Tag Archives: love

“If You’re Not For Me, You’re Against Me!”

**I apologize to those of you who saw this post early.  I intended to save my thoughts as a draft, then get back to completing the article later.  I guess my trigger finger got happy & I hit “publish” instead of “save draft”.   Ooops.. here is the finished post**

 

So many people have this dysfunctional mindset these days, where they think if you don’t agree with their opinions or their lifestyle 110%, you are the enemy.  Obviously you must hate them since you aren’t jumping up & down with enthusiasm at their life.

 

I’ve been on the receiving end of this hatred, being called racist & a homophob, & frankly it baffled me as well as hurt me.  I have friends of various races, genders,  religious beliefs & sexual orientation.  As much as I love animals, I’m even friends with avid hunters.  I honestly can’t say I support every single person in my life 110%.  Truth be told, they don’t support me 110% either.  But yanno something?  It’s fine!  We also don’t judge & criticize each other.  We accept the other person as they are.

 

Does this sound un-Christian to you?  I honestly don’t believe it is.  Mark 12:31 says, “And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” (KJV)  I really don’t see anything in that verse that says we should only show love to those who think exactly as we do.  To me, as long as they are good people & not judgmental, we stand a good chance at being friends.

 

Growing up in a narcissistic environment, I honestly thought those who didn’t see things as I did were wrong, & we shouldn’t be friends.  It took growing up & getting to know God before I realized that no two people will agree completely, & there is nothing wrong with that.

 

Some people can handle being friends with those who are their polar opposites, without arguing, & even with deep respect for each other.  Then there are others who absolutely cannot handle having people in their lives who disagree with them on any matter at all.  Still others fall somewhere in the middle.

 

You need to know your feelings on this matter.  Do you object to being in relationship with people who are different to you or are you open to new experiences?  However you feel, then you need to find other people who feel the same way as you do if you wish to have peaceful relationships.

 

If you’re closed minded at the thought of having friends who have differing view points to you, then I’d like to suggest being a bit more open minded.  It’s quite interesting, the things you can learn from other people.  As an example, while yes, I’m a devoted Christian, I have a good friend who has been involved in the Pagan religion for many years.  Although I disagree with most aspects of it, I have learned that they know so much about herbal remedies.  This has intrigued me!  After all, prescription & man made medicines often have wicked side effects.  Natural remedies have a great deal less side effects & often work just as well, if not better, than their man made counterparts.  What’s not to love?  In fact, I use herbal remedies to help manage my C-PTSD & anxiety, sometimes also insomnia.  I believe God created these things, so there can’t be anything wrong with using them.

 

Before slamming someone or ending a relationship because you two disagree, why not try opening your mind a bit?  And, if you find you don’t feel their view would be right for you, this doesn’t mean you can’t still be friends.  Focus on what is right for you & accept the fact that what works for you may not work for another, or vice versa.  Ultimately, our life choices are between us & God.  People shouldn’t judge others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

Grief Anniversaries

Tomorrow marks the thirteenth anniversary of my paternal Granddad’s passing.  Like every single year on May 31, I know I’ll be depressed & missing him more than usual.

 

Grief anniversaries are rough days, but I think they can be a good thing in a way as well.  They remind you of someone you dearly loved yet lost.  They gently push you to remember some good times, & the things you loved about that person.  As sad as May 31 always is for me, I also look forward to the day in a way because it gives me an excuse to remember the good times, like sitting around what is now my dining room table with Granddad, listening to him telling me stories of our family.  Or, going to our favorite little Italian place for lunch & chatting over a yummy meal.  I also remember how after his death, butterflies started appearing in my life, comforting me.  I also laugh how my talking teddy bear that he liked has started talking without me pushing the button since he passed, & I’m pretty sure he has something to do with my talking bear.  His way of saying hi.

 

Sometimes, too, the day reminds me of the viewing the day before & the funeral.  Those memories are extremely hard & all these years later, still make me cry.  But, sometimes tears can be a good thing.  They can be cleansing & healing.  They also are proof of having loved the departed one a great deal.  Loving someone is truly one of God’s most precious gifts.

 

I’ve also noticed grief anniversaries can be spontaneous.  The scent of your loved one’s cologne or perfume, the sound of his or her favorite music or even a sport he or she loved can be enough to bring you to tears for missing that person sometimes.  Even now, there are times I think, “I should call or email Granddad about this” or “I wish I could talk to him about this” & experience a renewed grief with the reminder I can’t talk to him anymore until I see him in Heaven one day.

 

I really believe these days are important to acknowledge.  They keep your loved one in your heart & mind, close to you, so he or she is never really gone.  That is why every May 31 & August 15 (his birthday) I remember my granddad.  I also remember days I’ve lost others I’ve loved- my grandmother, great-grandmother, & my furbabies.  They’re always close to me, always in my heart.

