Tag Archives: grief
Most people assume there is only one type of grief, the grief that happens when someone you love dies, but there are other types as well.
People also can grieve when they move, get a divorce or lose a job. There is also something known as anticipatory grief, which happens when you know someone is dying. This is especially common in families where someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s due to how this terrible disease destroys a person’s personality before it destroys their body.
Unconventional grief is different. It is grief that is triggered by unique circumstances. I experienced it when learning about the many new limitations because of how damaged my brain was after surviving Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. It also can happen when someone is diagnosed with mental illness or when a loved one has a substance abuse problem. Unconventional grief also can happen as a result of trauma & abuse.
When you grow up with a narcissistic parent or two, & you finally learn about narcissism, although it is a great thing, it can trigger grief. Suddenly you realize that you aren’t the problem, which is certainly good news of course, but realizing what your parent was is difficult & painful to accept. It hurts that the one person who was supposed to love you unconditionally didn’t, & lacks the ability to do so. You also realize how much your parent took from you, such as your childhood & self-esteem. And, it suddenly hits you that there is no hope for your relationship. Prior to learning about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, most people have some hope that one day their parent will realize what she did, apologize & change for the better. Learning about NPD squelches that hope completely. That is a tough pill to swallow!
Facing these ugly truths absolutely can cause a person to grieve, & it’s extremely painful. It’s also difficult to understand because of the limited view of grief that most people have. How can you grieve when the person in question is still alive?! Well, it’s surprisingly easy to do actually.
When my father died in October, 2017, I didn’t cry. I cry easily especially when losing someone I love, but I didn’t cry. I barely have felt sad at all since he’s been gone. No doubt any of my family that may be reading this thinks it’s because I’m a cold, evil person, but that isn’t the case. It’s because I grieved him enough when he was alive that his death didn’t have a very profound effect on me. And you know something? Many other adult children of narcissistic parents I’ve spoken with have said that they felt the same exact thing when their parent died.
Unconventional grief can be incredibly difficult, but you can get through it.
Pray & pray often. You will need the wisdom, guidance & comfort of God to get through this.
Don’t judge your emotions. Accept them. Examine them without judgement or criticism. Feel them. Pray, talk or write about them to cope with them.
Anger is an especially common part of this sort of grief. If you feel a lot of anger, it’s normal! I know, you probably grew up like most of us with narcissistic parents did, believing you aren’t allowed to be angry. Stop that now! Why are you angry? Face it head on & deal with your feelings. The pain will lose its power over you if you face it.
You also may start to remember only the good times. They are good to remember, but don’t forget the bad as well. Embrace the good & heal from the bad.
Write in a journal. Writing is very cathartic, plus it will help you to have documentation. You may even decide that you enjoy writing, & opt to start a blog or write a book.
Find online support groups & websites. Learning that others are experiencing similar things to you is very helpful.
Don’t expect this grief to end entirely. It will get better, but it may never end entirely. It’s like losing a loved one- you grieve most right after the person died, but even many years later, the pain is still there, just not as intense as it was at first.
If you’re experiencing unconventional grief, Dear Reader, know you aren’t alone. You can survive this! It will take hard work & won’t be easy, but you can do it!
Something crossed my mind recently, I’m sure it’s due to my father in-law’s recent death: Grief doesn’t end just because the funeral is over.
I think many people act like once your loved one is buried or cremated, you’re done grieving. It’s done now so you should be ready to resume your life as it was, no problem. Nothing could be further from the truth!
Grief has no set time. It doesn’t end just because the funeral is done, because a set amount of time has passed, or because people think you should be “over it” by now.
There’s also the fact that the first year after a loved one dies is incredibly hard. You have their first birthday without them, first anniversary, first holidays… those days can be extremely difficult, but especially the first ones.
In fact, I don’t think grief ever ends completely, it only becomes less intense over time. My great grandmother that I adored died in 1982, & I still miss her a great deal to this day. No, I don’t cry all the time, but I still miss her & think of her often. If you love someone, that is just how things happen.
And if you lost a pet rather than a human, people can be even more insensitive, because after all, “It’s only a cat/dog/bird/etc!” they say. They fail to realize that pets are a big part of our daily lives. We love them, care for them, play with them, nurture them & when they get old &./or sick, we become their caregivers. Such things can form an incredible bond, & when that bond is broken, it hurts just as much if not more than when a human passes away.
If you have lost someone you love recently, please ignore people who try to tell you that you should be over it already, are taking too long to grieve or “It’s just a pet!”. It’s not their business! You take your time & grieve however you need to for as much time as you need to. Honor your loved one’s life, too. Maybe plant a garden they would like, or make or build something creative like they would have made. It really does help!
If you have been actively grieving for a long time (over a year), & it disrupts your life, I really would like to suggest you try grief counseling. Sometimes, people kinda get “stuck” & there is no shame in it. It happens! It just means you need a little help to get unstuck.
When you grow up with narcissistic parents, it affects you deeply & in ways you aren’t even aware of. The chaos, abuse & manipulations are simply normal to you. Thank God He teaches us about Narcissistic Personality Disorder so we can get away from that dysfunction!
As you learn about narcissistic abuse & heal from it, naturally you change a great deal. While becoming healthier, you see things differently. You finally understand just how wrong so many things your parents taught you were. It’s empowering, this learning & growing, but something comes along with it that can be difficult. Constant reminders.
