If you have been interested in getting the print version of any of my books, now is a good time! My publisher is offering 15% off when using code SPRING15 at checkout until May 7, 2021.
My print books can be found at the link below…
If you have been interested in getting the print version of any of my books, now is a good time! My publisher is offering 15% off when using code SPRING15 at checkout until May 7, 2021.
My print books can be found at the link below…
My publisher is having another sale on all of my print books. Use code SELL15 at checkout & get 15% off until April 23 , 2021
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Those of you close to me know that my husband & I have bought his late parents’ home from his two sisters. Our situation has been challenging & rather different though in many ways from a typical home purchase. For one thing, I haven’t spoken to them since 2002, & haven’t broken that even during this process.
They haven’t been good to my husband during this process, & it’s made me so angry, I realized I went from feeling nothing for them to hating them
As a Christian, this isn’t somewhere I wanted to be but I wasn’t sure how not to feel that way. I asked God to help me not hate them a couple of times, but mostly just tried not to think about it. Anything that is ignored doesn’t just disappear, so I have no idea why I thought that was smart.
While I was ignoring this hate in my heart, I had a dream one night. In it, the only part I could remember was seeing a large flock of white doves. I looked up the symbolism. One possible meaning of doves in a dream is that you need to release any hatred you feel. So much for ignoring it!
I got serious about asking God to help me get rid of this hate. Matthew 5:44 came to mind. In the Amplified translation, it says, “But I say to you, love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” This really isn’t my favorite Scripture, to be honest. It might be my least favorite in fact. Even so, that doesn’t mean it can be ignored. I started praying for them. Not just as my in-laws or my husband’s sisters. By name. I forced myself to think of each one of them specifically as I prayed for them. Somehow it felt like the right thing to do & I am so glad I did it!
The first two or three times I did this, it was hard. I wasn’t sincere. I was only praying for them because I knew that is what God wanted me to do. Then little by little, the hatred started to disappear. It didn’t just vanish all at once. It took lots of praying for them, & with each prayer, a bit of hate would disappear.
Once I’d decided to pray for them, I noticed that often, I’d think of them out of the blue, & get really angry. Rather than sit with that anger, I’d pray for them. Even if it was just a simple prayer, asking God to turn their hearts to Him or to bless them, I’d still pray it. And you know something? The more I did that, the less the anger reared its ugly head.
I don’t want you to misunderstand me. I’m not saying that all is forgiven & forgotten, we’re going to be best friends now. I am still angry about the terrible behavior they have exhibited towards my husband. That is reasonable, I believe, because we should always be angry about someone we love being mistreated, but especially when the abusive person shows no signs of remorse. I also will continue not to have a relationship with them for the rest of our lives.
Praying for them took me to a much more reasonable & even Godly place. God doesn’t want His children hating others, but He does want us hating what is evil, according to Romans 12:9. Abusing someone without remorse or changing behavior is evil, so there is nothing wrong with hating such things. There is also nothing bad with having healthy boundaries in place. Examples of setting healthy boundaries are sprinkled all throughout the Bible.
If you have gotten to a place that I was where you hate someone, then please consider praying for that person as I did. It really is worth the effort. It truly helps! It’ll help the person you’re praying for & it’ll help you by allowing you to release that hatred in your heart.
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After ending a romantic relationship with a narcissist, they are often quick to get back into dating. They seem to think this makes them look like they weren’t the one with the problem in the relationship. Or, maybe it is an attempt to make the one who left them believe they were the problem in the relationship. After all, in their opinion, if the narcissist was really the problem, how could he or she find someone else so quickly?
What most people don’t know is behind the scenes, the narcissist is acting out of a narcissistic injury. Narcissists seem to think their victims will tolerate their abuse indefinitely without complaint. It’s just assumed that the dysfunctional status quo will continue to be the dysfunctional status quo forever. When a victim finally says enough is enough, & ends the relationship, they are genuinely stunned. I have yet to know of one narcissist who wasn’t stunned when their victim ended the relationship with them, no matter the nature of the relationship.
When a relationship is ended against their will, narcissists seem to think something along the lines of this: “This wasn’t how this was supposed to happen! What is wrong with this person? I’ve been nothing but good to them! After all, I put up with them for so long! I just don’t understand why this person would leave me! It makes no sense! I financially supported them &/or put up with their trivial needs &/or listened to their whining (in other words, confrontations about the abusive behavior. Never mind the narcissist didn’t change it).”
Ending a relationship with a narcissist creates a huge blow to their ego! While any normal person receives a narcissistic injury to some degree when another ends a relationship with them, it is a great deal more devastating to a narcissist.
Also, when this narcissistic injury happens, narcissists don’t respond to it as a normal person would in this situation. A functional person would take time to mourn the loss of the relationship & figure out how to be a better significant other in their next relationship, if they want one. Narcissists instead plot their revenge against the person who broke up with them.
