  And, if Jesus can love imperfect you, then just maybe He can love imperfect them as well!

 

Closely related to being real is letting your behavior witness to others more than your words.  People can say anything- it’s their actions that speak volumes about what is inside of them.  Let your actions show that you are trying to live a Godly life.  If you quote Scripture yet steal, lie, cheat, judge, criticize or hurt people, you’ll be viewed as a hypocrite.  This can turn other people away from not only you, but God as well.  Unbelievers see you proclaiming your faith yet acting worse than atheists, & will want to run as far from God as they can.

 

Bragging about the blessings God has given you is a good thing!  Whether God healed you from a fatal illness, restored a broken relationship or provided you with something you needed, people are encouraged by these stories.  They build the faith of Christians & entice non-believers to learn more about this God of yours.  As many of you know, I have my late Granddad’s car thanks to God providing quite a miracle.  (The story is here if you care to read it: https://cynthiabaileyrug.wordpress.com/2015/11/23/gods-love-for-you/ )  I absolutely love telling the story of how I got it.  It’s interesting because you can tell by people’s reactions who is a Christian & who isn’t.  Christians praise God & unbelievers look puzzled.  Either way, the listener is usually uplifted by such a cool story.

 

Never be ashamed of your faith.  Some Christians are very hesitant to mention their faith.  They act embarrassed about it.  Why?  There’s certainly nothing to be ashamed of!  I’m not saying you have to talk about nothing but Jesus, but there is nothing wrong with saying you’re praying for something or bragging about something God has done for you.  Your faith is the central focus of your life- why not mention it when you feel it’s appropriate?  Just use common sense & speak in balance about it.  Unbelievers can be very put off by Christians who speak of nothing but God, their faith, their church, etc.  I remember that feeling- I thought those people were crazy.  I understood that God was important to them, but I never understood why they didn’t seem to have room for anything else in their lives.

 

If you’d like more information on this topic, I wrote a free ebook on it.  It’s available at this link: http://cynthiabaileyrug.com/documents/AWitnessOfFaith.pdf

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers

Everyone Has Individual Paths To Take In Life

Recently, I was talking with a dear friend.  She’s been having trouble with her sister, & handling the problem very well.  She’s showing God’s love & grace in this difficult situation.

 

I felt bad as we spoke, because I knew if that was me in her shoes, I’d be very angry.  I felt like I wasn’t being a good Christian because of that.  Immediately, God spoke to my heart.

 

This friend has told me that growing up, she spoke up to her narcissistic mother.  She never stifled her anger.

 

I however, was her polar opposite- I learned early on never to show any anger.

 

Growing up, my mother would holler at me for my “Bailey temper” even if I was simply frustrated.  I learned very young it was better to stifle my anger rather than show it & be shamed.  It’s only been the last couple of years I’ve been letting myself show anger.  In fact, I can’t stifle it any longer.  I get over it & forgive the other person quickly, but it still feels somewhat foreign to get angry.

 

I can’t really compare myself to this lady because we’re so different.  God wants me to show my anger, I believe, so I’m not wrong when I feel it or show it.  For her, she chooses not to get angry with her sister & that is what’s right for her.  Neither of us are wrong or bad.  We’re simply doing what is right for us.  And, both of our solutions are Biblical.  Matthew 5:44 tells us to love our enemies & forgive them, which is what my friend is doing in her situation.  Various Scriptures tell of times when Jesus Himself got angry (Mark 10:13-16, Mark 11:15-17, etc).  Being angry is not a sin!  It’s what you do with your anger that can be sinful.  Ephesians 4:26 says, “Be angry, and do not sin” do not let the sun go down on your wrath,” (NKJV)

 

Realizing all of this was so freeing!  It helped me to feel I’m on the right path for me, just as she is for her.  It also helped me to stop feeling shame for when I get angry like I did at first (old habits truly die hard).
This situation also goes to prove that we all have very individual walks with God. Sure, there are some basic things He wants from all of us, like following the 10 commandments. But beyond that?  We all have very unique & individual paths to take. Don’t compare yourself to another person.  Instead, enjoy your own path, & enjoy the freedom there is in that.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

Humans & Animals Have Equal Value

Ecclesiastes 3:19 “For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.” (KJV)

 

I realize many Christians will disagree with me, stating that humans are much more valuable than animals.  I respectfully disagree though.  God loves the animals He created.  Reread the Scripture I opened this post with: Ecclesiastes 3:19 “For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.” (KJV)  The Scripture states. “that a man hath no preeminence above a beast,”  so obviously God believes humans & animals to be equal.

 

Other Scriptures speak of the value of animals:

  • Genesis 3:20 “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.” (KJV)
  • Job 12:7 “But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:” (KJV)
  • Job 35:11 “Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven?” (KJV)
  • Psalm 50:10-11 “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.  I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.” (KJV)
  • Proverbs 12:10 “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” (KJV)
  • Mark 16:15  “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”  (KJV)

 

Animals are a wonderful blessing to people!  They offer us companionship, unconditional love, help us with chores (such as on a farm), & if we pay attention, teach us a great deal.  I’ve had pets since shortly after moving out of my parents’ home at age 19, & pray there never will come a time I don’t have any!  Mine have blessed me in more ways than I can count!  They have made me laugh or comforted me when I was upset, defended me to people who were nasty to me, & taught me many things, including how to be a good mom.

 

I hope you, Dear Reader, aren’t one who thinks animals are “just dumb animals” like many people do.  If so, though, I pray you’ll consider what I’ve written, & reconsider your position!

 

And, if you’re an animal lover like me, but never thought about such Scriptures, then please, also consider this post.  Maybe pay a bit more attention to your furkids- they are wonderful teachers, & you can learn so much from them.  Don’t forget to let them know how much you love & appreciate them, too!  They appreciate hearing such things just as much as you do!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under Animals, Christian Topics and Prayers

Not Every Cause Can Be Your Cause

After the death of a gorilla in a Cincinnati zoo, I saw many posts on Facebook that bothered me. My least favorite comment was, “3000 babies die in America’s abortion clinics every day & no  one says a word- one gorilla dies & everyone loses their minds.”

 

For a fleeting moment after reading this, I felt guilty because in all honesty, I care when animals are put down more than I care about abortion.  Yes, I know that makes me sound like a terrible person, but please hear me out before you judge…

 

Animals, mine in particular, are very special to me, as you know if you’ve read any of my work.  Helping people overcome the pain of narcissistic abuse & understanding narcissism also are very important to me as is eliminating the stigma of mental illness & supporting those who live with it.  These are my causes, the things that are most important to me, after God & my little family of course.  While I realize there are many, many worthy causes out there that need support, I simply don’t have it in me to rally to them.

 

Aside from my mental & physical health problems limiting my energy, I believe it’s important to give as much as you can to something rather than a little bit to many things. I’d rather do two things right than ten things halfway.  Quality over quantity if you will.  It isn’t that I think there aren’t other important causes out there.  There are many!  I just chose to focus on a select few that are the most important to me.

 

Everyone has different gifts & callings.  Romans 12:4-8 states, “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:  5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;  7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;  8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.”  (KJV)  This tells me that everyone is different, with different purposes in life.  And if you think about it, this makes perfect sense.  If everyone did the same thing, not much would get done.  Only one area would be taken care of, but so many other things would be neglected.  Doesn’t it just make sense that people think differently & support different things?

