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Some Reasons People Try To Stop Victims From Discussing Narcissistic Abuse

I’m sure we’ve all been there.  We try to discuss some about our traumatic situations with a narcissist only to be met with someone trying to shut us down.  They clearly don’t want to hear about it & say things to invalidate your pain such as “Just get over it already,”  “Lots of people were abused by their parents but you don’t hear them talking about it,”  or (possibly the stupidest one yet) “But that’s your MOTHER/FATHER!!”

When this happens, it can make you feel bad in many ways.  It can make you ashamed of “whining”, it can make you feel like you’re petty or overreacting to things that weren’t a big deal, or it can make you feel like a bad son/daughter or even Christian for being upset about your parents abusing you.

Dear Reader, I want to tell you today, please do NOT feel bad when someone treats you this way!  The truth is, their wanting to shut you down is about them, NOT you!  These people have their reasons for wanting to shut you down,  They aren’t good reasons, but they also have nothing to do with you.

The person may be gaining something from supporting/enabling your narcissistic parent or partner.  What that is can be anything- maybe they get money, things or even just the narcissist’s praise.  If this person is also a narcissist as many flying monkeys are, that praise is extremely important to them after all.  This person obviously is not willing to jeopardize losing whatever it is he or she is gaining, so it is more beneficial for them to shut you down than to listen to what you have to say.

The person also may have their own issues, & you facing yours reminds them of theirs.  That can make them want to shut you down quickly, because you make them feel uncomfortable by reminding them of their similar situations.

What if a person has codependency issues?  If that person is raised in an emotionally incestuous/parentalizing environment, that person is going to believe it is a child’s job to take care of & cater to their parent forever.  At least until such time as they learn how unhealthy this situation is.  But, if a person doesn’t realize how unhealthy it is, they think everyone should do as they do, & cater to & care for their parents no matter what.  They may even think it’s loving & “Godly” to tolerate whatever abuse their parents dish out.  If you’re standing up for yourself, setting boundaries or even *gasp* saying your parents are less than perfect, to this person, you are committing a terrible sin in this person’s eyes.  They want to shut you down so they don’t have to hear about it.  They think everyone should do as they do.  That is their reality & it makes them uncomfortable if you threaten it in any way.

There are two other possibilities that God spoke to me when my father was dying in October, 2017.  As I wrote about before, at the time, people continually harassed & tried to bully me into visiting my father.   I mean, not only daily but often multiple times in a day.  I eventually asked God why were they so cruel to me?  He told me two things…

They were in denial about my father.  They wanted to believe he was a good guy, & me refusing to speak to him threatened that denial.  They wanted me to go to him so they could remain in denial.  After all, if I went, it would be proof to them that all was fine.  People in denial will do about anything to protect their delusions.

God also said to me that they don’t know me now.  They remembered me as that scared of everything little kid I once was, that was also blindly obedient to my parents.  By that person being strong enough to face her own issues, it makes them feel weak for not facing theirs.  They wanted to push me back into being like I used to be so they didn’t have to feel weak.  If the person in your situation knew you when you were being abused, they knew a different version of you.  They knew the beat down victim that we all have been at some point.  It’s very possible that they may want you to stay that way so they don’t have to feel badly for not dealing with their own issues.

Just remember, Dear Reader, when people invalidate you or try to shut you down, it’s not your fault.  It’s not about you.  It’s about them & their own issues.

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Understanding Your Abuser

Many people think that understanding your abuser is unimportant to the healing process.  They say the reasons they did what they did doesn’t matter- only the fact that they hurt you matters.  I disagree with this type of thinking.

 

When you understand what makes your abuser tick, it helps you a great deal by seeing that that person is the one with the problem, not you.  You finally can see that you aren’t responsible for what they did to you.  You did nothing to make that person hurt you.  Nothing you did or didn’t do forced them to hurt you. Ultimately, it’s the choice of the abuser how they treat people & once you understand that your abuser made some very bad choices, it sets you free of any false guilt you carried for what you endured.

 

 

Understanding your abuser also helps you if you are still in a relationship with that person.  (As I’ve said many times, not everyone is able or willing to go no contact with the narcissist in their life, & I am trying to help those people.)  When you know how they think, you understand why they’re saying & doing the hurtful things they are.  This means their words or actions don’t hurt as badly as they could, because you know that they aren’t personal, exactly- they are the result of the dysfunction of the abuser.   It also helps you because you’ll be able to anticipate their next move.  When you know them well enough to predict their actions, you can anticipate the best ways to protect yourself & set boundaries.

 

If you’re being abused, please consider what I’ve said.  If your abuser is a narcissist, they are especially devious, so learning about narcissism is especially important.  Learn what you can.  Read books & websites.  Most of all though, pray.  Ask God to show you whatever you need to know.  Also, ask Him to show you ways to cope.  If you’re able to go no contact & considering it, ask Him if you should, & if so, how to go about it.  God will provide you with great, helpful insight.

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Thoughts On Emotional Healing

Recently, seemingly out of nowhere, I suddenly felt as if a ton of bricks landed on me.  I have had one very hard, painful year & currently have quite a bit going on.  The intensity of it all hit at once.  I really felt overwhelmed for a while & couldn’t stop crying.

 

Eventually I did though, & realized what was happening.  I hadn’t really dealt with things very well.  In fact, I avoided thinking about some things, stuffing my emotions like I always used to do.  Old habits die hard, & apparently that one resurrected briefly without me realizing it.  I think my old habit returned because I had so much happening at once.  I didn’t have time to cope with one thing when three more bad things happened.

 

Upon realizing all of this, I have formed a plan.  I will take things one issue at a time.   When I first realized I had problems stemming from my childhood, I thought I could deal with everything at once.  Forgive my parents, accept the fact they were abusive, face being depressed & anxious, think positive, & all would be fine.  Naive?  Oh yes.. but truthfully, I didn’t realize how deep my issues went or have any grip on this emotional healing stuff.  Now I know better, & I have learned that a lot of times, it’s best to face one issue at a time, as it arises.

 

What I mean is this…

 

As an example from my life, part of my issue is the fact that when my father was dying, so called “family” came out of the woodwork to tell me what I needed to do regarding my parents,what a horrible person I was for not obeying them or “forgiving & forgetting” & not “honoring” my parents.  Mind you, this is on top of the death of my father.  Instead of lumping this all into one thing to deal with, I’m dissecting it, & dealing with each issue as I am able.  Here are the issues:

 

  • My father died.
  • I was attacked by many people at that time over a few months, but in particular my father’s final month of life.
    • Some people were strangers, so dealing with their nonsense isn’t too hard.  I don’t know them so they don’t mean anything to me.
    • Others were family & those relatives fall into 2 categories:
      • Family I once had been close to & felt betrayed they treated me this way.
      • Other family I never was close to so the fact they attacked me was a big shock in addition to the pain of the things they said & did.

 

I think it’s healthier to deal with things this way because the events of that time are very distinct & complex, not to mention overwhelming to face all at once.  Even just the one part with family is difficult because there were two very different dynamics at play.  My relationships with these people were very different, so naturally that means I must deal with the situations differently.  Plus, doing this also gives me smaller things to cope with rather than trying to tackle one huge issue.  Smaller bits will be easier to cope with, which is especially important since I have C-PTSD.  Having the disorder means my brain is broken.  I have to treat myself gentler than a person without C-PTSD treats themselves.

 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed too, Dear Reader, I’m sorry.  It happens sometimes & it’s rough, I know.  Just try to remember to approach the situation in small doses, especially if you too have C-PTSD.  Break it down into manageable parts, & deal with those however works best for you rather than tackling the big picture all at once.  The little things will add up to form the big picture.  Also remember, Psalm 23:4 says, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”  (KJV)  Sometimes when you’re facing your pain, it feels like you are all alone.  People don’t understand, & may avoid or even abandon you during your darkest hours.  God isn’t that way though.  He loves you & is with you no matter how bad things may be.  xoxo

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Body Memories

Your body remembers everything that you’ve experienced, whether it’s good, bad or indifferent, & stores such memories on a cellular level.  Your brain may or may not remember things, but your body does.  This is why certain smells, sounds, tastes, feelings or sights bring specific feelings to mind.

Body memories are especially common with victims of sexual assault.  Even if the assault happened when the victim was too young to recall details, smelling the same cologne the attacker wore, or hearing music that was playing in the background during the assault can trigger incredible anxiety in the victim, even a panic attack.  The victim’s mind may not recall the assault, but the body remembers every detail.

Body memories aren’t only linked to sexual assault, however.  They also happen with victims of other types of abuse, including narcissistic abuse.

Often, narcissistic abuse is a series of constant traumatic events.  I think of it much like a machine gun of abuse- one trauma immediately follows another then another & yet another in rapid succession.  You don’t have time to heal from one trauma when another five are thrown your way.  It may be too much to cope with, so your mind forgets some of the abuse as you try to survive the constant trauma.  However, your body remembers it all.  That is why certain things trigger anxiety, fear, anger, etc. in you for no obvious reason.  It is your body’s way of trying to protect you from things like that happening again.