Maybe the narcissist had another relationship on the side, so it looks to those who don’t know about this person that they found someone very quickly. Only the ones closest to the narcissist know the truth in this situation. No narcissist wants to be seen as a cheater, since many people look down on such behavior. However, that won’t stop a narcissist from having a “back up” boyfriend or girlfriend. Even if they don’t expect anyone to break up with them, having another (or several) romantic partner makes them feel more desirable & builds up their ego. Either way, having someone else on the side is a win/win for narcissists.
In this situation, if the narcissist doesn’t have someone else on the side, they may want to get into another serious relationship quickly. They seem to think that if someone falls in love with them, it proves they are good people. They fail to realize that it’s all too easy to fall for the good person act narcissists put on, but in time, there will be times they slip up in their act & let their true colors show.
Other narcissists prefer not to get into a serious relationship, but date a lot of people. Maybe in their mind it proves that they are desirable because they can attract many people. Attracting one person may not be a big deal to them, but attracting many makes a good case in their minds for them being very desirable.
It can be easy for victims who see this to think maybe they really were the problem all along. Maybe they’re not worthy of love. After all, the narcissist has moved on quickly. It must be them.
Nothing could be further from the truth!! If you are or have been in this situation, please know that whatever the narcissist has tried to make you think is wrong. Sure, you’re imperfect. All humans are! But that doesn’t mean you are unlovable or bad or whatever the narcissist said you were. If that person is moving on quickly, that isn’t a good sign! It’s a sign that the person most likely is a narcissist trying to make you look & feel badly. That is no reflection on you! It is, however, a reflection on them.
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Those of us who have suffered through narcissistic abuse know trauma, depression, misery & even what it feels like to consider suicide. We have gone through such horrific events that it can feel nearly impossible to find any good in life. Yet we are still blessed! Not because of the abuse, of course, but in spite of it.
Victims of narcissistic abuse always feel weak in the midst of their suffering because they are powerless, but truly, they are strong. It takes an incredible amount of strength to escape the abuse against all efforts of the narcissist to keep you in the relationship. It also takes a great deal of strength to escape with no self esteem, & when you believe you aren’t able to survive without the narcissist in your life. Having such strength, especially in spite of the narcissist’s efforts to destroy it, is a huge blessing!
Victims of narcissistic abuse are also incredibly brave. Narcissists aren’t always physically abusive. They don’t have to be. They can terrify victims with a simple look that can make a victim fear or their life. Going against someone that appears to be incredibly powerful & capable of causing you great pain & suffering is extremely brave! Being so brave is another huge blessing.
Victims of narcissistic abuse are very appreciative. After surviving horrific abuse, victims have a different mentality than the average person. Victims know how bad things can be & how cruel people can be. They have learned to greatly value all of the good things in life. Living life with an appreciative spirit is a wonderful thing that can bring a great deal of joy, & is another blessing.
Victims of narcissistic abuse are loyal. When someone who claimed to love you abuses you to the point of destroying your personhood, it’s hard to trust other people. Once a victim trusts someone & that someone is good to them, however, they are incredibly loyal. Good people are exceptionally precious to those who have suffered narcissistic abuse. Victims will adore & protect these people fiercely, which is why they often make wonderful friends & romantic partners. Friend & romantic partners appreciate such loyalty, so again, this is another blessing.
Victims of narcissistic abuse who turn to God have an extremely close relationship with Him. Of all of the things I have mentioned so far, this is the most wonderful one, in my opinion. I saved the best for last. In typical narcissist fashion, narcissists do their best to convince their victims to believe as they believe. The narcissistic atheist expects their victim to share their beliefs. There are also narcissists who know enough about the Bible to be able to twist Scripture around to the point of justifying their abuse. Such behaviors often convolute a victim’s view of God. For someone to survive this yet come away with faith on any level is impressive, but many have an extremely intimate relationship with God. He blesses these people greatly, too. Isaiah 9: 2-3 says, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. 3 You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder.” (NIV) I can’t help but think God has a special place in His heart for those who have been abused, which is why He blesses victims in this way.
By sharing these thoughts, I’m not saying that any victim of abuse should be grateful for their traumatic experiences. I am saying though that it’s good to look at these blessings in your life & be so grateful for them. Be grateful that in spite of the narcissist’s best efforts, he or she couldn’t take these gifts from you. And, be proud of yourself for surviving all that you have! That, as you well know, is no easy feat!
I noticed some interesting things when reading Matthew 5:38-39 in the Amplified translation of the Bible recently. The verses say, “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth [punishment that fits the offense].’ 39 But I say to you, do not resist an evil person [who insults you or violates your rights]; but whoever slaps you on the right cheek, turn the other toward him also [simply ignore insignificant insults or trivial losses and do not bother to retaliate—maintain your dignity, your self-respect, your poise].” The first interesting part was the definition of evil person. It says someone “who insults you or violates your rights.” That sounds like a narcissist to me. After all, they live to be insulting & violate the rights of others. It’s what they do & do so well.
