If you have been interested in getting the print version of any of my books, now is a good time! My publisher is offering 15% off when using code SPRING15 at checkout until May 7, 2021.
My print books can be found at the link below…
If you have been interested in getting the print version of any of my books, now is a good time! My publisher is offering 15% off when using code SPRING15 at checkout until May 7, 2021.
My print books can be found at the link below…
I recently had an interesting dream. In it, I was at a concert of one of my favorite bands ever, Motorhead. The dream was a bit odd since I’m not exactly a concert goer. Watching them on TV is as close as I get.
When I woke up, I prayed then looked up what music & concerts meant on my favorite dream dictionary website, dreammoods.com. According to the site, dreaming of a concert symbolizes unity & cooperation. Very cool.. my husband & I were moving soon & the dream made me realize how well we’re working together to accomplish this. Dreaming of music meant something different though. The site said that dreaming of music depends on the dreamer. Each genres means something different & if the genre is something you like, the music is offering you advice. When I read this, it clicked in my brain immediately.
I’ve been a Motorhead fan for a long time, but in particular a fan of their late singer, Lemmy Kilmister. In some ways he was your typical heavy metal musician. But, in other ways he wasn’t & I always thought those ways were really interesting. Not only was he highly intelligent but had a very unique personality. He was fascinated by history. Most of all though, he was unapologetic for being himself. Not like a narcissist of course, just he had this attitude of, “This is who I am. I like me. Your approval isn’t required.” Never having such an attitude myself, I admire & even somewhat envy it in others.
I believe my dream was trying to tell me that I need to share Lemmy’s attitude. There is nothing wrong with being comfortable in your own skin & not caring what others think about you. I realize narcissists try to make victims feel that way, but that doesn’t mean they’re right. They don’t want victims to feel that way because an insecure victim with low, or better yet NO, self esteem is easy to control. A person who is insecure doesn’t know what they want, think, feel & believe, which means they are going to be easily controlled.
Someone who has a healthy self esteem, however, is a threat to narcissists. They know who they are. They know what they want, think, feel & believe. They are well aware of their boundaries. Because of such things, they aren’t easily controlled or manipulated. They may be briefly but they catch on fast, & put an end to being treated that way even if it means ending the relationship.
Anyway I don’t think the lesson in this dream was only for me. I think it was for other victims of narcissistic abuse. If it was for you too, I’m sure this resonates with you as it did with me.
I have tried to develop Lemmy’s attitude. This is what I figured out about how to do that.
Naturally pray. Ask God to tell you the truth about yourself. That alone is eye opening! I did that myself some time ago & was shocked at what He had to say. He told me to research the personality of wolves, because that is what he created me to be like. I assume because of being such an animal lover, that was why He used that example. It was fascinating & so eye opening! I never would have thought that is what God created me to be like.
Once you do this, remind yourself often of whatever it is He tells you about yourself. Having the knowledge is a good thing of course, but reminding yourself of it often is what will get that knowledge inside of you. This was where I made my mistake. I didn’t focus on it as much as I should have, which is probably why I had the dream. Learn from my mistake! Think about what He said. If it helps leave notes or pictures around your home that remind you of it. Let this valuable knowledge get inside you & help you to blossom into the wonderful person He created you to be!
When a person faces serious health problems, they change & not only physically. Their personalities change, too. That is normal. Sometimes the personality changes can be very bad.
A dear friend of mine lost her husband some time ago after caring for him for several years. Not long before he died, she told me some very disturbing things about his behavior. This once good, kind, loving man was suddenly exhibiting many narcissistic traits. In particular, he didn’t want his wife to be with other people, including their children. It was bizarre since narcissism doesn’t suddenly show up, like when you catch a cold. The more we talked about things, the more I thought of something…
After I survived Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, the hospital gave me no information & even said my elevated carbon monoxide levels “weren’t so bad.” They also said I had no brain injury in spite of showing many signs of a concussion from hitting my head when I passed out. The hospital said I could return to work two days later, but by that time, I still felt just as miserable as I did when I left the hospital. I was lost, so I started researching my condition. I also joined a traumatic brain injury group on Facebook. I noticed immediately most people in the group showed a LOT of narcissistic tendencies & were very insecure. I left the group quickly, but I realized something. I was starting to behave much as they were! I wanted my husband to be with me non stop & was very annoyed he wasn’t. I knew he had demanding, elderly parents with health problems, plus a full time job which all left him exhausted much of the time, but even so, I was annoyed he didn’t spend more time with me. Realizing how selfish I was behaving was a real wakeup call!
I told my friend about my experiences plus what I witnessed in that group & in time, we realized what happened with her husband was much like what happened to me.
The reason I’m sharing this is so many people are affected by serious health concerns either in themselves or in those they love. Whether you are the person with the condition or someone you love is, it’s vital to understand that serious health problems can change someone’s personality drastically. The condition doesn’t even need to be something that affects one’s brain directly like Alzheimer’s, stroke or traumatic brain injury for this to happen.
When you become seriously sick or injured, you become scared. Even if you’re getting the best of care & have a great prognosis, health problems are terrifying.
Add in that you can’t do things you once took for granted & are forced to rely on other people for help. That too can make you feel afraid, especially for the person who has always been self reliant, & is a serious blow to the self esteem.
Having to rely on other people also can make you feel like a burden, which unsurprisingly is terrible for one’s self esteem.
Feeling like a burden can make you feel that you need to put your best face forward & not show others just how miserable you feel or how much you’re struggling. There is a very difficult balance in this situation. If you act as if your symptoms aren’t as bad as they are, or not happening at all, people often think you’re faking the health crisis. But, if you are honest about it, people often think you’re exaggerating your symptoms, feeling sorry for yourself or looking for attention.
Feeling insecure & afraid naturally change a person. Many people get angry. Many others talk about their illness non stop in an effort to educate people, which often alienates them because people get tired of hearing about this topic. Most people though seem to become insecure, some even to the point of displaying narcissistic tendencies.
If you are the person who is ill & behaving this way, please work on healing! You are only hurting yourself & those around you! I know it’s hard but you can change! Watch your behavior, & change it accordingly. Apologize when you mistreat someone or have unfair expectations on them. Stop expecting people to meet your needs & focus on God to do that.