A couple of years ago, I went to my old high school with a friend.  They were having a craft show & we thought it’d be fun to check it out since we both love crafts & both attended that school.  From the moment we set foot on the campus, I became anxious & even panicky.  I had trouble holding back the tears until we left.  It turned into a miserable experience for me.  I had no idea exactly why I was in such a state then.  Since, I have remembered a few instances of abuse at the hands of my mother on the property of that school though, which apparently my body remembered even though my mind didn’t at the time.

When things like this happens, you need to remember you aren’t crazy!  Your body is remembering something pretty terrible.  There is pain that you need to acknowledge.  Some people suggest talking out loud to yourself.  Remind your body that what happened won’t happen again, & that you survived.  You’re OK now.

I think prayer is a better idea, however.  Asking God to help you to cope.  Or, maybe a combination of prayer & talking to your body.  Whatever works for you is what matters.  Body memories can be a very unpleasant thing to deal with, but at least they can help offer some insight into areas where you need healing.

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“Just Let It Go!”

People say, “Just let it go!” all the time to those who have been through bad experiences or abuse, but what do they really mean?  I think many people who say that don’t say it to try to help you.  Instead, I think they really mean, “Stop talking about it.  It makes me uncomfortable!”

 

Unfortunately, this statement can make a person feel ashamed of themselves for being unable to “just let it go.”  They feel like something is wrong with them, or maybe they’re a bad Christian when the truth is, they’re simply human.

 

The fact is, most people just can’t “let go” of pain.  It’s not that we want to hold onto it at all- we have no choice in the matter.  It’s kind of like a splinter.  You can’t wish it away or let it go- you actually need to deal with it to get rid of it.

 

If you really want to let something go, once & for all, it takes work.  You need to feel the anger, feel the hurt & get it out of you.  It can be intimidating at first, especially if you weren’t allowed to show your emotions as a child, but it does get easier in time.

 

When it happens with me, I make time to write in my journal.  Writing is often easier than saying things out loud for me, so although often prayer is my first place to start, journaling is in this particular situation.  I let it all out- name calling, bad language & all.  Sometimes I’ll write as though I’m speaking to the person, sometimes I just vent about them & what they did.  I just follow whatever feels right, & let it all out.  I pray after, & ask God to help me.  For many things, this helps to purge me of the anger & hurt completely.  For other things, I have to repeat it a few times.  I’ve learned not to judge it- abuse does bad things, & everyone heals differently.

 

Maybe what I do will help you as well.  It’s worth a try anyway, right?  If you’re sure it won’t, then do whatever does work for you.  Or, ask God to show you what you need to do.  Healing is a very individual thing, & there’s nothing wrong with you if something other than what I do helps.

 

Remember, Dear Reader, if you can’t “just let it go”, there’s nothing wrong with you.  It’s OK!  It’s perfectly normal to have to feel things to heal.

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Knowing Your Personality Type Can Help You, Even How You Heal From Narcissistic Abuse

I am obsessed with psychology.  I wonder why people do the things they do, what makes them tick.  I’m even hooked on the ID Channel & several of the true crime shows on that channel.

 

When a friend of mine told me about the MBTI test a couple of years ago, I was intrigued.  The Myers Briggs Type Indicator test is based on Carl Jung’s theory of personality types.  I took the test & when I read my results was shocked.  For the first time in my life, I realized I’m not the freak many people have said I am!  In fact, I’m quite typical of my personality type.  My type just happens not to be overly common.

 

Since that time, I’ve read a lot about my type & my husband’s as well.  It’s helped me so much to understand both of us better.  And, it helped me to understand the best ways to help myself heal from the narcissistic abuse I’ve experienced.  My type is pretty much even logical & emotional.  One thing that helps me is to understand the motivation behind the abuse.  I’ve come to understand why my parents are/were narcissists, why my father didn’t protect me from my mother’s constant abuse & that being a narcissist means everything they do is motivated by narcissistic supply.  Knowing all of that has helped me to understand completely that none of the abuse was my fault.  Realizing everything they do is motivated by gaining narcissistic supply also helped me when I was in relationship with my parents to be prepared for what they might do.  I could see things coming a mile away a lot of times so I wasn’t surprised when they happened.  I also figured out what I think my parents’ types were, which helped me to understand them better.  Granted most of our problems were due to their narcissism, but realizing that their personality types & mine were pretty much my polar opposite sure didn’t help the situation!  We just don’t really understand each other because our personalities are naturally very different.

 

Learning about your personality type can benefit you too, Dear Reader.  The more you understand yourself, the better you’ll be at finding ways to help you to heal.  It also helps you not to take the cruel criticisms to heart that your narcissistic parent said.  My mother in particular always made me feel like something was very wrong with me or I was crazy, so learning that I’m simply typical of my type was very freeing!

 

In case you’re interested, this is the test I took: http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp

 

If you decide to take the test, then learn all you can about your personality type.  I find this site to be quite useful:  http://personalitygrowth.com

 

There is one last link I want to share with you.  This one is about the unhealthy side of each personality type.  I found this to be beneficial because it shows you what behavior you are prone to if you’re dysfunctional.   https://www.psychologyjunkie.com/2017/07/31/evil-versions-every-myers-briggs-personality-type/

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The Blame Is Not Always Yours!

So many survivors of narcissistic abuse I’ve spoken with take on so much blame for being abused.  They say things like, “I should’ve known he was this way when we first met…”  or, “I was a difficult child.. my mother had to be hard on me.”

 

This makes me sad.  People need to have a balanced view of blame rather than taking on too much.

 

If you too grew up with a narcissistic parent or two, there is a great deal of blame to be laid on your parent(s).  If you have C-PTSD, anxiety or depression issues, struggle with self-harm or eating disorders, chances are very good the root of those problems lies with enduring narcissistic abuse as a child.  Nothing you did could create these problems for yourself.  It is your responsibility to deal with those problems, but not for having the problems.

 

If your narcissistic mother shamed you, told you that you were a mistake, ignored you or was abusive instead of disciplining you, the fault lies with her.  No matter what a child does, a child cannot make her parent treat her in such cruel ways.  No bad behavior is a valid reason to abuse a child!

 

Having trouble relating to other people after being raised by a narcissist or two is completely normal.  The blame for that can be traced back to your narcissistic parent(s).  However, the responsibility for making changes to have healthier relationships is on you.

 

Not having a healthy balance in such areas & accepting blame for these things can lead to nothing but misery.  False guilt, shame, depression, anxiety & more can result.

 

Do you place blame where it belongs or do you take on too much blame, Dear Reader?  I urge you to take a long, hard, honest look at your situation.  Ask God to help you identify areas where you’re in need of balance.  He will!

 

I realize that saying your narcissistic mother is to blame for your problems as an adult can trigger unkind, even cruel, comments from others who don’t understand narcissistic abuse.  That being said, I urge you also to consider carefully who you discuss this with.  Aim for safe people- people who have been through similar situations, who are non-judgmental & have your best interest at heart.  If you’re unsure if anyone in your life currently fits that description, then check online.  There are many online support groups.  (I have a Facebook group that is full of love & support.  You’re welcome to check it out if you like.)  Talking about it can help you a great deal, when you talk with the right people.

 

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Denial

Denial is a common survival tool of victims of all types of abuse.  Pretending things didn’t happen, weren’t that bad or there was a good reason your abuser acted as she did are all forms  of denial.

 

Denial may help you to cope for a while, but it shouldn’t be a permanent solution.  It can be very unhealthy.

 

It enables you to avoid facing the damage done & the pain you feel.  Although that may feel good for a short time, in the long run, it can hurt your physical & mental health.  Stifling emotions can create anxiety, depression, headaches, body aches with no physical cause, high blood pressure, kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes & more.

 

Denial may get you through a bad situation as it’s happening, but otherwise, it has no benefits.  I know facing the ugly truth can be hard, but I want to encourage you, Dear Reader, to face it.  As hard as it may be, it’s actually much easier in the long run than denial is.

 

Facing the truth allows you to heal.  When you no longer deny the facts, you can see the situation for what it is, then deal with it & heal from the damage.

 

Staying in denial often also means staying in an abusive situation.  Many people think they don’t have a right to be upset about their situation because their narcissistic parent wasn’t as bad as someone else’s, or at least their abusive husband didn’t beat them like their friend’s did, so they continue to have a close relationship with their abuser.  There is no logic at all in this!  Abuse is abuse, period!  It’s all bad!  Degrees of abuse don’t matter.  What does matter is no one should tolerate being abused!