I also like the next part of that verse that describes what turning the other cheek really means. That was the second interesting thing I noticed. That part of verse 39 says, “Simply ignore insignificant insults or trivial losses, & do not bother to retaliate – maintain your dignity, your self-respect, your poise.” That perfectly describes the Gray Rock Method! It provides no narcissistic supply while you maintain your composure. Narcissists can’t stand that! They absolutely hate it, but there is nothing they can do about it without looking foolish. This means they will leave you alone.
Like I’ve said many times in my work, it’s impossible to avoid narcissists. They’re everywhere. Even when we remove them from our lives, chances are excellent that others will pop up. Hopefully only in passing, like maybe a cashier or repairman. But, sometimes they pop up in other, closer relationships no matter how hard we try to avoid them. A close friend starts dating a narcissist, or that new coworker is a narcissist. In such situations, there is no escape. The best that you can do is find ways to deal with that person. The healthier you get, the more narcissists hate you, which may make the situation even more challenging for a while. They see you as a threat because you can see what’s behind their masks & you don’t fall for their manipulation. At some point though they will get bored with you & avoid you as much as possible.
In those situations, the best thing you can do is remember what the Bible says. People who insult you & ignore your rights are evil in God’s eyes. That is very clear in the verses from Matthew! That means you need to protect youself from these people.
Also, don’t forget the rest of the verse gives excellent advice in dealing with such people. Ignore them. Act like you didn’t even notice their cruel words or actions. Don’t allow them to manipulate you or give them any praise. Become boring to them, in other words. This deprives people like this of narcissistic supply. The more you deprive a narcissist of supply, the less that narcissist will want to do with you. You are a waste of their time at this point. They prefer to focus on people that will provide them with that narcissistic supply they crave so desperately. Be as boring as possible to the narcissists in your life. Doing so will keep you safe from their abuse.
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If you are in a long term relationship or are married to someone & at least one of you has narcissistic parents or family members, there is something you should know. Standing up for your partner to your narcissistic parents is one of the most important things you can do in your relationship.
When a couple makes a commitment to each other, a big part of that commitment is taking care of each other. Part of that involves not tolerating anyone hurting your partner. If you stand up to someone on behalf of your partner, you show your partner that this person’s well being & safety are extremely important to you. You prove that you love that person & will do your best to keep them safe. This is incredibly good for your relationship!
Not tolerating someone hurting your partner also shows the abusive person that you are well aware of their actions, & there are consequences for their behavior. Not doing so only proves to an abuser that they can do anything they want without consequences. This means that they will continue what they have been doing & in time, their behavior will get even worse. And, your partner will be left feeling abandoned & alone, which is potentially relationship ending. No one in a committed relationship should feel that way!
If you struggle with defending your partner to your abusive family members, then please consider a couple of things.
If it is your family that mistreats your partner, this means they are your problem! It is NOT your partner’s job to deal with your family. If your partner confronts your family rather than you, your family will be highly upset. That happens in many families, but especially in narcissistic ones. Chances are they will tell you what a terrible person your partner is, how he or she isn’t good enough to be in your life or other nonsense as a way to deflect your attention from their terrible behavior. If you are the one to confront them, they still may try to deflect & criticize your partner, but there is a better chance of them listening to you than your partner!
Also if anyone in your family mistreats your partner, they have absolutely no love or respect for you. If they had any respect or love for you, they would manage to be civil to your partner no matter how much they disliked this person. If your partner is abusive to you, any children you share or your family, that is a different scenario. They should civilly address their concerns with you, be loyal to you & care more about your safety than civility. However, if the reason they dislike your partner is because of simple differences in personality, your family should manage basic civility at the very least to this person out of love for you. When you love someone, it’s not that hard to be polite to someone they care about even if you can’t stand that person. I have done it & while it can be hard to be polite to someone you really dislike, reminding yourself of the person you care about can make this much easier.
Dear Reader, if you are in this position of having someone in your family mistreat or even abuse someone you love, then please consider what I have said. Protect your loved one! It will protect their mental & physical safety but also help your relationship! In fact, protecting your loved one will increase the bond you both share.
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2 Corinthians 5:17 says that anyone who is born again is a new creation in Christ. I have learned though that other things can make a person feel almost as if they are reborn, just not quite to that same extreme.
This has happened twice in my life. The first time was in February, 2015 when I nearly died from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. The poison made me pass out for about 25 minutes, & from what I understand from a doctor, usually people who are out for 20 minutes from carbon monoxide never wake up. That was so hard to grasp! Literally, I should have died but I survived! Plus, the lack of oxygen that the poisoning creates often does permanent brain damage & I also suffered a concussion (I believe) from hitting my head when I passed out. Both of these factors changed my personality quite drastically. It was all a lot to get used to in addition to the long term physical symptoms.
The second time was when my mother died in April, 2019. As the police told me that she had passed & I had to go to her home immediately to deal with having her remains taken to the funeral home, I felt this sensing that my life as I knew it was over. That sensing turned out to be right!