 

Just because I support animal welfare doesn’t mean I’m pro-abortion, as the comment I mentioned above suggests.  The cause of animal welfare is simply closer to my heart, as I’m sure pro-life is closer to the heart of the person who made the comment than animal welfare.  Neither of us are wrong!  Instead, we support what is right to us.  Yet sadly, many people don’t think this way.  Instead they judge & criticize others who don’t support their causes.  Unfortunately, it seems to me so many people think “if you’re not for me, you’re against me” as I mentioned in this recent post.

 

Dear Reader, please keep an open mind & heart.  Not everyone you meet will share your passions.  Nor will you share the passions of everyone you encounter.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, so please- don’t make someone feel bad for not sharing your passions!  And, don’t let anyone make you feel bad for not sharing theirs!  You are both individuals, fashioned by God’s hand for a unique purpose.

4 Comments

Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

Don’t Be God In Someone’s Life

Many people are suffering these days in some way.  They want answers or help, or at the very least a shoulder to cry on.  Unfortunately, if you’re a good listener & try to bless people, these people often come to you to meet their needs.

 

There is certainly nothing wrong with listening or helping people as you can.  In fact, that’s a good thing.  However, sometimes people take it further than that.  They are so used to you helping them, that they come to expect it.  In fact, they expect you to fix whatever is wrong in their lives, & get mad if you don’t.

 

Many years ago, my ex husband & I shut the ringer off on our phone one evening.  We just wanted a quiet evening.  We heard our answering machine clicking, which meant someone was leaving a message.  This happened repeatedly.  Eventually when we listened, the messages were from a couple we were friends with.  The wife was pregnant & was having problems.  They expected me to take them to the hospital & were furious that they had to find someone else to take them.  In spite of the idea for shutting off the phone’s ringer being my ex’s idea, they were mad at me.  I shouldn’t have done that to them.

 

I’ve been in many other situations where so-called friends were mad at me for not fixing whatever their problems were.  Having narcissistic parents, I always felt that I was responsible for fixing people’s problems, so when I let them down somehow, I felt really guilty.  God showed me that this was wrong.  People need to look to Him, not other people, for their solutions.  While sometimes He may use people to help others, still, the person with the problem needs to keep their focus on God to solve it.  Not doing that means a person is making another person God in his or her life.

 

I never thought of it this way, but it made sense to me.  Being the solution to someone’s problems isn’t a good thing when it happens over & over.  It means they hold you responsible for things that aren’t your responsibility.  This puts a tremendous burden on you that you weren’t meant to carry.  It keeps the relationship unbalanced.  You are meeting their needs, as they expect you to, while there is an unspoken rule that you aren’t to ask them for anything in return.   It also takes their eyes off God when they should be on Him.  And, they praise you instead of God for fixing their problems when He should’ve been the one to fix things & get the praise for it.

 

Whether you are in the position of being the one expecting another to fix your problems or you are the fixer (like so many adult children of narcissistic parents), it’s time for you to make a change.

 

To start with, go to God first.  Ask Him if you should help this person or not.  If not, maybe you can guide this person to someone who can help him or her better than you can.  Or, if you’re the one wanting someone to fix your problems, stop running to that person & ask God what you should do in this situation.

 

You need to remind yourself that your job is NOT to fix everyone!  Growing up with narcissistic parents, I know it feels that way, but it’s just one more lie they told you.  (If you don’t believe me, ask God.  He will tell you the truth!)  They probably wanted you to believe this lie to justify them expecting so much from you.  If your job is to fix everyone’s life, then it’s OK for them to use you.

 

If you are the one expecting someone to fix your life, then before you pick up your phone, remember, it is no one’s job but yours to fix your problems!  If someone helps you, it’s a blessing, not something another person owes you.

 

Breaking old habits can be difficult but that doesn’t mean impossible.  You can make the changes you need to make, & be much happier for doing so!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Comments

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

Being Positive Doesn’t Fix Everything

I’ve been seeing so much lately about thinking positive, how a positive outlook can fix any problem in life.  It sounds great, but I disagree.

Thinking positive is certainly a good thing.  It can help you not to be discouraged or depressed.  In fact, I even have what I call “Positive Monday” every week in my facebook group, where I share something good in my life & encourage others to do the same.  That being said though, sometimes you have to be real.  There is nothing wrong with being upset when something bad happens.  It’s ok to grieve & be negative for a while after losing a loved one, being unfairly fired, finding out your spouse cheated on you or being mistreated.

Also, being realistic rather than optimistic helps you to avoid being constantly disappointed.  Optimists are constantly disappointed, because they naively expect everything to turn out well.  Unfortunately for them, that isn’t realistic!  Sometimes life is great & things turn out well, but not always.  I am a firm believer in hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.  For example, last February when I got carbon monoxide poisoning & a concussion when I passed out from it, I did a lot of research on both.  I learned that recovery is very long & slow, & in many cases, a person never fully recovers from carbon monoxide poisoning or a brain injury, even a so called mild one like a concussion.  While I hoped to be one of the few to fully or nearly fully recover, I accepted the fact it may never happen.  My symptoms have not improved in a long time, & I accept that.  I’m disappointed, sure, but not devastated because I knew it was possible, which I believe is about as well as can be expected under the circumstances.

Positive thinking also won’t heal you from the effects of abuse.  What will help you is to face what happened head on, talking about it, praying about it, getting angry about it then forgiving the person who hurt you.  Ignoring it or making excuses for the abuser (“he was abused as a child”, for example) does not benefit anyone, least of all you.

I just wanted to encourage you today, Dear Reader, to have some balance in your thinking.   There is no shame in being realistic rather than optimistic.  There is no shame when positive thinking doesn’t fix everything for you.

4 Comments

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

How To Be Blessed

There is an easy way to secure God’s blessings over your life, & sadly not many people will do it.  It’s called tithing.

 

I know, the word tithing doesn’t exactly encourage joy.  So many greedy preachers have demanded their congregation give them money that the word has become tainted to some people.  I get it.  I’ve felt the same way.  But, I encourage you to forget what you knew of tithing & keep reading.

 

Malachi 3:10-12:  “10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My
house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open
for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That
there will not be room enough to receive it. 11 “And I will rebuke the
devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your
ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” Says the
Lord of hosts; 12 “And all nations will call you blessed, For you will be a
delightful land,” Says the Lord of hosts.”   (KJV)

 

These wonderful verses contain promises that I have seen in action in my own life.  Since I began tithing seriously in 2015, God truly has blessed me.  When we thought we wouldn’t have enough money to pay some bills, money suddenly showed up.  When our taxes for 2015 were done, I was sure that we would owe state & federal, as we have for the last few years, yet instead, we learned we were getting money back.  And, when doing those taxes, I had to find out the date our health insurance stopped coverage in 2015.  That day was the day after I went to the emergency room!  My trip to the ER was covered- if it’d been only a few hours later, it wouldn’t have been covered & we would’ve owed thousands of dollars we didn’t have.

 

Giving God the 10% He asks for seems to not only protect what you have, but also to make that 90% go much further.  It’s absolutely amazing!