 

When you know you need to start facing certain things, it’s time to get into prayer.  Ask God to help you.  Ask Him for strength & courage.  Ask Him to enable you to face whatever you need to, & only to allow you to face what you are able to at any given time.  You will be glad you did this as you begin to face ugly truths.  And, you’ll be glad you started facing those truths once you realize how much healthier you’ve become!

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Let Jesus Help You Heal

John 8:12  “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”  (KJV)

 

We all know that light conquers darkness.  If you were in a pitch dark room & lit a match, that tiny match would dispel a surprising amount of darkness.

 

Jesus referred to Himself in the above Scripture as the light of the world for a reason.  Light also gives life- look at plants, as an example.  Without light, they won’t survive.  Like light, Jesus gives life- eternal life.  If you follow Him, He will make clear what path to take in your life.  He also can show you things you might not have noticed before.  (If it wasn’t for Him, I don’t know if I’d know anything about narcissism.)

 

In your journey of healing from narcissistic abuse, have you asked the Lord to help you?  He truly wants to!  And, although even He can’t make it easy, He can help to make it less painful & difficult.  I can tell you from my own experience, I wouldn’t be where I am now without His help.  He’s shown me what I needed to do & how to do things.  He’s answered my questions, let me rant when I was angry or hurting & comforted me when no one else could.

 

If you haven’t asked Jesus for help in your healing journey, maybe now is the time for you to do that.  He wants to help, so let Him!  Ask Him to show you what you need to do & how you need to do it.  Ask Him for comfort, wisdom, strength, courage & anything else you need.  He will be more than glad to help, so why not let Him?

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Give Back To The Narcissist The Bad Things They Gave To You

Narcissists love to put their issues on other people rather than face them.  Shame is a big one- any shame a narcissistic parent feels is going to be thrust upon their child, for example.

 

After a lifetime of not even realizing I was carrying around my mother’s shame, it finally hit me  in 2015.  As I was recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning, I felt horrible for asking my husband to help me in any way.  I’d nearly died for pity’s sake!  Carbon monoxide poisoning has a high fatality rate & also has a very long recovery time (you do the bulk of your healing 9-12 months after poisoning) during which chances are very good you won’t heal completely.  Yet in spite of all of this, I felt horrible for asking my husband for any help.  After praying about it, God showed me this was all about shame.  It’s very common for those abused as children to experience toxic shame, & I was no exception.

 

One way God showed me to deal with this shame is to imagine myself holding a big box containing shame, handing it off to my mother while telling her “I refuse to carry this for you a moment longer”, then walking away.

 

It sounds silly, but this was very helpful for me.  Even though I can’t physically give my mother back her shame that she’s put on me, by imagining returning it to her, at least I was able to stop carrying it somehow.  It’d be the same as a real scenario if she wouldn’t hold the box.  If I placed it at her feet, I wouldn’t be carrying it any longer.  What she would do at that point would have no effect on that fact.

 

I can’t say I am 100% cured of this toxic shame, but it drastically improved my problem. I no longer feel incredibly guilty about writing about my experiences or asking my husband for things (either stuff or help), & these used to be very big issues for me.  I still fight the guilt with my husband sometimes, but that’s better than every single time.

 

Have you ever tried something like this, Dear Reader?  It doesn’t have to be shame.. it can be anything your narcissistic parent put on you- self-hatred, eating disorders, believing you’re ugly or stupid.  Obviously I can’t guarantee it’ll cure you immediately, but I do believe it’d help you as it helped me.  It’s worth a try, right?

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Hard To Understand Triggers

Triggers are things that remind you of something else.  Sometimes, they can be good such as the sound of whipped cream being sprayed from that can reminds me of my late kitty, Delta, who loved it & would do a little dance for a spray of whipped cream.

 

Often though, when you come from an abusive past, triggers aren’t so nice.  Certain scents, sights, sounds or situations can take you right back to a traumatic event, making you feel like that scared child you once were.

 

Triggers are easy to understand when they are obvious.  The scent of a perfume that your abusive mother wore when you were a child or a cruel nickname that your father called you are obvious.  Not all triggers are so obvious though.

 

Some triggers appear to have absolutely nothing to do with why you feel the way you do.  Those triggers are what we’re going to talk about today.

 

Some triggers on the surface seem innocuous, yet you end up feeling just as bad as you did as a child in a traumatic situation.  Talking to someone who shows no empathy may enrage you because it makes you feel like it did when you were growing up with your narcissistic parent, for example.

 

When this happens, it can be confusing.  Having a strong reaction to something that isn’t really a big deal can make you wonder about your sanity.  It’s a horrible feeling, but it can be dealt with.

 

As soon as you can, go somewhere where you can be alone & pray.  Ask God to show you what is going on, what’s the root of this feeling?  He will show you, & from there, you can begin to heal.  It may be something that you thought was small, but apparently it wasn’t since it’s still causing you problems.  Or, it may be a big, ongoing issue.  Either way, once you know what the problem is, then ask Him to help you to heal & show you what you need to do in order to heal.  Write your experiences & feelings in a journal.  Talk with a therapist or trusted friend.  Work on this however helps you, & the trigger will lose its power.

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Comparing Your Healing To Others

When you begin talking to people about experiences with narcissistic abuse, it can be tempting to compare your experiences.  Especially in online groups, it’s very easy to see people in different levels of healing.  It can be discouraging seeing people who are obviously in a better place than you.

 

I want to encourage you today, Dear Reader.  Stop comparing your healing with that of other people!  Nothing good comes from comparison!  It only makes you feel badly about yourself!

 

Instead, remember- people are very different.  We all respond to things differently, we feel things differently & we process things differently.  Even if you & another person have very similar experiences with narcissistic abuse, those differences mean your healing will be unique to each of you.

 

One area in particular I struggled with is anger.  I think many people struggle in this area.  I used to feel badly because I’d see so many others who weren’t angry.  Yet, there I was, livid every time I thought of certain things my parents had done.  Others had experienced similar situations, yet obviously weren’t as angry as I was.  It made me wonder what was wrong with me.  I went to God with my concerns, & He shared some interesting things with me.

 

If you weren’t allowed to show anger as a kid, as is the case with most narcissistic parents, you’re going to be very angry as an adult.  The anger built up over the years because you had no way to release it.  Some children of narcissistic parents are fortunate enough to find outlets for their anger, so they don’t feel as angry as adults.   I was never allowed to show anger, not even simple frustration, as a child.  I was shamed greatly if I got angry, so I learned to avoid showing anger at all costs.  It’s only natural that I have a bigger problem with anger than someone who found outlets for their anger as a child.

 

There are also folks who continue to hold in their anger.  They deny feeling it, because they are still convinced that anger is a terrible thing that should be avoided at all costs.  These people may even be shaming towards others who feel anger, although unintentionally.  For example, they often try to be extremely positive  in order to deny their anger, which makes someone who is angry feel bad for not doing the same, even though being too positive isn’t mentally healthy.  (Being realistic is much healthier)

 

I hope you see that comparing your healing journey to that of other people is a complete waste of time.  There is truly no good that can come of it!  Walk your individual path proudly.  God has a unique plan just for you!  xoxo

 

 

 

 

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Narcissists Miss Out On So Much

For years, one thing that has bothered me about the relationship with not only my narcissistic mother, but also narcissistic grandmother & narcissistic mother in-law is the waste of it all.  I was pretty much nothing but a bother to my narcissistic mother.  When I was one of the caregivers for my narcissistic grandmother, she ordered me around like the hired help & was constantly hateful & cruel to me.  We should’ve been close since I spent so much time with her, but instead I was nothing but a servant to her.  As for the mother in-law, she hated me since we met, never giving me a chance.  I’m just the woman who stole her son.

This is so sad to me.  It seems like nothing but waste. Narcissism stole any chance at me having a decent, at the very least civil, relationship with any one of these women.  On top of the damage it causes, such as stealing joy & destroying self-esteem, narcissism also steals relationships.

It’s also sad to me to think about what these narcissists in my life missed out on.  Admittedly, I still have issues with self-esteem, but even so, I realize I’m not a bad person.  I have a good (albeit warped) sense of humor.  I like to help people.  These people have missed out on that, & it’s a shame for them.

Have you ever thought about that?  About what your narcissistic mother has missed out on by treating you the way she has?

It’s common I think to be so focused on what we, the victims, missed out on, but I think contemplating what they, the abusers, missed out on too can be helpful.  It helps you to realize you aren’t unworthy, as you were made to believe.

If you really think about it, your narcissistic mother missed out on a lot.  You have many great qualities, & it is her loss not to be able to enjoy those.  What good qualities do you have?  Are you loyal?  Compassionate?  Fun?  Helpful?  She also missed out on so many of those lovely mother/daughter moments, such as picking out a prom dress, planning your wedding, or helping you pick out paint colors for your first home.  So many mothers & daughters are very close friends- she missed out on your lovely friendship.  You aren’t the only one who missed out on those- they would’ve been a blessing to her as well.  She missed out on watching you grow & appreciating you in each phase of your life.