 

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Filed under Animals, Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

Don’t Be God In Someone’s Life

Many people are suffering these days in some way.  They want answers or help, or at the very least a shoulder to cry on.  Unfortunately, if you’re a good listener & try to bless people, these people often come to you to meet their needs.

 

There is certainly nothing wrong with listening or helping people as you can.  In fact, that’s a good thing.  However, sometimes people take it further than that.  They are so used to you helping them, that they come to expect it.  In fact, they expect you to fix whatever is wrong in their lives, & get mad if you don’t.

 

Many years ago, my ex husband & I shut the ringer off on our phone one evening.  We just wanted a quiet evening.  We heard our answering machine clicking, which meant someone was leaving a message.  This happened repeatedly.  Eventually when we listened, the messages were from a couple we were friends with.  The wife was pregnant & was having problems.  They expected me to take them to the hospital & were furious that they had to find someone else to take them.  In spite of the idea for shutting off the phone’s ringer being my ex’s idea, they were mad at me.  I shouldn’t have done that to them.

 

I’ve been in many other situations where so-called friends were mad at me for not fixing whatever their problems were.  Having narcissistic parents, I always felt that I was responsible for fixing people’s problems, so when I let them down somehow, I felt really guilty.  God showed me that this was wrong.  People need to look to Him, not other people, for their solutions.  While sometimes He may use people to help others, still, the person with the problem needs to keep their focus on God to solve it.  Not doing that means a person is making another person God in his or her life.

 

I never thought of it this way, but it made sense to me.  Being the solution to someone’s problems isn’t a good thing when it happens over & over.  It means they hold you responsible for things that aren’t your responsibility.  This puts a tremendous burden on you that you weren’t meant to carry.  It keeps the relationship unbalanced.  You are meeting their needs, as they expect you to, while there is an unspoken rule that you aren’t to ask them for anything in return.   It also takes their eyes off God when they should be on Him.  And, they praise you instead of God for fixing their problems when He should’ve been the one to fix things & get the praise for it.

 

Whether you are in the position of being the one expecting another to fix your problems or you are the fixer (like so many adult children of narcissistic parents), it’s time for you to make a change.

 

To start with, go to God first.  Ask Him if you should help this person or not.  If not, maybe you can guide this person to someone who can help him or her better than you can.  Or, if you’re the one wanting someone to fix your problems, stop running to that person & ask God what you should do in this situation.

 

You need to remind yourself that your job is NOT to fix everyone!  Growing up with narcissistic parents, I know it feels that way, but it’s just one more lie they told you.  (If you don’t believe me, ask God.  He will tell you the truth!)  They probably wanted you to believe this lie to justify them expecting so much from you.  If your job is to fix everyone’s life, then it’s OK for them to use you.

 

If you are the one expecting someone to fix your life, then before you pick up your phone, remember, it is no one’s job but yours to fix your problems!  If someone helps you, it’s a blessing, not something another person owes you.

 

Breaking old habits can be difficult but that doesn’t mean impossible.  You can make the changes you need to make, & be much happier for doing so!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Even Strong People Have Needs

I’ve always been a strong person.  In fact, the night of my first nervous breakdown, thanks to my mother’s verbal attack, I didn’t sleep at all, then went to work the following morning.  That’s pretty strong!

 

As the years have passed, I developed C-PTSD that left me much less able to cope.  Three years after that, I got a brain injury from passing out from carbon monoxide & hitting my head.  The TBI changed me a great deal.  One of those changes is I’m no longer the strong chick I once was.  I get overwhelmed by the tiniest things, such as having to change my daily routine.  And, if I’m already stressed, it gets even worse.

 

I’m still getting used to not being strong anymore.  I’ve noticed though, that people around me haven’t seemed to notice the change.  People still think I’m able to handle pretty much anything which isn’t even close to reality.

 

When you’re a strong person, people tend to forget that you need help or need a break sometimes, too.  Even if you haven’t changed like I have, you still need help or a break.  Everyone does, but often people forget that when they are accustomed to relying on you.

 

If you are in this position, then it’s time for a change.  No one, no matter how strong, can keep going indefinitely.  Everyone needs help sometimes, & there is no shame in asking for that help.  It’s time to start telling people you need a break or asking for help.  I know it’s hard to do when you aren’t used to doing it, so don’t forget to ask God to help you in this area!

 

Ask God also to help you to have & enforce good boundaries.  Don’t keep pushing yourself when you’re exhausted.  You have the right to take care of your physical & mental health!

 

Remember, “no” can be a very good word sometimes.  If people look to you for help or support constantly, they aren’t looking to God.  He is where they should be looking, not you.  God should be that person’s everything, not you!

 

One thing that helps me a lot is alone time.  If you’re an introvert too, then be sure to tell people you need time alone to recharge.  Some extroverts don’t like to hear that, but that isn’t your problem.  Make sure they understand that it’s not them- alone time makes you feel like being around others makes them feel.  Take the alone time you need.  Or, if you’re an extrovert, then plan fun times with good friends or go to parties so you can recharge.