 

When I started to tithe, honestly I wasn’t sure if it’d work for me because I don’t go to church.  Because of that, I figured the next best thing was to send money to the preachers on television I watch regularly- Jesse Duplantis, TD Jakes & Josh McDowell.  So far so good!  In fact, Jesse Duplantis is the one I’ve learned the most about giving & tithing from.  He has great revelation in this area, plus he’s not one of those televangelists who constantly tries to get people to send him money.  I thought these things made him the perfect person to learn from.

Jesse Duplantis wrote a fantastic little book entitled, “Why Isn’t My Giving Working?”  A while back, I read it & took notes on it.  I really recommend buying the book for yourself (it’s available on his website, http://www.JDM.org)  but to give you some insight into the book, below are some notes I took on it a while back.  I hope this information blesses you as much as it has me.  xoxo

 

Why Isn’t My Giving Working?  by Jesse Duplantis

 

I.What God has said:
A. God said, be fruitful- which mans always producing.
B. God said, multiply- which means always increasing.
C. God said, replenish- which means fill & refill.
D. God said, subdue- which means control your environment or it will control
you.
E. God cares about giving & honor, because they reveal the condition of the
heart.

II.The four types of giving:
A. The Tithe
B. Firstfruits
C. Alms
D. Seed

III.The tithe:
A. The tithe is God’s portion; it is our connection to the blessing, which is our
portion.
B. Tithing holds God to His promise to open the windows of Heaven & to
rebuke the devourer. The devourer is anything that comes up that makes you
spend money you don’t want to spend.
C. God is trying to get us the blessings He talks about in Malachi 3:10-12:
“10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My
house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open
for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That
there will not be room enough to receive it. 11 “And I will rebuke the
devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your
ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” Says the
Lord of hosts; 12 “And all nations will call you blessed, For you will be a
delightful land,” Says the Lord of hosts.”
D. Use this verse to remind God of His promises when you pray about your
tithe. Have faith He will keep His promises.

IV.First fruits.
A. First fruits are the first part of an increase. Example: you get a raise at
work that means you’ll get $50 more per week. Give God the first $50 raise.
B. Proverbs 3:9-10 “9 Honor the Lord with your possessions, And with
the firstfruits of all your increase; 10 So your barns will be filled with
plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.”
C. First fruits are only given once- the first of any increase, not income.
D. The first fruits offering is heart-driven, & given as a direct form of
gratitude to God.

V.Alms
A. Alms are given to the poor & those in need.
B. God’s rate of return is “repayment” on alms, not abundance. Proverbs
19:17 “ He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, And He will pay
back what he has given.”
C. If I give alms but don’t tithe, even the repayment God promises could be
devoured on its way back to me.
D. Give quietly- don’t advertise your giving or make the recipient feel bad or
that they owe you for your generosity. Protect the dignity of the recipient!
Remember, God sees what you’re doing- let that be enough. Alms should be
given with love, not for attention from man or God.

VI.Seed
A. The motivation is faith & reward. It is the only way the 30, 60 or 100-fold
harvest can be received, provided you sow into good ground. Mark 4:3-9
(Jesus speaking) “3 “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And it
happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds
of the air[a] came and devoured it. 5 Some fell on stony ground, where it
did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no
depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it
had no root it withered away. 7 And some seed fell among thorns; and the
thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. 8 But other seed fell
on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and
produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.” 9 And He
said to them,[b] “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
B. Good soil is a place that is growing & doing what it has set out to do.
C. Seed sowing is the best route to debt cancellation. Not only in cash
received, but debts being cancelled miraculously.

VII.Miscellaneous Notes
A. Sow with purpose- to be obedient & to love God.
B. Haphazard giving leads to haphazard results.
C. Never dismiss the blessings God gives you. Praise & thank Him for them!
D. Be joyous in giving, wondering what God is going to do for you & others
next.
E. While waiting on God to make good on His promises, stand strong knowing
He will do what He says He will. Ephesians 6:13-14 “13 Therefore take up
the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day,
and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your
waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,”
F. Don’t mix up your giving. For example, don’t take your tithe, & give it as a
seed.
G. Don’t be moved emotionally into giving something you purposed for another
area. Tithes stay tithes, alms stay alms, etc. 2 Corinthians 9:7 “7 So let
each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity;
for God loves a cheerful giver.”
H. If you do not give God’s way, He is under no obligation to bless you in the
way you want to be blessed.
I. To start giving, start tithing. Give more as you can afford to do so, no
matter how small your giving may be. Amount isn’t important. God will bless
your giving.
J. Don’t worry if your seed is small- it does not have to be big to work so long
as your purpose & motivation are accurate.
1. The tithe: motive is obedience.
2. First fruits: motive is generosity.
3. Alms: motive is compassion.
4. Seed: motive is faith & reward.

 

4 Comments

Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Miscellaneous

Anger Isn’t Always A Bad Thing!

Anger is an emotion that strikes fear into many people.  In Christian circles, many think anger isn’t of God.  It’s from the devil & to be avoided at all costs.  If you’re angry, you’re a sinner/wrong/a bad person.  People who were abused fear anger, assuming the angry person is going to hurt them like their abuser did.

The truth is though that anger is simply one of the many emotions God gave us, & if God gave it, it can’t be bad.  What you do with the anger can be good or bad though.

I have learned that sometimes, it is good to hold onto some anger.  If I think back on the terrible, abusive things my narcissistic mother has done to me, although I have forgiven her for doing them, the unfairness of them still makes me angry.  This is not a bad thing at all!  If I can remember to focus on that anger, it helps me to stay strong with my mother when she does something else hurtful.  The anger empowers me- it helps me to have the inner strength to call her out on her actions when I need to, rather than letting her get away with abusing me.

There is also a big difference in being angry at the injustice of a situation & angry at a person.  God commands us to forgive one another repeatedly in the Bible,  I believe because it benefits us so much to forgive others.  (A few examples are: Colossians 3:13, Ephesians 4:31-32, Matthew 18: 21-22 & Matthew 6:14-15.)  Not forgiving others can lead very easily to bitterness or tainting your judgment of other people.  (example: if your husband cheated on you, you think all men are cheaters)  Being angry with a righteous anger at the unfairness of a situation though, does not have the same results.  Yes, an unjust situation makes you angry but it doesn’t make you bitter, & it gives you strength to stand up for what is right.

If you feel anger, I urge you to really delve into why you are angry.  If you are angry at the person who hurt or abused you, then by all means, please try to let it go.  I wrote about the topic of forgiveness on my website.  You can click this link if you’d like to read it.

If you’re angry about the unfairness of a situation though, I would urge you to hold onto that righteous anger.  It will help you if you ever are faced with a similar situation.

Leave a comment

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

Stop Hating Your Weaknesses!

If there is one thing most adult children of narcissists do, often even years into their healing, is berate themselves.  Any weakness or flaw is cause to tell themselves how dumb or clumsy they are.  God forbid they get sick or injured, because then they become useless in their minds.

 

I do it myself, in spite of telling people to give themselves a break, it’s not right, etc.  I’d always done this but it went into overdrive in 1990 when my mother threw me into a wall & hurt my back, causing me to need to quit working outside the home a few months later.  I felt useless, no longer being able to earn a paycheck.  In 1996 when agoraphobia developed, I felt even more useless since I couldn’t go out alone without panicking.  2002, I got arthritis in my knees & was limited a bit more as to what I could physically do.  2012, C-PTSD fully developed, making me feel even more useless.  Then in February, 2015, I suffered carbon monoxide poisoning which made me pass out & hit my head causing a concussion, & I felt more useless yet once again when I learned most likely many of my symptoms would be life long & were untreatable.