Although both of these events were traumatic & very difficult, I came to realize something. Although I’m not grateful they happened, I’m grateful for the changes they brought.
The changes in my personality from the poisoning mean I have no further tolerance whatsoever for abusive people. As soon as someone starts showing signs of being controlling or manipulative, I kick them out of my life, usually without a word because people like that won’t realize they were wrong or change their behavior anyway. I realized there’s no point in wasting my time.
I also got very protective of my husband & our little family. I know first hand just how quickly life can end & won’t allow any threats to my loved ones.
When my mother died, something in me seemed to die too, but that isn’t a bad thing. I no longer struggle so much with shame on a daily basis. I’m also much less anxious in general now, however sometimes when I am anxious, it’s worse than it once was. Somehow I’m able to cope with it pretty well.
I also learned that my mother is in Heaven, my prayers were answered. God has seen fit to bless me by sharing some messages from her, which is just incredible.
Somehow along the way, I also lost the need for external validation. I’ve gotten quite good at validating myself! Sure, I backslide periodically, but it doesn’t happen often.
What has happened in your life that has made you feel as if you were reborn? What changed after those moments? I don’t mean the traumatic moments that changed you or contributed to you having PTSD or C-PTSD. I mean life altering moments that although they were very hard to get through, eventually worked out well for you like mine did.
Some moments that can lead a person to feel this way include things like coming close to death or losing a loved one like me, but there are other things too. Moving, ending or beginning a new relationship, changing jobs, changing careers, having a child, having a child leave home, caring for an elderly loved one… there is no end to the things that can alter a person’s life drastically.
If you have experienced the reborn feeling, I would like to urge you to consider the good that has come from the experience. If you really think about it, I’m sure you can find some good in your situation. I find great comfort when I learn my suffering had a purpose, & you may experience the same thing, which is why I hope you will do this. xoxo
Both of my parents died not terribly long after going no contact with them. My father within a few months in October, 2017 & my mother almost exactly 18 months later in April, 2019. I have done a LOT of thinking since then because, well, that’s what I do, I overthink things. lol One thing I thought about though made a lot of sense & I wanted to share it with you.
When someone goes no contact with their narcissistic parent, it seems most people assume that person hates their parent. They hate them so much, they can’t tolerate that person in their life any longer. I find that is rarely the case. Every person I’ve spoken with about this topic has said they loved their narcissistic parent deeply. It was the abuse they hated, which is why they felt they had no other choice but to go no contact.
I felt the same way. I hated how my parents treated me so badly, I felt I had no other choice but to go no contact. I prayed a lot, I tried a lot of things, & nothing I did or said helped the relationship. In fact, it kept getting worse.
Eventually I felt no contact was my only option & I prayed a LOT about that. I felt God wanted me to wait, so I did even though it was incredibly difficult. When the time felt right, I eliminated my parents from my life. It was the hardest, most painful thing I’ve ever had to do. Later, I learned it was also the right thing to do.
Just before my father died, he accepted Jesus as his Savior. His miraculous story is on my website at www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com if you’d like to read it. Anyway part of the reason he turned to God was because I wouldn’t go say goodbye to him as he was dying, in spite of knowing he wanted me to & the constant harassment & bullying by people trying to force me to. Nothing else in his almost 80 years of life worked to make him turn to God, not even his own near death experience when he was a teenager.
After my mother died, I learned that she too accepted Jesus as her Savior. Apparently she had as a young child, but stepped away from her new faith probably because of the abuse she received at home. Me not having a relationship with her, I believe, helped to turn her towards God as it did my father. During our almost three years of no contact at the time of her passing, I prayed for her daily. During that time, God told me a few times that she was praying, asking God to make me contact her. He said that her motivations were purely selfish, so He didn’t want me to.
I think my story isn’t terribly unique. Many narcissistic parents end up alone in their final years, abandoned by the children they abused for their entire lives. I also can’t help but think many would turn to God in their desperation for help as my parents did. Hopefully they also would accept Jesus into their hearts as my parents did.
Dear Reader, as hard as it can be, please pray for your narcissistic parents. God hears those prayers, even when we pray from an attitude of “I’m only doing this because I know You want me to.” That was my attitude for a long time, yet in spite of it, both of my parents went to Heaven when they passed away. So please, keep praying for your narcissistic parents. Even if prayer is the only thing you can do for them, it is a very powerful & wonderful thing!
People who don’t understand Narcissistic Personality Disorder, flying monkeys in particular, seem to all think that setting boundaries & limits on a narcissist’s abusive behavior is a terrible thing to do. If the victim is a Christian, these people often add in that those limits are “ungodly”, “unloving” & even “not honoring your parents.” If a victim wants to divorce a narcissistic spouse, people are quick to point out the Scripture that says, “God hates divorce!” or “wives submit to your husbands” while leaving out anything else that can elaborate on these verses.
The fact however, is that these people are entirely wrong. Boundaries are loving, Godly & honorable.