Some time ago, I realized that it seemed like everything reminded me of something awful about my relationship with my parents. For example, after becoming deathly sick in 2015, seeing families rallying around a sick family member can bring me to tears. I never told my parents what happened, because I know they would turn the situation back to them rather than care how I was, & it hurts! Reminders that others have loving parents brings that awful thought back to the forefront of my mind, & depresses me. Other times, I’ve seen reports on TV about a murdered person, & their grieving loved ones talk tearfully about what a wonderful person he or she was. I know if I died, my parents wouldn’t miss me in the least, but instead would enjoy the narcissistic supply they could get by portraying themselves as the grieving parents.
These things began to happen after I got sick in 2015. I chalked it up to the head injury & carbon monoxide poisoning I received at the time since both are known for changing a person’s personality. Somehow that didn’t feel right though. I prayed & God showed me what was happening.
The more a person heals from parental narcissistic abuse, the less they see things through the fog of gaslighting thrust on them. The clarity means they understand how things should be, not as their narcissistic parents say they are. Seeing healthy, normal situations is simply a reminder of how things were not when they were growing up. Unfortunately the reminders can hurt a great deal.
Realizing your parents are narcissists is a painful experience, partly because of the grief that is involved. You grieve the fact your parents never loved you, weren’t & will never be there for you, & even can’t be the kind of parents you would like them to be. (I personally believe this is a lifelong grief, although it gets easier over time.) It’s much like when someone you love dies- the initial grief can be debilitating, but in time it mellows to something more tolerable, only occasionally bringing you to tears when something reminds you of your loved one. I remember right after my granddad died.. one day my husband & I ended up following a car that looked identical to his. I cried because seeing that car made me miss him. Almost 14 years later, I still shed some tears if I see a car like his last one or even vaguely like it. Seeing something that reminds you of what your parents did or didn’t do for you can be like that- a sad & painful reminder.
If you are experiencing something like this, then Dear Reader, know you aren’t alone & you aren’t broken. I know it’s frustrating & painful, but I firmly believe it’s completely normal under the circumstances. All you can do is understand these things happen, be gentle with yourself when they do & pray, pray, pray! God will help you to get through! Let Him do that for you! xoxo
On the day I’m writing this post, it’s been 3 years since losing my precious kitty baby, Georgie. Naturally, he’s been on my mind a lot today. He was quite the character- feisty, liked to tease other kitties mercilessly, highly intelligent, loving, caring & protective of his brother, Pretty Boy, especially after Pretty Boy’s diagnosis of diabetes in 2011.
Georgie died suddenly on April 16, 2014. I still have no clue why.. he obviously passed in his sleep, thankfully, so it was peaceful at least. Yet, no warning anything was wrong made losing him especially hard.
Shortly after his passing, I was still in shock & grieving terribly. As usual when grieving, I talked to God about how badly it hurt. He told me to listen to a certain song & said, “Georgie wants you to know he thinks of you when he hears this song. It’s your & Georgie’s song now.” The song was Steelheart’s “Angel Eyes” from 1990. A song I’ve always loved, but thanks to Georgie love even more since his passing.
I know, this sounds odd.. yet, this type of thing has happened after losing several of my kitties over the years. When Bubba died in 2001, I was sure I was going to die too, when Lynyrd Skynryd’s “Freebird” became our song. Magic’s & my song is Wynonna’s “You Were Loved.” “When Jasmine passed, it was Aerosmith’s “Angel.” Vincent’s & my song is “Someday We’ll Be Together.”
You get the idea.
Since so many of you who read my work are also avid animal lovers, I’m hoping this post offers you comfort. I never knew this type of thing would help me survive losing my precious furkids, but God did. Asking Him for comfort turned into receiving the only thing that could help me, aside from having my furbaby back.
If God did it for me, He can do it for you as well.
Dear Reader, if you’re missing a precious loved one, be they furry or human, I would like to urge you to cry out to God. Ask Him for comfort. He will not disappoint! He may give you songs like He has me, or maybe not. It depends on what comforts you most, I believe. In any case, trust that He wants to help you & then wait for the blessing to come your way. It will greatly surpass your expectations, that I promise you!
This is Georgie (left) & his brother, Pretty Boy in around 2005. My two handsome, wonderful brothers. 🙂 Georgie’s & my song lyrics are below the picture if you’d like to read them.
Angel Eyes, by Steelheart
“Angel eyes, you have angel eyes, such a smile that lights up my life
You’re a dream come true, now I’m holding you
And I’ll never, never let you go, I will never let you go!
First time I laid my eyes upon you, all my dreams were answered
First time I kissed your tender lips, my love to you I surrendered
I’ll never let you go, you’re always on my mind
You’re the only one for me, you’re all I need
And I’ll never, never let you go
Angel eyes, my heart relies on the love you give to me
You never let me down, you’re always by my side
And I’ll never, never let you go, I will never let you go!
When my heart starts to crumble and the tears start to fall
You hold me close with tender lovin’, and give me strength to carry on
I’ll never let you go, you’re always on my mind
You’re the only one for me, you’re all I need
And I’ll never, never let you go
I’ll never let you go, you’re always on my mind
You’re the only one for me, you’re all I need
And I’ll never, never let you go
And I’ll never, never let you go.”