 

Recently I was telling myself how useless I was because of all of these things.  I said something to God about being useless.  I asked too why these things have happened?  I never wanted to be a housewife or work at home- I liked a couple of jobs I had a great deal & would’ve been quite happy making either of them into a career.  Instead I’m at home, not making a lot of money which means I’m also putting pressure on my husband financially.  This just sucks!!  God listened patiently & reminded me of 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 which says:

 

“Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.”  (MSG)

What a message!!!  It’s a great reminder that everyone has limitations & God will work through them, not just your strengths!   You are capable of great things because you are imperfect!  Even this blog post is evidence of God’s ability to work through weaknesses.  Normally, I jot notes down for posts I want to write, because my memory is so bad.  But this one, I didn’t.  I just asked Him to remind me to write it.  Not only did He remind me, He showed me what all to include in it.

 

Don’t get me wrong- there is certainly nothing wrong with asking God to heal you.  He wants what is best for you, & often that does mean healing your physical or mental health.  Sometimes though, there is a very good reason that you aren’t healed, & you certainly can ask God why.  Maybe like the apostle Paul, you could lose your humility if you were healed, failing to rely on God.  Or maybe there is another reason.

 

God told me in my case, I’ve worked VERY hard all my life.  Not as much working hard at a job, but working hard to appease the narcissists in my life (including anticipating their needs or how to deal with them the most effectively), keeping my emotions in control so as not to upset or “feed” them & trying to do everything perfectly so as not to be criticized or ridiculed.  Now, I have no choice but to rest.  My body & mind demand it often, & frankly… it feels good.  Until the carbon monoxide poisoning happened, I pushed through any illness or injury so as not to be lazy.  Growing up, my mother often said I was lazy & as an adult, I’ve always worked to prove I wasn’t.  Now?  I kinda am, & it’s OK!  My mind & body demand it, so I have to respect that in order to stay healthy.  Maybe your case is like mine, & you too need that rest after a lifetime of working hard.  Rather than feel badly about it, why not enjoy your rest?  Accept it as a well deserved rest rather than hating it.

 

Dear Reader, you are a valuable person.  God loves you a great deal & made you as you are for a reason.  It’s time to let Him work through you, weaknesses & all!

Leave a comment

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

God’s Love For You

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 Comments

Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Narcissism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1 Comment

Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

Losing A Pet

As most of you know, I’m an avid animal lover.  I also have a weird knack for remembering dates.  So, I naturally remember this day in 1990 when I adopted my first cat, Magic…

Magic with Georgie Magic with Fluffy Magic looking handsome Magic chillin'

Magic was very special, my soul mate.  He was extremely intelligent, loving, devoted, protective, a great surrogate daddy to kittens, stubborn, devious & so much more.  He was in my life for over 16 years when he passed away quietly in my arms one afternoon.  Although he’s been gone since January 17, 2007, I still miss him daily.

I was thinking about Magic when something occurred to me.  So many people act like when you lose a pet, it’s no big deal.  “It’s just an animal” they say.  They fail to realize that animal is like a child to you.  You love him, take care of him, provide for him, comfort him when he’s sad or upset & nurse him when he’s sick.  How can you not be shaken to your core when you lose your furry child?!

If you’ve lost a precious pet, I would encourage you to honor his memory in some special way.  It will bring you comfort when grief threatens to overwhelm you, & remind you of fun memories as well.  I have a locket that has a small tuft of Magic’s fur on one  side & his picture on the other.  You could do something similar.  Or, you could get more creative.  A photo album or photo display in your home would be nice.  A special garden with a memorial plaque in your yard also would be nice.  Paint or draw your beloved pet’s picture.  When our neighbor’s Akita dog died, our dog, Bear, was devastated.. he loved Mathilda a great deal.  I decided to knit him an afghan since he liked to nap on them & a couple of my friends sent me squares to add into it.  All squares had two hearts on them in some unique way.  It brought him comfort when he was hurting.  You could do the same for yourself if you are into the yarn arts.  Or, you could sew a quilt.  The possibilities are endless.

Losing a pet is a horrible experience, but it has one good part.  Grieving hard means you loved hard.  As painful as it can be to believe when you first lose your furbaby, one day you will realize that it was worth it, because you had that special little angel in your life.  Remember that when you are in pain- it really will comfort you one day.

And, ignore those who try to invalidate your grief.  They are foolish or cold hearted.  Grieve that precious furbaby however you see fit.  You probably never will stop grieving completely, & that is ok!  It just means you loved that little one a great deal.

Tell God how you feel- He understands. .  In fact, God may bless you in a unique way at this time.  After losing Magic, I was listening to a CD one day, the soundtrack from the show “Touched By An Angel.”  Wynonna’s song “You Were Loved” came on & God spoke to my heart saying, “This is from Magic.”  I can’t hear the song with it’s moving lyrics without thinking of Magic now.  It always brings me joy & reminds me we’ll see each other again one day.  This has happened with other cats I’ve lost, too.  Bubba’s song is “Freebird” (Lynyrd Skynyrd), Sugar’s is “Not A Day Goes By” (Lonestar), Vincent’s is “Someday We’ll Be Together” (The Supremes), Jasmine’s is “Angel” (Aerosmith), Georgie’s is “Angel Eyes” (Steelheart) & Sneezer’s is “Carrying Your Love With Me” (George Straight).  If God has blessed me like this, He may do the same for you.  Why not ask Him to do so?

Also, if you have other furbabies, then please never take them for granted!  As I’m writing, my Pretty Boy is napping on the sofa, snoring loudly, while Zippy is laying across my wrist as I type, purring loudly.  Their contentment brings me joy.  I love my boys so much, & tell them so all the time, just like I do with the other cats & dog.  Animals, like humans, need to know they are loved.  And, you need to enjoy the time you have with your little furry angels to the fullest!

2 Comments

Filed under Animals, Mental Health

Miracles Still Happen

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

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

That isn’t what happened though.

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

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

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

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

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

3 Comments

Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers

My Favorite Story Of God’s Tremendous Love

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

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

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

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

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

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

valley view cemetery (2)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Granddad at 50th anniversary party

6 Comments

Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1 Comment

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

God Wants To Bless You!

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

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

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

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

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

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

pretty boy's best diabetes day ever 01272014

2 Comments

Filed under Animals, Christian Topics and Prayers

A Grateful Attitude Can Help Reduce Symptoms Of C-PTSD

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

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

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

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

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

1 Comment

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

A Long Week In A Life With C-PTSD

It’s been almost three years since almost all of the symptoms of Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder manifested in my life, but I’m still learning about them & how to manage them.  It’s a daily battle.

This past week has been a rough one.  I’m not sure why, but the C-PTSD has been flaring up really badly.  Nothing happened to trigger it, although I did have a flashback a few days into this flare.  I haven’t discussed what’s happening much with anyone, not even my husband.  For one thing, when it flares up, I need to get a grasp on what is happening.  My thinking changes so much, & sometimes it takes a lot for me to recognize it’s the disorder, not me thinking that. For example, I’ve been ashamed of this flare up.  I’ve been feeling weak & angry at myself for being so weak.  Normally, I accept C-PTSD as the reaction to some very bad things that I’ve been through, but flare ups change that in me.