You can’t change anyone’s behavior of course, but boundaries set the stage to encourage a person to behave in a better way. Good boundaries also show people how to treat others in a healthy way by displaying clearly what a person will & will not tolerate.
Consequences when someone disregards another’s boundaries also give a person a choice. They can change their behavior for the better & receive a better, healthier relationship in return for their efforts. Or, they can continue their bad behavior & suffer the negative consequences, such as someone terminating the relationship with them.
It is a loving thing to do to help people behave in a more Godly & loving way.
What is not a loving thing to do is enabling bad behavior. Tolerating abuse is far from loving. How could it be a loving thing to do to encourage someone to participate in bad, abusive & yes even sinful behavior? It isn’t loving at all nor is it Godly! Yet it seems like so many people think this is the case, & will twist Scripture around in an attempt to convince other people this is true.
And, on the opposite side of that same coin, how is it loving to tolerate things that cause pain? How does that sort of behavior benefit anyone? It only hurts victims & tells abusers that their awful behavior is fine.
I know this post is a very brief & basic one today, Dear Reader, but I felt the need to put it out there anyway. I feel someone needs this simple reminder, so here it is. Keep your boundaries in place & keep enforcing them! Anyone who doesn’t respect them is the one with the problem, not you. You aren’t a bad Christian or unloving spouse or adult child for having boundaries. You are simply giving someone the natural consequences of their behavior, as things should be. People reap what they so, as the Scripture says…..
Galatians 6:7-8 “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked [He will not allow Himself to be ridiculed, nor treated with contempt nor allow His precepts to be scornfully set aside]; for whatever a man sows, this and this only is what he will reap. 8 For the one who sows to his flesh [his sinful capacity, his worldliness, his disgraceful impulses] will reap from the flesh ruin and destruction, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” (AMP)
It seems to be a common false believe that giving someone everything they want, enabling them to do anything they want without consequences is loving & even Godly behavior.
So many people I spoke with in my family were downright cruel to me because I wouldn’t see my father at the end of his life in 2017. The barrage of phone calls, social media messages & emails was intense. I barely read any of the messages, because after reading a couple, I knew how incredibly toxic the rest would be. I thought it wiser to protect my mental health by saving the messages without reading them as evidence for police if I opted to take that route. Anyway after my father’s death, I learned that because I refused to say goodbye, he finally turned to God! In spite of my fears it wouldn’t happen, my father gave his heart to Jesus at the end of his life, & is now in Heaven. (That story is on my website at: http://www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com if you’d like to read it)
While none of us knew it at the time, me not saying good bye to my father was for his benefit. My family clearly thought I was a cold hearted witch who stayed away out of spite. I knew in my heart God wanted me to stay away & going would have had terrible consequences, but I didn’t know any further details. Me not going made him reach out to God for the first time in I don’t know how long. If I had gone, I firmly believe he wouldn’t have turned to God. So as strange as it may sound, not saying my final good byes to my father was the most loving thing I could do in that situation.
Although many situations are different, the basics are similar. Someone wants you to do something that you know is not in their best interest. It may even cause you pain or problems to do that thing, yet it is expected of you to do it. If you do it, your actions are applauded & if it caused you problems, those problems ignored. If you don’t do it, you’re criticized & even shamed for being selfish or unreasonable.
This is utterly WRONG!
Yes, it’s good to do for other people. Some people genuinely need help & sometimes you are exactly the right person to give that help. But doing anything a person wants isn’t always a good thing. Look what 1 Corinthians 10:23 says:
All things are lawful [that is, morally legitimate, permissible], but not all things are beneficial or advantageous. All things are lawful, but not all things are constructive [to character] and edifying [to spiritual life]. (AMP)
1 Corinthians 6:12 is similar & just as informative:
Everything is permissible for me, but not all things are beneficial. Everything is permissible for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything [and brought under its power, allowing it to control me]. (AMP)
Just because you can do something doesn’t mean it’s for the best that you do it, either for you or for someone else. People who are accustomed to getting everything they want are spoiled, entitled, selfish & often feel that they don’t need God. By saying no sometimes, it actually benefits people. They learn to be more self sufficient, they don’t become entitled, selfish jerks. And yes, they may recognize everyone’s need for God in themselves.
Maybe situations in your life aren’t as dire, but still, if you know that doing something for someone isn’t in their best interest or yours, don’t do it! The good will far outweigh the bad!
One cliche I’ve heard my entire life was “You can’t love someone until you love yourself.” My mother said it periodically when I was growing up, & somehow it never felt right to me even when I was just a little kid.
As an adult, I have come to realize how wrong this is, & how shaming as well.
Wrong because just because a person has low or no self esteem, doesn’t mean they are incapable of love. It only means they don’t love themselves. People who feel this way are very capable of loving others, & it shows when they love their spouse, children, family, friends, pets. I was this same way for many years. I absolutely hated myself, yet absolutely adored certain people in my life as well as my pets. They all meant the world to me & I would have done anything for any of them.
