Tag Archives: love

Don’t Judge Other People’s Pain

I really think my mind is much like a Lazy Susan. It just kinda spins & I’m not always sure where it’ll stop.. lol For some reason, a few minutes ago it stopped on 2 people I was close to who both died from cancer.

The first lady died in 2009. She faced cancer I believe it was five times before she passed away. You’d think after having gone through so much pain & misery, she would’ve been bitter, but she wasn’t. She was always kind, loving, caring. Even when she felt horrible, she never failed to ask me how I was doing or what was happening in my life. She genuinely cared about my life. Even if something small but disappointing happened like I got a paper cut, she would offer sympathy.

The second lady died five years later. She also experienced cancer multiple times before it took her life. However, she was much different than the first lady. She lacked compassion. In fact, she came across like if you didn’t have cancer, she thought your problems weren’t important. Even if you had a different life threatening disease, it wasn’t cancer, so it was no big deal to her.

Thinking about this, I realized something. It isn’t just physical problems that can make people act this way. It’s all kinds of problems. I’ve seen similar attitudes in adult children of narcissists. Some who had siblings look down on those of us who were only children. They think we had it easy because we didn’t have siblings. Some who never developed C-PTSD or PTSD act like those of us who do have one of those disorders are weak. After all, *they* didn’t develop it & they had narcissistic parents too. Sometimes this attitude is even evident in those who write about narcissistic abuse. They are the ones who expect their readers to be in the same place in healing they are, or they tell their readers to “just go no contact.. I did it & it worked for me!” without knowing anything about their situation.

Dear Reader, I want to encourage you today not to act that way! Examine your behavior & if you are acting like other people’s problems aren’t as bad as yours, change your behavior. Ask God to help you to see if you’re acting inappropriately in this area.

Also remember, just because something might not traumatize you doesn’t mean it’s not traumatic to someone else. People are very different & this means we respond & react differently. Two people can grow up with the same parents, experience many of the same things, & they will tell stories of their experiences much differently. One may be upset or even traumatized while the other talks about his or her happy childhood.

Romans 12:15 says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice [sharing others’ joy], and weep with those who weep [sharing others’ grief].” (AMP) If you notice, it doesn’t say we should judge their situations or how they feel about their experiences. it just says we should share in their joy or sadness.

Even if you don’t understand why someone feels the way they do, you still can be kind to that person. You can offer to listen to them if they want to talk, to take them to lunch or some other outing to cheer them up or to pray with or for them. Small gestures like these can help a hurting person a great deal, definitely much more than trivializing or even invalidating their pain.

Please think before you speak when someone is trying to tell you why they are hurting. It will do you both good. The person who is hurting won’t be further hurt by what you say & you may become less judgmental & more compassionate.

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

Since Some Folks Have Asked…

I am still working with my parents’ cat to earn her trust & bring her home.  (It’s so much more humane than trapping her to bring her home.  The last thing that poor girl needs is more trauma!) She is making remarkable progress, I’m happy to say.  But, remarkable progress is still somewhat slow since I’ve realized she has feline PTSD.  Considering the circumstances surrounding my mother’s passing, it’s very understandable.  Luckily for me, I already have a cat with PTSD so I’m pretty familiar with it.  I know it takes lots of wisdom, patience, understanding & love to help a cat (or a human) with PTSD.

During the very recent past, Molly has let me get close to her.  I’ve taken advantage of that & shot some short videos.  She now has her own playlist on YouTube containing those videos.  I thought I would share the link here since many of my readers are also animal lovers.  Enjoy!  xoxo

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Miracles Are Happening!

Since my mother died, I’ve been concerned about her Salvation or lack thereof.  I’d been praying for her for years now, but saw no evidence of any change. I asked God for a sign last Saturday if she was saved. No signs happened & I was discouraged.

Monday, hubby & I went to the funeral home to settle things.  The guy who owns the place is a Christian.  In his office, I saw a small model boat on a bookshelf.  The boat’s name was Bailey.  I thought that was interesting.. something felt strange though when I noticed that.  I couldn’t put my finger on that feeling.

We had a nice long chat about our faith.  As he was talking, he suddenly said, “The Lord is putting something on my heart. He wants me to tell you your mom accepted Him.”   I had told no one I’d asked for a sign, but that was a big one!

A few minutes later, he said, “He wants me to tell you too, that everything is going to work out somehow.  Trust Him.  Everything is going to be just fine.”  I left feeling a lot better than when I arrived.

And, I decided against a funeral.  The people my mother was emotionally the closest to are physically far away.  They’re also in failing health or elderly or both, so they won’t be able to attend.  She only wanted a graveside service anyway, but still, there isn’t a point in having that for only a few people.  My mother was practical so I believe she’d have been fine with my decision.  Family members, however, I didn’t think would be.  I was afraid of telling them of this considering how awful these people treated me when my father died.

Thank God, among all these awful people, He blessed me with a couple of good ones.  One of my cousins said he would take care of telling my father’s family what happened & tell them they are NOT to contact me.  So far, not a peep…

As for my mother’s family, I remembered I had an email for one of her cousins.  That was the only contact information I had, so I used it.  We’ve been talking & she’s been quite helpful.  She’s dealt with my mother’s side of the family, so I haven’t needed to.  The best part is when I explained there wouldn’t be a funeral & why, she said she thought it was the best solution since so many of her friends & family wouldn’t be able to attend.  Whew…

God is truly working in this situation & blessing me beyond description right now.  My mother’s salvation being the biggest blessing of all!

I hope this encourages you, Dear Reader.  All things truly are possible with God!  If my mother could turn to Him, that alone is proof all things are possible!

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Narcissism

My Ebooks Are On Sale

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

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

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

A Really Amazing Story To Encourage Your Faith

Recently, hubby & I have been looking into changing our car & homeowner’s insurance company to a place where we can get a fairer rate.  We found it, I’m very happy to say!  It also got me thinking of something I haven’t shared in a while…

Some of you know, my beautiful ’69 Fury once belonged to my wonderful granddad.  He gave the car to my father in 1976 when his car was stolen.  In 1979, the transmission & rear end were going out, & he didn’t want the expense of replacing them both.  My father sold the car to a local junkyard instead.  I was only 8, & still remember the day this happened.  My mother followed him in her car to the junkyard.  He talked with the guy there briefly, & gave him the keys.  Then he got into my mother’s car & we drove off to pick up his next car from the dealer.  I remember staring out the window, watching the Fury get smaller & smaller in the distance.  I’ve always loved cars, & for some reason, that one in particular, so it made me sad.  My father even gave me a spare set of keys that I kept for years.. possibly they’re still in my parents’ house, I don’t know.

Anyway in 2005, my husband & I went to a local flea market.  After parking, as we crossed the parking area, we saw this gorgeous green 1969 Fury!  I was excited & told him it looked just like my father’s & granddad’s!  My husband said, “Why don’t you leave a note on the car?  Maybe the owner wants to sell.”  On a whim, I did.  A couple of days later, the owner called me & said he was considering selling the car for about 2 weeks.  He sold me this beautiful car.

Shortly after, my father came by my house.  He looked at the car & said, “This is my car!  I remember this bit of silicone on the windshield trim.. I never could get rid of that.  There’s that dent in the back bumper where a guy on a motorcycle rear ended me!”  I thought that is impossible.  His car had to be crushed years ago.  Still, it’s very interesting…the same exact dent in the bumper?  Silicone on the chrome in the same place?  And, come to think of it, the keys the seller gave me said “Taylor” on them like my father’s keys did.  They weren’t the original Plymouth keys, but copies.  It got him & I both thinking.

After going home, my father called me.  He found the maintenance records he had for his cars.  Although he got rid of the ones for his Fury, he still had the VIN that he wrote down when he had the car during the latter part of the 1970’s.  I compared it to the VIN on my car.  It was an exact match!!!  I was the proud owner not of a twin to my father & granddad’s car as I expected, but their exact car!  Check this out.. the above VIN is what my father wrote down in the 1970’s.  The bottom is the VIN off my car that I wrote down…

Christina's VIN

I know a lot of people who read my work probably aren’t car buffs like I am.  But, I do believe many of you can appreciate this story anyway.  This amazing car is such a wonderful display of God’s kindness & love!  Getting this beautiful car is not something I ever expected to happen.  It never even crossed my mind.  It crossed God’s though.  He was working on this back in 1979 apparently.  The guy at the junkyard easily could have simply crushed the car, but he didn’t.  He repaired the transmission & rear end.  In fact, in 1990 I remember seeing the car at a traffic light, & wondering if that was the same car I had known.  Apparently one former owner also had engine work done, so the engine is in fantastic shape.  The car was also painted & the interior reupholstered.  I not only got the same car, I got the same car in great condition!

If God could orchestrate all of this just to get this car to me & in such great shape, I think that is proof of how incredible He is!  I mean, this plan was in place for 26 years, & all just because I always loved this car.  Isn’t that mind blowing?!  And, the Bible says in Acts 10:34 that God doesn’t show partiality, so this means if He can do something so amazing for me, He can do something amazing for you, too.  xoxo

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What To Expect From A Narcissist After Going No Contact

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When You Don’t Know What To Say To Someone Who Is Suffering

It seems like when someone is suffering in some way, the majority of people have no clue on what to say.  Rather than saying nothing or admitting they don’t know what to say, most people make insensitive, hurtful or even invalidating comments….