This morning, I was in an especially foul mood, & my husband & I talked about it.  I finally opened up to some of what has been going on with me this week  He suggested that since I’ve promised to keep my blog real, that I write about it, & hopefully someone who reads this will benefit from it.

Reading about the symptoms of C-PTSD on clinical sounding websites & living them are two very different things.  Reading about them, they sound bad enough, but living them?  Yikes.  And, you rarely see detailed descriptions of the more odd symptoms.  I thought I’d share some of the symptoms you don’t read much (if anything) about that I’ve experienced this week, so if you too experience them, you’ll know you aren’t crazy!

Lately, I’ve had more nightmares than usual.  Not even nightmares about traumatic events I’ve been through- nightmares about stupid things, such as an empty school bus parked beside my car catching fire.  I knew I couldn’t move my car for some reason, & was afraid it was going to burn with the bus.  Make any sense to you?  Yea, me neither.. lol  One night, I woke up every 15-30 minutes all night long, mostly from nightmares, most of which I didn’t even remember, but I woke up panicky.  The few I did remember though had absolutely nothing to do with the traumas I’ve experienced.  When I first read about C-PTSD, I assumed when it said nightmares happen, it was nightmares about the traumas.  Not necessarily.. I have them too sometimes, but usually not.  The nightmares are usually odd but disturbing.

My thinking has been extremely negative.  I try to be positive yet realistic, but this week, that hasn’t happened.  I’ve been beating myself up about anything & everything possible.  I’m weak, stupid, cowardly, useless, ugly, nothing but a burden to my husband.. you get the idea.  Growing up with a narcissistic mother, I used to do that all the time, but over the last probably 10-15 years or so, had gotten much better about not doing that.  When the C-PTSD flares up, though, that old habit comes back with a vengeance.

I feel like I’ve remembered every single time someone has told me something invalidating about having C-PTSD & it hurts.  I’ve thought of so many times when people have told me to “get over it,” “stop using C-PTSD to get pity/attention,” “stop living in the past”, “stop being so negative- you need to be more positive.”  or even simply showed they don’t care when the symptoms are bothering me.   Why these stupid comments pop into my mind, I have no idea..

My thinking has been very sluggish.  I haven’t caught on to hubby’s jokes, which is very abnormal for me since we share the same warped sense of humor.  Following a simple TV show or movie has been rather difficult too.  And, I encountered a narcissist, yet failed to recognize the signs I normally wouldn’t have missed.  Once they were pointed out to me is when I caught on.  UGH!

I’ve been getting very angry very easily.  It seems like anything & everything pushes my buttons.  While trying to put fresh sheets on my bed this morning, I got mad at one of my cats for getting in my way.  WHY?!  She does this every single time I change sheets.  It’s nothing new.  But for some reason this morning, this made me so angry.  I didn’t scold her, since this is a normal part of her routine, but I really wanted to for a minute there.

I’ve been extremely depressed.  I’ve always battled depression, & for years, I was fortunate enough to find ways to keep it under control.  I even wrote a book about that, called, “Baptism Of Joy.”  My first book!  Then when the C-PTSD kicked in in May, 2012, that changed.  While I’m not depressed all of the time, I once again spend quite a bit of time depressed, & this time, the usual things that once helped me to feel better don’t work nearly so often.

I’ve also been extremely anxious & unable to pinpoint why exactly.  Above & beyond the normal anxiety & hyper-vigilance that come with C-PTSD, I mean.  I’ve woken up having panic attacks several times lately.  Not a nice way to wake up!

I’ve wondered if I’m going crazy.  Definitely not a nice way to feel, especially since I spent so much time feeling this way when I was growing up  with my mother who often told me “you need help” (implying I was in need of psychological help, yet she wouldn’t take me to a therapist) & with an ex-husband who was very good at gaslighting.

I’m dissociating a lot more than normal.  I feel so spacey most of the time.  This also means I have very little focus.  Writing in this blog has been a very big challenge this week!  Honestly, when I’ve written my entries, I’ve been very unsure about how they sounded, then published them, just praying they made sense.

To try to manage these symptoms,I’ve been spending time listening to music I love, which means many songs I grew up with in the 70’s-80’s, some country & some classic & hard rock.  I’ve also been spending time with God, not even necessarily praying- just sitting in His presence.  It’s very restorative & grounding.

C-PTSD is an absolutely evil, devastating disorder.  If you live with it too, I understand what you’re going through!  You may or may not have the odd symptoms I’ve been experiencing this week (I pray you don’t!), but if you do, please know you’re not alone, nor are you crazy!  In spite of how it feels, you are a normal person who had a normal reaction to an abnormal amount of trauma!  That is what C-PTSD is- a normal response to an abnormal amount of trauma.  It isn’t a sign of weakness, low intelligence, flaws in one’s character, or poor thinking such as living in the past or being negative.

5 Comments

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

Do You Accept False Blame & Guilt?

Last night was a rough one.. I had a flashback while reading an article online.  The flashback was about something that happened with the ex boyfriend of mine who I mentioned in this post.  It was strange, because I wasn’t even thinking of him, nor had I thought of him in a few days.  I also never had a flashback about him before, nor had I remembered the incident until last night- I must have forgotten about it shortly after it happened (repressed memory).  The whole thing was just so odd!  I had some thoughts about it though, that I thought I should share.  I’m hoping this will make sense- I still feel weird this morning as I’m still recovering from the flashback, & can’t think very straight.  Please bear with me…

As I’d mentioned in the post I’d linked to above, I’d felt guilty since I broke up with that man in 1990.  Guilty for hurting him, guilty for letting myself get involved with someone I wasn’t interested in in the first place, guilty for dashing his hopes for marriage & a family.  That is all I ever thought of regarding him.  It wasn’t until his death last January that when I thought about our relationship, I realized how dysfunctional & abusive it was.

I’ve done similar things with friendships I’ve ended- felt guilty for hurting the other person, only to realize years later that the other person was using me & really a terrible friend,& I had to end that relationship.

I would bet that this is pretty common with daughters of narcissistic mothers.  I know that I grew up feeling so overly responsible for my mother that I carried that overdeveloped sense of responsibility into other relationships.  I still fight with that to this day sometimes.  As a result, people who use & abuse have sought me out, & if I ended the relationship, I ended up feeling guilty for not doing enough, or letting them down somehow.  I take on blame that isn’t necessarily mine.  The result is a lot of wasted time beating myself up & feeling guilty for things I shouldn’t feel guilty about.

Does any of this sound familiar to you??  I’m guessing it does.

If you’re in this position of berating yourself for failed relationships, I would like to encourage you today.  Think objectively about those relationships, & if you have a hard time with being objective, pretend a good friend is telling you about it rather than you having experienced it.  What would you tell her?  Would you blame her completely for the relationship failing?  Would you tell her that she was stupid for becoming involved with the person  in the first place or for allowing that person to use or abuse her?  Then what makes telling yourself these things OK?

I’m not saying you’re never at fault or never make mistakes in relationships.  We all do those things.  It’s part of being human.  However, I’m talking about not accepting 100% of the blame 100% of the time.  Accept blame when it’s yours & make amends where you can, but also keep the other person’s blame on them.  It isn’t yours to take.  if you are unsure about what blame is & is not yours, I encourage you to ask God.  Pray about it, & God will show you what you need to know in a loving, gentle way.