This phrase is shaming because it makes people feel that they lack this one basic skill any human being has, to love. Victims of narcissistic abuse already have enough shame to deal with thanks to the narcissists in their lives. They don’t need any more false, toxic shame heaped onto them.
What can be true, although certainly is not true in all cases, is if you don’t love yourself, you can’t love others in a Godly & healthy way. In cases where someone has been abused in childhood, that person may not yet know how to love someone in a healthy way. They may think if they love someone enough, they can fix their abusive ways. In fact, this may seem good or even Godly to the dysfunctional person. Sadly, many people support such dysfunctional thinking, encouraging the unhealthy behaviors. Some folks even will quote Scriptures that are taken totally out of context to validate their beliefs.
A dysfunctional person also may think boundaries are selfish & unloving, so they think telling someone no is a bad thing. Out of good intentions, they allow other people to come first in their lives, even if it costs them their health, finances, or peace. They mistakenly hurt themselves under the delusion they’re being loving.
Similarly, a dysfunctional person may think that giving a person whatever they want is the most loving thing they can do for someone. They fail to realize that sometimes, people need to struggle for what they want in order to learn to appreciate things.
Many dysfunctional people also think that if they are just nice enough or good enough, they can make an abusive person love them. They don’t realize that is impossible, because abusers are incapable of true, Godly love. They also fail to realize that the harder they try, the more abusive an abuser will become, because they see this person as weak & willing to please them at any personal cost. I experienced this first hand. My late mother in-law hated me. Being young & naive, I wanted her to like me, so I tried hard to make that happen. Nothing I did was good enough, & our relationship only got worse.
The fact is, to love others, we must learn what true love really is. It is wanting what is best for another person rather than what we want from that person. It is wanting them to succeed in life, & enjoy their life. It is wanting them to live whatever their best life is, even if it goes against something we would like for them. Mostly, it is wanting others to have a close personal relationship with their Heavenly Father. Any person can want these things for other people, even when they don’t love themselves.
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Many people hear the term “soulmate” & assume it means someone romantically connected perfectly to another person. This couple is assumed to be perfectly compatible in every way – comparable intellectually & sexually, sharing the same perspectives, feelings, likes & dislikes, & always agreeing with each other. The perfect fairy tale love, in other words. It also is a common belief that people have only one soulmate in their lifetime.
I don’t believe that this definition of soulmates is accurate at all. I believe it’s actually better & more varied.
For one thing, I believe there are different types of soulmates, & they aren’t always romantic. My best friend is my soulmate. My husband sometimes finds it hard to believe just how much she & I have in common. My husband is also my soulmate. Both relationships are very different & neither relationship is perfect.
My husband & my best friend share much in common with me. We all think remarkably similarly & share similar views on all kinds of things. All of us are Christians. We all grew up in similarly abusive, dysfunctional environments. Yet at the same time, we’re all very unique individuals. Each of us works in a very different line of work. My husband is pretty interested in politics while my best friend & I have no interest in politics. I love to crochet & knit while my husband & best friend have zero interest in either. My best friend has no interest in cars while my husband & I both are pretty car obsessed, in particular with old classics.
While I consider my husband & best friend to be my soul mates, you can see obviously we aren’t perfect fits for each other. Sometimes we even disagree with each other. The cool part is that it’s totally fine! We all respect each other’s differences. We’re also willing to learn about the things that interest each other. And, although we don’t always agree about everything, we have enough respect for each other to be perfectly fine with that. We don’t have to agree about every single thing.
They both bring a great deal to my life, & I hope I return the favor to them. They challenge me to be a better person. There is no doubt that both are committed to the relationship with me. I know if we have an argument, neither will abandon me.
The reason I’m mentioning soulmates is because many narcissists will try to convince their romantic partner that they are the partner’s perfect soulmate. No one could be as good for them as the narcissist, or love them as the narcissist does, at least according to the narcissist. In fact, my narcissistic ex husband once told me that no one would ever love me like he did. To his credit, he was right – no one else has “loved” me as he did & that is a fact for which I am VERY grateful! They also want their partner to think no one could understand them as well as the narcissist does, which is partly why they are the perfect soulmate to the partner.
If a romantic partner ever claims to be your soulmate, I want to encourage you to consider this person very well. Does he or she show narcissistic tendencies? Did this person mention the topic of being your soulmate early in the relationship? When this person mentions the soulmate topic, does he or she only talk about how good they are for you, not that you’re also good for them? Does this person use the phrase my ex used, that no one would love you like he or she loves you? If so, these are some serious narcissistic red flags! I would strongly encourage you to end the relationship! Functional people don’t feel the need to convince their partner of their greatness for the partner. My husband & best friend have never done this. In fact, both tell me I’m good for them & that they appreciate me.
Functional people also don’t try to make a relationship very serious too early. They realize it takes time to get to know each other enough to decide if this relationship has the potential to be serious. Talking about being soulmates or discussing marriage early in the relationship isn’t normal! My ex husband proposed to me only a bit under 3 months after we met.