 

Remember, just because you’re strong doesn’t mean you need to be strong 24/7/365.  Everyone needs breaks & help sometimes.  There is no shame in that!  Besides, taking care of yourself also means you’ll be more able to help others when they do need you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

What’s Happening In My World

April 30, my husband’s mother died suddenly.  Well, sorta suddenly.  She’s been sick for quite some time but no one expected her to pass in her sleep early that morning.

 

That same day, one of our cats stopped eating.  May 2, Weeble passed away suddenly & unexpectedly at 16 years old.

 

It’s been a rough week around here!  As a result, I’m taking time to myself.  My blog posts will continue posting as normal, thank you WordPress for allowing me to schedule posts in advance, but I need some time to myself to grieve my precious kitty. Since getting sick last year, I haven’t been able to handle negative emotions as well as I once did.  Weeble is my first big loss since then, & I’m not doing so well emotionally.  I need some time to grieve & recover.

 

Sadly, I am not grieving the death of my mother in-law at all.  Our relationship was so toxic that I stopped speaking to her in 2002.  I feel somewhat bad for not feeling anything, but sadly, I believe this is normal.  Narcissistic abuse is horrible.  Aside from the fact it causes so much pain & suffering, it also destroys your love for the narcissist.  That is how I felt about my mother in-law.  I felt nothing for her for a long time.

 

I do feel for my husband, though, & need to be able to help him if he needs anything from me.  And, I can’t help him if I’m not able to replenish myself.  So, I’ll be taking a little time to myself to do just that & grieve my sweet Weeble.  If you comment or try to contact me & get no response, please be patient- I will respond to you as soon as I’m able.  Thank you for your understanding.  xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

What You Do Always Matters

God showed me recently how valuable any small act of kindness is to people.

 

In the early 2000’s, my husband & I sponsored a young girl & her brother in the Philippines.  We wrote back & forth.  We had pictures of both kids.  Then at one point, I forget what, but something came up & we couldn’t send the money one month.  The organization we went through gave them to another family to sponsor although we were planning to send more to make up for the month we lost.

 

I wondered what happened to the kids.  We kept their pictures & prayed for them periodically.

 

Then a few days ago, I got a friend’s request & message from a young woman.  This stunning young lady is the once young girl we sponsored!  She wanted to find us to thank us for helping her as a little girl.

 

I’m in shock, but it’s a good shock!  I never expected to hear from her again.

 

For a while, I’ve felt like anything good I do isn’t really important.  It’s just what I should do as a Christian- bless & help other people.  Plus, growing up with narcissists, doing for others feels like it is just what I am supposed to do.  I’m sure you know what I mean- narcissists raise their children to do for them.  They make their children believe their only purpose is to do for them, to be used, so the children carry that belief into adulthood.  Even other people often treat them as if they owe the other people to do for them, like the narcissistic parent did.  Honestly, this is how I have always felt.

 

I guess God was tired of me feeling as if what I do for others doesn’t matter or make much difference, because hearing from this young lady really showed me it does matter.  Even small gestures make a big difference!  It didn’t cost much, what we sent to the organization, but it helped to put her through school.  I forgot until she reminded me, but I had sent her pictures of our pets.  She said she loved the pictures, as she is an avid animal lover.  Little things, but they made a big difference to her.

 

Dear Reader, please learn from this story.  Whatever you do for others makes a difference!  Even small gestures that don’t feel important, are very important.  Maybe not to you, but they are very important to someone, even if you are unaware of that fact.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

Victims Of Narcissistic Abuse & Rape

As victims of narcissistic abuse, we are raised never to make waves.  That includes never upsetting the narcissistic parent.  It doesn’t matter what that narcissist does to you, you are NOT allowed to confront her about her abusive behavior.  If you do, you’re a terrible & unreasonable person.  At least according to the narcissist.

 

Unfortunately, this carries over into other abusive relationships & situations, including rape.

 

It seems to me it’s fairly common for adult children of narcissists to make excuses for being raped, especially if it’s by a boyfriend or husband.  “Well, he was drunk.”  “I wasn’t in the mood, but he was, so it’s not a big deal.”  “It’s not like he held a gun to my head.  He’s my husband & I owe it to him.”  We also seldom call these abusers out on their awful behavior.

 

Maybe we behave this way simply from habit.  Or, maybe we behave this way because we don’t believe we deserve to be treated better.  Whatever the case, it is very wrong & needs to change.

 

Rape is a terrible thing, but possibly it’s even worse when done by an intimate partner.  Our husbands are people we know & love, share secrets & dreams with, possibly even share children with.  When that special person rapes you, it destroys your trust in him.  That affects every area of your marriage.  It can destroy the love you once felt for your husband.  It also can leave you depressed, anxious, with eating or sleep problems.