  • “You should be glad your grandmother died.. she’s not suffering anymore.”
  • “I know you’re sick.  I had that same problem & it was horrible.  I ended up in the hospital & in more pain than I thought was possible!”
  • “The reason you have this problem is you just don’t have enough faith!”
  • “You should be grateful it’s not worse!  Other people have it much worse than you do!”

Comments like these are invalidating & hurtful.  They also make the person with the problem feel as if they are whining about some petty little problem instead of the crisis they are facing.  These are the last things a person needs to feel but especially at this time!

If someone you know is having a problem, then please, PLEASE seriously think about what you say to that person.  You don’t want to make them feel worse than they already do.  Also, a good idea is to ask God to give you the right words to say.  He will be glad to do so.  Luke 12:12 says, “The Holy Spirit will give you the words to say at the moment when you need them.” (VOICE)  

Don’t forget too that people are individuals.  Even if you have experienced the exact same problem as your friend, you both will handle it differently because you’re individuals.  Just because your friend feels differently than you did or is handling the situation in a different way than you did doesn’t mean that friend is wrong.

Remember, the situation is about your friend, not you.  Even if you experienced the exact same problem, keep the main focus on your friend, not you or what you did.  It’s fine to share that information if your friend asks, but the main focus should be on your friend.

This brings me to another point.  Don’t offer advice unless asked for it.  A lot of times, people just want to vent or talk about their problem to help them get some clarity.  They aren’t looking for you to solve it.  They’re looking for you to listen & offer empathy.

Don’t go too far with positivity.  Sometimes being too positive comes across as invalidating.  When I survived carbon monoxide poisoning in 2015, I nearly died.  It was tough to come to terms with.  Upon telling one person that I came very close to death, that person said, “But you didn’t die!”  That comment came across as something was wrong with me for being upset instead of only being grateful I survived.  “I’m so glad you didn’t die!” would’ve been a much better response.  That response would have shown the person accepted that the situation was bad & they care about me rather than basically shaming me for being upset as any normal person would’ve been.  Being positive can be a good thing but sometimes it’s also ok to admit something is very wrong, & to respond accordingly.

There are also some situations where you simply have no clue what to say.  When a person loses someone they love, for example, there is nothing in this world you can say to make their pain go away.  Rather than try, simply be honest.  Admit that you don’t know what to say, but you’re there for them if they need anything.  When my father was dying, a couple we’re friends with stopped by our home one day.  Neither had said anything so I wasn’t sure if they knew about my father or not.  I mentioned it along with the abuse I received from the flying monkeys at the time during our conversation.  They said, “We saw you mentioned it on Facebook, but honestly, we had no clue what to say.  We’re sorry all this is happening.”  That may have been the best thing anyone said to me at that time.  They were honest, non-judgmental & not critical at all, which was just what I needed.

Lastly, don’t forget to offer to pray with & for your friend.  I’ve noticed even people who don’t share my faith appreciate the offer a great deal.  Prayer seems to offer comfort to most people, no matter their religious beliefs.  However, if the person in question is angry with God or adamant in believing He doesn’t exist, this is not a good thing to say.  Nothing says you can’t pray for that person when not in their presence though…

Dear Reader, please keep these things in mind when someone you know is suffering.  These simple tips will help your friend & maybe even strengthen your relationship.

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

The Closer You Get To God, The More Challenges You May Face

Have you ever noticed sometimes that the more your relationship with God improves, the more bad things seem to come your way?  Suddenly it seems like everything is going wrong, & the things that are going wrong are big challenges.  If only they were simple ones like having a flat tire.

This is because the closer you get to God, the more the devil hates you & wants to steal your peace & joy.

I have seen this in my own life recently.  A couple of weeks ago, I spent a good part of my day in tears & praying about a big problem happening in my life.  That afternoon, one of my wonderful, Godly friends texted me.  She reminded me that with God, all things are possible & that He loves me.  The amazing part of this is that I didn’t tell her anything that was happening until after she sent me the text & I explained why this meant so much to me that she did that.  This incident caused my faith in God to grow by leaps & bounds.  Since then, I’ve been experiencing more nightmares & flashbacks than usual which causes my health to be worse, my husband & I have been getting along worse & even my cats have been fussing with each other a lot which is highly unusual for them.

If things are suddenly going badly in your life, this may be why.  Did you have some sort of spiritual breakthrough recently?  Are you feeling closer to God than usual due to an answered prayer or display of His favor & love?  That may be why things suddenly took a turn for the worse in your life.

During these trying times, I’ve learned that as hard as they are, there can still be peace.  On the outside, nothing has really changed in my life at all.  Things are still challenging.  However, I know beyond any doubt that God is still in control.  He still loves me, He still has my back.  Even during the bad times, He is still with me.

That goes for you too, Dear Reader.  Even when it doesn’t feel like it, & it seems like God is a million miles away, He’s still with you & taking care of you.  And, the only reason things are going badly at the moment is the devil is mad that you’re closer to God.  He’s trying to destroy your faith, to make you think things like, “If this is what happens when I get close to God, I’m done believing in Him!”  Don’t give him what he wants!  Stick even closer to God!  It makes a big difference!  Maybe not in your circumstances immediately, but you’ll be better able to handle the bad things, you’ll have more peace & less anxiety & depression.  One thing that helps me too, is to remember Psalm 23:4

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” (NKJV)

I have found these Scriptures to be comforting & helpful as well…

Psalm 33:8 “Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.”  (NKJV)

Psalm 33:18 “Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy, ” (NKJV)

Proverbs 8:13 “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate.” (NKJV)

Remember, you are NOT alone, Dear Reader!  God is in your corner with you, no matter what.  xoxo

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Think No Contact Is Wrong? God Disagrees

One of the things I love so much about the Bible is it never gets old.  Even if you’ve read it countless times, you still will see something new.

This Scripture came to my attention a few minutes ago…

Titus 3:10  “After a first and second warning reject a divisive man [who promotes heresy and causes dissension—ban him from your fellowship and have nothing more to do with him],”  (AMP)

I thought about how this relates to no contact.

 

Many people think those of us who have gone no contact did so on a whim.  The truth is that we struggle a great deal with no contact.  It’s a VERY big & difficult decision!  Some people go no contact but then later resume the relationship when the narcissist gets word to them that they need help, are sick or maybe even they simply wear down the victim by constant stalking & harassment.  Many people who have considered or gone no contact also think it’s not Godly.  You can’t be a Christian & sever ties with an abusive family member or divorce an abusive spouse.  This thinking is completely wrong though, & Titus 3:10 proves that!

 

If you’re in this situation, then I urge you to consider your situation.  Have you prayed about it?  Chances are, if you share my faith then you have.  A LOT!  Yet, you still are leaning towards no contact or you have followed through with it… doesn’t that tell you that it’s ok?  I mean, if it wasn’t, God would find some way to let you know it’s a bad idea.  At the very least, you’d have a feeling inside that it’s not a good solution.  God’s voice may not always boom loudly in our ears, but He does have the Holy Spirit quietly let us know if there is something we should or shouldn’t do.

 

Also, have you done as this Scripture said?  Have you spoken with the narcissist in your life, explaining that their abusive behavior has hurt you?  Again, chances are you have.  Every single person I’ve spoken with who has survived narcissistic abuse whether it was at the hands of a parent, spouse or relative tried talking things out with that narcissist many times.  They didn’t simply end the relationship, & I’m sure you are the same way.

 

Everyone has their limits, & there is nothing wrong with reaching the limits & eliminating toxic, abusive people from your life.  The above Scripture from Titus is only one of many that say this in the Bible.  Here are other Scriptures that show God wants us to be in good, healthy relationships.:

 

  • Psalm 1:1 “Blessed [fortunate, prosperous, and favored by God] is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked [following their advice and example],Nor stand in the path of sinners,Nor sit [down to rest] in the seat of [b]scoffers (ridiculers).”  (AMP)

  • Proverbs 13:20  “He who walks [as a companion] with wise men will be wise,But the companions of [conceited, dull-witted] fools [are fools themselves and] will experience harm.” (AMP)

  • Luke 9:5 “And as for all those who do not welcome you, when you leave that city, shake the dust off your feet [breaking all ties with them] as a testimony against them [that they rejected My message].” ” (AMP)

  • Luke 17:3  “ Pay attention and always be on guard[looking out for one another]! If your brother sins and disregards God’s precepts, solemnly warn him; and if he repents and changes, forgive him.”  (AMP, emphasis added)

  • 1 Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” (AMP)

  • 2 Corinthians 6:14 “Do not be unequally bound together with unbelievers [do not make mismatched alliances with them, inconsistent with your faith]. For what partnership can righteousness have with lawlessness? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (AMP)

  • 2 Corinthians 6:17 “So come out from among unbelievers and be separate,” says the Lord, “And do not touch what is unclean; And I will graciously receive you and welcome you [with favor],”  (AMP)

 

 

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Encouraging Your Faith & Offering Comfort Regarding The Death Of A Loved One

One year ago, I shared this post about the miraculous & wonderful events that surrounded my father’s death.  If you haven’t read it, please do.

I still am absolutely blown away by the events of that time.  Talking about the goodness of God doesn’t begin to explain just how loving, good, kind & merciful He truly is, & those events proved it to me.

It’s been quite the emotional roller coaster since my father’s passing last year, & my faith has grown tremendously too.