Don’t beat yourself up!  Feeling guilty & berating yourself for things that aren’t your fault only continue the abuse your narcissistic mother did to you.  You deserve so much better than that!!  xoxo

3 Comments

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

How To Avoid Accepting Blame From A Narcissist

The topic of defending oneself to a narcissist & its futility came up in my facebook group this morning.  It was also mentioned how narcissists can turn anything back around onto you.  True, isn’t it?  They could beat you bloody, steal all your money, or call you horrible names for something so silly as reading a book, yet according to them, you are the problem.  And, if you aren’t careful, you can end up accepting that lie as truth. I’ve done this many times myself.

How can you avoid falling into that awful trap?  It’s easier than you may think..

First of all, I have found that a good relationship with God is vital.  When you are blamed, ask God if this is true, are you really at fault?  Ask Him to help you see things clearly so you don’t accept blame that isn’t yours.

Focus on improving your self-esteem.  The more secure you are, the harder it is for anyone to push false blame on you.

Learn all you can about Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  Knowledge truly is power, & knowledge of NPD will help you to remember that they are the ones with a problem, not you.  This is something you need to be very aware of in order to stop accepting the blame for problems a narcissist blames you for.

Another thing I’ve learned to be very helpful is to journal about the events.  Seeing them written out factually, without emotions, helps bring you clarity.  That is partly why I discuss my experiences with my narcissistic mother.  It helps me to keep a proper perspective while also helping others.  It also helps me tremendously when people say things like, “I read in your blog about what your mother did.  She was so wrong for doing that!”  It’s an additional validation.  I’m not saying you have to make what you write public as I have, of course, but if you opt to do so, it may help you as it helps me.  You can use false names if you want to remain anonymous.

Talk to those who understand.  Close friends or relatives who know the situation, & support you can be tremendously helpful.  Often those with narcissistic mothers don’t have many friends or relatives who do support them, as narcissistic mothers love turning people against her daughter, but there is still hope.  There are facebook groups & forums like mine that are full of safe people who understand your plight because they have been in your situation.

Lastly, never engage a narcissist.  Ever. If she wants to blame you for something, don’t defend yourself.  Respond to her with calmness & logic. If she continues raging, walk away.  Let her look like a fool while you protect yourself.  If she recruits others to her side, & those flying monkeys wish to talk to you on her behalf, refuse to discuss that topic with them.

2 Comments

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

Update & Sharing What I’ve Learned Recently

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3 Comments

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

Emotional “Purging”

I have a folder of various songs on my mp3 player that are very special to me. When I lost several of my cats over the years, shortly after their death, I’d hear a song or a song would go through my head out of the blue, & God would speak to my heart, telling me that the kitty who just passed on wanted me to know that this song reminded him/her of me.  I turned these songs on the mp3 player while finishing some housework..

The song “You Were Loved” by Wynonna came on- that was my Magic’s song, my first kitty & a very special dark sable/black guy who was in my life for over 16 years.  Grief overwhelmed me.  Physically I could barely stand & the sobbing hit hard.  In this pain, I cried out to God, telling Him I miss my Magic so much.  I clearly heard Him ask me what else do I miss?  A laundry list of things that are currently a problem in my life came out.  I miss having a mother- I’d love to have a normal, non-narcissistic mother who won’t hurt me purposely for her own amusement or to preserve her own image.  I miss not having financial problems- not saying I want a brand new car or whatever, just want the bills current or paid ahead & be able to do some things.  I want to no longer be constantly hurt or affected by or blamed for things other people do.

A lot of anger came to the surface too.  I’m angry at the people who have abused me yet never took responsibility for it or showed any remorse.  November 28th, it’ll be 24 years since my mother threw me into a wall & messed up my back.  In those 24 years, not once has she accepted responsibility for it, but instead told anyone who would listen I faked the injury to get out of working because I was lazy.  My mother is hardly the only abuser who hasn’t taken any responsibility, either, & that frankly just pisses me off!

Some of the anger that came up is because there are so many things in my life I can’t make sense of.  I thought about my ex boyfriend for example.  Last January, I learned not only was he gay (might have been nice to know that before we became a couple!), but he murdered his boyfriend, then himself.  I shared a life with this man- how did I not realize  he had such serious problems?!  I know I was young, but still, what the heck?!

Then the anger turned to sadness, & I started crying pretty hard… it didn’t want to stop for a long time as years of anger & pain came out & God comforted me.  Thankfully!  I hadn’t cried like that in a long time, & apparently I really needed to do so.

This experience reminded me of something I had long since forgotten about.  When I was a little girl, I think God gave me a survival skill that I never appreciated.  One night a week after I went to bed, I would make myself cry for a while.  I would think of anything sad that would make me cry, then just cry for however long felt right, & go to sleep after  that.  This was my own time & no one interfered with it, as my parents assumed I was asleep.  Growing up with an engulfing narcissistic mother was very, very hard.  I was very anxious & depressed, even as a little girl (not that anyone noticed, because I was good even then at hiding my feelings).  Those nights when I cried were good for me- I was able to get out the sadness, anger & anxiety I felt & go on with more peace the next morning.

As a grown up living with C-PTSD which includes nasty periods of depression plus all the stress I’m facing lately, I think it is time to implement a grown up version of this ritual I had.  Today showed me the need for periodic emotional purging.

i am going to spend more time with God, even if it’s while running the vacuum cleaner, & ask Him to help me, to help me purge of whatever anger, hurt, etc. is inside that needs to come out.  Then ask Him to heal me & help me to cry or do whatever I need to to get things out.  (Like most adult children of a narcissistic mother, I have trouble often with expressing emotions).

The reason I’m sharing this with you, Dear Reader, is because I think this may help you as well.  So many people, especially adult children of narcissists, aren’t good at getting out their emotions.  Look at all of the health problems today- high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, immune system problems.. so many of these are from holding in emotions & stress.  Feel your feelings.  Process them rather than stuffing them down deep inside!  It’s good for you!  Talk to God  about them, too- He not only will comfort you, but help you to deal with them & heal your broken heart as well!

Leave a comment

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

Ranting & Raving.. (revised)

Good morning, Dear Readers!

Well, it isn’t really a good morning for me.  I really do want to keep my posts as encouraging & as positive as I can, but I also promised you readers that I would also be real.  That means some posts won’t be all happy & positive.  This post is going to be one of those.  In fact, I was going to write it only in my journal, but I felt I should write it in here.  Maybe someone needs to read this today.  It’ll probably be pretty long, longer than normal at least, so get yourself comfortable if you want to read this.. lol

The last few days have been really rough, & the C-PTSD is flaring up badly as of yesterday.  My head is simply swimming.  To start with, our little American Eskimo dog, Dixie, has been sick.  Thankfully, she is well on her way to recovery now, but not recognizing her symptoms at first terrified me.  My pets are like my children, so  when they are sick, I get extremely concerned.  Then my husband’s mother went into the hospital a couple of days ago.  I’m not sure she didn’t put herself there for attention, to be completely honest about it.  It wouldn’t be the first time she’s done that.  I think it was last year just before Christmas my husband told me she said that she quit taking her meds for a few days prior to going into the hospital.  Yep, I love narcissists.. NOT.  *sigh*

And, as the icing on this crappy cake, my husband & I saw my parents yesterday.