 

Also, marital rape doesn’t always mean your husband held a gun to your head & forced you to have sex.  He may not even use force at all.  Coercion & guilt tactics designed to make you give in are extremely common, yet are seldom considered weapons used in marital rape.  Personally, I believe them to be very effective ones weapons, especially for those of us who survived narcissistic abuse & are prone to feeling guilty easily.  I also believe them to be the most commonly used weapons of husbands & boyfriends who rape.

 

And, force is often used not only to get sex, but to get the victim to do certain sexual acts that she doesn’t want to do.  Forcing someone to do sexual acts they are not comfortable doing or that are painful is rape!  Rape is defined as forcible sexual relations against someone’s will.  If your partner forces you to perform oral or anal sex in spite of your protests, that is rape.  I realize these are very common scenarios in relationships.  So common, in fact, I don’t think many people, male or female, consider it rape when a man forces a woman to perform such behaviors against her will.  That doesn’t mean it is OK though!  Believe me, I’ve been there.  I’ve been forced against my will to receive anal sex many times, in spite of my many protests.  Just because it was by someone I was married to did not make it OK!  In fact, it made our marriage worse by destroying any trust I felt for him.  I also shut down emotionally with him.

 

If you’re being raped by your intimate partner, please know you do NOT have to do that any longer!  Calling an abuser out on their behavior goes against everything in you after surviving narcissistic abuse, but you can change that about yourself!  You should change this about yourself because you do not deserve to be treated this way!

 

Prayer is always the best place to start.  Ask God to help you do whatever it is you need to do in this situation & to help your husband to see the error of his ways.

 

You must realize that this is not God’s will.  It’s not Godly for a man to rape his wife.  People may quote 1 Corinthians 7:5 ( “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.” (AMP) ) or Ephesians 5:22 (“Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. ” (NIV) ) to women whose husbands have raped them.  This only serves to confuse the wife & make her feel as if she has no rights.  This is NOT God’s plan for marriage!  Sex is never supposed to be a weapon or cause emotional or physical pain!  Husbands are supposed to love their wives as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:23).  A man who loves his wife that way would never rape his wife or purposely hurt her in any other way.

 

Also, I believe it is perfectly acceptable to speak up to your husband about this important matter.  Yes, wives are to submit to our husbands, but in the face of sinful, abusive behavior, I honestly don’t see why God would object to confronting him.  I haven’t seen anything in the Bible that says wives cannot speak up to their husbands when they are behaving in an ungodly manner.

 

If you need medical attention, & you tell the hospital staff what happened, the police may become involved, whether you want them to be or not.  Just be prepared for that.

 

If you opt to leave your husband, prepare to the best of your ability.  Have a safe place to go that he doesn’t know where it is.  Save as much money as possible before leaving.  And, don’t underestimate him.  Abusers can be extremely devious & cruel.

 

Always remember,  Dear Reader- God loves you so much.  He doesn’t want you to be abused.  He wants you to be loved & treated like the treasure He believes you are.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

How To Be Blessed

There is an easy way to secure God’s blessings over your life, & sadly not many people will do it.  It’s called tithing.

 

I know, the word tithing doesn’t exactly encourage joy.  So many greedy preachers have demanded their congregation give them money that the word has become tainted to some people.  I get it.  I’ve felt the same way.  But, I encourage you to forget what you knew of tithing & keep reading.

 

Malachi 3:10-12:  “10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My
house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open
for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That
there will not be room enough to receive it. 11 “And I will rebuke the
devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your
ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” Says the
Lord of hosts; 12 “And all nations will call you blessed, For you will be a
delightful land,” Says the Lord of hosts.”   (KJV)

 

These wonderful verses contain promises that I have seen in action in my own life.  Since I began tithing seriously in 2015, God truly has blessed me.  When we thought we wouldn’t have enough money to pay some bills, money suddenly showed up.  When our taxes for 2015 were done, I was sure that we would owe state & federal, as we have for the last few years, yet instead, we learned we were getting money back.  And, when doing those taxes, I had to find out the date our health insurance stopped coverage in 2015.  That day was the day after I went to the emergency room!  My trip to the ER was covered- if it’d been only a few hours later, it wouldn’t have been covered & we would’ve owed thousands of dollars we didn’t have.

 

Giving God the 10% He asks for seems to not only protect what you have, but also to make that 90% go much further.  It’s absolutely amazing!

 

When I started to tithe, honestly I wasn’t sure if it’d work for me because I don’t go to church.  Because of that, I figured the next best thing was to send money to the preachers on television I watch regularly- Jesse Duplantis, TD Jakes & Josh McDowell.  So far so good!  In fact, Jesse Duplantis is the one I’ve learned the most about giving & tithing from.  He has great revelation in this area, plus he’s not one of those televangelists who constantly tries to get people to send him money.  I thought these things made him the perfect person to learn from.