While I don’t believe the dead actually come to us in dreams, I do believe because God knows how much certain people mean to them & they mean to us, He allows us to have dreams to convey messages from them.  That being said, I’ve had a couple of dreams about my father since his passing, although he rarely actually makes an appearance in them.  At first, I knew the dreams were to tell me that he was sorry for everything & loves me a great deal.  I also knew he didn’t want to appear in my dreams often because of the things that happened in our relationship- he was afraid it’d upset me.  Recently though he showed up in a dream & it was lovely- we were talking & laughing, & he was telling jokes.  It was fun since we shared the same skewed since of humor.  I believe that dream was to let me know that he appreciates all the prayers that not only I said for him, but my friends said as well, & now he’s enjoying Heaven because God answered those prayers.

I wanted to share these events with you to (hopefully!) encourage your faith & comfort you are losing someone you love.  God truly can save everyone who wants to be saved.  Never give up hope or give up praying for them, Dear Reader, even when it looks hopeless.  It may happen at the very last minute like it did with my father, but it can still happen.  Keep praying!!

Also, if you’ve lost a loved one, draw close to God.  Allow Him to help you to get through & to comfort you.  He truly will!  I’ve even asked Him if it’s ok, please tell my deceased loved ones I miss them, are thinking of them or even happy birthday.  I know as Christians, we aren’t supposed to try to contact the dead, so obviously I won’t seek out a medium or grab a Ouija board.  But, I see nothing wrong with asking that sort of thing of God.  Besides, if He didn’t want it to happen, He wouldn’t do it ^ would tell me it’s wrong!  He also has told me little things that they wanted me to know, & of course there have been many dreams.  Sometimes during the hardest times, I’ve dreamed about my grandfather, & the dream helped comfort me.  On February 26, 2016, the night before the one year anniversary that I survived carbon monoxide poisoning, I had a dream of going four-wheeling with my grandfather.  It was so fun & helped me feel much less depressed about that anniversary.  God can bless you in the same way.  He is no respecter of persons, so what He does for one, He can do for another.

I guess my thoughts are a bit scattered on this post, but I do hope they help & encourage you anyway.  xoxo

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About Not Tolerating Abuse

Psalm 101:5 in the Amplified translation of the Bible says, “Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will silence;
The one who has a haughty look and a proud (arrogant) heart I will not tolerate.”

This verse has come to my attention quite a few times recently.  It find it VERY interesting.  Don’t you think that it describes some aspects of narcissistic behavior?  Narcissists have NO trouble slandering others.  They also have the haughty look & an arrogant heart.  What is even more interesting to me than the description of these behaviors is that God has no tolerance for them.

Yet, narcissists’ evil minions, also known as flying monkeys, love to tell victims of narcissistic abuse that we are being cruel, unloving, & even ungodly if we set boundaries with the narcissist in our lives.  They tell us invalidating & horrible things like, “You only get one set of parents!”  “He won’t be around forever yanno!”  “But that’s your MOTHER!!!” & more.  If the flying monkey claims to be a Christian, they also like to throw in their version of Scripture to prove that your behavior is terrible, such as you aren’t honoring your parents or “God hates divorce” if your narcissist is your spouse.

Awful statements like these can make a victim feel ashamed for not tolerating the abuse or even feel enough guilt to resume the dysfunctional, abusive relationship as it was & abandon all attempts of self protection.

This should not be!!!

If you have been subjected to the inane ramblings of flying monkeys, you need to know some things.

First, the people saying these things are abusive.  Invalidation is abusive.  Encouraging someone to return to an abusive situation is also abusive.  Attempting to force someone to do something is controlling & abusive.  You have every right to protect yourself from these awful people.

Second, I’ve come to realize that many flying monkeys are simply covert narcissists.  Narcissists only care about what is best for them, no one else.  Why would you take the advice of someone like that?!

Third, you also have the right to protect yourself from any abusive person, which includes your narcissistic parent(s) or significant other.  There is nothing holy, good or loving about tolerating abuse.  Anyone who thinks there is has some seriously warped beliefs, & obviously they know nothing of God or His ways.

Fourth, the Bible says in Matthew 5:48, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  (NIV)  One duty all Christians have is to become like God.  While we can’t be just like God, of course, we can love as He loves, & treat people as He does.  So, keeping this in mind, if God does not tolerate certain things, like narcissistic behavior, this means we shouldn’t tolerate it either.

And lastly, as I said, there is nothing holy, good or loving about tolerating abuse.  Doing so encourages a person to behave poorly.  It keeps them indulging in sinful behavior, hurting other people & even themselves.  How can this be good for anyone?!  It’s impossible!

On the opposite side of that coin, refusing to tolerate abuse is a good & loving thing to do.  It sets boundaries that give consequences for a person’s bad behavior.  If they wish to avoid those consequences, they will behave better.  (While no one can force another person to change, boundaries at least create circumstances that can make a person want to change. )  Helping a person to be the best version of themselves that they can be is a loving thing to do.

Refusing to tolerate abusive treatment also removes the opportunity for the abusive person to sin, at least where you’re concerned, & that is a good thing.  Tolerating abuse not only allows the abuser to sin but practically encourages it.  After all, why should the abuser stop being abusive when they don’t have any reason to?  And no, for narcissists, knowing they’re hurting someone else isn’t enough of a reason to stop abusing.

Dear Reader, the next time someone criticizes you for not tolerating abuse from the narcissists in your life, please remember what I’ve said.  There is absolutely nothing good about tolerating abuse for you or the abuser.  You have every right to protect yourself however you see fit, whether it’s by setting boundaries or even ending the relationship.  Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise!  xoxo

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Schedule Time To Talk

At the end of July, my husband & I had a disagreement.  Not even really a fight, just a disagreement.  During the course of working things out, we began talking about our relationship in general.  We realized that when stressed, we both tend to withdraw into ourselves.  Both being major introverts (he’s INTJ, I’m INFJ), it’s hardly a surprise.  It’s also not good for our marriage, because when he withdraws it triggers me to withdraw from him & when I withdraw, it triggers him to withdraw from me also.  We tried to figure out ways to cope with this when we came up with a good solution, & I believe it’s beneficial for any marriage.

We now have daily time to talk with each other, minus tv & computer.  Maybe music but that is iffy.  In fact, we have the Amazon Echo Dot, & I have a daily reminder on there for her to tell us to talk so we are sure not to forget this time.

Every evening at 9, our Dot tells us “This is your daily reminder.  It’s talk time.”  At that time, we turn off the tv & computers, ignore the phone & talk.  The topics vary daily.  Sometimes he talks more than me, sometimes I talk more than him.  We also don’t have a set time we must talk, so sometimes it’s only 10 minutes, sometimes an hour or more.  There are also times we do it earlier in the day because maybe there’s a tv show we want to watch coming on at 9 or we’re really tired & want to get some extra sleep.  We also had an evening where one of our cats got sick & had to go to the emergency vet about 9pm, so talk time obviously was postponed that day & rescheduled for the next few days while he was in there to adapt to our spending time at the hospital.  There are no rules & there is absolutely NO pressure about talk time other than spend time together.

This ritual has been super beneficial for our marriage!  I’ve noticed we are withdrawing much less & being a lot more open about everything.  My husband used to hold a lot in about his difficulties at work but now he is talking about them.  Even when it isn’t “talk time,” he’s opening up about work more often.  He used to hold his frustrations in so this is a very good thing!  So much healthier!

We also are closer than we once were.  Focusing on each other daily has increased the intimacy in our marriage.  We are more open with each other & know we can talk to each other about anything.  I’ve felt safer to bring up topics that could start arguments because both of us are more patient, considerate & understand with each other since we started with our daily talk time.  It seems like we slow down & really think about things more during talk time.

I think we also have begun to have even more in common than we once did.  By focusing so much on each other during our talk time, it seems to have enabled us to see things from each other’s perspectives more than we once did.  We used to butt heads about how money should be spent, as one example, but now we agree on it.  Granted that area improved the longer we’ve been together, but  since we started this ritual, we’ve gotten to be a lot more on the same page.  We rarely disagree on financial things anymore.

I wanted to share this discovery with you, Dear Reader, because I think this talk time ritual can help any marriage.  I know, life can be so busy, but like I said, it doesn’t have to take long.  Even just a few minutes each day where you & your spouse focus on each other can be a good thing.  If you opt to try this in your marriage, then please do as we have done & keep it as low key as possible.  I really think pressure would make it into a burden rather than something to look forward to each day.  Schedule a time that works for you but be flexible enough to change it if circumstances dictate.  Don’t worry about having a time limit either or specific topics.  Just hang out with your spouse & talk about whatever topics come up.  The point is to have fun, relax or work through a problem.  Just go with the flow & see if your marriage doesn’t improve like mine did.

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A Bit About Marriage

Genesis 2:24 “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”  (KJV)

 

Most people have at least heard of Genesis 2:24, but I wonder how many people truly understand it.  Since tomorrow is my 20th wedding anniversary, this Scripture has popped into my mind & I figured the timing to discuss it was good.

Being close is one thing, but being enmeshed is very bad.  No doubt many of my readers know about enmeshed families.  Narcissistic families often have enmeshment down to an art form, since their families are very cult-like.  When one member gets married, this often means trouble for the new in-law.

When my husband & I first met, it didn’t take me long to learn he was very involved with his family.  Enmeshed, really, although I didn’t know the term at the time.  Coming from my own dysfunctional past, I thought at first that it was good they were so “close.”