Your narcissistic mother has missed out on so much with you.  You are truly a gem, & it’s her loss that she’s been so involved with her narcissism that she missed out on that.  Do you know that?

If you’ve never thought like this before, I’d like to encourage you to think about it.  What has your narcissistic mother missed out on with you?  Think about the wonderful qualities you bring to a relationship.  When you do, you’ll see that your mother has lost a special gift in you.  You’ll also see that just maybe, you aren’t as terrible as she always tried to make you believe.

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Unhelpful Advice

Many people truly have no grasp how incredibly difficult the process of healing from abuse is.  As a result, they often provide some unasked for & useless advice.

 

  • “Just get over it.”
  • “Just let it go.”
  • “That happened a long time ago.  You need to get over it already!”
  • “Don’t think about it.”
  • “Think happy thoughts.”

 

These messages all say the same thing- “Don’t talk about it.  Sweep it under the rug & pretend it didn’t happen.”  What a horrific message to give to someone who is suffering!!

 

Never allow this awful unasked for advice to get inside you!  If you follow it, your pain will manifest in awful ways such as depression, nightmares, high blood pressure, digestive issues, diabetes & more.  Emotions demand to be heard.  If not given a healthy way to process, they will find other ways to come out.

 

People don’t realize that victims *do* need to think about it.  Want to?  No.  Need to?  Yes.  Only when you face things can you heal.  You need to remember what happened & feel all of the emotions connected to it- anger, hurt, etc.- before you can release them & be healed.  This process often involves talking about it.  A lot.  There is nothing wrong with that.  It doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong or wallowing in the past.  It means you’re processing the event so you can move on.

 

Many times, victims have PTSD or C-PTSD.  Intrusive thoughts come with the disorders.  This means that thoughts go through your mind whether or not you want them to.   Sometimes it’s impossible to “think happy thoughts.”  There is nothing wrong with that.  Sometimes, things just suck!  It’s OK to admit that.  A while back, God showed me that at times, being positive isn’t always a good thing.  You can read about that at this link for more details.  Are You Too Positive Or Too Negative?

 

Narcissistic abuse is especially complicated & insidious.  It permeates every part of you.  It takes a long time to heal from it because of its complexities.  There is nothing wrong with you for taking a while to heal.  I haven’t spoken with one victim who was able to fully recover, let alone do so quickly.  I am in my 40’s & regularly still deal with things that happened to me in my childhood.

 

The next time someone offers you useless, unasked for advice such as “just get over it”,  do your best to ignore it.  Chalk it up to someone being ignorant of the complex road that is healing from abuse.

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Handling People Who Don’t Believe You

So many people I talk to that have survived narcissistic abuse tell the same story about how people in their lives responded to them discussing the abuse.  They were met with invalidation (“It couldn’t have been that bad!”  “Other people had it way worse than you did.”), scolding (“How can you say those things about your own mother?!”), disbelief or being accused of being unforgiving or needing to “get over it”.

 

Especially in the early days of awareness of narcissism & learning what you went through really is abuse- you aren’t crazy or to blame like you were told- this sort of behavior is devastating.  The more you heal, the better you can handle it, but I don’t think it ever stops hurting at least some to be met with such indifference to your pain.  It can leave you bitter & angry if you allow it to.

 

In all fairness, you certainly have a right to be angry at people who say such things!  It’s heartless & hurtful!  So get angry!  Get it out of you so you can forgive.  You don’t deserve to live with that anger inside of you, stealing your joy!  Whether the other person deserves your forgiveness or asks for it is irrelevant.  You deserve better than carrying around anger inside of you!

 

That being said, there are other ways to cope.

 

Journalling is a wonderful thing. It is a completely safe way to get your feelings out, especially if you use a password protected journalling website.  This will help you to let go of all the negative feelings.

 

Focus on the positive.  Just because one person mistreated you doesn’t mean everyone will.  Appreciate your good friends & let them know you appreciate them!  What other good things are in your life?  Maybe start a gratitude journal- daily, write down at least 2 things you’re grateful for.

 

Accept the fact that not everyone will understand what you’ve been through.  In all honesty, narcissistic abuse can be hard to wrap your mind around, especially if you’ve never been exposed to it.  (Even if you’ve been through it, it’s hard to grasp!)  And sadly, some people have no desire to even try.  With people like this, it’s just smart not to discuss the topic of narcissism.  They won’t be convinced of anything you say because they lack the desire to understand.  When that wall is up, it stays up, & nothing you say can make a difference.  Stick to more neutral topics with this person, & if you need to discuss something you’ve been through, then seek out someone who understands.

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Understanding Anger After Abuse

Growing up with narcissistic parents, you learn many things early in life that most people don’t, such as you aren’t allowed to have feelings.  Often if you are happy, a narcissistic parent will ask you what you have to be so happy about, shaming you into hiding your joy.  If you are sad, you’re told you don’t have anything to be sad about because other people have it way worse than you.  If you’re angry, you’re told you have a bad temper & are crazy.

 

Because of such things, you learn early on to ignore your emotions.  Stuff them down deep inside & pretend they aren’t there.  Eventually though, after years of doing this, enough is enough.  You can’t physically or mentally handle this stress any longer, & you have to start learning to express yourself.  It feels so strange at first.  Sometimes, I still feel like I’m waiting for some sort of backlash for sharing my emotions, because I’m doing something I learned as a child was absolutely wrong.  It has improved over time, but is still there to a degree.

 

I think though that anger is the hardest emotion to handle when you learn to share your emotions.  Aside from the messages of shame for feeling anger that you must get rid of, anger seems to have a mind of its own.

 

When first getting in touch with your anger, it may feel as if there is an infinite pit of it inside you, which is pretty scary.  You must realize that if you’ve been stuffing it inside you for your entire life, there is going to be a lot of anger in there to deal with.  There is an end to it all, but it’s going to take a while to deal with it all.

 

Also, when you’re not allowed to express anger, it comes up later, even years later.  I get angry with my parents for things that happened 30 years ago sometimes.  It makes me feel like I’m living too much in the past. It can be so frustrating!  Unfortunately it’s also very normal.  You can’t simply expel all of the anger you feel inside at once.  You mentally couldn’t handle that.  Instead, it comes out in manageable doses.  This means you’ll probably have to deal with an incident at a time.  Since narcissistic parents dole out such a great deal of abuse to their children over the course of their lives, there are obviously going to be many, many incidents to deal with, even going back to your very early life.  It’s an unfortunate & frustrating fact of being raised by narcissistic parents.

 

Sometimes the anger comes up later because you were so busy trying to survive the abuse that you didn’t have time to cope with it at the time.  I had a terrible relationship with my husband’s mother.  Then, my husband defended her to me which caused many problems in our marriage.  I had to fight with him as well as her, & didn’t really have time to process what was happening, because I was trying to survive both of them with my sanity in tact.  It wasn’t until I cut her out of my life that I could finally deal with the things she had done to me as well as the anger at my husband for taking her side no matter what she did.

 

You need to realize that all of these feelings are normal.

 

You also need to realize that you have a right to your anger.  Being abused isn’t fair.  No one deserves it!  You have every right to feel anger about that.

 

You have every right to learn to deal with your anger in a healthy way.  It’s well overdue.

 

There is nothing wrong with anger in & of itself, so please don’t buy into the lies you heard about that.  Anger is simply an emotion & emotions aren’t bad.  It’s what we do with that anger that can be bad.  Trying to get revenge on someone out of anger is bad, but feeling anger is not.  Anger is a good thing since it lets you know something is wrong.

 

I know anger is a very scary thing when you never learned how to handle it in healthy ways.  However, you can learn healthy ways to deal with it.  Prayer is the absolute best place to start, I believe. Ask God to show you what to do, how to handle it.  He certainly will answer that prayer!

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Are You Oversensitive?

Something I’ve noticed about survivors of narcissistic abuse is many become very sensitive.  The smallest thing can hurt or devastate them.  It’s quite understandable, really.  After being verbally abused so much, they probably have reached their limit, & just can’t tolerate any more insults, invalidation, etc.

 

Unfortunately, they are often also very sad people, feeling abused or mistreated when no such thing was intended.

 

Does this describe you?  If so, then I urge you to consider making a change!

 

Try to remember to respond rather than react.  What I mean is stop for a moment before feeling or saying anything.  Think- did this person say something hurtful to you just after losing a loved one?  Being fired?  Stubbing their toe on the coffee table?  Then they aren’t trying to hurt you out of maliciousness- they’re in a bad mood.  It’s nothing personal!  Remind yourself it’s nothing personal- the person is just in a bad mood & you just happened to be there.  If you aren’t sure, then ask God to tell you the truth.  Is it you or is the other person having a bad day?