Just remember, Dear Reader, that although it’s flattering if someone claims to be your soulmate, that also can be a red flag. It can be the warning sign of a narcissist.
Anyone who knows me knows I am deeply into music. Although I love all kinds of music, one of my favorite bands ever is the famous rock band, Queen. Their unique sound & ability to mix all types of sounds to make music is absolutely incredible to me. “Normal” music bores me so the uniqueness that always has been Queen is super appealing to me.
Anyone who knows me also knows my way of thinking is a bit skewed from what normal people think. That ties into my Queen fandom, so please bear with me….
Recently I was listening to my favorite Queen song, “The Show Must Go On.” The song was written by Brian May, the band’s incredibly talented guitarist & by the way also an astrophysicist, for the band’s singer, Freddie Mercury as he was dying from AIDS. The band members were incredibly close friends, & this song was his gift to Freddie. The story goes, at the time they were to record it, Freddie was quite ill & the other band members weren’t sure he would be able to sing long enough to create the single. Upon hearing their concerns, he slammed down a shot of liquor & said he’d do it… then proceeded to create the vocals in only one take. Pretty impressive especially for a dying man, don’t you think?
Yet, this isn’t something that was un-typical for the magnificent singer.
An extremely shy man, Freddie Mercury created an on stage persona that was very different from his true personality. His fans loved the extrovert he was on stage, yet in spite of that, when he was off stage, he stayed true to his true shy nature. His private life stayed private as much as possible.
In spite of being known for being shy, Freddie Mercury had a healthy self esteem. Many people assume being shy means having low self esteem, but that isn’t always the case. He recognized his talent as well as his shortcomings. As a result, he also was very accepting of others & non-judgmental.
Freddie Mercury was comfortable with who he was. Ok, he was not perfect, but who is? Even so, this man was clearly comfortable in his own skin.
Also, he wasn’t afraid to step out of the box. He did many unique things. The opinions of others really weren’t important to him. That isn’t a bad thing at all! Everyone should have such confidence in stepping out of the box!
Thinking of these things, I was reminded yet again that Freddie Mercury is quite the role model. Yes, I know, he had issues. But honestly.. don’t we all have some issues?? He was true to himself & that is a wonderful thing! We should strive to be true to ourselves as well.
I think most of us can learn a thing or two from this amazing man!
Naturally as Christians, we need to keep God first in our lives. That being said though, it sure wouldn’t hurt any of us to learn a few lessons from Freddie Mercury.
Whatever you do, stay true to yourself, be comfortable in your own skin & don’t be afraid to step outside of the box. What other people think isn’t important. And yes, this is aimed at those who survived narcissists! You take care of yourself, be true to yourself & don’t be afraid of trying anything different. If you want to dye your hair pink or blue or purple, then by all means, DO IT!!! Get that tattoo, change your wardrobe into something entirely different from your normal. Don’t let the opinions of other people determine what you should & shouldn’t do. I know this can be so hard when you were raised by narcissistic parents, but it’s so important to break away from their mindset. They don’t know you as the person God created you to be. They don’t understand His will for your life. And that is fine. You know these things & you know that you need to do God’s will for your life. Do it & enjoy every single moment!
Recently, I was watching an episode of “The Walking Dead.” I’m not sure if any of you who follow my work are also fans, but if not, you still might find this interesting.
In this particular episode, Neegan was talking to the daughter of a woman he had killed. Alpha was a horrible woman & was basically a cult leader in my opinion. Anyway, the daughter was calm at first, realizing he killed her because it was necessary. He kept saying she needed to get her feelings out though. It wasn’t healthy to hold them in. The girl insisted she was ok. Eventually, the young woman broke down though. When she did, she said something interesting. “I want to hate her but I can’t!”
This really hit home with me. I think many of us with narcissistic mothers feel the same way. I realize not everyone does. Some dislike or even hate their narcissistic mother. I truly hope this post doesn’t make you feel something is wrong with you. Everyone is different! I’m simply writing this to help those who feel like I do.
It’s a very strange feeling when you know your mother did the most horrific & unspeakable things to you, destroyed your self esteem, destroyed your identity even, yet on some level, you still love her. It makes no sense at all to the logical mind to feel that way. If anyone else did these things to you, chances are excellent you wouldn’t feel any love for this person at all. Why feel differently towards your mother? She’s the one person in the world that never should intentionally hurt you, yet she did. Over & over again in fact.
The one year anniversary of my mother’s death is fast approaching & I’m realizing I feel the same way. I want to hate my mother, but I can’t. I’ve been thinking about this & this episode of “The Walking Dead” got me thinking about it more. I thought I’d share some thoughts as to why this happens sometimes.
Many children of narcissistic parents are naturally loving & kind. They aren’t people who hate easily & often not at all.