My mother in-law hated me from the day we met, which was before my husband & I started dating.  Once we started dating, it got a lot worse & it was worse after our marriage.  Because she felt this way, her two daughters did as well, although one hid it for a few years.  Over the years, they subjected me to many cruel comments & actions letting me know I was not good enough to be a part of their family.  Yet, at the same time, I was told that I would be there on special days like Christmas & there was no acceptable excuse not to be in attendance.  They also had ideas of the type of person I should be & look like, which became incredibly annoying to me since I’m not anything like they wanted me to be.  This all created a tremendous amount of stress in my marriage which lead to me considering divorce many times.

And sadly, I felt  completely alone.  I honestly thought no other woman went through what I was going through.  How wrong I was!  As I began to write about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I learned a LOT of other people had almost identical experiences with their in-laws.  It seems this must be common with narcissistic families, to treat the in-law more like an outlaw,  make demands of them & have unrealistic expectations of them & causing problems in the marriage.

I firmly believe situations like this are why God wrote Genesis 2:24.  When a couple is married, whether they’ve been married 2 weeks or 40 years, they need to be a COUPLE, not have others involved in their marriage.  Even if the people in question are good people, it’s just inappropriate & causes problems in a marriage to have the intrusion of other people.  Feelings will get hurt, someone will feel put upon or left out, arguments will happen.. it’s just not good!  Couples needs to keep their marriage their top priority after God, & not pay attention to what other people’s opinions are.

It’s also very inappropriate for a married person to discuss the intimate details of their marriage with their parent or child.  They don’t need to be privy to that information.  All it will do is cause tension between the partner being discussed & the other person, plus if a child knows such information about their parent, it puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the child.  Children often take things personally, even things that shouldn’t be taken personally.  The child may feel to blame for the parent’s bad behavior or the marital problems.  The child may even feel it’s his or her duty to fix the problem when clearly nothing could be further from the truth!

If you’re in the situation of someone else being involved in your marriage, please talk to your partner!  Remind him or her of Genesis 2:24.  Ask God to give you the right words to say so your partner will understand the importance of this issue.  Suggest marriage counseling, perhaps.  It’ll be very challenging but you can get through this!

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My Newest Book Is Now Available!

I have published my most recent book!  It’s called, “When Love Hurts: Loving A Narcissist”.  This one is about being romantically involved with a narcissist.  It teaches the reader how to determine if his or her partner is a narcissist, about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, the best ways to cope with a narcissistic partner, how to help your children & more.  I pray it will bless everyone who reads it.

 

Want to know something interesting?  This book came to be because of a dream I had last spring.  Strange, huh?  Three ideas came to me in that one dream- a book about covert narcissists (which I wrote last year), another about narcissistic in-laws (I got a start on it & I think it will be my next book to publish) & this one about being romantically involved with narcissists.  It was one more confirmation to me that dreams are important- we need to pay attention to them!  You never know what God may show you in your dreams!

 

If you’re interested in this book, it is available in both print & ebook versions on my website at: www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com

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

Pity & Narcissists

As some of you may remember, my late mother in-law was a covert narcissist.  She also was exceptionally good at what she did.  My own husband didn’t believe me when I told him of many of the things she said & did to me.  Like everyone else, he was fooled by her innocent act.  I can’t blame him entirely for that.  Like I said, she was VERY good.

During the time she was in my life, I knew something was wrong, even though I had no understanding about Narcissistic Personality Disorder at the time.  It blew my mind how, like my mother, she could appear one way to other people, but the moment we were alone, the fangs came out.  That just isn’t normal & you don’t have to have a degree in psychology to know that.

Then one day when my husband & I were at his parents’ home, visiting his parents.  My mother in-law said something, & my father in-law said, “Shut your stupid mouth.  Nobody wants to hear what you have to say!”  I’d never seen that side of him before, only heard about it.  He & my husband went outside shortly after.  My mother in-law & I were left alone.  I don’t remember exactly what she said, it was probably over 20 years ago by now, but I do remember that she was especially mean to me that evening.  I figured she was just upset by how her husband spoke to her & taking it out on me.

The anger I usually felt at her because of her nastiness softened a lot.  I felt bad for her for what just happened.  And, for some time after that, I put up with her nastiness without complaint.  I figured she obviously has no real coping skills, so maybe being mean to me is the only way she can deal with the hurt & anger she felt inside.  I didn’t like it but I figured if it helped her somehow, fine.  If I could live through the horrible things my mother said to me, I could handle the mother in-law.

This didn’t last long, a couple of months tops.  I realized it wasn’t helping her, it was really hurting me & frankly, it wasn’t fair.

Situations like this are no doubt why so many people say you should never pity a narcissist.  It means you will tolerate a LOT of abuse.  Well, that is a very valid point.  I tolerated so much more than I should have because I felt pity for my mother in-law.

However, that being said, I still don’t regret feeling that pity for her at that time or at any point.  Probably that makes me sound crazy, but hear me out…

I realized some time later that the ability to feel pity for someone who was so cruel to me showed that in spite of all of the narcissistic abuse I’ve been through in my life, it didn’t destroy my ability to feel compassion for others.  It can be so easy to turn bitter & angry when you’ve been through narcissistic abuse.  I also didn’t turn into a narcissist like a few victims of narcissistic abuse do.  I am grateful that neither happened to me.

Feeling pity for my mother in-law motivated me to pray for her, & all Christians know God wants us to pray for others, including our enemies:

 

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

 

I prayed for her quite a bit over the years, albeit not as much as I should have.  All of my prayers for her were answered.  My mother in-law did come to know Jesus, so she is in Heaven now instead of Hell.  She also died in her home rather than a nursing home, as she wanted.  She even died in her sleep, peacefully.

 

Praying for her also was good for me.  It helped me to release the anger I’d felt at her for so long.  I eventually got to the point of feeling nothing for her beyond wanting her to come to the Lord & not to suffer at the end of her life.  Sorta sad, I admit, but it sure beats hating her like I once did!

 

My point in telling you this story is this.. some people find it easy to feel pity for people, even narcissists.  When you know that the narcissistic person in your life has suffered, in spite of how awfully they treat you, there’s probably a little part of you that pities that person.  It’s natural to want to shut that part of you down when the object of your pity is so abusive.  Instead, why not acknowledge it?  Accept that feeling as it is- just a feeling.  Also, you can take the feeling as a sign that person needs prayer & you need to be the one to pray.

 

However, please, PLEASE do not get all crazy like I did & let the pity you feel be a reason to tolerate abuse from the narcissist.  It’s very possible to feel pity for someone while still maintaining healthy boundaries & distance.  I did with my mother in-law & still do with my mother.  Please learn from my mistake in this area!

 

Lastly, if you don’t feel pity for the narcissist in your life, that doesn’t mean you’re a bad person or a bad Christian.  Many people don’t feel it & there is nothing wrong with that!  Even good, loving, faithful people don’t always feel pity towards narcissists.  It happens, & it’s ok.  This post is simply directed at those who may feel differently than you.  🙂

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God Is So Good!!

So over the last couple of weeks, on top of dealing with my husband’s father’s sudden passing, one of our beautiful kitties, Zippy, got sick with a urinary tract issue plus a reaction to his medication.  On our way to the vet’s offie, we hit an unusual amount of green lights & little traffic.  We were only there a short time.  And, as usual, there was no emergency fee (I think it’s $65) because our vet is more concerned with caring for animals than making huge profits.  I truly have the most awesome, wonderful vet in the universe  🙂

 

On the good side, as I’m writing this, Zippy is doing well.  It’ll take him a few days to get back to normal, but praise God, he’ll be normal again!

 

Also as I was writing this, my husband called after his dad’s funeral service was done.  Naturally it was tough, but the good thing is our neighbor showed up to be there for him.  How sweet is that?!  As if him & his wife baking a couple of cakes for the wake wasn’t kind enough.

 

The past week has been incredibly rough but while I was thinking about it, I realized yet again how true Psalm 23:4 is….

 

 “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)

 

The reason I’m telling you about this is to encourage you.  I know during hard times it can feel like God is nowhere around.  It sure can feel like you’re walking alone in, “the valley of the shadow of death!”  I’ve felt the same way myself the last few days.  But, whether or not you feel His presence, God is there, listening to your prayers & working out your situation.  Somehow, some way, God will help you get through even the hardest of times.

 

This was hardly the first time God has helped us & no doubt it won’t be the last, so I feel assured in telling you that if you’re going through hard times, even if you feel totally alone, you really aren’t.  God is there with you, in your corner, working things out somehow for the best solution to the situation.  You’re never alone in those dark valleys of the shadow of death!  Keep praying, keep believing & He will show up in ways you never expected.  xoxo

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Grieving Doesn’t End Once A Funeral Is Done

Something crossed my mind recently, I’m sure it’s due  to my father in-law’s recent death:  Grief doesn’t end just because the funeral is over.

I think many people act like once your loved one is buried or cremated, you’re done grieving.  It’s done now so you should be ready to resume your life as it was, no problem.  Nothing could be further from the truth!

Grief has no set time.  It doesn’t end just because the funeral is done, because a set amount of time has passed, or because people think you should be “over it” by now.

There’s also the fact that the first year after a loved one dies is incredibly hard.  You have their first birthday without them, first anniversary, first holidays…  those days can be extremely difficult, but especially the first ones.

In fact, I don’t think grief ever ends completely, it only becomes less intense over time.  My great grandmother that I adored died in 1982, & I still miss her a great deal to this day.  No, I don’t cry all the time, but I still miss her & think of her often.  If you love someone, that is just how things happen.