A friend & I were talking recently about some of the dumb things people say to someone who is grieving.
- “He’s in a better place.” (And knowing this negates my pain how exactly??)
- “You should be glad she’s not suffering anymore.” (I am glad, but I still miss her!)
- “I know just how you feel.” (No, you don’t. You aren’t me. We feel things differently)
- (in cases of pet loss) “It was just a cat/dog/bird/etc.” (To you, but to me, that was my baby!)
- Or, simply acting like since their loved one has been buried or cremated, they should be ready to on with their lives since it’s “done”. The funeral marks the beginning of learning to leave without your loved one. Personally, I feel “in limbo” until the funeral or cremation is done. Once that happens, my grief really begins.
Comments like these may not sound so bad, but they can be hurtful when you’re in the early stages of grief.
The simple fact is people don’t know what to say in this situation. Nothing sounds “right”, so many people say something unintentionally hurtful rather than saying nothing.
If you know someone who has recently lost someone they love, please think before you speak. What may comfort you may not comfort the other person. Everyone grieves differently. Plus, there are various stages of grief, & what may comfort someone at one stage may not at another stage. For example, knowing I’ll see my loved one again one day does NOT comfort me immediately after losing that person or pet. I call it the selfish phase of grief, where I just want them back with me because I miss them so much. Some time later, knowing we’ll be reunited one day is a great comfort.
It seems to me there are only a few safe things to say to someone who is grieving.
- “I’m so sorry for your loss.”
- “Is there anything I can do for you?”
- “If you want to talk, I’m here for you anytime.”
Please consider your words wisely when someone you know has lost a loved one. You have the ability to help them or hurt them, so please, choose to help them.
As I wrote about earlier today, our little family became a bit smaller recently with the sudden loss of our cat, Pretty Boy. Losing a furbaby is absolutely the worst part of having pets. It feels like my heart has been ripped out, to tell the truth. Not only because of my personal loss, but watching my husband & the other furbabies grieve is so incredibly painful too.
Thankfully, I’m surrounded by friends who love animals as much as I do, or at the very least, understand how much I love them even if they are not avid animal lovers themselves. They have been sending their condolences & praying for my little family, which is simply awesome. I’m incredibly grateful for them!
Unfortunately, not every single person in my life is this kind. My narcissistic parents come to mind. As of the time of me writing this post, they don’t know about Pretty Boy, & I hope to keep it that way for a while. The reason is they end up hurting me each time I lose a furbaby. My mother has said things like the one who passed is better off dead than with me as his or her mom, “at least you don’t have any sick ones anymore”, repeated a story about losing her cat when she was 14 years old, or simply ignored my loss. My father sort of tries to be comforting, but he has no idea how to. He has no empathy.
When you’re grieving, whether it’s losing a human or furbaby, you are especially vulnerable to the cruelty of narcissists. They know this, & that is why they attack at this awful time.
I want to remind you Dear Reader, & myself as well, that it is very important to protect yourself during such fragile times. There is nothing wrong with keeping a distance from narcissists when you are grieving. In fact, it is a wise thing to do to protect your mental health.
You owe them no explanation as to why you need time to yourself, either. Just state that you need some time to yourself, & if they insist on calling, texting, visiting, etc., ignore them. Don’t answer the phone or the door. That is your right! If later when you speak to them, they try to shame you for not answering their calls, etc., simply remind them you told them that you needed time to yourself & ignore the guilt trips! Easier said than done, I know, but it can be done. I’ve done it myself. By calmly stating that fact & ignoring the guilt, the narcissist may get annoyed, but sees that the tactic isn’t working, so usually he or she abandons it.
Also, narcissists don’t understand what it’s like to grieve. To grieve means you loved someone, which is something narcissists don’t do. This may mean they try to invalidate your feelings or shame you for grieving. Do not allow their poison to get inside you!! Just because they are unable to love someone enough to grieve a loss doesn’t mean you are wrong for grieving.
When you are in the throes of grief, it is especially important to take good care of your mental health. Do your best to rest often, do nurturing things that help you to feel better, eat healthy & avoid toxic people (especially narcissists). You need to do these things so you can go through the painful grief process, & eventually learn to live without that special person or pet.
Tomorrow marks the thirteenth anniversary of my paternal Granddad’s passing. Like every single year on May 31, I know I’ll be depressed & missing him more than usual.
Grief anniversaries are rough days, but I think they can be a good thing in a way as well. They remind you of someone you dearly loved yet lost. They gently push you to remember some good times, & the things you loved about that person. As sad as May 31 always is for me, I also look forward to the day in a way because it gives me an excuse to remember the good times, like sitting around what is now my dining room table with Granddad, listening to him telling me stories of our family. Or, going to our favorite little Italian place for lunch & chatting over a yummy meal. I also remember how after his death, butterflies started appearing in my life, comforting me. I also laugh how my talking teddy bear that he liked has started talking without me pushing the button since he passed, & I’m pretty sure he has something to do with my talking bear. His way of saying hi.
Sometimes, too, the day reminds me of the viewing the day before & the funeral. Those memories are extremely hard & all these years later, still make me cry. But, sometimes tears can be a good thing. They can be cleansing & healing. They also are proof of having loved the departed one a great deal. Loving someone is truly one of God’s most precious gifts.