 

On the other hand, if the person is deliberately trying to hurt you & you know this, then you know what?  It’s also not personal.  This person has issues & for whatever reason, finds you a good victim.  You haven’t done anything to deserve this- the other person simply has problems.  I’ve reminded myself of this with my narcissistic mother repeatedly.  She got mad at me when a friend of hers complemented me once, & spent the rest of our time together making me miserable.  It hurt, but I reminded myself this is how she is!  She is so insecure, she can’t handle anyone in her presence getting any positive attention from anyone, so she will do her best to ruin the positive attention by being demeaning & hateful.

 

I know this can be hard to do with narcissists, but it does get easier in time.  The more you learn about NPD, the more you understand that they have big problems, & you are NOT one of them!  I’m speaking from experience- this really is true!  I feel like thanks to realizing my mother has problems, I’m a narcissistic abuse navy seal by now.  It takes quite a bit to phase me anymore.  After my mother spending hours & hours screaming at me, telling me what a horrible person I am, really, what else is there?!  A stranger flipping me off in traffic isn’t going to upset me for more than a moment.  Someone obviously hating me & trying to bully me?  Yea, whatever…. I’ve dealt with bigger & badder & survived.

 

Most of all, keep a good relationship with God as your top priority.  Know you can go to Him anytime, asking for help.  In fact, ask Him other ways to help you not to take things so personally.

 

If you’re over sensitive, then there isn’t something wrong with you.  It’s just proof you’ve been through way too much pain.  But, you deserve better than going through life hurt all of the time just because someone acted insensitively to you!  Please, for your own sake, Dear Reader, try to put into practice what I’ve mentioned here.  Your life can be much happier for it!

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Why Are Victims Supposed To Fix The Abusive Relationship?

Why is it when someone has either set boundaries in or ended an abusive relationship, people try to convince that person to “forgive & forget” or “be the bigger person” & fix the relationship?  Have you noticed how commonplace this is?  Think about it…

 

If a daughter in-law is constantly belittled by her mother in-law, she is told to be the bigger person.  Let it go.  She is only trying to help by criticizing everything about you!

 

If your abusive parents have been out of your life for some time, then they become ill or worse are dying, chances are someone is going to tell you that you need to make things right with your parents.  You need to be there for them & take care of them!  You owe your parents that much!

 

A wife whose husband has beaten or raped her is told to forgive him since he was drunk.  He didn’t know what he was doing.  Stop making a mountain out of a molehill!

 

This is a major pet peeve of mine.  It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to expect an innocent victim to repair an abusive relationship.  Why don’t people tell abusers to fix the relationship instead?  Why not tell them to stop abusing?!

 

I think some people simply don’t want to face the fact that there is a lot of ugliness in the world.  They prefer to think everything is unicorns & rainbows, when nothing could be further from the truth.  Anything that interrupts their ignorance is met with denial or even hostility.

 

Some people, flying monkeys in particular, don’t want to believe that a person could be so bad.  Maybe they know the abuser & have seen the “good person” show that he or she puts on.  They would prefer to believe that facade is the real person, not the vicious, devious, abusive monster who has hurt you.

 

When this happens to you (& sadly it will at some point), it’s going to hurt.  It’s going to make you angry.  This is only natural since this type of thing is triggering & painful.  You can cope, however.

 

If you see the conversation you’re in is taking this turn, then end it.  Change the subject.  Say you won’t discuss this topic with this person.  Walk away if you must or hang up the phone.

 

Don’t buy into that “you need to be the bigger person” nonsense.  You didn’t cause the damage, you don’t need to fix the damage.  Fix only what you broke & apologize if you hurt people.  Take responsibility for things you have done wrong only.

 

And really.. how is it a good thing to stay in an abusive relationship anyway?!  Not only does that take a toll on your physical & mental health, but it encourages the abusive person to be abusive!  While no one can make an abuser become a kind, Godly person, setting boundaries sets the stage for that person to change their abusive behavior.  That is truly loving, Godly behavior!  Tolerating abuse from anyone is NOT!

 

Rather than listening to that drivel about being the bigger person, do what you know God wants you to do.  Stick to your boundaries.  Don’t be bullied or manipulated into allowing an abusive person back into your life.  Surround yourself with good, loving, Godly people who understand, love & support you.

 

 

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Speak Out Or Stay Silent?

There are conflicting messages for victims of abuse.  Some people encourage victims to speak out.  Help raise awareness!  Confronting your abuser will be good for you!  Others encourage victims to keep quiet.  Stop dredging up the past.  Forgive & forget.

 

Rather than stating what I think victims should do, I would like to encourage you to decide what is right for yourself.  After all, being vocal about being abused can be very challenging.  Being vocal about it means you’re reliving some of the most painful experiences of your life.  It also means some will criticize you harshly.  You may lose friends & family who side with your abuser.  Is this something you can deal with?

 

There are pros & cons for speaking out as well as staying quiet.  You need to consider them seriously before making any decisions.

 

Silence isn’t always good, as it can encourage an abuser to continue abusing.  Knowing the victim won’t tell anyone what is happening gives the abuser free reign to do as she/he pleases without fear of consequences.  It also means things can stay pretty much the same for the victim in that her friends & family will continue treating her as they always have.  Silence allows the victim to continue in the familiar place that she is accustomed to.  This can be a good thing, to a degree, especially if she does not feel strong enough to confront her abuser or even discuss what has happened, & if this is only a temporary place.

 

Telling her story can empower the victim.  She takes back the power that her abuser stole by forcing her to stay silent.  She realizes it’s her story & she can do as she sees fit with it.  She can help & inspire others who have been through similar circumstances if she opts to go public with her story (such as blogging about it, for example).  By speaking openly about what happened, she also can give her family the opportunity to grow & to heal.  However, telling also means that she can be setting herself up for criticism, even from those closest to her.  Those she believed were on her side may turn against her.  They may refuse to believe her, tell others she’s lying, or invalidate her pain if she speaks to them about the situation.  And, if she opts to confront her abuser, that can open up a new world of pain.  Abusers hate confrontation, especially narcissistic abusers.  The abuser may turn the entire situation around, blaming the victim for what happened or denying they did anything wrong.  Often, the one telling the truth is demonized by abusers as well as those who may have known about the abuse but did nothing.  Many people can’t live with what they have done, so they vilify the victim.

 

What do you think is your answer, Dear Reader?

 

Before you answer that question, I urge you to pray.  Let God give you advice on which way to go, & how to go about it.  Also, allow Him to give you the strength you need, because either way is very challenging.  You will need His strength.  And remember, 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “But his answer was: “My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak.” I am most happy, then, to be proud of my weaknesses, in order to feel the protection of Christ’s power over me.”  (GNT)  God will empower you to do anything you need to do!

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Narcissistic Families & Cults Have A Lot In Common

Have you ever considered the similarities of cults & narcissistic families?  There are quite a few similarities…

 

  • Leaders demand unquestioning, blind devotion, no matter what.
  • Leaders demand how those under them should act, think & feel.
  • The leader is always right, period.
  • Questioning leaders is discouraged, & often severely punished.
  • Isolation is extremely important.  Relationships with those not in the group is discouraged, often the leader demands others to sever ties in those relationships.
  • Life outside of the group is discouraged.
  • Leaving is looked at as a betrayal, & the person leaving is often spoken badly about.
  • Mind games/gaslighting are the norm.
  • Independent thinking is not allowed.  The leader has done all the thinking necessary so those under him need only to submit to his will.

 

Don’t these characteristics of cults sound also like the characteristics of narcissistic families?

 

The above reasons are precisely why it is so hard to heal from narcissistic abuse.  Living in this cult type environment is detrimental to your mental health!  People who have escaped both cults & narcissistic families work on their healing for many years, often their entire lives.

 

When people say you should “just cut ties” or “just leave”, the above reasons are exactly why it is so hard.  Not only are they talking about abandoning your family, but thanks to the cult mentality, leaving them is even harder than one might think.  You feel as if you’re betraying your family, as if you’re committing some unpardonable sin by thinking of your own mental & physical health.  You also may be afraid of the backlash because they will send out a smear campaign to destroy your reputation.  Not to mention, the unknown can be scary!  All you know is their warped mentality & way of life.  Even though it’s awful, it’s familiar, & there is a degree of comfort in what is familiar.  Things have to be really, really bad to take that leap of faith by leaving the familiar & treading into the unknown.

 

If you were raised in a narcissistic family, please understand that the damage done is incredibly severe.  Never get mad at yourself for taking too long to heal, or having so many issues.  Narcissistic abuse is incredibly insidious & pervasive.  It’s only normal to have a lot of problems after being raised in such an environment, even well into adulthood.

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A Little About Nightmares

If you have PTSD or C-PTSD, you know about nightmares.  You have them so often, they aren’t a surprise.  They’re just a way of life.  Yet, little is mentioned about the nightmares.