And if you lost a pet rather than a human, people can be even more insensitive, because after all, “It’s only a cat/dog/bird/etc!” they say.  They fail to realize that pets are a big part of our daily lives.  We love them, care for them, play with them, nurture them & when they get old &./or sick, we become their caregivers.  Such things can form an incredible bond, & when that bond is broken, it hurts just as much if not more than when a human passes away.

If you have lost someone you love recently, please ignore people who try to tell you that you should be over it already, are taking too long to grieve or “It’s just a pet!”.  It’s not their business!  You take your time & grieve however you need to for as much time as you need to.  Honor your loved one’s life, too.  Maybe plant a garden they would like, or make or build something creative like they would have made.  It really does help!

If you have been actively grieving for a long time (over a year), & it disrupts your life, I really would like to suggest you try grief counseling.  Sometimes, people kinda get “stuck” & there is no shame in it.  It happens!  It just means you need a little help to get unstuck.

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Is No Contact “Un-Christian”?

Some very naive people think that being a Christian means some pretty awful things.  One of those awful things is that as a Christian, you are to tolerate any & all abuse because calling people out on it is “un-Christian” or unloving.  These ingenuous people actually think that removing yourself from an abuser’s life isn’t Godly behavior, especially if that abuser is a parent.  It’s much better to allow that person to abuse you indefinitely!  After all, the Bible says you should honor your parents, & it’s honorable to tolerate anything they dish out!

Hahaha.  No.

I am certainly not claiming to have all the answers to all things Christian.  I am well aware that I don’t.  But, I have been a Christian for 22 years now & have learned a few things.

Being a Christian doesn’t mean you are better than other people or that you’re perfect.  Far from it.  If we were perfect, we wouldn’t need Jesus.  And, just because we have Him in our lives & hearts doesn’t mean we’re perfect.  No matter how perfect an artist may be, if the canvas is flawed, even the greatest artist can’t paint a perfect picture on a flawed canvas.

Another important thing I have learned is that being a Christian also means we need to love God’s way, which is very different  from loving people’s way.  God’s love wants what is best, not what is easiest.   Confronting abusers is best because it encourages them to make appropriate changes in their behavior.  Granted with narcissists, the chances of them making positive changes is very slim.  However, it is not your place to force them to change.  It is your place to encourage them to change, which is much different than forcing someone to change.

 

But it’s certainly NOT easy!  Tolerating bad behavior & even abuse is much easier than standing up to someone about their behavior.  As painful as tolerating abuse is, at least you won’t lose your friends & family so long as you tolerate it.  Once you stand up to an abuser, chances are excellent that you will lose people you love.  They will call you unreasonable, unloving, cruel, abusive, a bad son/daughter/friend/etc. & yes, even attack your faith by saying you aren’t a real Christian or are a bad one.  People who stand up to abusers find out quickly who really loves them & who doesn’t.

I believe many people, Christian or not, have misinterpreted the Bible when it comes to love.  Yes, love is patient & kind & other wonderful things.  However, love also must be tough sometimes.  God proves that!  He doesn’t let His people get away with any old kind of behavior.  He lets us suffer consequences of bad actions or be blessed with good actions.  As His children, we are supposed to behave like God- Matthew 5:48 “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (KJV) 

Dear Reader, if your faith has been judged & criticized because you have removed an abuser from your life, you are most certainly not alone.  Many people have been, including me.  When this happens, I try to remember Matthew 5:11-12: “Blessed [morally courageous and spiritually alive with life-joy in God’s goodness] are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil things against you because of [your association with] Me. 12 Be glad and exceedingly joyful, for your reward in heaven is great [absolutely inexhaustible]; for in this same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”  (AMP)  As painful as it is when people side with your abuser over you, & even shame you for no longer tolerating abuse, it can bring comfort when you remember God is all too aware of what is being said to & about you.  He will reward you one day!  Those who said such cruel things however??  Well, let’s just say I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes…

2 Thessalonians 1:8 “dealing out [full and complete] vengeance to those who do not [seek to] know God and to those who ignore and refuse to obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus [by choosing not to respond to Him].”  (AMP)

 

Romans 12:19 “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for God’s wrath [and His judicial righteousness]; for it is written [in Scripture], “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.” (AMP)

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What The Bible Says About Tolerating Narcissistic Abuse

I get a wonderful daily email from Bible Gateway- Psalms in a month.  This was in today’s email, & I couldn’t help but think of  narcissists.

Psalm 101:5 (AMP)

“Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will silence;
The one who has a haughty look and a proud (arrogant) heart I will not tolerate.”

Soooooo… if God Himself has absolutely no tolerance for this type of behavior, why do people think victims should tolerate it? How is it being a “good Christian” to tolerate this sort of abuse?

 

It seems to me that people who believe those of us who have gone no contact or at the very least refuse to tolerate a narcissist’s abuse by giving them boundaries & consequences are putting people & their wishes above God.  What they think should happen is obviously more important to them than what the Bible says.  If the narcissist in question is family, they’re also putting the institution of family above God.

 

If you think that I’m just overreacting,  consider the following from the Gospel of Matthew…

 

Matthew 10:34-37  (MSG) (emphasis added)

“Don’t think I’ve come to make life cozy. I’ve come to cut—make a sharp knife-cut between son and father, daughter and mother, bride and mother-in-law—cut through these cozy domestic arrangements and free you for God. Well-meaning family members can be your worst enemies. If you prefer father or mother over me, you don’t deserve me. If you prefer son or daughter over me, you don’t deserve me.” 

 

Reread the part I underlined.  “Well-meaning family members can be your worst enemies. If you prefer father or mother over me, you don’t deserve me. If you prefer son or daughter over me, you don’t deserve me.”  That’s pretty clear, don’t you think?  God should come first in your life, NOT other people, no matter who those people are!

 

For those of you who have been on the same boat as me with being condemned for being a bad person &/or bad Christian for not tolerating abuse from the narcissist in your life, please remember what the Bible has to say.  God doesn’t think you’re a terrible person because you refuse to allow some horrible person to abuse you.  He has called you to be like Him, not to please people, & if other people have a problem with that, well, that isn’t your problem- it’s theirs.

 

Ephesians 5:1-2 (AMP)

“Therefore become imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father]; and walk continually in love [that is, value one another—practice empathy and compassion, unselfishly seeking the best for others], just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and sacrifice to God [slain for you, so that it became] a sweet fragrance.”

1 Thessalonians 2:4  (AMP)

“But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel [that tells the good news of salvation through faith in Christ], so we speak, not as [if we were trying] to please people [to gain power and popularity], but to please God who examines our hearts [expecting our best].”

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For Victims Of Narcissistic Abuse & Their Spouses

After years of being in all kinds of relationships with narcissists (family, friendship & romantic), I realize I’m different than your average woman.  This happens to victims of narcissists.  Even once we realize what has happened to us, we’re different because of the experience.  Trauma has a way of changing a person.

Those changes can be for the better, such as when we are able to recognize abusive people quickly & set boundaries with them.  The changes also can be for the worse.  Sometimes dealing with those closest to us, especially our spouses, can be difficult even when it shouldn’t be simply because of our past experiences.  I am hoping this post will help victims & their partners to understand what is happening so they can work through the problems together.

Victims are taught not to have needs & feelings & if they express any, narcissists shame them for having them.  This can make it incredibly difficult to open up to anyone, even someone we love who isn’t a narcissist.  First, a victim feels wrong & ashamed for feeling or needing whatever they do.  Then that person is terrified of being shamed or invalidated for having them.  Even if someone has been nothing but kind to a victim, the victim still can fear that person’s disapproval or rejection.  If your partner is that way, please don’t take it personally.  It isn’t your fault!  It’s a side effect of narcissistic abuse.  Please just be patient.  Listen without offering advice unless you are asked for it.  If you don’t understand something, ask questions without sounding judgmental.

Being overly negative happens sometimes too.  Partner, it’s not your fault!  Healing from narcissistic abuse is a long, arduous, painful journey.  Sometimes it gets to be too much.  It feels like everything is bad, even when it truly isn’t.  It can be very easy for a victim to get mired down in negativity.  Please do NOT tell this person to cheer up, others have it worse or get mad.  That will only add to the negative mindset.  Maybe suggest going out to dinner or to the park- some small gesture to distract the victim could be helpful.  Make your loved one feel loved & safe.  Let her know she can talk to you if she wants to, but doesn’t need to if she doesn’t want to.

Along the lines of being very negative is making small things a big deal.  When you feel overwhelmed in trying to heal, or if you have C-PTSD or PTSD like so many victims of narcissistic abuse, sometimes you feel you can’t handle one more thing.  Then when that one more thing comes along, it’s too much & you blow up.  Even something as simple as misplacing a pen can push you over the edge & you snap at your spouse who had nothing to do with the missing pen.  If this is happening, try suggesting some down time to your spouse.  Suggest lunch out with a good friend, or you both go somewhere you enjoy like the movies.  Even a brief reprieve can be helpful in regaining a better perspective.

Many victims project the image of not needing their partner.  People who grew up with narcissistic parents had to be very self reliant.  It became a way of life.  Even if a victim has shed that behavior, if there is any issue in the victim’s marriage, self preservation kicks in & this behavior comes to the surface.  As the person who sees this behavior, let it be a sign to you that something is wrong in your marriage.  Try to figure it out.  Ask your spouse if everything is OK & be reassuring of your love.

Emotional withdraw is common too.  Suddenly, those little nice things your mate did for you stop or seem to be a burden to do.  Maybe your mate is too tired for sex when that was never an issue before.  This is a sign something is wrong.  Try doing nice gestures like bringing home your partner’s favorite coffee or a new book, CD or DVD.  Little gestures like that can be reassuring & may make your spouse feel more willing to open up to you.