I’ve also noticed grief anniversaries can be spontaneous. The scent of your loved one’s cologne or perfume, the sound of his or her favorite music or even a sport he or she loved can be enough to bring you to tears for missing that person sometimes. Even now, there are times I think, “I should call or email Granddad about this” or “I wish I could talk to him about this” & experience a renewed grief with the reminder I can’t talk to him anymore until I see him in Heaven one day.
I really believe these days are important to acknowledge. They keep your loved one in your heart & mind, close to you, so he or she is never really gone. That is why every May 31 & August 15 (his birthday) I remember my granddad. I also remember days I’ve lost others I’ve loved- my grandmother, great-grandmother, & my furbabies. They’re always close to me, always in my heart.
I coined this phrase, stealing grief, after losing my sweet kitty, Vincent. Vincent had been my granddad’s cat, & a cousin took him after Granddad died. Several years later, she asked me to baby sit him while she moved, then said I could keep him. I was blessed to have him for just over 2 years when he passed away very suddenly & unexpectedly. Losing him was especially hard for me, not only because he was an awesome cat, but he had been Granddad’s best friend. I felt like I was losing a part of Granddad as well as losing Vincent. The combined loss was devastating.
I told my father about losing Vincent a day or so after his death. The following day, my mother called as I was not only grieving but in bed sick with the flu. She told me my father told her about Vincent. She also said how he was never happy with me- he was only happy with Granddad. He was miserable in my home, according to her. Between feeling very sick & grieving, I couldn’t even respond to what she said. I just cried. Her words hurt me to my core, even though I knew they weren’t true. For a while, I was so hurt, I focused on that instead of grieving Vincent. I felt my grief process had been stolen due to the hurt I felt from my mother’s hatefulness.
Prior to that incident, when losing cats, if my mother even acknowledged the loss, she told me that they were better off dead than with me as their mom or “oh well.. at least you don’t have any sick ones now.” Each time her callous & evil words interrupted my natural grief process, leaving me wounded & hurting even more than usual because of being oversensitive due to grief. I stopped telling my parents when we’ve lost furbabies because of this.
I realized that this was done purposely. My mother, in typical narcissistic fashion, likes to hurt me, & when I’m already hurting, she is capable of hurting me much more deeply than usual. She is opportunistic, kicking me when I’m down, as narcissists are.
I also realized that this isn’t simply another jab at me. It’s incredibly disrespectful to my furbabies, because she is distracting me from the natural course of grieving the loss of a wonderful creature.
I know that grief isn’t fun. In fact, it feels like hell on Earth when you’re going through it. However, it’s also necessary if you are to process the pain of losing someone you love in a healthy manner. It’s the price you pay for loving someone. It shouldn’t be interrupted! It should be allowed to run its course until you reach that place of acceptance that the one you love is gone, & you can begin to adapt to your new life without that person.
Interrupting grief drags the process out & makes it much harder than it already is. It adds to & prolongs your suffering, which is no doubt what the narcissist enjoys so much. Now your grief will take longer & be harder, plus she was able to dump more pain on you! YAY! Sick? Oh yea. But that’s how narcissists think.
I have learned the hard way that this has to stop. I can’t make my parents stop trying to steal my grief, but I can continue grieving in a healthy way in spite of them.
When we lost our 16 year old tabby cat with an attitude, Weeble on May 2, a few days later, my parents & I got into a big argument. I mentioned it in this post. It was extremely hurtful, even though I’d been expecting a fight, just not quite this exact one. In the heat of the fight, I told my father I couldn’t deal with this topic since I’d just lost Weeble. I ended up telling him 2 things about that- please don’t tell my mother because I don’t need to hear her nastiness & I also need time to myself to grieve. He disregarded this & called me non stop two days later, trying to bully me into answering the phone, because HE wanted to talk to me. My wishes meant nothing apparently. When I finally did talk to him, I told him again I need time to myself, leave me alone. This past Monday, my parents’ number showed up on my caller ID repeatedly. Again. UGH! Wednesday night, my mother called & my husband talked to her since I wasn’t up to it. Would be nice if they listened when I set boundaries.. sheesh.
Anyway, I’ve taken the time to mentally put his & my mother’s horrible behavior on the back burner. I imagine putting them in a box, & putting it on a shelf, to deal with later, when I am able to. For now, I’m focusing on my grief. I’m grieving fully the loss of a beautiful, wonderful little girl who made my life better, which she deserves & I need to do.
If you too end up in this painful position with a narcissist, then please remember this! Don’t let them steal your grief. You need to take care of yourself during this fragile time. If you need space, take it & without guilt. If you must deal with your narcissistic parent(s), then try doing as I have- imagine putting her (them) in a box & placing it on a shelf, until you are able to deal with that pain. I know that stuffing emotions is a bad thing, but this is different- it’s simply postponing dealing with them temporarily until you are more able to do so.
On this day in 2014, my husband & I lost one of our special cats, Georgie. We adopted him & his brother, Pretty Boy, when they were only about 4 weeks old. They were adorable tiny, fluffy black powder puffs, born to a stray living in a local lady’s yard. She said she was going to have animal control take all of the cats later in the week. Rather than let them take their chances at the shelter, we decided to adopt the brothers. After all, we had lost 2 cats in a short time prior, & another one was dying from cancer- we knew she had very little time left. Kittens always help to cheer us up (they’re so fun & silly!), these two were in need, black cats are the least likely to be adopted & also my personal favorites. It seemed like everything was saying we needed to adopt these two precious little boys.