If you are the person in a relationship with someone who is behaving this way, remember, you can’t change their behavior. They have to change themselves. But, you aren’t helpless. You need to have good boundaries in place & enforce them. Talk to this person & explains that their behavior hurts you. Non-narcissistic people will respond to that! I know it seems hard to believe if you’ve dealt with a narcissist, but it’s true. Remind yourself that their behavior isn’t personal. It’s their illness making them act this way rather than something you are doing wrong.
Whichever position you are in, remember to stay close to God. Nurture that relationship. That is what will help you more than anything else!
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Most of us have used terms like, “That drives me crazy!”, claimed something gave us a “panic attack” when all it did was startle us, or even described a moody person as being “bipolar” even though that moody person wasn’t diagnosed with the disorder. Phrases like this have been part of the way people talk for God only knows how long.
I believe there is a problem with using these phrases though. By using these phrases so freely, they dilute very serious mental health disorders.
Claiming something drives you crazy makes insanity sound like an annoyance rather than a serious mental problem.
Panic attacks are also much more than being startled. They can feel like you’re having a heart attack. They are physically & mentally debilitating. After I have one, I feel very emotionally drained & exhausted for quite some time after.
Saying a moody person is bipolar makes Bipolar Disorder seem much less serious than it is. Those with Bipolar Disorder aren’t simply moody. Manic episodes can involve some very risky & even dangerous behavior. The down side is seriously bad as well. The depression can be so severe as to include suicidal ideation.
If you think I am over thinking this situation, then consider this. As a victim of narcissistic abuse, doesn’t it offend you when someone carelessly describes someone’s selfish behavior as narcissistic? You have seen narcissistic behavior up close & personal. You are all too aware that it is extremely different than someone doing something without thought or consideration of other people. It is more than selfishness. It is abusive, malicious, cruel & dangerous to your mental & physical health. Lumping someone who simply was thoughtless in a momentary lapse of judgment in the same category as someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder is deeply offensive to anyone who has seen the unmasked narcissist first hand.
I really don’t think most people are being malicious when they say something “drives them crazy” or some other phrase related to mental illness. These phrases have become so common place, no one really thinks twice when saying or hearing them. They simply have become an everyday part of our vernacular. The problem with that is over time, very subtly, they reduce the meaning of real & serious mental disorders. Sometimes, even make them laughable. This just should not be the case!
If you realize you use such phrases, please reconsider doing so. On behalf of my fellow “crazy” people, I ask you to stop it. I know what I live with having C-PTSD & there is nothing laughable or trivial about it. Having to fight your own mind to get through the day is serious & an incredibly difficult way to live. It isn’t something I’d wish on my worst enemy. Having my mental health trivialized or turned into the butt of a joke is insulting.
What makes this situation even worse is mental illness is seldom believed. If a person wears a cast on their leg, people see this person obviously broke their leg. They offer that person sympathy. Mental illness doesn’t have a glaring piece of physical evidence that is undeniable proof of the mental illness. Those who suffer with it often aren’t taken seriously because they look “normal.” Living with that then the trivialization of our illness is extraordinarily hard. Proverbs 18:21 says the tongue has the power of life & death. Please remember that & choose your words wisely!
The definition of emotional intelligence is the ability to be aware of, express, & control one’s emotions. It also includes the ability to handle relationships with empathy & fairness. People with a high degree of emotional intelligence are often kind, fair, understanding & tolerant of the mistakes of others while not tolerant of abuse.
Narcissists hate emotionally intelligent people. There are various reasons they can feel this way. Possibly because narcissists are very emotionally unintelligent, & therefore can’t understand the emotionally intelligent they hate them. Narcissists understanding the emotionally intelligent would be like the average person trying to understand how geniuses like Einstein thought. It would be impossible… although the average person at least wouldn’t hate him for his intelligence.
Another & even more likely scenario is because emotionally intelligent people aren’t easily fooled or manipulated. Narcissists want to fool & manipulate their victims so they can get whatever they like from them. Emotionally intelligent people have good boundaries & they understand people. This makes it nearly impossible to fool & manipulate them. It may happen briefly, but it won’t happen long. This makes them terrible victims of narcissistic abuse.
For the emotionally intelligent person in this situation, the narcissist & their flying monkeys will be incredibly shaming. They come up with all kinds of ridiculous things to say to the victim in order to shame them into compliance. In Christian circles, often the Bible is twisted around for the purpose of shaming the victim: “If you remember, the Bible says to honor your parents!” “Wives should submit to their husbands!” “Love covers a multitude of sins!” When Scripture isn’t used, the ridiculousness doesn’t get any better. People try to shame the victim by saying equally stupid comments such as, “You need to forgive & forget!” “That’s in the past…” “That’s just how he is.” “You need to understand her better.” “But he was abused by his parents!!”
Comments like these can create a great deal of conflict & confusion in someone victimized by a narcissist. A person who is emotionally intelligent however, isn’t conflicted & confused. They recognize the bad behavior for what it is, & have no problem calling out the people who say these things. It can hurt though & can be rather hard not to take the shaming personally sometimes.
If this happens to you, a very helpful thing you can do is remember what type of person is saying these things. You aren’t dealing with another emotionally intelligent person. They don’t say such stupid, heartless comments. Then ask God to tell you the truth & ask if they were right in what they said.
It also helps to look objectively at your situation & ask yourself does what this person said to you make any sense? If you can’t seem to look at the situation objectively, I know a trick to help. Pretend a friend has come to you & told you of this same situation happening to them. Doing this can help you feel disconnected enough to look more objectively at your situation. Please remember, Dear Reader, to be proud of being the emotionally intelligent person you are. Narcissists & their flying monkeys only criticize it because it means you see through their abuse. Don’t accept their shame! The shame belongs to them & you have no reason to carry it!
2 Timothy 1:7 in the Amplified Bible says, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].” It can be so hard to remember that God has given us a healthy mind sometimes! Having lived with many symptoms of C-PTSD for as far back as I can remember then almost all since 2012, there have been more times than not that I have doubted that very Scripture. Clearly I’m not proud of that but it’s true. Waking up during panic & anxiety attacks, the way sometimes anxiety runs roughshod over logic & the crippling agoraphobia I lived with for well over 20 years can make that happen.