Being married to someone who has survived narcissistic abuse can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be impossible.  A little love, compassion & understanding can go a long way.

 

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Forgiveness

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Praying For Others Can Be A Blessing

Some time ago, I wrote about the miraculous events that surrounded my father’s death last October.  (If you missed that post, I’d really like to urge you to read it now.  It’s quite a story!)

 

Recently I’ve been thinking about those events a lot.  One aspect of it in particular that is on my mind is how God told my friend to tell me never stop praying for my mother.

Looking at the situation now, her salvation seems utterly impossible.  She’s a narcissist.  We all know how they are- they know best about everything.  This makes them very closed off to listening to anyone tell them about salvation through Jesus, & my mother is no exception.  In fact, my mother has told me she has a “direct line” to God & “when she prays, God listens!”

*sigh*

 

This can be very discouraging.  On a positive note though, I also know what happened with my father which eliminates my discouragement.  While I know God is the One who did all the work to save my father, I prayed & asked many other people to pray for him as well.  Not trying to take any credit from God of course, but I do know that my prayers & those of others made a big difference for my father.  James 5:16 says, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”  (KJV, emphasis added)  

As my prayers & those of my friends made a big difference with my father, so can yours with the narcissist in your life.

I know, praying for someone who has hurt you is a very, very hard thing to do.  Like it or not though, as Christians, we are commanded to do so….

 

Matthew 5:43-48  “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.  44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.  46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?  47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?  48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”  (KJV)

 

I would guess these verses aren’t anyone’s favorites… lol  They certainly weren’t mine for a long time.  Then a few years ago, I felt that God wanted me to start to pray for some people who have been abusive to me.  Much as I didn’t want to, I did it anyway, even when I didn’t mean it because I was still angry with them.  As time passed though, it got easier.  Then I felt He wanted me to pray for more people who had abused me, then more.  At the current time, I am praying daily for a lot of people who have treated me terribly every single morning.   And you know something?  It’s not hard to do anymore.  In fact, I have an alarm set on my cell phone to ring each morning to remind me to pray, but even with my terrible short term memory, I usually remember to pray long before the alarm goes off.  Often even before I get out of bed in the morning.

Praying for these people is something I look forward to now.  Since I began to do so, I have felt closer to God than ever.  Even if I am angry at them at the time I pray for whatever reason, I know God appreciates the fact I’m trying to do as He wants in spite of how I feel.

It also has helped to release the anger I felt towards these people.  I can’t explain how it works, but somehow it does work!  Of course, if something new happens, I may get angry- that’s just normal- but at least I’m not walking around full of unforgiveness & bitterness anymore.  (For the record, this also doesn’t mean some people will be allowed back in my life- forgiveness does NOT equal reconciliation.  It means I released the anger I felt at them, period.  Trusting them again would be foolish unless their actions changed dramatically.)

I’ve also realized that maybe no one else prays for them.  Have you ever considered that about the narcissist in your life?  I thought about this after my ex husband’s mother passed away in 2010.  She was a devoted Christian, but I am unsure if any other of his relatives are.  Since he said he didn’t believe in God, it’s safe to assume he didn’t seek out Christian friends.  There is an excellent chance he has no one praying for him aside from me!  That to me is heartbreaking!  And, if it could happen with him, it could happen with others as well.  So many narcissists claim to be atheists & have no patience for Christians so they don’t exactly surround themselves with them.  You may be the only person who prays for that narcissist in your life!  I tell you this not to make you feel obligated or guilty somehow- it’s just a simple fact & it may be possible in your situation.

 

I know it’s hard to pray for someone who has hurt you so deeply as only a narcissist can, but please, Dear Reader, try it.  Hopefully you’ll see the results of your prayers in that person’s life.  If you don’t, however, you can rest easy knowing you did the right thing, you can enjoy the new closeness to God & feel better with less anger inside of you!

 

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Why Doesn’t My Mother Love Me?

One thing all daughters of narcissistic mothers have wondered at some point or another is why can’t their mothers love them.  It’s a completely normal thing for any child to wonder when raised by a narcissistic mother.  Unfortunately, it’s also damaging to a child, even into adulthood.

 

Most children, even adult children, will try to please their narcissistic mother in order to earn her love.  They try to be sweet, get better grades, participate in whatever activities Mom wants them to participate in & more trying to earn her love.  It doesn’t help that others encourage this behavior.  If they know your relationship has problems, often people will encourage you to try to fix it.  They often say the stupidest things such as, “You only get one mother so you need to find ways to get along with her.”  “Of course she loves you!  She’s your mother!”  “She did the best she could!”  “She just doesn’t know how to show love very well, but she does love you!”  Statements like this only leave a person feeling worse because now they feel even more guilt & shame for not being able to make their mother love them.

 

I understand how this feels.  I felt awful for years because I knew my mother didn’t love me.  I figured something must be terribly wrong with me if my own mother couldn’t love me.  Thank God that He has set me free from this thinking!

 

I thank God for teaching me about who I am in Him.  This has been vital!  The Bible has so many wonderful things to say about who we are as children of God.  I wrote out a list of these things on my website.  Check it out at : http://cynthiabaileyrug.com/Positive-Affirmations.php

 

Anther thing God did to help me be free from wondering why my mother doesn’t love me was to teach me about Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  Learning about it has helped me tremendously!  I finally learned that my mother is incapable of loving anyone- it’s not just me she can’t love.  She can’t truly love anyone because of NPD.  It has been incredibly freeing learning that!  I no longer feel I am a terrible person because my mother can’t love me because I know it’s about her inability to love, not my lovableness.

 

This is true for you as well, Dear Reader!  Just because your mother didn’t love you, that doesn’t mean you aren’t worthy of love- it means something is wrong with her, not you!  Learn all you can about Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  Reread the information a few times if it helps- I do!  I read about it often, & some things I reread often.  It really does help to remind yourself often that she has problems, because when you really know that, you will stop blaming yourself & thinking you’re a bad, unlovable person because your mother doesn’t love you.

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False Beliefs Narcissistic Parents Teach Their Children

Narcissistic parents might like to think they’re the best parents ever, but they are so far from it.  They instill the worst possible beliefs in their children that often follow (well, maybe more like haunt) those children for the rest of their lives.  Below is a list of a few of them.

 

  1. “You need to be able to do anything & everything I tell you to, no matter what!  Not because you’re talented or capable, so don’t think that!  But because I want you to do those things!”  Narcissistic parents are a confusing group.  One way they are confusing is treating their children like they should be able to do anything, yet also making sure they know they aren’t smart, talented or capable.  As an example, my parents were very parentalizing.  In other words, they wanted me to take care of them rather than them taking care of me.  Even as a young child, they’d come to me with complaints about their marriage & sometimes, they’d expect me to fix whatever disagreement it was that they had.  I was just supposed to know how to fix things for them, but at the same time, both let me know they didn’t think I was smart.  This type of behavior can lead to an adult who is terrible at self care.  The adult may not recover as long as necessary from surgery, may go back to work immediately after giving birth or experiencing a trauma such as the death of a loved one.  They don’t take care of themselves because they believe they don’t deserve to.
  2. “If you want to be loved, you have to earn it.”  Narcissists actually have no real grasp on what it means to truly love someone.  What they call love is conditional love at best.  They will abuse their children & only stop it when the children do things that please them.  This makes children of narcissists work so hard to please their parents.  They are so starved for love, they’ll do about anything for their parents in order to earn some “love.”  This can lead to adult children of narcissists who are frequently used & abused.  They try to earn love from others.  Abusers seek this out in a victim, because it means that victim will put up with anything.
  3. “Your worth depends on what you do only.”  Related to #2, this means that you only have value when you please the narcissist.  If you discovered the cure for cancer, Alzheimer’s & heart disease, & made it free & readily available to every human being on the planet, if your narcissistic parent didn’t have a vested interest in these cures, your parent would still see you as worthless.  Yet, if you bought a pen for your parent you knew she liked, it would gain more approval than inventing those cures.  She would see you as more worthy for getting her that pen than when you invented the cures for diseases that plague humanity.
  4. “Your emotions aren’t important.  In fact, you aren’t allowed to have them!”  The only person that really matters to a narcissist is that narcissist.  No one else is even human, merely a tool to be used.  Don’t “bother” a narcissistic parent with your feelings.  After all, tools don’t have feelings, so you shouldn’t either.  Besides, their emotions are the only important ones!  Adult children of narcissists have become professionals at stifling their emotions.  As a result, they end up miserable or sick (high blood pressure, heart problems, depression, anxiety, etc.).

 

All of these false beliefs are just that- FALSE!  They have no basis in reality.  Their basis is in the narcissist’s reality which is a world full of insanity.  If you grew up learning such nonsense, then Dear Reader, it’s time to get rid of those false beliefs.  Ask God to tell you the truth.  Are you worthy?  Are you deserving of love or does it depend on what you do?  Any questions you can think of, ask Him & listen to what He has to say.  You will find out quickly that these beliefs are not true.  God thinks so much more of you than your narcissistic parent did.  Let Him show you what He thinks of you.  It’ll heal you & bring you joy.