That was in 2002, & in the 12 years we had both boys, we had a lot of laughs, mostly because of Georgie. He was mischievous & ornery, where his brother is much more serious. In spite of their very different personalities, they were inseparable. Georgie was always Pretty Boy’s protector- if another cat went to mess with Pretty Boy, Georgie intervened, even if the other cat only wanted to play. When Pretty Boy was diagnosed with diabetes in 2011, Georgie was always there to comfort his brother, especially when he came home smelling like the world’s most horrible place, the vet’s office.
Then on April 16, 2014, I realized around 10:00 that I hadn’t seen Georgie since the previous night. I texted my husband who said he hadn’t either. I thought maybe Georgie sneaked outside (as he had a couple of times before), or was hiding somewhere napping. I searched the house & couldn’t find him. He didn’t come when I called, which was very unusual. In a panic, I asked my husband to come home & help me find him. He found Georgie in our bedroom closet. Apparently he passed away in his sleep, why we don’t know.
Pretty Boy was devastated, & as you may know, stress & emotions can play havoc with one’s blood glucose levels. For a month, Pretty Boy’s already sensitive levels could jump 600 points or sink 600 points in a 12 hour period. Thankfully, his glucose levels started to level out after about a month. Pretty Boy has not been the same since losing his brother. He became even more serious, but at least he has developed closer friendships with the other cats.
Losing a furbaby is excruciating for people, but we aren’t the only ones who suffer. Their furry family suffers too. Blood related or not, if you have more than one pet, chances are good that they are bonded to some degree. Maybe they don’t show their love as openly as Georgie & Pretty Boy, but there is a bond there. I have had 27 cats in my adult life, & have lost 17 to date, plus had 3 dogs & lost 2 of them. I can tell you that the survivors always grieve. Not all grieve as hard as my Pretty Boy did for his brother, but there was still a great deal of pain when others passed on. I have seen it over & over
If you have lost a furbaby, please remember this! I know you are suffering, but so are your surviving furbabies. You need to help each other through the grief process. It will help you both to get through & bond you even closer.
How do you help when you feel like you’re falling apart? First, pray. Ask God to help you to help your furbaby. Pray for your furbaby- lay your hands on him or her & pray out loud. I have yet to have one pet not like this. They understand what you are doing, & they do appreciate it! Mine certainly have.
Offer your surviving furbaby extra love. Lots of snuggles & saying “I love you” truly help you both a great deal. Don’t think animals don’t know what you’re saying, only the tone of voice- they understand exactly what you’re saying! And, like humans, hearing a heart felt “I love you” is always welcomed, but especially when they are hurting. This helps you too- when you receive snuggles in return, it helps to lift your spirits.
You can take your baby for a walk- not only dogs enjoy walks, but some cats do as well. In fact, some cats enjoy walking with a harness & leash, believe it or not. If your kitty isn’t a fan, they make pet strollers that safely protect your cat in a netted cage of sorts, allowing her to enjoy the fresh air & remain protected at the same time.
Playing is always a good bonding experience with your pet, & it helps to elevate both your moods. I have yet to meet a dog who didn’t love a good game of fetch or tug of war. Most cats enjoy cat nip, chasing a piece of string or rope & some even enjoy jingle bells or small crinkle balls. The experience also helps to cheer you up because it’s such fun watching your furbaby have fun.
Losing a pet is a painful, horrible experience, but never forget, it also hurts your other pets. They need you now more than ever, & you need them.
Tomorrow is a day I can’t forget. On January 21, 2007, I lost my sweet cat, Magic. He died quietly in my arms after over three years of dealing with heart problems, which was twice as long as vets expected him to live.
Magic was very special. Not only was he my first cat, but he was also my soul mate. He was extremely in tune with me. He defended me when people were cruel to me. He comforted me when I was sad & snuggled me when I was happy. He was extremely intuitive, intelligent, fun, caring & a wonderful surrogate daddy to the other cats & dogs. It’s hardly a surprise that after his death, he was still special..
One day not long after losing Magic, I was listening to the soundtrack from the TV show, “Touched By An Angel.” Wynonna’s song “You Were Loved” came on. God spoke to my heart & said, “This is your & Magic’s song. He wanted you to know that.” Even now, I cry when I hear the song, remembering that precious moment.
That wasn’t even the first time something like this happened. In December 2001, I experienced my first kitty death. My sweet boy, Bubba died from FIV & emphysema at only age 9. God gave me Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Freebird” two days later. In 2002 after Sugar died suddenly & completely unexpectedly, God told me the same thing about Lonestar’s “Not A Day Goes By” There have been other songs too. In December 2010 when Vincent died, on my way back from burying him, the song “Someday We’ll Be Together” started going through my mind. God told me that was Vincent’s & my song. A similar thing happened the following year when Jasmine passed, except the song was Aerosmith’s “Angel” & in 2014 when Georgie passed with Steelheart’s “I’ll Never Let You Go.”
My point in sharing all of this with you, Dear Reader, is to reassure you. Not only people go to Heaven or Hell. Animals do as well! Mark 16:15 says to preach the Gospel to all creation or to every creature in every single translation I’ve seen. This tells me that animals also can accept Jesus as their savior. This means they can go to Heaven & we will see them again one day!