Jesse Duplantis wrote a fantastic little book entitled, “Why Isn’t My Giving Working?”  A while back, I read it & took notes on it.  I really recommend buying the book for yourself (it’s available on his website, http://www.JDM.org)  but to give you some insight into the book, below are some notes I took on it a while back.  I hope this information blesses you as much as it has me.  xoxo

 

Why Isn’t My Giving Working?  by Jesse Duplantis

 

I.What God has said:
A. God said, be fruitful- which mans always producing.
B. God said, multiply- which means always increasing.
C. God said, replenish- which means fill & refill.
D. God said, subdue- which means control your environment or it will control
you.
E. God cares about giving & honor, because they reveal the condition of the
heart.

II.The four types of giving:
A. The Tithe
B. Firstfruits
C. Alms
D. Seed

III.The tithe:
A. The tithe is God’s portion; it is our connection to the blessing, which is our
portion.
B. Tithing holds God to His promise to open the windows of Heaven & to
rebuke the devourer. The devourer is anything that comes up that makes you
spend money you don’t want to spend.
C. God is trying to get us the blessings He talks about in Malachi 3:10-12:
“10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My
house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open
for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That
there will not be room enough to receive it. 11 “And I will rebuke the
devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your
ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” Says the
Lord of hosts; 12 “And all nations will call you blessed, For you will be a
delightful land,” Says the Lord of hosts.”
D. Use this verse to remind God of His promises when you pray about your
tithe. Have faith He will keep His promises.

IV.First fruits.
A. First fruits are the first part of an increase. Example: you get a raise at
work that means you’ll get $50 more per week. Give God the first $50 raise.
B. Proverbs 3:9-10 “9 Honor the Lord with your possessions, And with
the firstfruits of all your increase; 10 So your barns will be filled with
plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.”
C. First fruits are only given once- the first of any increase, not income.
D. The first fruits offering is heart-driven, & given as a direct form of
gratitude to God.

V.Alms
A. Alms are given to the poor & those in need.
B. God’s rate of return is “repayment” on alms, not abundance. Proverbs
19:17 “ He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, And He will pay
back what he has given.”
C. If I give alms but don’t tithe, even the repayment God promises could be
devoured on its way back to me.
D. Give quietly- don’t advertise your giving or make the recipient feel bad or
that they owe you for your generosity. Protect the dignity of the recipient!
Remember, God sees what you’re doing- let that be enough. Alms should be
given with love, not for attention from man or God.

VI.Seed
A. The motivation is faith & reward. It is the only way the 30, 60 or 100-fold
harvest can be received, provided you sow into good ground. Mark 4:3-9
(Jesus speaking) “3 “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And it
happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds
of the air[a] came and devoured it. 5 Some fell on stony ground, where it
did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no
depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it
had no root it withered away. 7 And some seed fell among thorns; and the
thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. 8 But other seed fell
on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and
produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.” 9 And He
said to them,[b] “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
B. Good soil is a place that is growing & doing what it has set out to do.
C. Seed sowing is the best route to debt cancellation. Not only in cash
received, but debts being cancelled miraculously.

VII.Miscellaneous Notes
A. Sow with purpose- to be obedient & to love God.
B. Haphazard giving leads to haphazard results.
C. Never dismiss the blessings God gives you. Praise & thank Him for them!
D. Be joyous in giving, wondering what God is going to do for you & others
next.
E. While waiting on God to make good on His promises, stand strong knowing
He will do what He says He will. Ephesians 6:13-14 “13 Therefore take up
the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day,
and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your
waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,”
F. Don’t mix up your giving. For example, don’t take your tithe, & give it as a
seed.
G. Don’t be moved emotionally into giving something you purposed for another
area. Tithes stay tithes, alms stay alms, etc. 2 Corinthians 9:7 “7 So let
each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity;
for God loves a cheerful giver.”
H. If you do not give God’s way, He is under no obligation to bless you in the
way you want to be blessed.
I. To start giving, start tithing. Give more as you can afford to do so, no
matter how small your giving may be. Amount isn’t important. God will bless
your giving.
J. Don’t worry if your seed is small- it does not have to be big to work so long
as your purpose & motivation are accurate.
1. The tithe: motive is obedience.
2. First fruits: motive is generosity.
3. Alms: motive is compassion.
4. Seed: motive is faith & reward.

 

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Do You Enjoy Your Life As Much As You Should?

One year ago today, I nearly died.

February 27, 2015, I got carbon monoxide poisoning from my fireplace, causing me to pass out for over twenty minutes & get a concussion by hitting my head on the adjacent log holder.

It’s been a long year.  I’ve had to learn to live with some pretty yukky symptoms that are most likely permanent.  Some are embarrassing, too- my brain doesn’t function so well anymore & I feel stupid often now.  Yet, even so, some good has come from this experience.  I’m very grateful for the good things!

I’ve realized that life truly can change in an instant.  It’s not just a cliche!  In only one day, I became a different person.  Knowing how suddenly things can change or your life can end has given me a new perspective.

I want to enjoy whatever time I have left in my life as much as possible.  I love doing little things that bring me joy such as drinking herbal tea more often or lighting candles.