 

 

 

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Rape In Marriage

**Obviously this post is about a sensitive topic.  If you have been sexually assaulted, this may be triggering for you.**

A topic rarely discussed yet is a huge problem is marital rape.  It’s certainly an ugly topic, & it definitely makes people uncomfortable.  Many people don’t even believe it’s a real thing, because they wrongly think if you’re married, your spouse can’t rape you.  Unfortunately marital rape also is a common phenomenon, especially among those married to narcissists.

Narcissists are the ultimate in selfishness, as anyone with any experience with one knows.  They expect everything to be their way, including sex.  Some narcissists use physical threats & violence to take what they want, others use guilt or shaming.

When a narcissistic spouse uses guilt or shaming to fulfill his sexual desires, this often goes unrecognized as abusive by the victim.  The problem is, it’s still as abusive as if he’d held a gun to your head.  It doesn’t matter if he’s your husband- no one should force you to have sex through either physical force or by using mind games!

The legal definition of rape means forced sexual contact against someone’s will.  It doesn’t say it only happens between strangers or only when a lethal weapon is used.  Rape can happen between married people, & does every day.  Rape often happens because the weapon of choice was a husband telling his wife, “If you loved me you would do this for me” even knowing it will cause her physical &/or emotional pain, yet not caring about that.  I have been in that position as well as having certain activities forced on me & both are incredibly difficult to cope with.

Some folks may even quote the Bible regarding this topic, but often it is taken completely out of context.  The first part of 1 Corinthians 7:4 says, ” The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband…”  (NIV)  The verse actually doesn’t end there, however.  And, the first 7 verses of this chapter in the Amplified translation clearly explain the point the apostle Paul was making: Now as to the matters of which you wrote: It is good (beneficial, advantageous) for a man not to touch a woman [outside marriage]. But because of [the temptation to participate in] sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. The husband must fulfill his [marital] duty to his wife [with good will and kindness], and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have [exclusive] authority over her own body, but the husband shares with her; and likewise the husband does not have [exclusive] authority over his body, but the wife shares with him. Do not deprive each other [of marital rights], except perhaps by mutual consent for a time, so that you may devote yourselves [unhindered] to prayer, but come together again so that Satan will not tempt you [to sin] because of your lack of self-control. But I am saying this as a concession, not as a command. I wish that all the people were as I am; but each person has his own gift from God, one of this kind and one of that.” (AMP)  Obviously, rape is NOT God’s will.  These verses prove sex is God’s will to be a part in a loving marriage.

Sex isn’t supposed to hurt either physically or emotionally.  It isn’t supposed to be one sided or forced or something that forces someone to compromise one’s values.  It’s supposed to be two people who love each other giving & receiving pleasure & joy.  If only one person is enjoying it while the other person is miserable, that is wrong & abusive!

If you’re married to a narcissist, & this is happening to you, I’m sorry.  Rape is a horrible, horrible thing.  When done to you by someone who is supposed to love, cherish & protect you, it may be even worse than when done by a stranger because now you also have to deal with the feelings of betrayal.

If at all possible, please, PLEASE get away from your abusive spouse!  (If you’ve read my writing for any length of time, you know I don’t like to tell people “just go no contact” since I believe it’s an individual’s choice.  So, if I’m recommending getting away from a narcissist, it’s because I firmly believe it’s the wisest thing to do for your own safety!)  Look into marital rape laws in your area & press charges.

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Knowing God Gives You Confidence

Hosea 2:20  “I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the Lord.”  (KJV)

 

Growing up with narcissistic parents takes a toll on your self-esteem.  Often, it completely obliterates it.  This causes so much needless suffering!  Aside from feeling miserable, it makes you make mistakes, by giving you the belief that you can’t do anything right.  This in turn solidifies that belief that you can’t do anything right, & makes you feel even worse.  It’s an ugly, vicious cycle.

 

One way to help yourself to regain the self esteem that was stolen from you is to talk to God.

 

As a child of God, there is PLENTY in the Bible that states what God thinks of you.  And, Dear Reader, He thinks a great deal of wonderful things about you!  He loves you so much, & wants you to know that.  One way He shows it is by talking about you in the Bible.  I created a list of these Scriptures & added them to my website.  Feel free to check it out at this link:  http://cynthiabaileyrug.com/Positive-Affirmations.php

 

Also, ask God what He thinks of you, & to help you to be more aware of His love.  You will be surprised!  You may notice more people saying & doing nice things for you.  Blessings may come your way that you weren’t expecting.  Maybe both!  In any case, you will be blessed.

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Loving Narcissists?!

Matthew 5:44  “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,” (AMP)

 

When it comes to loving narcissists, it feels like an impossible task. They aren’t easy people to love, because of all the cruel & horrible things they do to their victims.  How can you feel all warm & fuzzy towards someone who deliberately hurts you?!

 

You can’t.  But, the good news is God’s kind of love isn’t always about the warm & fuzzy feelings.  Reread the above Scripture again if you don’t believe me.  It says that “love is unselfishly seeking the best or higher good for someone.”  You can do that without feeling warm, fuzzy feelings.

 

Probably about two years ago by now, God put it on my heart to pray for some people who have hurt me a great deal in my life.  Then, He kept wanting me to add to the list.  Daily I pray for many abusive people who have been in my life, including my narcissistic parents.  Honestly, it was a bit of a struggle for me to pray for such mean people at first, but it’s gotten much easier as I’ve gotten in the habit of praying for them each morning.  I even set a reminder on my cell phone to remind me to pray each morning.

 

It has helped me too, to realize it’s possible to love someone without liking them.  We are called to love people, not like them, & there is a big difference.  Loving someone means you want the best for them while liking someone can be more about the “fuzzy” feelings.

 

You may not believe it, but it’s possible to love narcissists God’s way.  Simply wanting the best for them is Godly love.  You may not be able to stand the sight of someone, yet love them God’s way.

 

In fact, there are loving behaviors that most likely narcissists won’t think are loving, but they truly are.  Setting boundaries, for example.  Boundaries not only protect you, but they encourage the other person to behave in a healthy way.  Sometimes even ending a relationship can be a loving thing to do if you think about it.  Just being in the presence of a narcissist can stir up strife.  Removing yourself from their life means you are also removing one person for them to abuse.  It can be a very loving thing to go no contact for yourself as well as a narcissist.

 

Remembering these things has been helpful to me.  Aside from enabling me to pray for them, & God wants us to pray for our enemies, it’s given me peace.  I’ve been accused of hating narcissists that I have ended relationships with, which left me feeling shame.  Thankfully God showed me the truth though, & that truth is that I do love them, I just don’t like them.  That is important to know because it eliminates guilt & shame that have no place in your heart.

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Some Recent Miracles That I Believe Will Encourage You

I’ll warn you up front- this post may sound rather strange to you & will be long.  That being said, I want to share my story to encourage & help people understand just how much God truly loves His children!

As I mentioned previously, my father died on Monday, October 23.  That day was strange as were the following days.

Early that Monday afternoon, a neighbor of ours came by to visit as he frequently does.  He could tell I’d been crying & asked what was going on.  I told him that my father was being taken off life support that day, & I was sick of people attacking me for not being there.  He gave me some good advice that I want to share with you in case you’re going through a similar situation.  (Pardon the bad language in advance- this is just how he talks.  He’s not one to sugarcoat things, obviously, but he has a good heart.) He said, “”Girl, you gotta protect your heart. Don’t let that s**t get inside you. Crazy a*s people need to mind their own f*****g business.  They don’t know s**t about your situation.  You do what you need to & f**k them!”  My neighbor was absolutely right.  In these situations, people do need to mind their own business (not that they usually do unfortunately)!  You also have to protect your heart & not let their hatefulness get inside you.

A little later that same afternoon, before I knew my father was gone, a good friend of mine got a word from God.  He told her that He left my father on life support for so long to try to get him saved.  My father talked to God about many things but mostly why I wouldn’t see him.  He even argued with God & even said he was a good father.  God showed him otherwise.  My father also didn’t want to die with unfinished business- he wanted to see me, & God told him that wasn’t going to happen.  He showed him Heaven & Hell & told him to choose.  He eventually repented & chose Heaven.  About one hour later, my father was dead, passing quietly once life support was removed.

While my friend got this word, I was outside with my husband & our neighbor.  I saw a monarch butterfly & it felt odd somehow.  Usually butterflies are something my grandfather & I shared, but this didn’t feel that way.  Also, for some time, I’d had an odd sensing off & on of my father fighting with God & I felt it again when I saw the monarch.  I came inside my house a bit later,  & saw my friend’s message.  She said yes, my father was indeed fighting in the spiritual realm for quite some time.  God told her to tell me my father will see me again one day & he’s very sorry.  Also it’s because of all the prayers he finally got saved, & I am to continue praying for my mother.  (Never give up praying for someone, Dear Reader!!  God truly hears those prayers!!)

Later on Monday, I took a shower.  When I was about to get into the tub, I suddenly remembered something important.  Not long after my father went into the hospital, I’d asked God to give me a sign if my father was with Him after he died.  That was the monarch butterfly!  And, God spoke to me saying that me not having any contact with my father for his final few months served an important purpose- not only to protect myself, but also to get my father to reach out to God.

I messaged my friend with this new information once I got out  of the shower.  She agreed that I have my sign, the monarch, that my father is with God, & also to never give up praying for my mother.  God also told her those who judged & harassed me had better stop He’ll intervene.  Thankfully she also prayed a hedge of protection around me.