I also firmly believe that death doesn’t mean that they no longer think of their humans once they are gone. I have no doubt they think of us & miss us as we think of & miss them. Otherwise, why would God have told me they wanted me to know that these songs are ours?
If you have lost lost a precious pet, please be reassured that your baby still loves you & thinks fondly of you. And best of all, you’ll see him or her again one day. I know it hurts more than you can describe when you lose a furbaby, but knowing you’ll see them again one day is very comforting.
The songs I’ve gotten are also quite comforting. Granted, not every single furbaby & I have a song, & I don’t know why that is, but the ones I do share a song with? That song comforts me & helped me to get through the initial, devastating pain of losing them. If you haven’t experienced this, it may be a good idea to ask God about it. He certainly won’t object to it! And, who knows? Maybe you were too caught up in your grief to notice God gently trying to tell you about a song. It’s certainly possible to be grieving so hard, you don’t listen to God. I’ve done that myself.
If you have experienced the pain of losing a furbaby, please know I understand. It’s devastating!
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 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!
Last night, I dreamed a lot, but don’t remember about what. I assume one had to do with my mother hurting me badly a few months ago, because when I first woke up, I couldn’t get the incident out of my mind for quite a while. She asked one day if my ex husband ever hit me. I said he did once, & her response was to tell me she had no idea. If she would’ve known, she would’ve called a lawyer. Didn’t ask if I’d been hurt or anything, just kept the focus on her- how she felt about it & what she would’ve done if she had known. Apparently she doesn’t remember she saw me shortly after, when I looked rough, complete with bruises on my wrists in the shape of his hands where he’d grabbed me. She also forgot telling my father she couldn’t imagine what I did to make him hurt me like that. The conversation hurt so badly, I began crying while she was on the phone, which I try never to do. Thankfully, she didn’t notice because of being so caught up in her narcissistic monologue.
That incident hurt me terribly. It left me feeling very depressed for quite some time as I grieved the fact my mother doesn’t care enough about me to remember such a traumatic incident in my life. I couldn’t even think about it sometimes, because I simply couldn’t tolerate that hurt.
Thankfully, when I woke up this morning & was forced to think of this incident (gotta love intrusive thoughts..), I realized something had changed. My period of grief was done. While thinking about it made me a bit sad, it was nothing like it once was, & mostly I was angry. It was a healthy, righteous anger at the unfairness of the situation. My own mother doesn’t care enough to remember seeing her daughter bruised & injured. What kind of mother does that?! The anger empowered me, & this is a good thing, I think. It will enable me to be stronger when I have to deal with my mother, to enforce my boundaries better & to tolerate less nonsense from her than I have been.
Grieving is a vital part of healing from abuse. Releasing the pain & sadness for all you went through can help to bring you to a healthier perspective of your situation. It clears your head, allowing room for other, healthier thoughts & emotions to come in. It certainly did exactly this for me in the above mentioned situation.
I think many people are adverse to grieving the abuse they endured, because they think of it as feeling sorry for themselves. Society places so much value on picking yourself up by your bootstraps & moving on that people want to just do that, while ignoring the process that enables moving on to happen. Instead, they tend to ignore their pain, stuffing it down & putting on a happy face. There is nothing wrong with feeling sorry for yourself for a time though! I think of it as self-compassion, rather than self-pity. If you would feel bad for a friend who told you her painful story, what is wrong with you feeling that same way regarding yourself & your own painful story?
Grieving is more than feeling self-compassion though. It is processing what happened which allows you to release the pain. Maybe all of it or maybe only most of it, but once pain is released you are then able to function better & think more clearly.
Allow yourself to grieve over the painful things you’ve experienced! Cry about them, get angry about them, say out loud that what happened to you was unfair, cruel & simply wrong. Do what you need to do to get the pain & sadness out of you- you will be much happier in the long run.
For more information, please follow this link to my website: http://cynthiabaileyrug.com/Grieving.php
If you missed it, yesterday I posted about my narcissistic mother’s betrayal. She currently is feigning great concern for my husband’s mother being ill, in spite of knowing the massive amount of abuse the woman has put me through. And, she is flaunting it in my face- when we saw my parents Saturday, my mother kept bringing up his mother’s health,displaying deep concern for her. The only reason she is doing this is to cause me pain, & it is working. Those of you who also have a narcissistic mother know that if I had said anything to her Saturday, she would have portrayed herself the innocent victim of her evil daughter. The worst part is nothing would improve, but most likely it would only get worse.
Since Saturday, I have not been happy at all. I am deeply hurt,& crying easier than usual (normally I cry easily anyway, but this is over the top even for me). The C-PTSD has been flaring up- my head is swimming, anxiety levels are terrible & I had nightmares all night long last night. I can’t remember many details other than being abandoned in them, which tells me my brain is still trying to process what my mother is doing to me.
I also realized this morning that I am grieving. There are five stages of grief..
- Denial- denying this is happening. it’s a normal defense mechanism.
- Anger- when you feel as if this can’t be happening because you aren’t ready for it. You may be angry at anyone or everyone at this point.
- Bargaining- “if only he had seen a doctor sooner!” thoughts invade your mind. Or, “God if you let him live, i’ll do anything you want!”
- Depression- sadness becomes almost overwhelming.