I  don’t want to take anyone for granted- that is an extremely hurtful thing to do to someone & it can steal your joy.

Neither do I want to take anything for granted.  I’m enjoying things more now than I used to.  I’m wearing my favorite expensive perfume often even if my plans are only watching a movie at home.  I wear the most comfortable & cutest pajamas I can find since they make me feel good, & spend plenty of time in them (yes, even in the afternoon if the mood strikes!).

I have gained a better perspective & sweat the small stuff much less than I once did.  Little things really aren’t worth the energy & stealing of joy.

I listen to my favorite music more, too- not only is it good for brain health, but it is good for the mood.

I’m working on being more open with people by paying complements more freely.  I’ve always been quiet so it’s not easy to talk more sometimes, but it’s worth it to see other people happy to hear some kind words.

I’m avoiding people I’m not as comfortable with & setting firmer boundaries with them.  I’ve lost friendships, too, which although it may sound sad, really isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  I only want real, caring people in my life now.  I have zero patience for those who only talk about themselves & never ask how I’m doing.

I also try to push myself out of my comfort zone more often.  Granted, with C-PTSD, that isn’t an easy task, but I at least try.  Even if I fail, it makes me feel accomplished knowing I tried.  I recently went out alone to the grocery store, car wash & a craft store one afternoon.  Having agoraphobia, this is a real challenge.  I was in a panic by the time I was done my final stop, but at least I did it!

I’m trying new things, or even old things I long ago gave up.  I loved drawing as a child, & started doing it again right after I got sick & was recovering.  I’m not that great at it, but it’s fun to do.  I also have started tinkering with photography, since one of my best friends ever gave me a wonderful camera.

Best of all, I also talk with God much more than I once did.  Constantly, in fact.  Rarely any semblance of an elaborate prayer, just normal conversation, like a daughter talking with her Father.  Our relationship is much closer than it once was, & the things that have come out of it are amazing.  God has given me many dreams that show me helpful information on my life.  He’s also given me answers to questions I’ve had for a long time.  He’s even taught me a lot about narcissism, which obviously helps my writing.  He has also helped to show me areas where I need to heal, & helped me to do so.

There is a point to all of this.  Please don’t be foolish like I’ve been.  Although I’ve always known you never know when your life will end, I never had the much better perspective I have now.  I guess I’m a slow learner & it took a traumatic, life altering (nearly life ending) experience to wake me up.  Please learn from me, & make similar changes to your life that I have, so you can enjoy your life more.  Life can be short, & you don’t want to die with regrets.  Use your good china.  Burn that special scented candle you were saving for a special occasion.  Tell the special people in your life you love them  & why, & do it often.  Crank up music you love & dance around your house like crazy.  Life truly can change or even end in an instant.  Make a decision today to enjoy whatever time you have to the fullest!  xoxo

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Are You Someone’s Trash Can?

Ever since I can remember, most of my relationships have been unbalanced.  I’ve been the one to do the bulk of the work.  It started with my parents.  Both came to me with complaints about their marriage or involved me in their fights or for me to help them feel better if they were upset.  As I made friends, they often came to me with problems or needs, & expected me to listen or meet those needs often without so much as a thank you or even asking how I am.  Yet, if I had a need or problem, I was on my own, unable to count on them for any help.

 

This was simply a way of life.  Until recently.

 

I’d realized this was a problem several years ago, but had no idea what to do about it or even if I should do anything about it.  After all, people need someone to talk to & there isn’t a great deal of empathy in the world.  I thought maybe I needed to just suck it up & continue on this path.  After all, so many said, “I can’t talk to anyone else about this problem!”, “I feel so much better after talking to you,”  “You’re the only person who  understands- I don’t know what I’d do without you” or someone close to the person would say, “You need to stay strong for her/him!”  Those phrases made me feel obligated.

 

Then last year I got sick.  Coming close to dying changed me.  No longer could I listen without having a significant physical reaction.  For a short time, certainly, but not for a long time or even frequently.  Suddenly I no longer felt a bit tired & drained after listening to someone talk about their problems.  Instead, I now feel absolutely exhausted, sometimes for days.  I also realized I felt a new resentment when I was expected to listen to someone who couldn’t even ask how I was doing or changes the subject or interrupts if I start to talk.  I also became very angry when someone would expect me to listen to them, offer comfort or advice without so much as asking if I was busy before taking up my time.  I felt disrespected, taken for granted & much like their personal trash can.

 

Have you ever felt that way?  Like someone’s personal trash can?  It’s a very unpleasant way to feel isn’t it?

 

Those who survive narcissistic abuse are often very compassionate, caring people. We know what it’s like to hurt, & want to help other people not to hurt.  We also are people pleasers, because we were raised to please a narcissistic parent.  People pleasing becomes a habit.  As a result, others tend to take advantage of us.  They expect us to help them or listen to them without offering anything in return.  We can become their personal therapist.