If you can relate, then you too may be controlled by a spirit of fear as I have been. There are ways you can identify if this is indeed the problem or not.
Do you have the urge to hide from everyone, even God? Fear can become a self made prison, creating the urge to avoid everyone. Most introverts are fine with plenty of alone time but even so, fear can make even the most die hard introvert spend too much time away from other people & become lonely. It also can make even the most devoted Christian pray less & less.
Is your faith becoming weak? If so, you may be living with a spirit of fear. Fear can create a hindrance for believing in what God has to say. It can make you think irrational thoughts such as all of those promises in the Bible aren’t for you, that God meant them for other people. It can make you doubt the call on your life to the point of not following through with it. It also can make you forget what you know the Bible says or what God has spoken to you.
Fear can consume your thoughts. When fear takes over, all you can think about is the issue that makes you afraid. You neglect relationships, doing a good job at work, caring for children & pets & more.
Fear can skew your judgment. Because fear is so tormenting & miserable, you can become desperate for a way out. This means you may listen to people you normally wouldn’t listen to for advice. You may consider or actually do things you know you shouldn’t do.
If you can relate to these, then you may be operating under the control of a spirit of fear. Don’t lose hope though! You don’t have to live this way any longer!
To start, refocus on God. Read your Bible more often. Subscribe to a daily devotional or Bible in a year email. Listen to Christian music that makes you feel close to God & do it often. Ask Him for help whenever you feel fear. And when you don’t, thank Him & ask Him to help you to live with this type of peace more often.
Consider your situation logically. Ask yourself why this situation makes you so afraid. Is there a valid reason to feel fear? Can harm come to you or someone else? Doing this can help you refocus & accept that there is no real reason to be scared.
Force yourself out of your comfort zone sometimes. It really will help you to have more self confidence which will in turn reduce the amount of fear you feel. When my mother died & I learned I was her personal representative, I didn’t think I could do it. I had no choice though. I legally couldn’t pawn the duties off on anyone else. I literally had to force myself to do things that were miles out of my comfort zone. I did them though. I tried to reward myself almost every time I did something, too. It didn’t have to be anything big. I like driving while listening to good music so I would take a long route home & just enjoy the music. Sometimes I picked up dinner rather than cook. Pushing myself out of my comfort zone helped me to gain more & more confidence, & the rewards helped to cement good feelings in my mind. Try to do the same! Start small & do bigger, scarier things as you feel able, & don’t forget to reward yourself after for a job well done!
In time, you can stop living with that spirit of fear & start living with the sound mind that God has given you!
Those of you close to me know that my husband & I have bought his late parents’ home from his two sisters. Our situation has been challenging & rather different though in many ways from a typical home purchase. For one thing, I haven’t spoken to them since 2002, & haven’t broken that even during this process.
They haven’t been good to my husband during this process, & it’s made me so angry, I realized I went from feeling nothing for them to hating them
As a Christian, this isn’t somewhere I wanted to be but I wasn’t sure how not to feel that way. I asked God to help me not hate them a couple of times, but mostly just tried not to think about it. Anything that is ignored doesn’t just disappear, so I have no idea why I thought that was smart.
While I was ignoring this hate in my heart, I had a dream one night. In it, the only part I could remember was seeing a large flock of white doves. I looked up the symbolism. One possible meaning of doves in a dream is that you need to release any hatred you feel. So much for ignoring it!
I got serious about asking God to help me get rid of this hate. Matthew 5:44 came to mind. In the Amplified translation, it says, “But I say to you, love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” This really isn’t my favorite Scripture, to be honest. It might be my least favorite in fact. Even so, that doesn’t mean it can be ignored. I started praying for them. Not just as my in-laws or my husband’s sisters. By name. I forced myself to think of each one of them specifically as I prayed for them. Somehow it felt like the right thing to do & I am so glad I did it!
The first two or three times I did this, it was hard. I wasn’t sincere. I was only praying for them because I knew that is what God wanted me to do. Then little by little, the hatred started to disappear. It didn’t just vanish all at once. It took lots of praying for them, & with each prayer, a bit of hate would disappear.
Once I’d decided to pray for them, I noticed that often, I’d think of them out of the blue, & get really angry. Rather than sit with that anger, I’d pray for them. Even if it was just a simple prayer, asking God to turn their hearts to Him or to bless them, I’d still pray it. And you know something? The more I did that, the less the anger reared its ugly head.
I don’t want you to misunderstand me. I’m not saying that all is forgiven & forgotten, we’re going to be best friends now. I am still angry about the terrible behavior they have exhibited towards my husband. That is reasonable, I believe, because we should always be angry about someone we love being mistreated, but especially when the abusive person shows no signs of remorse. I also will continue not to have a relationship with them for the rest of our lives.
Praying for them took me to a much more reasonable & even Godly place. God doesn’t want His children hating others, but He does want us hating what is evil, according to Romans 12:9. Abusing someone without remorse or changing behavior is evil, so there is nothing wrong with hating such things. There is also nothing bad with having healthy boundaries in place. Examples of setting healthy boundaries are sprinkled all throughout the Bible.
If you have gotten to a place that I was where you hate someone, then please consider praying for that person as I did. It really is worth the effort. It truly helps! It’ll help the person you’re praying for & it’ll help you by allowing you to release that hatred in your heart.
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Many people realize the truth will set you free. They know that even the ugly, painful truth is always better than a pretty lie, & no matter how much it may hurt, always aim for truth in their lives.
Then there are other people who are nothing like that. They prefer pretty lies any day. They excuse the bad behavior of others readily & deny those people have done anything wrong. These people are practicing something called willful ignorance.
Willful ignorance is a legal term which basically means a person has made a poor decision to circumvent information as a way for people to avoid making uncomfortable decisions. On a more personal note, it is the avoidance of information or evidence that would force a person to face something unpleasant.