My friend also said she asked God,  “Why do they wait until the last minute!?”  The Lord told her, “Because they allowed the devil to take them captive to do his will,”  (2 Timothy 2:25-26  “in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26) and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.” (NKJV) )

And, she saw this verse come up on biblegateway.com (great site, by the way!!)  “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ”. Galatians 6:2 (NKJV)  This is what she did for me- bore my burden on a day I needed help bearing it.

These Scriptures also came to her attention:

Matthew 19:23-30 “With God All Things Are Possible 23) Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24) And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 25) When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26) But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” 27) Then Peter answered and said to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?” 28) So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29) And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife[a] or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. 30) But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” (NKJV)

My friend also said my father didn’t want to die, especially without seeing me.  He thought he was dying too soon & didn’t realize his eternity was depending on his choice at that time.  Thankfully, he did realize the truth though!

She also researched the symbolism of monarch butterflies. Monarchs are royalty – that is why God sent me the monarch butterfly as my sign, to say that my father is now a member of God’s royal family!

Tuesday, the following day, my husband took off work.  We went out & when we were coming out of one building, I saw another monarch butterfly!  What makes that especially interesting is that earlier in the morning, thinking about everything, I asked God if it was real & if so, give me a sign.  Honestly, it was hard to believe & quite overwhelming.  So God sent me another monarch!  Then at a traffic light, I saw a little yellow butterfly & heard my Granddad’s  voice say “Good job, Kid!” I immediately knew what he meant- good job keeping up the prayers in spite of everything.  Hearing his voice again wasn’t something that I ever expected to happen until I got to Heaven with him.. it was a beautiful gift.

Wednesday, after quite a bit of prayer, I wanted to visit the cemetery where my father was to be buried.  I had my father’s Bible for many years, because he’d asked me to put it in the casket with him when he died.  I opened the Bible & found many cards, paperwork, etc.  I cleaned out the things that didn’t look sentimental & found a sheet of notes my father wrote documenting some of the abusive things my mother had done to me.  I put it aside because I knew I couldn’t cope with it at that time.  Then, my husband & I went to the cemetery.  The cemetery staff kindly directed me to the proper funeral home that would take care of that, & a very lovely lady helped me make this possible. She even stated that it would be placed in the coffin where it couldn’t be seen, & no one would know it was there.  And, she gave me some memory cards.  I learned that my mother & worst of the flying monkeys were due to visit the cemetery that day but God spared me from running into her!

Then on Friday, the day my father was buried, I looked out the kitchen window & saw yet another monarch on the marigolds in my back yard.  I grabbed the camera & couldn’t see him when I got back to the window.  I saw some movement in the flowers so I went outside with the camera.  Finally as I got close, the butterfly flew out of the middle of the flowers directly towards me, then off over the house.

An interesting fact- monarch butterflies aren’t overly common in my area, let alone in October.  They migrate south from September-November, but here, usually by October, I don’t see any.

Anyway, when I came back into my house after seeing that monarch, I asked my Amazon Echo Dot to play music by Wham!  I thought some fun ’80’s music might be good for me.  Instead, it played Waylon Jennings’ song, “Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line.”  I don’t know this song, which is truly strange since my father loves Waylon Jennings & I thought I’d heard every one of his songs.  This song is about a guy with a vicious, hateful wife & he stays with her in spite of it all.  I remembered my father saying once my mother told him if he left her, he’d never see me again.  I knew God & my father wanted me to know that he felt trapped & unable to protect me from my mother.

Later that afternoon I decided to get out the papers I’d found in my father’s Bible.  I only found one page of notes my father kept about conversations with my mother, even though it looks like there were others (there was a part of a sentence at the top of the page).  Reading his words hurt a lot, but I think I see more about why my father didn’t protect me or even really himself from my mother.  In fact, as I was writing this post & considering those notes, God spoke to my heart & said, “Your father didn’t have your inner strength.”

All of these bizarre occurrences have been extremely helpful.  It’s such a relief knowing my father is in Heaven.  I really didn’t think he’d make it.  It also showed me how kind & merciful God is.  I’d been praying for my father for quite some time.  I’d prayed for his salvation, I also asked God to take him before the Alzheimer’s got too bad, not to let him suffer when his time did come yet not to take him before getting saved.  Those prayers were all answered.  Every single one of them!!  God even gave me signs that they were answered- my intuition, the monarch butterflies & mostly the word from God to my friend.  And, although it was very hard for me to stay away from my father when he was dying, I know it was for an important purpose!  I’m sure many people won’t believe that since they thought I should obey them & go to him no matter what.  I know the truth though, & that is God wanted me to stay away as a way to reach my father!  God is truly amazing!

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

Getting To Know The Real You

As someone who has been through a lot of narcissistic abuse, like many others, I have had to get to know the real me.  My parents told me who I was my entire life until our relationship ended, & sadly, I believed them for far too long.  I assumed they were right- I was stupid, ugly, fat, a horrible disappointment, wasn’t allowed to have any boundaries, was responsible for fixing other people’s problems, was the reason for any problem in any relationship I had, the world’s worst pet parent & more.

 

In the last few years, I have gotten very serious about dumping their cruel ideas & getting to know who God made me to be.  I hadn’t realized it until today, but in that process, I haven’t forgotten who my parents told me to be.  Instead, I still remember it, but I no longer believe it.  I choose to believe what God says about me rather than their cruel & abusive words.

 

I think remembering what they say is important, at least it is for me, so I’m going to guess it may be for some of you as well.  It’s a good reminder just how abusive & dysfunctional my parents truly are.  That helps me to stay no contact even when the flying monkeys come out.  It also reminds me of how long I tolerated such abuse, how I refuse to tolerate that anymore & how much healing I’ve done in the last few years.

 

Remembering their words also helps me to realize how little they actually knew me.  Typical of narcissists, my parents never took the time to get to know me.   I am absolutely nothing like what they say I am & never have been.  One example is when I was 17 & my mother accused me of having sex with my entire high school football team.  I’ve always seen sex as something to be shared with someone special, & never was promiscuous.  For her to think I was capable of something like that is absolutely insane.  Just more proof of how little she knew me to believe I was capable of something like that.  And, if someone knows me so little, then why should I take their opinions of me seriously?  You only listen to the opinions of someone who knows something about a matter, right?  Would you ask an artist how to fix that pinging sound your engine makes?  No- you’d ask a mechanic.  So why would you give any credence to the words of someone who knows nothing about you?

 

Also, criticisms from a narcissist are often nothing but projection.  They have nothing to do with you & everything to do with the narcissist.  By accusing you of doing things that she actually does, it allows her to be upset about that flaw, to vent her anger or disgust, while accepting no personal responsibility about it or making appropriate changes.  If those criticisms aren’t about you, why would you hold onto them, & think they are?

 

If you think it may help you to remember what your narcissistic parent has said about you as it has me, then give it a try.  Think about what they said about you.  Or maybe write them down since writing often brings clarity that speaking doesn’t.  Chances are, you’ll see how incredibly foolish what was said about you was.  Of course it hurt, but it was also foolish.  You’ll also see how untrue it was.  And, once you realize those were all lies, you can stop believing them & get to know yourself as the wonderful person God made you to be.   xoxo

 

 

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

Having Fun In Your Marriage

Tomorrow is hubby’s & my 19th anniversary.  It’s been quite the adventure, being married for this amount of time.   It’s taught me a lot too.

 

One very important thing I’ve learned is the importance of having fun together.

 

My husband has a very good sense of humor, but he’s also very logic driven & hard working.  (If you know anything about the Myers Briggs personality test, he’s a very typical INTJ.)  Although I’m pretty hard working, I like to have fun.  Yet, when my C-PTSD flares up, depression sets in or symptoms from the carbon monoxide poisoning I survived in 2015 kick in, I lose the desire to have fun.  Also, sometimes things happen that distract us from having fun- bills pile up, someone gets sick, etc.  As a result, we sometimes do like many married couples- slip into a routine & not really do anything fun together.

 

Don’t do that, Dear Reader!  If you want to be each other’s best friend, you need to have fun with your spouse & do it often.  There is something about playing together that keeps that spark alive in your marriage.  Not sure why it works that way but it really does.

 

Do fun stuff with your spouse.  Play silly pranks on each other (nothing mean or hurtful of course).  A while back, I crocheted a clown that resembles Pennywise from Stephen King’s “IT”- a super scary movie & book, & one of my favorites.  We hide Pennywise around the house to scare each other.  I’ve put him in my husband’s lunch cooler, hanging out on the steering wheel of his truck & even taped him to the underside of the toilet lid (I can’t take credit for that- a friend of mine came up with that stroke of evil genius…lol).  He’s put Pennywise under the covers on my side of the bed, by my shampoo & on this little decoration in my bedroom.   I also crocheted a little Freddie Mercury (remember the late singer from Queen?) & sometimes Pennywise & Freddie have adventures together.  Silly?  Sure, but it makes us laugh when we find Pennywise &/or Freddie unexpectedly.

 

Play games together- video games, card games, board games- whatever you like.  My husband & I love the old video games we grew up with in the 70s & 80s.  Locally, there’s an arcade full of them that we frequent.  For $5, we can enjoy a couple of hours of fun together.  We also have a Wii & some board games we play at home.

 

There are plenty of things you & your spouse can do together that are lots of fun & that don’t cost a lot of money, if that’s an issue.  You can even find things on Craigslist or other sales sites, like ping pong or pool tables for cheap or even free.  All you really need is some creativity!

 

I hope you & your spouse start having fun together, if you aren’t already.  It really can help bring some fun into your marriage.  During the hard times, don’t forget to have some fun.  Those are the times you need that joy the most.

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health