Recently, my parents bought a new chair.  Once it was delivered, my mother decided she didn’t like it, & wanted to exchange it for another one.  She called to ask if my husband would mind picking it up with his truck, as she didn’t want to pay another $80 delivery charge.  He said he’d be fine with doing it Saturday (yesterday).  So Friday, I said I should call her to be sure of what time to meet my parents at the furniture store.  He volunteered to make the call instead, which was fine with me at the time.  Now, I’m not happy he did this at all & that will not be happening again as I have learned a painful lesson.  Although I have told him many times, do NOT say anything about our furkids or his parents to my parents other than everyone is “fine”, he told my mother Dixie was sick & probably needed to see the vet in the morning, & also that his mother was in the hospital so we couldn’t make it a long visit.  If my mother hears anything other than FINE about any of them, I will end up very angry with either her nasty comments about my furkids, or fake concern over my in-laws.  The fake concern hurts me very badly, because she knows perfectly well I haven’t spoken to my in-laws since 2002 because of how cruelly my narcissistic mother in-law has treated me.  And a side note here- I asked God once why my mother does this.  He showed me that my mother thinks my in-laws have a perfect life- been married 60+ years, financially comfortable, nice home in a nice area, their children, grandchildren & great-grandchildren visit them often.  She fails to see the mountains of dysfunction in their family, only what looks good on the outside.  My mother, being a narcissist & naturally overly concerned with appearances, wants to impress them. By me refusing to tolerate my mother in-law’s abusive ways, I’ve embarrassed my mother.  In return, she wants to hurt me as much as possible by showing concern for them, as well as showing them even though I’m a “terrible person,” at least she isn’t bad like me.  She is good enough to care about them even if I don’t.  This is also why she has sent them Christmas cards since I first told her how cruel the mother in-law is.  Amazing what goes on  in the mind of a narcissist..

Back to the original topic..

The visit started at the furniture store.  My mother sat in the car, & my father approached us in hubby’s truck.  He handed hubby a booklet about county services for seniors I’d given my parents a couple of months ago.  He said it was because hubby’s parents probably needed it.  Really?  Hubby told my father no, they’re fine- my parents need it.  My father said my mother thought they needed it more, so they should have it. Hubby grabbed the booklet & spoke to my mother, telling her SHE needs this, his parents are taken care of.  I heard snippets of their conversation- she kept changing the subject, showing concern for his mother being in the hospital.  ARGH!  So while this happened, my father & I walked into the customer service area & gave them the receipt.  We waited a few minutes for him to bring the chair outside for us, & chatted.  Finally we were loaded up & ready to go.  I moved the truck over to beside my mother’s car to get it out of the way.  My mother said hi to me, I ignored her & waited for hubby.

At my parents’ house, my mother asked me how Dixie was.  i said fine.  She said “Oh?  Your dad said she was really sick.”  I said nothing further.  (I feel somewhat bad about that, because knowing her, she’ll jump on my father for lying to her even though he wasn’t lying.  But, not trying to be vengeful here, he has no problems throwing me under the bus with my mother.  Why should I feel bad that I inadvertently did the same to him once, yanno?)  So she then talked to hubby about his mother.  I continued ignoring her, but was stewing inside.  How dare she?!  Plus i was also angry hubby told her about Dixie when I have said many times mention NOTHING about her or the cats to my mother.

My husband, father & I assembled the chair.  While working on it, my mother brought out a plate of cookies & demanded we all eat one.  I refused.  All my life, my mother has insulted what I eat, how much I do or don’t eat, demanded I eat what she wants when she wants me to & ridiculed me for being fat no matter how little I may weigh.  When she tells me to eat something now, I refuse in order to set a boundary.  Plus, the emotional flashbacks I get make me feel like I did at around 10 years old when her abuse regarding food was so bad that I became anorexic then later bulimic: terrified of her anger if I didn’t do as was told or take her criticisms with a smile, angry, like I am too hideous & disgusting to live.  This feels HORRIBLE & it makes me angry that at 43 years old, I quickly can revert to feeling like I did as a child.

Finally, the chair was done, & we were ready to leave.  As I said goodbye to my father, my mother spoke to my husband about his parents again, feigning such great concern for their well-being.  I could feel the anger inside me bubbling by this point.  Then, as I moved to say goodbye to her before my head exploded, she said “Wait a minute.”  My mother went into another room & came back with a plate of cookies & a get well card for my mother in-law!!  She handed them to hubby.  I was in shock at this point.  She then hugged us both & told me she loved me as we left.  I practically ran to the truck.  I also realized when she has been especially cruel to me recently, she always says she loves me.  No other times.  In fact, I could probably count on one hand how many times she has said that in the last 30 years until this behavior began recently.

I cannot put into words how hurt I am by this whole episode.  I know my mother is extremely angry with me because I set boundaries with her early last month.  (See this blog entry)  I’ve been expecting a narcissistic rage because of that as I mentioned in that post, which meant I was expecting her to say excessively cruel, hurtful things to me in a public place.  But this betrayal & flaunting it?  And to top it off, my husband basically handed her the weapon on a  silver platter & doesn’t understand why I’m upset?

I am just depressed, hurt & angry today.  I feel so alone in this situation, & am so tired of feeling that way. I can’t talk to my husband about it since he doesn’t really understand.  I can’t talk to my father- he’s got his own concerns with how cruel she is to him, & those concerns are very valid.  He also won’t speak on my behalf to my mother.  I also feel like I don’t matter.  Again. I am so tired of this feeling!  My mother made me feel this way growing up.  Being a typical malignant narcissist, I was only there to be an extension of her, meet her needs & please her.  I wasn’t to “bother” her with having needs or feelings. Growing up, things haven’t really improved with her in that area.  My husband’s invalidating “I wouldn’t give it any credence” comment about my mother’s actions yesterday have made me feel the same “I don’t matter” feeling.  I’m so tired of it!!!

I’m also incredibly frustrated.  Something must be done with my mother, but I am too frazzled at this moment to figure out what.  If I speak up about her “Caring” about my mother in-law, it’ll feed her- she will be sure to show more concern for her just because she knows exactly how much it hurts me.  If I remain quiet, she will show more concern to be sure she is getting to me.  Damned if I do, damned if I don’t… So, I need to pray about how to handle this after I feel better.

Right now, I’m wallowing in the self-pity place.  I know  this all too well, & I don’t like it at all.  But, I have learned some things since I’ve been here so many times in my life: this place is necessary, & it doesn’t last forever.

So many people will tell you things like “pick yourself up by your bootstraps” but sometimes you need to wallow for a bit, to feel sorry for yourself because you have been through something very painful.  I think of it as feeling compassion for yourself.  If someone told me what I just told you, my heart would break for them.  I would want to tell them everything will be fine & somehow make it better if I could.  So why not have that same compassion for myself?

I also think that the self-pity times allow us to process painful things, & we need to process painful things!  Sweeping things under the rug or ignoring the pain they cause do no good at all!  In fact, ignoring things can cause a great deal of harm.  I never really dealt with the abuse I endured until I was around 30 years old.  By the time I was 41, I developed full blown C-PTSD after living with many of the symptoms my whole life.  I wonder if I had been able to deal with things earlier, if I would have C-PTSD now.  Not dealing with things also can cause physical problems such as arthritis, heart problems, ulcers, high blood pressure, & much more.