One of the best examples of this came from my personal life. As I’ve written about before, at the time my father was dying, I had been no contact with him for several months. My family attacked me via any means possible daily, trying to force me to go say goodbye to him. Every time I would block one means, they’d find another. I finally asked God why. One of the things He said was that me staying away meant I was proving that not everything was ok. If I would have gone, that would have shown them that my father was the great guy they wanted to believe he was. I was threatening their willful ignorance.
This also happens in cases where a person is abused by their parent, spouse, in-laws, etc. & other people refuse to believe it rather than get involved & try to protect the victim.
While it is certainly understandable to avoid painful things, willful ignorance is incredibly dysfunctional. It sets people up for disappointment & unnecessary suffering because they refuse to acknowledge the warning signs most people see. It hurts those closest to those who engage in this behavior because they are helpless to help the person they love. These people are so devoted to their dysfunction that they will ignore what the person who loves them says, & will fight with them to protect their denial.
It is so hard being in this situation, whether you are the one practicing willful ignorance or the one who loves someone who practices it.
If you are the one practicing it, please stop! I know the truth can be scary & painful, but by avoiding facing that, you’re hurting yourself, not helping yourself. You need to know that God loves you & will help you to face whatever needs facing. If you have trouble with that due to having an abusive parent figure in your life, He understand that too! Be honest & tell Him just how you feel. It’s ok! I can promise you, He won’t cast you into hell or strike you down with a lightening bolt. He will gently help you to see you can trust Him which will help you to start facing the painful things you must face.
And, if you are someone who loves a person who is willfully ignorant, I want you to know that God understands your pain & frustration. Ask Him to show you how to support our loved one in a healthy way. He will! Don’t get sucked into the dysfunction either. Stick to the truth & don’t let this person convince you of their false beliefs. Keep your boundaries in place & protect yourself from the dysfunction of this situation. This person has the right to engage in their dysfunction to their heart’s content, but you also have the right to engage in healthier ways. Part of that means protecting yourself & not getting involved in their dysfunction.
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I really am a firm believer in writing things down. It gives you clarity & insight & is one way to help you heal from trauma. That being said though, speaking out loud has its pluses too.
The Bible has a LOT of Scriptures regarding what we say out loud. Possibly the most powerful example being Proverbs 18:21 which says that there is life & death in the power of the tongue.
So many verses focused on one topic tells me that topic is very important, otherwise God wouldn’t have wasted space in the Bible discussing it. We need to be well aware of the importance of our words, even in the area of healing from narcissistic abuse, & use them wisely.
Sometimes you have to speak things out loud to heal. It can help you to hear the words describing what you have been through as well as seeing the reactions others have when you tell them your story. Discussing traumatic events can help you to get validation from others & even to validate yourself. I found writing my own story when I wrote my autobiography was incredibly validating. Seeing clearly on paper what I went through was eye opening. But, hearing yourself talking about the horrors you experienced can be validating as well. Something about getting your story out of you either verbally or in writing can be incredibly therapeutic. It makes the events more real, somehow. Possibly because after experiencing repeated abusive & traumatic episodes, a person often becomes desensitized to it all. It hurts, sure, but it just is what it is. Speaking about these things removes the desensitizing even if only for a while.
Talking also can be helpful for processing the trauma. Some people do better with writing theirs, but there are others who are helped more by speaking about it. Something about verbalizing things helps people to process their pain or come to ways to help them process it & heal. That is one of the purposes behind talk therapy, after all.
Also when you talk to someone, they can help you to see things from a different perspective. That can be incredibly helpful sometimes!
If you talk to another victim of narcissistic abuse, there is another potential benefit, too. They may have found ways to cope with a similar situation to yours, & can help enlighten you to new ideas that may help you. Or, they may have made mistakes & can tell you what didn’t work & why. Both are very beneficial.
I learned another benefit of talking several years ago. I wrote about it when it happened. May 5, 2016, I had a huge argument with my parents. I knew it was coming, so before I took their call that night, I asked God to guide my words. Well, He did, but not as I expected Him to! Rather than remaining calm & providing no narcissistic supply, I yelled, cussed & cried. As soon as I hung up the phone, I got in prayer. I told God I was so sorry! I must have somehow missed His guidance.. maybe I should call my parents back & apologize. As clearly as I’ve ever heard His voice, He said, “No. Your parents needed this. They needed to see their normally calm, rational daughter terribly upset because of them.” Why, I have no clue but I know He knew. It also showed me that although most times when dealing with narcissists, it is foolish to be outspoken with them, there are certain times when it is necessary. If you trust God, He will help you to do it.
While talking about things obviously can be helpful in many ways, never, ever forget to be wise with whom you share your story of narcissistic abuse. There are many people out there who support narcissists, & will hurt you for talking about your experiences. If they know the narcissist, they’ll also tell him or her everything you say. Remember Matthew 10:16, & be wise as serpents, harmless as doves!
My publish is having their “Read An Ebook Week” sale from March 7 until March 13. This means that all of my ebooks will be 25% off! Come check them out!
It’s a simple fact of life that some family members abuse other family members. Every single person I have spoken with who reads my work has been abused by at least one relative. I have been too. And one thing the majority of us have in common is that we have severed ties with these monsters to protect ourselves.
So many people have experienced the same thing I have, people coming out of the woodwork to tell us we have done something terrible by severing ties. They seem to think since you’re related, that relationship is somehow sacred, & there is never any reason to end it. Many people even bring God into their warped views, saying you have to “forgive & forget” or “honor your parent” by tolerating whatever they do to you.
I want you to know today that is completely wrong!
Titus 3:10 says, “As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him,” (ESV) And, 2 Timothy 3:1-5 says,“3 But understand this, that in the last days dangerous times [of great stress and trouble] will come [difficult days that will be hard to bear]. 2 For people will be lovers of self [narcissistic, self-focused], lovers of money [impelled by greed], boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane, 3 [and they will be] unloving [devoid of natural human affection, calloused and inhumane], irreconcilable, malicious gossips, devoid of self-control [intemperate, immoral], brutal, haters of good, 4 traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of [sensual] pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of [outward] godliness (religion), although they have denied its power [for their conduct nullifies their claim of faith]. Avoid such people and keep far away from them.” (AMP) (Emphasis added)
Did you notice something in there about how this applies to anyone but family? Me neither. Probably because it’s not there!