- Acceptance- accepting what has happened, & beginning to move on.
These stages of grief not only happen when someone you love dies, but they can happen in other areas of life as well. I believe they also can happen during especially painful times, such as what I’m experiencing. When someone goes above & beyond to hurt you, that is horribly painful, but when it is your own mother- the one person who is supposed to love you no matter what- the pain is magnified by 1,000.
So this is why I am grieving right now. When my mother first began her “concern” for my mother in-law, I wasn’t surprised. She has been sending her Christmas cards ever since the first Christmas after I told my parents how bad my mother in-law treated me. However, the constant mentioning her, the “I’m praying she gets better soon”, & then the cookies & card for her were over the top, even by my mother’s standards. It was almost impossible for me to believe she had gone this far at first (stage 1). Once it started sinking in shortly after leaving my parents’ home Saturday, I got angry (stage 2) & stayed angry all during yesterday. By last night, I actually began to wonder if I had done something wrong, something to deserve this from my mother or something that made her behave this way (stage 3). That didn’t last long as anger & then depression (stage 4) kicked in.
Once I thought about this, I realized that I go through this often when my mother pulls some of her antics. Honestly, most of them I am so used to that I only get angry or disgusted that we are going through it again. Even so, sometimes, she surprises me & pulls something so especially painful, it catches me off guard. This is one of those times.
I believe grieving like this to be common, & not only for me, but for all children of a narcissistic parent. if you share similar feelings to mine after dealing with your narcissistic mother, then please be aware of two things:
First, you are not crazy! You are not wrong, nor are you at fault for feeling this way. You are perfectly normal! You are grieving something very painful, & need to be compassionate & gentle with yourself until you have come to terms with the incident. Take care of yourself- pamper yourself, & do things that make you feel good. If you made a comfort box or bag, get it out & enjoy the special items you put inside.
And second, know you are not alone! It isn’t “just you”. Just because your narcissistic mother says nobody else is as bad/crazy/stupid/etc. as you means it is true. She is lying to justify her abuse. Ignore her! She is the one with the problem. There are others like you who understand your pain & will validate you! I am only one of them.
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:
“8 Be clearheaded. Keep alert. Your accuser, the devil, is on the prowl like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.9 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.
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.
I want to stress, both groups are private & safe. I hope to see you there soon!
Good afternoon, Dear Readers.
I would like to take a moment & ask for your prayers today. Not many of you know this, but this past January, I learned an ex-boyfriend of mine shot & killed his boyfriend, then himself. I would like to ask you to pray for everyone affected by this tragedy. No doubt his family are still trying to come to terms with what happened. And, I can only imagine the anger & shock his boyfriend’s family must still be feeling.
This has come to mind because it was this day in 1990 that I met my ex. I wonder what happened in his life since I last saw him that brought him to such a dark place. He had been arrested a week before his death, & the mug shot that was online & in the local papers showed someone who has been through a very hard life. Someone who looked at least 20 years older than he really was, & I didn’t even recognize.
So anyway prayers for those affected by this senseless tragedy that has affected these 2 families would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much!!
Thank you so much to everyone for your support & kind words this past week. Losing my sweet Georgie then my aunt four days later has been really rough.
Grieving is always painful & difficult, but it’s even harder for me since the C-PTSD fully developed two years ago. C-PTSD seems to exaggerate the normal grief depression, & my anxiety levels are very high. My short term memory is worse than usual, & I’m having more trouble than usual finding words. Just getting through each day is a challenge, because frankly, I’d rather crawl into bed & not come out for a long time. And, tomorrow, I have to drive my father & I an hour one way to my aunt’s memorial service. That doesn’t help the anxiety! I haven’t driven this or any busy highway in probably eight years, so yes, I am panicky.
In spite of how I feel, though, I know God will keep enabling me to get through this hard time. I’m grateful for that. I don’t know how I’d survive right now if it wasn’t for God in my life. He’s even helped me to make some progress on my new book about narcissistic mothers. Usually when I’m grieving or the C-PTSD is flaring up, I can’t work. It’s awesome to me I’ve been able to work at all this past week.
And, the funny part is, I haven’t been praying as much as usual. I withdraw from everyone, even God, during bad times. Thankfully, He understands that, & obviously loves & cares for me anyway.
God is so good! He is so loving, gentle, understanding & kind. If you haven’t thanked God for His love today, I’d like to encourage you to do so now. If you aren’t feeling loved for some reason, then think about what has been going on in your life lately. I bet you can think of little ways that God has shown He loves you. If not, ask Him to show you. And, when you see those things, let Him know how grateful you are. It not only pleases God to hear that, but it makes you feel good, too. A grateful heart, aware of God’s blessings & unfailing love, is a happy heart. It also strengthens you to make it through the hard times, which is what’s happening with me right now.
Today has been a very sad day for the Bailey family. My awesome aunt Judy passed away this morning after battling cancer.
Please pray for comfort for her husband, children, & the many people saddened by this loss. Thank you so much, & may God bless you.
I’m sorry for vanishing.. it’s been a very painful few days for me, & I haven’t been up to writing in here or in the new book. On Wednesday, my mother’s birthday, we suddenly lost one of our beloved kitties, Georgie. I’m honestly not sure what happened. I am guessing his heart. He passed away quietly in his sleep. Here’s a picture of my sweet little guy..