Many narcissistic mothers were the engulfing type. Children grow up feeling as if she is the only safe place for them because their mothers make them feel that way. Hating that safety net of sorts feels impossible.
Often, there were some good times, too, not only bad. Very few abusers are abusive 100% of the time. They are nice & loving periodically to bond their victim to them. This trauma bond can be extremely confusing! You want to hate the abuser, but you also know that they can be very kind & loving at the same time. It feels impossible to hate someone kind & loving even when you know that they are capable of unimaginable cruelty.
The nature of relationship is another factor. You only get one mother. You shared her body with her for nine months. This can’t be said of any other human being on the planet. This naturally makes a child share a unique & exceptionally close bond with her mother, no matter what kind of mother she was. Hating one’s mother is unnatural. Of course it is possible & many people do feel that way, but not everyone is capable of hating their mother.
If you feel like there is something wrong with you because in spite of it all, you still love your narcissistic mother, please know there is nothing wrong with you. When it comes to surviving narcissistic abuse, there are no one size fits all solutions. Everyone is different. Everyone processes emotions differently. Everyone also had different experiences. I really don’t think there is anything wrong with how anyone feels who survived a narcissistic mother. The only wrong that I’m aware of is when someone repeats the pattern with their own children, & continues the cycle.
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James 4:17 in the Amplified Bible states, “So any person who knows what is right to do but does not do it, to him it is sin.” These are pretty powerful words, don’t you think? They made me think….
People sin every day in all kinds of ways, no matter how hard we try not to. Some by doing something extreme, such as killing another person, but most of the time it’s smaller things. How many times have you felt in your heart that God wanted you to do something, even just something small, for another person, yet you ignored it? I don’t even want to think about how many times I have been guilty of this. I don’t always let that car into my lane when I feel I should or leave a good tip to a waitress as I know in my heart God would like me to do.
There are bigger issues though & yes, they relate to narcissistic abuse. There are also times I don’t want to listen to another victim of narcissistic abuse tell me their story. I’m not proud of that but it’s true. There are times I just can’t because I’m burned out on the topic, & in dire need of a break. But there are other times when I’m not burned out that I just don’t want to offer support or even just a listening ear for whatever reason. That is being really selfish & I’m not proud of it. I also believe it’s a sin, because I know God put this person in my path for a reason.
Unfortunately I think many people are guilty of this same behavior. We need to use balance & wisdom when someone approaches us, wanting to discuss their experiences with narcissistic abuse. There are times we need to protect our mental health, such as when burning out on the topic or if the C-PTSD is flaring up. At those times we can gently explain this isn’t a good time for us to discuss the topic. Let’s talk later. Or even suggest they email you.. that way they can get it out now, but you don’t have to deal with it immediately. It’s a really good solution.
Other times, however, maybe someone needs your support & you just aren’t in the mood to discuss narcissism. I truly get that. I am so tired of this topic it’s pitiful! That being said though, if someone is suffering, it isn’t fair to brush them off just because I don’t feel like talking about a topic they need to discuss. It’s unkind, & there is already a lack of kindness in the world today.
I’ve found if I know I should be there for someone when I’m not really feeling my most supportive, there are ways I can motivate myself. Knowing I’m helping someone is wonderful of course, but there are times I need a little extra motivation I think of a little reward for myself I can do or get later. Maybe it’s a new bottle of nail polish or time alone with a good movie & some knitting. The rewards are nothing really extravagant, just little things I like. It’s amazing how silly little things like that can be so motivating. It’s a good thing though, because it helps you to do the right thing when you just don’t want to. You also get a little something you really like
When in these situations, how can you think to help to motivate yourself? Like I said, it doesn’t even have to be extravagant. Some small little thing can be surprisingly motivating. And never forget the best part of all.. you’re helping someone else who has suffered as you have.
When you grow up with narcissistic parents, you’re trained from birth to do for them. Do what? Whatever they want. It’s your job to please them in every way, to listen to them, to serve them… naturally this isn’t reciprocated because you aren’t important- only they are!
Once you’re an adult, this “you’re here to do for others” mentality sticks with you. And, other people pick up on it. Users & abusers can sniff this mentality out a mile away. Other Christians can even pick up on it & use Scripture to back up why you should do for them or other people.
The truth is that no one can help everyone who crosses their path. It’s too much! You could ruin your physical & mental health, & even ruin yourself financially if you helped every single person who claims to have a need. You truly need discernment & wisdom to know who God wants you to help, who He doesn’t, & who he simply wants you to pray for.
When you come across someone in need, the smartest thing you can do is pray. Ask God for guidance, & to show you what this person’s position in your life is going to be. Maybe it is to help that person in some way, but maybe it isn’t. Maybe your position is simply to pray for that person or to guide them to someone who can help them. Maybe you need to lead that person to Jesus. Or, maybe you need to set boundaries & refuse to help this person because he or she tends to use people & needs a lesson in the fact not everyone is here to do for them. Until & unless you ask God, you won’t know for sure. So ask! He will guide & help you!
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.
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