 

I’d always had frequent nightmares, but it got much worse in 2012 which is when I realized I had C-PTSD.  I began having several almost every night, which of course led to a lot of fatigue.  The nightmares also became even more vivid than usual, which is saying something since I’ve always had very vivid dreams.  They became so vivid in fact, that often I would wake up feeling as if I’d just done whatever I did in the dream.  If I dreamed I ran a marathon, for example, I woke up physically tired & achy.

 

After learning about C-PTSD, I assumed the nightmares would be about reliving traumatic events, which does happen, but only rarely.  Most of my nightmares are about strange things- being an adult yet having to repeat high school & relying on my mother to take me rather than driving my own car; while repeating high school as an adult, being unable to find or remember the combination to my locker; my car being stolen &/or totaled; my husband mocking me when I was obviously upset or rejecting me somehow; or someone letting my cats outside & they ran away.  Strange stuff!  I finally asked God about it after waking up for yet one more bizarre nightmare.  What He shared made a lot of sense & I think it will if you too suffer with odd nightmares like I do.

 

The brain constantly processes information, whether the information is good, bad or indifferent.  Our dreams are often a result of that processing, because the brain doesn’t take breaks.  Sometimes we don’t remember dreams because they weren’t important- the brain simply processed something unimportant.  Other times, it tries to make sense of horrible things that have happened, which is where nightmares come into it.  Sometimes the brain relives those awful, traumatic events in an attempt to understand it, but not always.  Sometimes nightmares look as if they have nothing to do with traumatic events on the surface, yet they actually have a lot to do with them.

 

While the circumstances of the dreams may be different, the emotions they stir up feel exactly like some trauma you have experienced.  My nightmare of my car being stolen & totaled?  It caused a huge amount of anxiety & fear, & I felt completely helpless.  Eventually I realized it triggered the exact same emotions of my seventeenth birthday.  That day, my mother took my gifts from my then boyfriend/now ex husband & destroyed them on the way home from school.  She blamed me for making her do that & making her car messy.  The event caused me so much anxiety (knowing I’d have to tell my ex what happened to his gifts), fear (wondering what she was going to do next) & I felt helpless (she destroyed the gifts as I was picking up her Avon order & gone for maybe 3 minutes- I couldn’t have known what she was going to do or stop her from doing it)

 

When these nightmares happen, the good news is that they have a purpose.  They show you that there is an area in which you need more healing.  It can be hard to figure out, so I highly recommend asking God about it.  He loves you & wants to help you, so let Him!  Ask Him what did that dream mean?  If you like, you also can look up symbols on a dream dictionary website- I’ve done this.  I write down everything I can from my dream- items, colors, feelings- then look up what each means & write it down beside each item.  Sometimes things make more sense to me when I see them in writing so that can be a helpful tool.

 

Once you realize what the dream was trying to make sense of, you can heal.  Work on coping with the traumatic event however works for you- pray, talk to a therapist, talk to a close friend, write in your diary.  What you do doesn’t matter, so long as it works for you.

 

I know nightmares are a very difficult part of C-PTSD & PTSD, but they are also unavoidable.  Why not make them work in your favor by learning what they’re trying to help you cope with?  Once you do, the nightmares often go away or at the very least don’t happen nearly as often.  I haven’t had a dream about my car being stolen or totaled in a couple of years.  🙂

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An Idea For Coping With Narcissistic Abuse

On Mother’s Day, I came across a very good article called “A Mother’s Day Card For The Disposable Child.”   One sentence in particular hit home with me.. “She walked away from me and shamed me for asking for a healthier way of relating. If I wanted to go back to the old way, I suspect she’d accept me as her daughter again.”  Reading this sentence, I thought about my parents & that is exactly our situation.

 

As usual when reminded of something so dysfunctional about my parents, it really made me sad.  I knew I needed to deal with this rather than bury it, but I just wanted to finish the article first.  As I scrolled down I read the letter the author wrote to her mother, but never sent.  Upon reading this, what I needed to do clicked in my mind.  I needed to write a letter to each of my parents, but never send them.

 

Have you ever done this, Dear Reader?  Have you ever written out what you would love to say to your parents if it was completely safe to do so?  If not, I urge you to do this.

 

Writing things out can be a very therapeutic experience.  There is something validating about seeing things in writing rather than simply remembering them.  It makes experiences seem more real.

 

Also, by writing things out, you are in charge of who sees what you write.  You can hide it so no one but you & God know about it (I like an online, password protected diary), or you can add to it & turn it into a book.  You are totally in control.  When speaking things out, there can be interruptions, or others can hear what you don’t want them to hear.

 

By writing things out, you’re safe.  If you confront your narcissistic parents, you are far from safe.  Narcissists don’t do confrontation.  They refuse to accept responsibility for things they’ve done since that might make them look or feel bad.  They will do or say anything to avoid accepting responsibility.  Denial, projection, gaslighting are all distinct possible scenarios.  Why subject yourself to them if it’s not necessary?  Yet, you still may need to purge the awful emotions you’re experiencing.  That is where writing letters you don’t send come into play.

 

Writing letters like this helps you to get out your feelings in a completely safe manner.  You can say anything you like, in any way you like, without fear of judgment or narcissistic mind games.  When I write these letters, I don’t worry about bad language or using “I” statements or anything- I let it all out, no matter how ugly it is.

 

Once the letter is done, I’ve noticed I feel very tired & a bit raw emotionally.  It doesn’t last long, thankfully.  This seems to be a typical phenomenon after doing heavy emotional work on healing.  When it happens to you, just remember to be especially gentle with yourself.  Do whatever self-care things make you feel loved & nurtured.

 

 

 

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Why People Defend Abusive Parents

So many people are quick to defend abusive parents.  They may say they did the best they could, or you should forgive & forget what they did to you since they were abused as children so they didn’t know any better.  Others simply refuse to believe the abuse happened, accusing you of lying or exaggerating.

 

Why does this happen so often anyway?!  I have some thoughts..

 

If you notice, people who came from truly loving, functional upbringings aren’t the ones doing this.  They know what real, Godly love is, so this means they also know what it is not.  When you tell them horror stories of the abuse you endured, they normally are shocked & horrified that a parent could treat their own child that way.  Their parents never would have done such a thing to them, & they know that.  They won’t make excuses for the abuse or try to normalize it.  It’s wrong & they call it wrong.  They offer you love & support because they know that is the right thing to do.  They may not understand how you feel since they never endured such things, but even so, they empathize with you, & it hurts them you have been so mistreated.  I have two friends that I’ve known since Kindergarten & first grade.   One male, one female.  Both were raised by loving mothers, she had a very kind wonderful father & the his father physically abused his mother.  They have no personal experience with being abused narcissistic parents, yet they are very supportive & kind to me.

 

People who come from dysfunctional upbringings however act much differently.  They are the ones who are quick to say, “But those are your parents!  They won’t be around forever!”  “I’m sure they did the best they could!”  “They just don’t know any better!”

 

I can’t help but think this is because these people are triggered by your openness.  You discussing your painful childhood makes them think of theirs, & they aren’t willing to face theirs at all.  If they can shut you up, they can resume their denial of their own pain.  For years, my husband thought I should try harder with my parents.  Ignore their cruelty.  He made excuses for what they did.  At the same time, he was doing just that with his own abusive parents.  It took him many years before he would say anything even remotely negative about his parents, let alone admit his parents were abusive.

 

Some people also may recognize their own behaviors when you describe the abuse you endured, & they don’t want to face that either.  They may be abusing their child the same way you were abused, & don’t want to admit they are abusive or wrong. They like the control they have, & don’t want to lose it.

 

There are also others who can’t handle anything negative.  These are the same people who expect every book & movie to have happy endings, & they want the same from real life.  My mother is that way.  She hates anything negative.  These people don’t want to hear about your problems.  They want to hear only about light, fluffy, happy topics, ignoring anything bad or negative.   These people don’t seem to have good coping skills, so they avoid anything that is even mildly upsetting.  You discussing your pain is upsetting, so they don’t want to hear about it.  Unless you can share something light & happy with them, they don’t want you to talk about it with them.

 

Whatever the reason someone defends abusive parents, take it as a warning for you that this person is NOT safe to discuss your painful experiences with!

 

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Do You Have Something That Is Just Yours?

A little while ago, I was listening to some music from the 80’s.  Being a teen in the 80’s, it’s often my go to genre.  I was really enjoying the songs & a thought crossed my mind.  Most people who listen to their childhood music are transported back to happy days of their youth.  I’m not. My childhood wasn’t happy.  Even so, I still love the music of the era.  As I wondered why, & didn’t even have a chance to ask God why, He gave me the answer.  My taste in music was the first thing that was just mine, that my narcissistic mother couldn’t ruin for me.

 

My mother likes 50’s music & country music by the Statler Brothers, Oak Ridge Boys & similar sounding artists.  My father is mostly into outlaw type country- Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Travis Tritt.  Neither likes 80’s music.  When I first got into it, my mother harshly criticized it, yet she didn’t spoil my love of it in spite of her valiant efforts.