 

While it’s great to help people & listen to them if they need to talk, it’s unfair when it’s one sided.  Relationships should be balanced.  Maybe sometimes you do most of the giving but there also should be times when the other person in the relationship should do most of the giving.

 

Being the trash can also leads to unnecessary stress in the listener.  The talker is the one who gets to dump all of his anxiety, anger or hurt onto the listener, basically freeing the talker from much of those negative emotions & turning the listener into his personal trash can, catching those negative emotions.

 

This also leads to resentment from the listener.  Eventually, the unfairness & stress of the situation will kick in, & the listener will be tired of being the trash can.  She’ll be angry & tired, & she has every right to be.

 

To handle this, I think the best place to start is with God.  Talk to Him about how you feel & ask Him what to do.  Then, do as He guides you to.

 

Remember, there is nothing wrong with setting boundaries.  You have every right to tell the person who wants you to listen to them that now isn’t a good time, you have a lot on your mind & need some time to yourself, or even simply no.  You need to do this for your own mental & physical health.  Plus, doing so can be good for the talker as well.  He needs to look to God & other people for help.  You can’t be his savior!  By you being there all of the time, basically you’re in the position that God should be in in his life.

 

 

 

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Don’t Live With Regrets

Yesterday, my husband & I received some sad news.  A former coworker of my husband’s & a friend of ours died after a battle with cancer.

 

Giovanni was a sweet guy with a ready smile & a great sense of humor.  Unfortunately we had mostly lost touch once my husband left that job about 14 years ago, but once I saw him on facebook a few years back, we connected & spoke periodically.  Even simply chatting online, his wonderful personality always shone through.  We spoke a few months ago about us getting together with him & his girlfriend, yet we never did.  He was in & out of the hospital & undergoing chemo, plus my husband works some rather long hours sometimes & has pretty demanding elderly parents- we just never could find the right time.  And now, it’s too late.  This is one of many regrets I have.

 

The reason I’m writing this is to remind you, Dear Reader, & myself that life is fragile.  It can end at a moment’s notice, & often, there’s no warning.  So many people die with regrets- you don’t want to be one of them!  Focus on spending time with those you love & who love you.  Buy the pair of shoes you’ve had your eye on but refused to buy because they’re too expensive.  Splurge on that milkshake you’ve had a craving for even if you’re watching your figure.  Trade in your sensible mini van for that sexy truck you’ve had your eye on, if you can afford it.  Take a painting course.  Learn a new hobby.  Do that thing that is outside of your comfort zone, but you’ve always wanted to try.

 

Life can be short, Dear Reader.  I encourage you to make the most out of whatever time you have & have no regrets.  You deserve it!  xoxo

 

 

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Praying For Others Who Hurt You

Recently, I saw this Scripture…

 

Proverbs 6:16-19  “16 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:  17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”  (KJV)

Immediately, I thought of my mother.  She has done all of these things.  Immediately after I thought of that, I felt a burden to pray for her.  I decided that since my memory is pretty bad, I’d set an alarm on my cell phone to remind me to pray for her every morning.  Shortly after, I decided to add my father to that morning prayer.

 

I don’t know what’s going to happen, if they will change or not.  It is up to them if they respond to or ignore God’s promptings to change.  However, whether or not they do, I know praying for them is changing me.  It’s only been a few days, but so far, so good.  I feel a new peace knowing I have done something good for them.

 

When someone hurts or abuses you, it’s so hard to pray for them at first.  It may even take years before you feel able to do so, especially when the hurt goes deep.  I have been a Christian since February, 1996, & in that time, I admit, I haven’t prayed much for my parents or even my in-laws.  They all hurt me too deeply.  I tried, but sometimes prayed through gritted teeth.    Starting to pray for my parents regularly this time hasn’t been easy, but I pushed through.  I am glad I did, because the more I do it, the easier it gets.  The more sincere I am in my prayers.  And, I’ll probably add the in-laws to my daily prayers.

 

I know this may seem a very daunting task, but why don’t you give it a try too?  Even when you pray through gritted teeth like me, God will honor your willingness to do so & make it easier for you to pray for them.  You truly will be blessed when you pray for others as I have been.

 

 

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How Do You Talk To Yourself?

 

Like I said in my last post, I realized how incredibly verbally abusive I am to myself.  My narcissistic mother has always been extremely critical of me, as have the other narcissists I’ve been in relationship with.  As a result, I copied their behavior & became very critical of myself.  Unfortunately I think this is quite normal for survivors of narcissistic abuse.

 

As I said, I was berating myself a few days ago for my anxiety levels being so high, even though it’s a normal part of C-PTSD.  In fact, many other times, I have told myself I’m stupid, weak & a failure for having C-PTSD.  I have said similar things to myself for other reasons, such as for being depressed after losing someone I love or even being sick.

 

Does this type of self-talk sound familiar to you?  If so, then like me, you need to put a stop to it!  This kind of talk is abusive!  It is basically continuing the verbal abuse of your narcissistic mother!  Why do that?!  Didn’t she do it enough?!