So many of you reading this post today have ended relationships with your abusive family members, & are struggling with guilt & doubt. I totally understand. I’ve been in this same position. After I stopped speaking to my parents, I had a LOT of both guilt & doubt. Shortly after, I learned my father had leukemia, which added even more guilt & doubt. I also had relatives constantly telling me how awful I was & doing their best to shame & even bully me into resuming the relationship with my parents. The only reason I survived all of that with my sanity in tact is God.
When times got tough & people were being so cruel to me about being no contact, I depended on God to help me get through. Help me He did too! God would remind me that I did what was right, at the time it was right, & I did nothing wrong. They didn’t see that because of their own issues, not because I had done something bad. He even stopped me from making things worse by enabling me not to respond to their vicious attacks. He kept reminding me that if I responded, things would get worse, so ignore them. Save their emails, messages, etc. in case I need them one day, but don’t read them or respond to them.
Everything God did for me during the flying monkey attacks was exactly what I needed in my situation. He will do the same for you!
If you have come to the point of having no contact with some of your family, please rest assured God understands! Contrary to what some people think, He is ok with you removing toxic, abusive people from your life, even if they are family. When you’re struggling with your decision, talk to Him & ask His help. He won’t let you down! Let Him help! He can get you through anything, even this!
Lately, I’ve been busy. Not writing the usual books but taking a bit of a breather from that to create some cross stitch patterns. Since I’m not the only one who needs a break from the draining topic of narcissism, I thought I’d share the link to them here.
I also have some crochet patterns available on my site as well. They are on this link.
I hope those of you reading this will like them. I also hope that even if you aren’t into crafts, you’ll remember that mental health breaks are very important. PLEASE take some time where you deliberately do NOT think about narcissism or your healing from narcissistic abuse. Such a draining topic requires plenty of rest & distraction to prevent you from burning out.
Some time back, I decided to change my online diary to another website. Unfortunately I can’t export the old one & import it to the new. I have to copy & paste old entries manually. I considered starting from scratch but quickly abandoned the idea. It’s helpful to be able to read over old entries.
One thing I realized in reading those old entries was how helpful anger has been to me. Many of you may remember in 2016, I had a big argument with my parents that led to no contact. It was a very hard time for me, & I was full of a great deal of anger.
I don’t like feeling anger. In fact, I really hate it. When someone wrongs me, no matter how badly, I do my best to release that anger as quickly as possible. Yet after the argument with my parents, not only could I not release it, it got worse for a while. At the time it felt horrible & I was miserable. I couldn’t understand why I felt the way I did. Looking back though, I realize how valuable that anger was.
The anger I felt then helped me to stay no contact with my parents. I felt incredibly guilty for going no contact because they were in failing health. That anger helped me to maintain my distance. And, I later learned that maintaining no contact was what God wanted from me at the time. In fact, it led to my father’s Salvation at the very end of his life. (That incredible story is on my website at http://www.CynthiaBaileyRug if you’d like to read it.)
That anger also helped me to maintain boundaries when people insisted I should speak to my parents. We all know that flying monkeys think they know best what victims should do to please their narcissist. This behavior really goes over the top when a victim boots a narcissist out of their life. I experienced this in 2016 & 2017. The anger I felt at my parents helped me to keep a good perspective on the relationship I’d had with my parents, & not to cave when people tried to force me to resume it.
The anger I felt also helped me to think logically. That was very helpful, too! If I started to think the flying monkeys might be right, almost immediately I would ask myself what would it benefit anyone for me to return to the abusive relationship? What makes people think they have the right to suggest that to me? Logical thoughts like that are fantastic for giving a healthy perspective.
I know in Christian circles, talk like this is often very frowned upon. So many quote Colossians 3:13 that says we should be quick to forgive or they say anger is a sin. While I agree that forgiveness is a good thing, people shouldn’t be labeled sinful for feeling anger! Anger isn’t a sin. It’s simply an emotion. What a person does with anger can be sinful, but isn’t that true with pretty much anything? Owning a knife isn’t a sin either, but if that knife is used to kill someone, that becomes a tool to sin.
Rather than looking at anger as some black & white issue, I think it’s good to look at it more objectively. Consider the reason you’re angry & pray about it. Maybe you can learn something from the anger or the situation. Maybe it will help motivate you to change. Few things are as good a motivator as anger, after all.
While I’m not saying act carelessly out of anger, let it help you. Don’t let it be a waste. Let your anger teach or help you in whatever way it can. It can be uncomfortable to experience but it also can be a very good teacher & helper.
Many people talk about forgiveness as if it means you resume a relationship as if nothing happened. You also no longer feel any anger or hurt. It’s as if a magic wand has wiped away all evidence that the painful event happened! And, if this isn’t the case in your situation, clearly something is very wrong with you.
Unfortunately nothing could be further from the truth! Believing these lies has done a lot of emotional damage to victims of narcissistic abuse. I want to share the truth about forgiveness in this post.
Forgiveness doesn’t necessarily equal reconciliation. Some relationships have run their course & need to end for various reasons. One example is when one person in the relationship is abusive & shows no interest in changing their ways. Staying in a relationship with someone who abuses you simply makes no sense! Even if the abuser is a spouse or family member, it’s best to leave the abuser behind.
Forgiveness also doesn’t mean that a relationship needs to continue exactly as it was. When someone does something very bad to someone else, that bad behavior needs to stop. Continuing the abusive behavior over & over is terrible for the victim & also the abuser. The abuser learns that their behavior is perfectly acceptable. Clearly this is NOT good for either party!
Forgiving someone is much like forgiving a debt. If you lend someone money & they can’t pay you back, you can “forgive” their debt. In other words, you don’t expect them to repay you & you don’t mention that they owe you. That debt is a done deal. When someone wrongs you, you can do something similar by not expecting them to try to make it up to you for what they have done. Doing this really lifts a great deal of weight & stress from you!