 

She tried to squelch my love of other things over the years too- my taste in cars, other types of music I like (such as Southern rock & metal/hard rock), my love of feminine clothing & perfumes, knitting, scary movies & books. I’m positive her motivation was to make me dislike these things & replace them with things she likes or approves of.  (Narcissists love to change people into what they think they should be, rather than allowing people to be individuals.)  It hasn’t worked, however, & these things all bring me a great deal of joy, even when she insults them or me for liking them.

 

When you’ve experienced narcissistic abuse, holding onto something that the narcissist couldn’t ruin for you or take away from you is precious!  It makes you feel strong.  In spite of every hateful thing she tried, she couldn’t take this from me!  There was one thing she couldn’t destroy about me!  YAY ME!!

 

Do you have something that is just yours, that your narcissistic mother couldn’t take from you?  What is it?  Whatever it is, I urge you to celebrate it!  Enjoy it to the max!   Relish in the fact she couldn’t take it from you no matter what.  Be proud of yourself for having the fortitude to hang onto that thing!

 

If you can’t think of anything, that is ok too!  Find something!  Try something new- a new hobby, a new type of tea, listen to a different genre of music.  You’ll find something that is so special to you, that even the meanest narcissistic mother can’t take away, & you will thoroughly enjoy it.

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God Will Give You Great Wisdom

James 1:5  “If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask him, and he will gladly tell you, for he is always ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask him; he will not resent it.”  (TLB)

 

As many of you know, I have C-PTSD.  It’s badly damaged how I think & my short term memory.  Then in 2015, I got carbon monoxide poisoning which caused me to pass out & hit my head, further damaging my brain.  Thanks to these problems, I’m really not as smart as I once was, & it can be simply maddening.

 

The above Scripture has helped me a great deal with my physical limitations.  I lean on God so much more than I used to for giving me wisdom, & He has not disappointed me.  I’m not bragging about my intelligence.  I am bragging how generous God has been!

 

So many times in my life, I have been stuck in a painful situation I didn’t want to be in, & God has shown me creative ways to get out of the situation or to cope with it so it isn’t so painful to me.  One that comes to mind immediately happened a few years ago.  My narcissistic mother told me I was going to take her to & from the doctor who is almost 30 miles away.  I had things going on that day & didn’t want to do it, but she refused to reschedule her appointment.  This had happened many times & I was tired of it.  It also bothered me we’d be taking her car & not mine- I hate being trapped without my own vehicle.  I asked God to help me get through the day &  I needed a creative way to either get out of this in the future, or for Him to put it on my mother’s heart to be more open to my schedule, not only hers.  As we were leaving the doctor’s office, God gave me an idea- drive home like we were on a NASCAR track.  There wasn’t much traffic, so I did.  I had a lot of fun speeding down the highway, & my mother was especially angry because it was her car I drove that way.  That was the last day my mother saw this particular doctor.  LOL  He wasn’t doing her any good anyway- she just got narcissistic supply from him & his staff because they listened to her.  They didn’t help her pain at all.

 

So many other times in the past few years since developing my physical problems, I have needed wisdom & asked God for it. He has answered those prayers every time.  From simple things, like creating a routine for maintaining my home that keeps my place very clean but isn’t hard for me, to more challenging things like how to deal with financial problems, God has helped me every time.  He has even helped me to understand my narcissistic parents, which has helped me so much!  Understanding them has shown me that I’m not the problem, & they have some serious issues that aren’t my fault.  Talk about a blessing!  After hearing how I was always the problem, this knowledge has truly comforted me more than I can say.

 

What areas do you need wisdom in, Dear Reader?  Whatever your needs, I encourage you to ask God for wisdom.  He will grant you wisdom & creativity far above & beyond anything you can imagine.  Whether your situation is like mine where you need more wisdom to handle daily life or it is a one time frustrating situation, be prepared to be amazed when you ask God to give you wisdom.

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Can You Ever Be Completely Healed After Abuse?

I recently was talking recently with a lady about this very topic- can someone be completely healed of the effects of narcissistic abuse?  We both shared the same opinion.  With God, of course, all things are possible.  However, to be completely healed isn’t necessarily the norm.

 

For one thing, narcissistic abuse infects every area of your being.  The stress of it can affect you physically, such as developing high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, or heart disease.  The negativity & crazy making affect you mentally.  So many victims feel like they’re crazy.  Many lose their self esteem or live with depression & anxiety.  A lot of victims live with PTSD or C-PTSD after leaving the relationship with a narcissist.  Many people in a relationship with narcissists are affected financially.  Narcissists see people as nothing more than tools to be used in whatever way benefits the narcissist, so many victims lose a great deal of money to their narcissist.   Many victims are also affected spiritually because of the narcissist’s weird religious beliefs or being overly “religious”, using God to make the victim feel like a bad person, God is punishing them or the like.

 

For another thing, if you had a narcissistic parent (or two), the abuse is even worse simply due to the nature of the relationship.  It goes so deeply against nature for a parent to abuse a child instead of loving & caring for her, that it’s virtually impossible to accept.  That can deeply affect a child no matter that child’s age.  Many are in denial, saying their narcissistic mother was just quirky or over protective rather than narcissistic.  Some believe their covertly narcissistic parent was naive, & didn’t know any better.  Or, they believe the covertly narcissistic parent was incapable of stopping the overtly narcissistic parent from abusing them for various reasons.

 

Also, childhood forms who you are as an adult.  Whether you had a good or bad upbringing, you are a product of your childhood.  I think childhood is much like the foundation of a home.  If a home’s foundation is damaged, the home won’t be safe.  If you had a bad childhood, your adulthood won’t be healthy until you fix the damage done to you in childhood.

 

You may never fully heal from the abuse.  It’s quite normal.   If you get to the place the abuse doesn’t consume you, you’re doing great.  If you can think or talk about certain events without feeling devastated, but instead feeling more like you’re remembering an unpleasant dream, you’re doing great.  It’s quite possible you may not be healed more than that.  In my personal experience plus observations of the many other victims of narcissistic abuse I’ve spoken with, complete healing isn’t common.  In fact, I haven’t seen it myself.

 

If you are like most of us & still struggling even many years after the abuse happened, please know you’re not alone!  Not by a long shot!  You also aren’t weak or a failure.  God hasn’t abandoned you either.  In fact, He is with you during the worst times, whether you feel His presence or not. I’ll close this post with a beautiful reminder of that fact..

 

Psalm 23

1The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

(KJV)

 

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Feelings Can Die

If someone has hurt you repeatedly & deliberately, your good feelings or even love for that person can die.  It isn’t a matter of hating that person, or wishing them bad things.  It’s a matter of feeling complete indifference towards them.  If you hear that person is suffering, you feel nothing- no pity, no desire to help them, no concern.

 

It sounds strange if you haven’t experienced it, I’m sure, but I would guess it happens more often than people care to admit.  After all, saying it makes you sound bad or un-Christian if you don’t care about the pain of another human being.  In spite of how it sounds though, I don’t think it’s abnormal to reach this place in certain bad relationships.

 

People say the opposite of love is hate, but I believe it to be indifference.  If you love or hate someone, you have very strong feelings for someone. If you love them, you are glad when good things happen to them or sad when bad things happen.  If you hate them, you are sad when good things happen to them & rejoice when bad things happen.  If you feel indifferently towards a person though, you literally feel nothing for that person.  No joy or sadness at their blessings or trials.

 

I felt indifference towards my mother in-law, even when she was diagnosed with serious health problems then later died.  Does that sound awful to you?  I’m sure it does, but consider some background information before judging..

 

From the moment we met, I knew she didn’t like me.  She was civil & even pleasant sometimes in front of others, but when we were alone, she was cruel.  She constantly insulted me, my family, my pets, my car, everyone & everything that meant anything at all to me.  She talked to me like I was stupid & not good enough to be a part of her family.  Not long after we got married, she told me how terribly disappointed she was that Eric married me instead of an ex of his.  (A woman who cheated on him & treated him badly, mind you).  She told me I needed to get rid of my pets- I had too many.  She called my granddad stupid for living on his own at 84 years old, even knowing how important he was to me & never having met him.  Upon seeing me replace a burn out turn signal bulb in my car once, she told me I needed to get rid of it- it cost me too much money.   (The new bulb cost $.97 & had been in my car for the entire 9 years I had it at that time.  It was the only repair my car had needed in a long time.).  One evening in 2002, she called to talk to my husband, but he wasn’t home from work yet.  She screamed at me for this because she thought he should’ve been home at that time of night.  She also yelled at me because his allergies were bothering him.  This conversation made me realize she wasn’t someone I could work things out with, no matter what I did.  She blamed me for things I had absolutely no control over- how could I work things out with someone like that?  Anything I felt for her died then, & I cut ties with her shortly after.

 

So after reading that story, doesn’t it make sense that in extreme circumstances like this, your feelings for someone can simply die?