If you made it this far, God bless you!  Thank you for listening to me rant & rave.  I hope somehow you were able to glean something helpful from this post.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

I’m revising  this post only slightly…..

 

I saw yesterday that the card my mother gave my husband for his mother wasn’t in a sealed envelope- the flap was just pushed in.  Seemed odd to me, but I figured that meant my mother wanted me to read it.  Knowing her, that just made sense in her dysfunctional little world.  So, I finally gave in a few minutes ago.  This is the card- nothing has been altered at all. This shows just how hell bent my mother is to hurt me- she is sending a nicer card to someone she can’t stand than she has ever sent to me.  I honestly don’t even know if she’s ever given me a get well card…

 

This is the outside of the card...

This is the outside of the card…

& here is the inside... lovely wording, isn't it?

& here is the inside… lovely wording, isn’t it?

 

 

11 Comments

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

You Are Not Alone!

Good afternoon, Dear Readers!

Every morning, I receive an email with a Scripture in it from a Christian website.  It’s a nice way to start my day.  Today’s Scripture was 1 Peter 5:8-9:

Be clearheaded. Keep alert. Your accuser, the devil, is on the prowl like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.Resist him, standing firm in the faith. Do so in the knowledge that your fellow believers are enduring the same suffering throughout the world.” (CEB)

The last sentence is exactly why i write about some of the topics I write about- to let people know thy aren’t alone.

Growing up with a narcissistic mother, although I knew nothing of narcissism until a few years ago, I knew something was different.  My experiences were vastly different than my friends’.  I didn’t know anyone else who acted like her or treated their children like my mother treated me.  Once I started talking to a school counselor then a couple of therapists when my mother’s abuse peaked when I was 17, I was invalidated.  The school counselor said “That doesn’t sound so bad to me” when I told her my mother would scream at me, lecturing me about what a terrible person I was.  One therapist, after meeting my mother said she could no longer see me because I was such a “terrible daughter.”  My friends couldn’t understand my suffering, obviously, as narcissistic abuse is nearly impossible to understand even when you have experienced it firsthand.

Then in 2012, I developed all of the symptoms of C-PTSD.  Suddenly, I became a different person.  I was no longer able to hide depression & anxiety as I had previously.  I started with flashbacks & more frequent nightmares.  My sleep became worse than ever- trouble falling asleep & staying asleep.  In discussing some of my symptoms, i learned a lot of people simply don’t care about them.  People close to me, not strangers.  One person even said I used C-PTSD as a “poor me” card.  I told my father that I have this awful disorder twice, & twice he changed the subject.

All of these things have meant I have felt completely alone my entire life.  it’s a terrible feeling.

Once I started writing about my experiences though, I learned that I’m not alone.  There are many, many other victims of a narcissistic mother out there!  The funny part is we all grew up thinking it was just us, that no one understood or experienced the same things.

Many of these people also have C-PTSD as a result of the narcissistic abuse, & many of them feel alone as well due to people close to them not caring.

it is truly tragic how many people feel as if they are completely alone!  While I know I can’t change the world, I want to use my writing as a way to reach people, to let them know they aren’t alone. I pray this blog, my website & books do just that, because the truth is, you are not alone!  So many other people understand your pain & have been through similar experiences!

I also have 2 forums available.  Both are safe places where you can talk about anything you like, gain support, be prayed for or pray for others, learn valuable information & make new friends.

Below is a link to the first forum.  It requires registration to read or post.  If you’re worried about privacy, create a fake user name rather than using your real name. I only recently started this one, so it is a bit slow as it is just starting.  Feel free to start talking though- I will respond, & I believe if a few people start talking, others will join & there will be a snowball effect.

http://cynthiasforum.boards.net/

This link is a link to my fan group on facebook.  I gave up my fan page for two reasons: one person used it as a means to harass me & privacy for my fans.  This group is a closed group, which means that only other members can see what you posted in the group.  No one else.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/FansOfCynthiaBaileyRug/

I want to stress, both groups are private & safe. I hope to see you there soon!

2 Comments

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

What Happened To Empathy And Compassion??

I read something very disturbing on facebook this morning.  It was triggering for me, so read on with caution…

One of my friends on there is the daughter of a very precious friend of mine who passed away a few years ago.  This morning, she posted that her brother just committed suicide.  He hung himself with his belt.  She later wrote that their father would beat them as children with his belt, & he was always depressed.  This poor young man must have had a very difficult life.

As if this fact wasn’t tragic enough, some of the responses she got infuriated me.  People told stories of someone they knew who took their own life, or said how sad this made them.  One responder even called her brother selfish for doing this.

Selfish?  Really?  Obviously this person has absolutely no idea what it’s like to be suicidal.

To be suicidal is to be in the most lonely, depressing place imaginable with no signs of escape or that anyone cares you are there.  You believe suicide will end your suffering, & end the burden you place on your loved ones.  Logically, it seems like suicide is the only means of making things better.  After all, you rationalize, it’s not like anyone would care if you were gone anyway, & they might just be relieved not to have to deal with you anymore.  You honestly believe you are doing the world, especially those you love, a favor by killing yourself.  There is nothing selfish or cowardly about suicide.

Living with C-PTSD, I think about it often.  In fact, I have for most of my life.  Thankfully, I’m aware that suicidal ideation is a normal part of this awful disorder, so I won’t follow through with my thoughts.

Being suicidal is the worst feeling in the world, I believe. Then to have this young man’s suicide brushed off as if it was a stupid, selfish action like gambling away rent money, or something to be compared to others’ situations infuriated me. I realize in difficult situations, most people don’t know what to say.  Rather than admit that simple fact, they often end up saying something ignorant, stupid or extremely hurtful. The truth is, however, most people would rather hear something like, “I’m so sorry that happened to you. I don’t know what to say about it, but if you need me, I’m here for you.” than to hear some anecdote, how much worse someone else has it, or even “You should be glad his suffering is over now & he’s in a better place.”  Comments like this are extremely painful!  How would you like to hear that you should be glad your loved one who died yesterday is gone?  Wouldn’t that hurt you?  Then it will hurt someone else too!

Please just think about what you say to someone in time of suffering before you speak!  Don’t just blurt out cliches,because they come across as hurtful & insensitive.  The last thing someone in a dark place needs to hear is something  that will hurt them.  Offer to listen, to pray with & for that person, to handle some chores they need done, to run errands for them or even cook for them.  Encourage them to grieve- there is no other way to come to grips with a loss other than to go through the grief process, no matter how long  it takes.  Use common sense when dealing with people who are suffering- if it would hurt you if someone said or did something to you, then it will hurt them too, so just don’t do it!

And, when it comes to someone who has killed himself, please don’t judge!  You have no idea what went on in that person’s mind to push him over the edge.  You don’t know what happened in his life, or how things affected him. You have absolutely no right to judge or criticize that person!

I really hope this post doesn’t sound like my friend’s tragedy was simple fodder for my blog. That certainly isn’t the intent. I just want people to think before they comment on situation involving someone they care about.  Suicide is a topic near to my heart as well, & having been called selfish as well, hearing another person called selfish who not only considered suicide but followed through breaks my heart.

5 Comments

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