Forgiveness also doesn’t necessarily mean that you never feel anger or hurt about the incident again. If you forgive someone as I mentioned in the previous paragraph, that does open the door to your anger & hurt diminishing or even disappearing in time. Some abusive actions are so egregious though, that there may always be a degree of hurt or anger attached to the memory. That doesn’t mean that you haven’t forgiven the person who hurt you. It means that the action was really terrible. Remember me sharing the story of when my mother threw me into a wall when I was 19? I honestly have forgiven her for that. Remembering the incident, however, still makes me cringe. Sometimes it even makes my back hurt in the location she injured it. That doesn’t mean I haven’t forgiven her, am holding onto bitterness or am not a good Christian. It means that was a really bad action!
When it comes to the business of forgiving, I do my best immediately to decided to forgive. Most likely there is nothing the person can do anyway to completely make it up to me for what they have done, so I mentally release them from that “debt” of sorts.
I also have found praying to be VERY helpful. I ask God to help me forgive naturally, but also tell Him how I feel. I say it was wrong of them to do or say whatever they did. I cry or rant to get my feelings out & that helps so much. He is never surprised or offended either. He lets me say whatever I need to.
Journaling is also helpful. I’ve learned that writing things down helps bring clarity to situations that speaking about them doesn’t. There is something so helpful about seeing things in writing!
If you don’t journal, you still can get the benefits of writing. Write letters you never send to the person who has hurt or abused you. Let it all out in them, too. Once you’re done, you can save the letter somewhere well hidden or you can dispose of it. I used to burn mine. It was like the anger & hurt went up in flames with the paper. Strange, I know, but still very helpful.
You don’t have to live up to the impossibly high standards some folks have of forgiveness. It’s unrealistic & unhealthy! Remember these truths about forgiveness.. I believe they will help you!
Toxic shame can be one of the most damaging aspects of narcissistic abuse. It tells a victim that something is deeply wrong with them, unlike guilt which tells a person that they did something wrong. This shame obliterates self esteem & makes a victim easier to control. This is why shame is such a common weapon of narcissists. It’s extremely effective.
Narcissists instill toxic shame in their victims in various ways. They let their victim know that their feelings, thoughts, & beliefs are wrong. The victims likes & dislikes are also harshly judged & criticized. In fact, everything about the victim is harshly judged & criticized. His or her looks, actions, hopes, dreams & more. Even if a victim tries to be what the narcissist wants, the narcissist will let the victim know it isn’t good enough. In fact, nothing the victim does is good enough. Instead of the victim seeing this as the narcissist is impossible to please, most victims take it as them being a failure for not pleasing their narcissist, which adds to their toxic shame.
Shame also forces victims to keep the abuse secret. The victim is too embarrassed to admit that they tolerate such cruelty in some cases. In others, the victim is ashamed of feeling angry or hurt by the abuse because the narcissist has convinced the victim that the victim is the reason for the abusive behavior or that it really isn’t abuse, the victim is being oversensitive. Either way, the abuse being kept a secret is another benefit for the narcissist. They can continue the abuse without fear of the victim exposing their heinous acts.
Even once a victim ends the relationship with a narcissist, toxic shame is still a part of that victim’s life until he or she realizes it & works on healing. Adults with toxic shame end up in abusive relationships, whether they be romantic, friendships or coworkers. They are depressed & seldom realize why. They often have tremendous anxiety as well. They live to please other people, & feel as though they fail even when told they have done a great job. They have no self esteem. They’re simply miserable!
One of the best ways to start to combat toxic shame is by talking about the abuse. Being open about your experiences is a very effective way to release the power they have over you. I’ve thought of it like this… if you remember anything about the old legends of vampires, when they were in the dark, they were incredibly powerful. Nothing could stop them. Yet, in the sunlight, they were powerless in the short time before they were destroyed. Talking about the effects of the abuse is the same. Being open about it releases the power it has over you. In fact, it enables you to take back your power! By talking about it, you’re basically telling your abuser, “This is my story too & I have every right to talk about it. You can’t stop me anymore!”
By talking about the abuse, I’m not saying you need to talk about it non stop to everyone, write books or have a blog like mine. You have to do whatever feels right to you. It’s usually best to start out by praying about it. Also, you can write in a journal. From there, you can talk to a safe person such as a close friend or counselor. Take baby steps, since talking about it can be pretty scary at first. As you get more comfortable discussing it, maybe one day you will feel like creating a blog or writing a book about your story. Only God knows what the best plan for you is. Until such time as that plan is revealed though, start talking. It will help you destroy that toxic shame & live a happier life!
Aside from the hours of thinking & talking about NPD I do daily, there has been a LOT going on in my life the last few years. This exacerbates my mental & physical health problems. I realized recently this is ridiculous… I need a break!
I have blog posts & YouTube videos scheduled well ahead of time so I can take time off from those things. But I needed to do more. This brought me to the idea of spending more time crafting since it relaxes me so much. Working on a crafty project also takes my focus so I don’t think about NPD at all.
The crafting thought gave me another idea… add some craft patterns on my website!
Clearly I’m not the only person who needs frequent breaks. Anyone who is healing from narcissistic abuse naturally spends a lot of time reading & thinking about it, which can take a mental & physical toll. If you aren’t doing that, then please start! Whatever helps you to relax & think about something more pleasant than narcissism isn’t important, so long as you do it.
If you’re not sure what to do, why not try something creative? Guys, you need to do this too. There are all kinds of creative ideas out there! I focus on knitting, crochet & cross stitch, but there are about a zillion other things you can do. Draw, paint, woodworking, model building, RC cars or airplanes, sculpting… possibilities are endless!
If you’re interested in knitting, crochet or cross stitch like me, then please check out the patterns I’ve made & put on my website. I’ll be adding more over time, but there are a few patterns on there already that I hope you’ll like. The link directly to those patterns is below:
My husband & I were watching a true crime TV show not long ago, as we often do. On it, a man shot & killed another. At the time, he was very high on drugs & paranoid. He mistook a simple comment made by the victim as insulting & disrespectful, which infuriated him enough to shoot this man.
I thought about how ridiculous this is. Even if the man had been insulting, who cares?! That was no reason to kill the guy!
Growing up with narcissistic parents, people often go one way or another. Some turn out like what the comedian Christopher Titus referred to as an insult Navy seal. After your parent has said unimaginably cruel things to you & called you dreadful names, no one else’s insults can hurt you. You’ve built up a high tolerance to insults, & it takes a LOT to upset you. Then there are many other people who have gone the other direction. They have a thin skin when it comes to insults, & are easily devastated. You are the folks I am writing this post for.