Since his death, all of us are grieving a great deal, but perhaps no one more than his brother, Pretty Boy. They were extremely close. Since there is no way to eliminate grief, all I know to do is comfort the little guy as much as I can. I came up with an idea that I think is offering him some comfort. I made him a new collar, & put a tiny vial with some of his brother’s cremated ashes in it on the collar. He showed his appreciation immediately by offering me lots of purrs & snuggles. One thing I have learned about animals is they do truly appreciate when we make them a gift. I think it’s sweet. 🙂 If you think of it, please pray for our little family. Every one of us is hurting tremendously right now from our loss. Thank you. I’m hoping to get back to blogging & working on the new book within a few days. As if grieving isn’t hard enough, it’s even ore difficult with C-PTSD. It’s making the usual depression, anxiety & muddied thinking even worse than usual. Thank you for your patience & understanding! xoxo
It seems like everywhere I look lately, I’m seeing something about how no one should indulge in self pity. It’s dangerous to your mental health, & a sign of weakness & immaturity, etc. etc.
I respectfully disagree.
While constantly feeling sorry for one’s self can lead to depression of course, I believe there are times where self pity is normal &, dare I say, even healthy.
–When someone you love dies, why do you grieve? Because you miss that person. That is perfectly normal!
–When you & your first love broke up, you felt sorry for yourself because you were hurting. That too, is perfectly normal.
–And, when you learn that your childhood wasn’t normal, but abusive, you’re going to feel sorry for yourself sometimes. That is completely normal, especially on days when you wake up from nightmares or someone says something that reminds you of your abusive parent, causing you tremendous anxiety.
Although for many years, I shared the common mindset of the dangers of self pity, I have come to realize that it is wrong- self pity is a necessary part of life. It’s a normal part of the grief process, & it helps you learn from painful experiences. It also motivates you to be gentle with yourself during hard times. There is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling sorry for yourself sometimes. After all, it is evidence of your compassion. If you can feel sorry for others who hurt, why shouldn’t you offer yourself that same love & compassion? You deserve compassion too!
Good morning, Dear Readers!
This won’t be a long post today- I am still not feeling so well after losing my sweet Bear the other day. Thank you to everyone who has offered condolences & prayers. They are so appreciated! Everyone is deeply sad & missing our special Chow Chow. I’ve also heard a few things I wish I hadn’t since we lost Bear. I wanted to share so in case anyone who is reading this knows someone who has lost a pet, please do NOT say the following…
- You should be glad he’s in a better place/not suffering/out of pain.
- We can’t be selfish & want a pet to stay with us when they’re suffering.
- You should have put him down.
Please remember- when someone loses a pet, it is very much like losing a child. This person has lost someone they love, nurture, care for, medicate, feed, nurse when sick, & everything else a parent does for a child. This person didn’t lose “just an animal.” This person lost someone they loved deeply, & it is going to take time to learn to live without him/her. I can’t say pet parents ever “get over” losing their beloved pet- we simply learn to adapt the best we can without that special furkid.
This is my Bear with Bo as a kitten…he LOVED being the proud parent. When my husband & I adopted Bo & Luke in 2010, Bear was thrilled. He loved cats, but seemed to have an especially soft spot for kittens. Notice the “proud mama” smile.. 🙂
I wanted to pop in to say thank you, as well as to post a very interesting link I read this morning. It’s about discovering your “apology language.” Remember Gary Chapman’s book “The Five Love Languages” that was popular probably 15 years ago or so?? It was a really good book! Well, he’s created this quiz to help you determine your apology language, too, in other words, the type of apology that you need.
It’s very interesting- take a few minutes to check it out!
Wishing everyone a very good Saturday!
Hello, Dear Readers. I need a big favor from you today..
The 21 year old daughter of a couple of former friends of mine is currently on life support. From what I read, the doctors are only keeping her alive until some of her family members arrive. Please pray for her parents, brothers, family & her boyfriend. No doubt they all feel like they are in hell, losing such a special, good Christian woman.
Thank you for praying for these people with me in their time of immeasurable suffering.
Happy Sunday, Dear Readers!
Last night was a tough one. Our 4 month old kitten, Sabrina, was sick, & we had to run her to the emergency vet. Thankfully, it turned out not to be anything terribly serious- she has a very nasty ear infection, & may be deaf in her right ear from it. It’s also given her a nasty case of vertigo. Since she’s so young, if that happens, she’ll adapt- cats are so flexible! Also thankfully, today she is doing better already. Still not up to par, of course, but improving fast. I am so grateful to God for taking care of my baby girl!!
While we were at the vet last night, a lady brought in her small dog who had been attacked. The dog died almost immediately. This poor lady wandered the hospital, holding her dead dog, wailing in her grief. My heart just broke for her. I’m telling you this for a couple of reasons..
First, please pray for this lady. Her heart was obviously broken. She needs comfort & to know God’s comfort & love. Thank you!
Secondly, if you don’t have pets, then please remember- the connection between a human & their pets can be as strong as a parent/child bond. If someone you know loses their pet, please be gentle & sensitive with them. I have been on the receiving end of insensitivity when I’ve lost one of my furkids, & it really hurts! Already being in pain from my loss seemed to magnify the hurt from the insensitivity.
Take care, Dear Readers, & have a blessed Sunday!