 

If you’ve experienced this, please know you’re not alone & there is nothing wrong with you.  This simply means you’re human & have been through some unfair, cruel things.  It doesn’t mean you are a bad person or even a bad Christian.

 

In spite of feeling this way, I started praying for my mother in-law a few months before she died.  I didn’t want to, I frankly didn’t care about her salvation or anything else going on with her.  However, I felt in my heart God wanted me to & doing so helped me to feel a deep peace.  I would recommend you do the same, Dear Reader, for that person you feel nothing for.  Praying for them may bless them as well as you.  It can be difficult at first, but I promise- it gets easier the more often you do it.  I believe it will give you peace in your heart as it did me.

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It Couldn’t Have Been That Bad! Just Look How You Turned Out!

When people learn that someone has been abused as a child, they often say the dumbest things, I think because it’s hard to know what to say.  Simply saying, “I’m sorry for what you went through” would be fine, but many people don’t seem to agree with that.  So, rather than saying that statement, they can come up with some pretty hurtful & stupid comments.

 

One thing some folks say is, “It couldn’t have been all that bad!  Look how you turned out!”  Bless their naive little hearts.  This actually makes sense to them!

 

People who say this fail to realize that when you grow up with narcissistic parents, you learn early on to hide your problems so as not to “bother” them.  Narcissistic parents have no time, energy or desire to deal with their child’s problems, so when their child comes to them with a problem, they ignore, trivialize or even shame the child for having the problem.  This teaches the child it’s just best to hide their pain, illness, hurt feelings, needs & anything really from their parents.

 

This behavior carries over into adulthood.  Out of habit, the adult child of narcissistic parents continues to hide their problems.  As a result, some people look at us & assume we have it all together when the truth is that we don’t!

 

No one can escape narcissistic abuse unscathed.  Every single person who was raised by a narcissistic parent or two has had issues from it.  Some end up with C-PTSD or PTSD.  Some end up with crippling depression or anxiety.  Some turn to self harm or self destructive behaviors.  Some end up with addictions to drugs, alcohol or food.  Some end up overachievers who work themselves so hard, they end up very sick from it.  Some even turn into narcissists themselves, continuing the cycle of dysfunction & abuse.  Almost all end up with some type of health problems- MS, fibromyalgia, arthritis, digestive problems, heart problems, etc.

 

 

 

We are often able to function quite well too, in spite of the problems.  Growing up as we did, learning early to hide our problems from our parents, we learned also how to function normally in spite of problems.  I went through my life normally for many years even though I was suicidal.  No one knew it.  I got good grades in school (honor roll, graduated in the top 10% of my class).  I held down jobs.  I laughed.  I lived my life normally, in spite of wanting to die, & not one person had a clue how I felt.  Even now, no one, including my husband, has any idea exactly how bad the C-PTSD is when it flares up because I hide it so well.  The habit of hiding things is so ingrained in me, I do it without even thinking about it.

 

If someone says to you that what you went through couldn’t have been so bad since you turned out so well, then please feel free to show them this post, if you think it will help.  Narcissistic abuse is a serious problem with life long, life changing problems affecting victims.  People need to understand this so they can start supporting victims!

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Looking Through The Eyes Of A Narcissist

Recently I’ve realized something surprisingly helpful in helping me cope with the abuse I’ve experienced at the hands of my narcissistic parents.  Seeing things through their eyes.  Granted, that isn’t always an easy things to do since I’m not a narcissist, but it can be oddly helpful.

 

Seeing things through their eyes has shown me the incredible dysfunction they live with, & how so much of their abuse wasn’t personal (although it sure felt that way), but was solely about them.  I was simply collateral damage, an acceptable loss to them.

 

For example, my mother has criticized my looks as far back as I can remember.  Compared her features to mine, telling me how much more attractive hers were than mine.  Naturally, I grew up feeling like the ugliest person on the planet.  Eventually, I looked at this situation through my mother’s eyes.  My mother said when I was born, she figured I’d look like her- brown hair & eyes.  I’m a blue eyed blonde, like the Baileys- my father’s family.  In fact, I look a lot like my grandmother, who, mind you, was a beauty in her youth.  My mother hates all of her in-laws, so if you look at this situation through her narcissistic eyes, I probably betrayed her.  I disappointed her by being born not looking like her, & to boot, looking like people she hates.  Never mind I had zero control over this, somehow it still comes back to her, & I didn’t do as she wanted.  I had to pay.  Plus, she probably thought I was prettier than her, so again, I had to pay.  She had to tear me down so I didn’t think of myself as pretty.  Bonus- tearing me down built her up at the same time.

 

Realizing these things helped me to stop taking her scathing criticisms so personally.  What she said wasn’t true- it was simply a means to make herself feel better & to nurse the “wound” I gave her by being born differently than she wanted me to be.  Granted, I’m still trying to believe I’m pretty, but at least I know now what she said is all lies & I’m not some hideous monster like she made me feel like.  (Feeling pretty probably will take a long time.  Baby steps..)

 

See what I mean?  Seeing things through her eyes helped me to see the truth in the situation, & stop believing her hurtful lies.  It can help you as well, & let’s face facts- anyone who has experienced narcissistic abuse needs any help they can get to heal the damage it’s caused.

 

I would like to encourage you today to try this, Dear Reader.  Look at a painful situation through the narcissist’s eyes.  I guarantee you will see that you did not deserve what was done to you, that it was more about the narcissist than you & that the narcissist lied to you  simply to benefit herself.  If you’re having some trouble, ask God to help you if this is something He wants you to do.

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To Those Who Are New To Learning About Narcissistic Abuse- It’s OK, Even Necessary, To Talk About It!

When you grow up with narcissistic parents, the fear of divulging what they do to you is very real.  Narcissistic parents don’t always use threats- they don’t need to.  They have a certain look that can instill sheer terror into their child.  That fear often stays with the child into adulthood.  This benefits the narcissistic parent, because she knows her secret is safe.  However, it hurts the child.

 

Not talking about the narcissistic abuse you endured can cause many health problems, such as ulcers, high blood pressure or digestive problems.  It affects your mental health too.  Depression, anxiety, PTSD & C-PTSD are very common, even under the best of circumstances- a good therapist & caring support system.  Without those things, depression, anxiety, PTSD or C-PTSD are pretty much a given.

 

You need to talk about your experiences!  I’m not saying you need to publish books or write a blog like me, unless you feel that is the direction God is leading you, but you do need to talk for the sake of your physical & mental health.

 

I know talking about your experiences can be a scary prospect.  It also can feel like you’re being disloyal.  That is not true, however.  Telling the truth isn’t being disloyal.

 

Guilt happens too.  I think it’s pretty much impossible not to feel guilty at first.  You’re talking about something you were told your entire life you shouldn’t talk about, after all.  My mother used to tell me not to “air our dirty laundry.”  It took me a long time to realize it wasn’t “our” dirty laundry I was airing, it was hers.

 

If you’re considering talking about the things that have happened to you, please know that it’s OK to talk about it.  If you don’t feel up to talking, how about writing in a journal at first?  Writing is very therapeutic- there is something validating in seeing your experiences written out.  Also, if you take precautions, no one will see what you write, so you can feel free to let it all out.  I love http://www.my-diary.org, as it is a password protected, private online diary.

 

If you aren’t comfortable talking to another person, why not pray?  God is a great listener, & will comfort you like no one else can.  You can be completely open with Him without fear of judgment or criticism- it’s very freeing.

 

If you opt to try therapy, be sure you find a therapist who understands narcissistic abuse.  Not all therapists do, so it may take trying a few before you find one you’re comfortable with.

 

And, if you opt to talk about your experiences with those closest to you, use wisdom with deciding who to open up to.  If you share a person with the narcissistic parent who abused you, they may not want to hear about your experiences.  They may be very fond of the narcissist, &not want to hear anything bad about her.  They may not believe you.  It is better to find someone to talk to who isn’t close to the narcissist, such as a friend of yours who doesn’t know your parent(s) well.  You also need to speak with someone who is caring, supportive, objective & close to God.  You need someone who is honest enough to tell you the truth, but caring enough not to be brutal & painful with it.  If this person also gets mad for you about what you have experienced, that helps too.  I had a friend who in many ways was like a mother to me.  She was a very special lady, always had a ready smile & some encouragement.  But, when I told her some of the things my parents did to me, she would get angry on my behalf.  If this good, Christian lady who was utterly patient & held no bad feelings towards anyone was getting mad, it must be really bad.  Her anger helped to validate my pain.

 

Talking about the painful experiences you endured will help you to heal.  It will get the toxicity out of you, preventing further damage to your physical & mental health.  It also will help you to keep the blame on the abuser instead of on yourself, which is a battle for many victims of narcissistic abuse.  So please, open yourself up to talking about your experiences.  You deserve the freedom it brings you.  xoxo

 

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