Nobody likes to be insulted. Pretty sure that is just a given. That doesn’t mean insults need to be devastating though. For one thing, no one can please everyone. You can be a beautiful person, inside & out, highly intelligent, successful in every area of your life, & someone still will have something negative to say no matter how perfect you are simply because no one can please every single person.
For another thing, emotionally healthy people aren’t judgmental or critical. They are usually way too focused on managing themselves, learning, growing & being good people to worry about picking someone else apart. This tells me that the majority of critical people aren’t emotionally healthy, like critical narcissists. Do you really care about the opinion of someone like that?
Many insults are said out of jealousy. For an example, a person struggling in college may be very critical of their friend who appears to be sailing through without any problems.
There is also something called morbid envy. Narcissists are quite prone to this. They envy someone so much that they are excessively cruel to that person. They can be extremely nit picky towards the subject of their envy too, such as criticizing small things like a woman having a broken nail or a man’s hair being slightly disheveled. Another common sign of morbid envy is when a person receives a complement & the narcissist immediately insults either the receiver or giver of the complement or even both. In any case, morbid envy makes a person very insulting towards others!
And don’t forget.. there is a big difference in someone being insulting & offering constructive criticism. Constructive criticism is worded to offer help & be as not offensive as possible. Insults aren’t said to help, but only to hurt.
My point in sharing these thoughts with you is to help you realize that when someone is insulting to you, Dear Reader, it’s not about you. It’s truly about that person.
What they say also has no basis in reality, only in that person’s dysfunction. An insulting person is trying to hurt or control you by any means possible. That doesn’t mean that what they say is true. In fact, most likely it isn’t even close.
If you can remember these points when you come across someone who is insulting & mean to you, it really will help you to avoid being upset by that person’s nastiness. A different perspective can be a truly helpful thing sometimes, in particular when it comes to dealing with very dysfunctional, hateful people.
I just got a email from one of the publishers I use. They will be making some changes that will affect my free ebooks, which has gotten me to do some thinking….
I’ve been considering retiring all of them & republishing with the other publisher I use to gain more exposure. Due to the changes, I plan to do just this.
Since I need to redo the ebooks anyway, I’m going to add more to them & they’ll no longer be free. Probably I’ll only ask a little for them, like maybe $.99 since I don’t plan to add a lot to them.
While these books won’t be free, my website, this blog, my YouTube channel & podcasts all still will be. There is plenty of information on these sources. While I’m glad to share all of the information I can, I need some more balance. I need to start charging for some of it. Helping people is great & I love it, but it also doesn’t pay the bills either!
I’ll retire my free ebooks by January 31, 2021. In the meantime, you can find them at this link:
You can find all of the other links I’ve mentioned on my website at this link:
Thank you for understanding! God bless you!
A common feeling many people experience after narcissistic abuse is grief. It makes sense since there is a great deal to grieve! If the narcissist in question was a parent, you grieve the loss of your childhood, the pain of having a parent who didn’t treat you right or love you, the years wasted trying to please your impossible to please parent, the parent you wish you had & more. If the narcissist was a spouse, there is grief too, because that person married you not out of love, but out of wanting to use & abuse you. There is also time wasted with this person that could have been spent in much better ways. You also may grieve the loss of the person you thought the narcissist was at first. If you passed up a good person to marry the narcissist, there is regret & grief over losing that good person. If you had children together, no doubt there is also a great deal of guilt over giving your children this terrible person as a parent.
Whatever your situation, if you’re grieving after escaping narcissistic abuse, please know you are normal! It’s awful to experience but it’s also very normal. Grief isn’t only something to be experienced after someone dies. It comes after all kinds of losses.
You need to experience & process your grief after narcissistic abuse just as you would after losing someone you love. It is healing to cry & be angry about the unfairness of it all. Ignoring it, pretending it isn’t happening or even shaming yourself as if something is wrong with you for feeling this way isn’t healthy at all!
Rather than do those unhealthy things, why not try accepting your feelings without judgment? They’re not abnormal, they’re not wrong & you aren’t crazy for feeling the way you do. Stop criticizing them. Accept them for what they are- your feelings that are completely valid.
As you accept them, sit with them for a while. Cry or yell if you need to. I know this can be difficult for those of us shamed for having feelings by our narcissistic parent, so if those are too much, then try writing things out. If you don’t have a journal, it may be an excellent time to start one. If you want to be certain no one ever reads it, there are online journals that are private & password protected. I use Penzu’s free version, but there are plenty of others as well if it doesn’t meet your needs.
I’ve also found writing letters to the narcissist very helpful. I wrote out everything I thought & felt about what they did, not censoring myself. The especially important part of this is I never sent the letters. I wrote them to purge myself of the awful things I felt because of the actions of a narcissist, not to tell the narcissist how they made me feel or to try to make them see the errors of their ways. Doing such things is a complete waste of time & energy with a narcissist. In fact, if you do them, chances are you’ll only feel worse after instead of better because the narcissist will try to convince you that you’re oversensitive, overreacting or even crazy. Instead, I’ve found ripping the letters up & throwing them away or burning them to be very helpful.
If you have a safe friend, relative or even counselor, talking about your grief or praying with them can be very helpful as well.
You also need to be aware that grief doesn’t have time limits. You can’t expect to get over the trauma in a set time. In fact, a part of you most likely always will grieve to some degree, just like when someone you love dies. It does get easier in time though. You also learn to rebuild yourself & adapt to your new life without suffering narcissistic abuse. Whatever you choose to do to cope isn’t important. What matters is that you deal with your grief & accept it as a natural part of the healing process.
One thing that has always baffled me is how people talk about how wonderful that person who died was, even though you know very well that person was an absolute jerk. As if death somehow turned that sinner into a saint.
A few years back, a former friend of mine lost her mother. Her mother had abused her terribly for her entire life. Yet, when this woman died, my friend constantly posted on Facebook how much she missed her mother, she loved her & what a beautiful, wonderful person her mother was. Eventually I couldn’t take it anymore… I had to ask her why she was saying these things after all the terrible things her mother did to her. She said it helped her to cope with the emotions if she pretended her mother was a good mother. Not a healthy coping skill by any means, but she was content with it.
I think many people probably have the same reason for their similar behavior. Losing someone you love, even someone abusive, is incredibly difficult & painful.
After my mother died, I caught myself remembering the good things about her. Those few times we got along well, when we could laugh & have fun together. The time she taught me to crochet when I was 5. Little things like that. I also prayed a lot during this time & knew that not only was she in Heaven, but she also was no longer the abusive & cruel person she was before she died. I realized that I was starting to do somewhat like my former friend did when her abusive mother died, focusing on only the good about my mother. While she was fine coping in that way, I wasn’t. It didn’t feel right or healthy to me. I got in prayer about it & learned some things.
When you love someone dies, you’re going to miss them. If that person was abusive, you’re going to miss the few good things about them, if there were any. If not, you’ll miss the person you wish they had been. Part of grieving is letting go. You are naturally going to have a harder time letting go of the good things than the bad, or even the good things you wish would have been.
Remembering the good things brings some normalcy to a very abnormal situation. There is absolutely nothing normal about coping with the death of a narcissistic parent. You can feel as if you’re completely alone, you’re crazy or unreasonable. You also most likely will feel that not one single person on the face of the earth understands what you’re feeling, because what you feel isn’t what most people feel when their parent dies. Focusing on the good, remembering the good things makes you feel more normal. It’s normal & socially acceptable to miss the good things about your parent. In most situations, it’s not normal or socially acceptable to feel glad your parent is gone or relief he or she can’t abuse you any longer. Unfortunately with narcissistic parents, both of those feelings are totally normal, they just don’t feel that way.
It’s incredibly difficult to mourn the death of a narcissistic parent. It’s easier in a sense to grieve the normal aspects of your parent, whether they were real or what you wish your parent had been like. Grieving the death of a narcissistic parent can be complex, confusing, infuriating, sad, devastating & so much more. When you grieve someone you love, basically it boils down to you miss that person. Of course that’s painful but it isn’t really convoluted. You don’t have to deal with all the intricacies & complexities that go along with mourning the death of a narcissistic parent. If you can make your parent more “normal”, it makes the grief process easier by making it less complex.
I don’t think remembering the positive things about your narcissistic parent is a bad thing in general. However, if you’re in this situation & remember only the good, that should be a red flag that you aren’t coping with your parents’ passing in a healthy way. It’s ok to remember the awful times & the abuse, & even to be angry about them. It’s ok to admit to yourself & others that your parent wasn’t exactly parent of the year. It’s also ok to be glad your parent is gone & you’re finally free. These things don’t mean you’re a terrible person. They mean you’re HUMAN!
I’ve been getting tired of writing the same type of book so I’ve been considering other options. One of them is this book. It’s a journal created to help the reader help themselves heal from the damage of narcissistic abuse.
Each month in the journal will focus on one traumatic event, & each week, one aspect of the event. It also schedules time to relax so the healing work doesn’t become overwhelming.
In the future, I may create other similar journals on different topics, but honestly I’m not positive yet. We’ll see where God leads me.
The journal is available only in print, unlike many of my other books. It can be found at this link:
Some time back, I saw a quote. I don’t recall the name of the author but anyway the quote said something like, “What didn’t kill me made me stronger. It also gave me a dark & twisted sense of humor.” Immediately I felt a bit embarrassed because I know that’s me. My sense of humor can be very dark & twisted. Quickly though I remembered something.
In my late teen years, I had a good friend a couple of years younger than me. His mother was also abusive, & his sense of humor could be very dark & twisted like mine. One day, we were laughing about something & he said, “Yanno, I’m so glad to have a sense of humor. I really believe that’s helped so much to get me through everything.”
I believe that former friend was right. His relationship with his mother never really got better after we grew up. He had very limited contact with her well before I even knew that “low contact” & “no contact” were healthy options, but kept his sense of humor through it all. One day we went to a yard sale. He found a pot for houseplants he liked. He commented how it looked like a spittoon from the old west & I agreed. He paid for it then looked at me & said, “Now when Mom comes over, she’ll have a place to spit her chewing tobacco!” She didn’t chew, but the mental picture of this made me laugh.
I’ve laughed at some things regarding my mother too. In high school she accused me of having sex with the entire football team. I’ve never been promiscuous & was a virgin at the time, so the accusation was ridiculous & hurtful. Eventually I found humor in it. My husband has too. Once in a while, he says something about it & we laugh at the stupidity of the comment.
Sometimes, even in the midst of dark times, humor can be a blessing. My husband’s favorite ring tone is Bach’s Toccata & Fugue in D minor, which happens to be the well known theme song from the old scary movie, “Tales From The Crypt.” It’s very morbid sounding yet beautiful. Anyway, while in the ER with his father one night, one of his sisters called, triggering that ring tone. In spite of the serious situation, he & a few nurses laughed at the ring tone which helped lighten everyone’s mood. Also, the night we received the death notification about my mother, the funeral home called my husband’s cell as we were talking with a police officer. Again, Bach’s song played when his phone rang. The poor policeman looked horrified, but it made me laugh. Inappropriate? Sure, but I was so shaken up, that laugh helped to calm me a bit so I could focus on the task at hand.
I know when times are painful, it can feel impossible to laugh. It may even feel disrespectful to find humor in such a somber situation. But if at all possible, I want to encourage you to try to find some humor in the situation. It often can be done. It also can be an incredibly helpful coping mechanism, so why not use it?
Rather than be offended & hurt by the lies the narcissist accuses you of, try to find the humor in it. Often their lies are so incredibly outrageous, they’re funny! Really! Look at my mother’s lies about me with the entire high school football team. I was in her presence constantly & had no time for that even if I had the inclination. It was an outrageous & stupid thing to say. No doubt the narcissist in your life has also said outrageous & stupid things about you.
I also hope you find a reason to laugh every day. Find a comedian you like & listen to his or her routines often. Watch funny movies or tv shows. Spend time with your friends who make you laugh. Doing these things will improve your mental health. You’ll be happier & enjoy life more.