 

No one deserves such vicious abuse, but especially from yourself.  Absolutely nothing good comes from it!  Only bad. This sort of verbal abuse devastates & can destroy your self-esteem.  It adds to a root of toxic shame.

 

I realize it’s probably such a habit, you do it without even noticing.  That’s how it’s been with me.  I’ve noticed it some times, but never thought much about it until the other night.  If you haven’t really paid attention to your own self talk like me, then I urge you to start now.  And, if you discover your self talk is bad as mine, then it’s time to start showing yourself some compassion for a change.

 

I’m sure making changes in self talk isn’t easy.  It’s just something you’ve always done, talk to yourself that way.  Even so, I think paying attention to it & changing the negative words into more accepting ones is doable.  It seems to me it should be a matter of quitting a bad habit & turning it into a good one by showing yourself the same understanding & compassion you show other people.  It will require focus & patience with yourself.

 

Also, ask God for help as well.  He will help!  He always does!

 

Do you have other ideas?  If so, I’d love to hear them.  Feel free to post them in the comments section or email me privately at CynthiaBaileyRug@aol.com

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Showing Compassion To Strangers

Many of us who have been abused in some way have learned that other people, even strangers, like talking to us.  I’ve had people in the grocery store or laundromat strike up a conversation & tell me their entire life stories.  (One lady caught me twice in two different stores about six months apart- she apparently didn’t remember me from the first time)  It’s strange to say the least, but I think it’s because some people are so desperate for some compassion, they’ll try to find it in a stranger.

 

Since many of you are also introverts like me, I know this can be uncomfortable.  You probably want to just duck into a place, do what you came to do & leave quickly with minimal human interaction.  (I even use the self-checkout lanes to eliminate interaction with one more person.)   When a person decides to chit-chat, it can be annoying, especially if you’re in a rush.

 

I have begun to think a bit differently about this “annoyance.”  I believe when this sort of thing happens, it is God putting you in a place to be a blessing to someone.  Just listening to someone talk for a little while may make their day better or lighten the burden of the problem they discussed with you.  Why not let the person talk for a while?

 

One evening recently, I saw my parents.  I wasn’t in a good mood after leaving them.  On the way home, I went by the post office to mail something out after hours yesterday using the machine in the lobby rather than dealing with people during regular business hours.  A lady came in & dropped off a package while I was at the machine.  Out of the blue, she told me about her day at work, which sounded very frustrating.  The conversation lasted maybe five minutes, but it seemed to help her mood a bit.  It also helped mine some because I had a distraction from my own situation for a few minutes.  It was a small one, but I think a blessing for both her & I.  And, as I’m writing, I also remembered to pray for her- I may not know her needs, but God does.

 

The next time you are in that somewhat awkward position of listening to a stranger, then why not just go with it for a while?  You may be helping that person more than you know.  You might even help yourself.

 

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God’s Love For You

On this day ten years ago, I was blessed with one of God’s best gifts. My car. Maybe that sounds odd, so just read on- it will make sense.

My granddad had a beautiful 1969 Plymouth Fury when I was born in 1971. Four years later, my father’s car was stolen, & Granddad gave my father this car. In 1979, my father sold the car to a junkyard because he didn’t want to replace the failing transmission & rear end.

In 2005, my father was in the hospital. One Saturday morning, I woke up early, & couldn’t go back to sleep. It was too early for visiting hours, so I suggested to my husband we go to the local flea market, then the hospital.

Once we arrived, I saw a beautiful car at the other end of the parking lot. A green 1969 Fury that looked identical to my granddad’s. My husband suggested I leave a note on the car, saying I’d like to buy it if the seller was interested in selling. I’d never done anything like that before, but decided why not.

The seller did want to sell! He called me two days later. My husband & I met up with him to look at the car better, & decided to buy it. Unfortunately we were refinancing our mortgage so our money was tied up. Thankfully the seller was understanding & patient.

November 23, 2005, I was able to get the car. It was a wonderful day, but things got even better…

My father came by one day to see the car. He said it was his car. I thought he had to be mistaken but he was adamant. Shortly after, he showed back up at my home with an old log book where he had written down maintenance records on some of his cars. He had torn out the pages on the Fury after getting rid of the car, but he had missed the page with the VIN on it. We compared it to the VIN on my Fury, & they were identical! I couldn’t believe it- my car was also Granddad’s car! It was (& still is) a miracle to me that this car is back in my family after 26 years. And, not just any car- my favorite car that either my granddad or my father had. I’ve always loved cars, & there was always something special to me about this one.

I’m telling you this story today, Dear Reader, not only because I love sharing it, but hopefully to inspire you. God is capable of great miracles. All things are possible with God.

God is also very well aware of your deepest desires, even if you aren’t aware of them. I had no idea how much I would love having this car, but God knew & sent her to me. Driving this car is one of the greatest pleasures in my life, & I had no idea until God arranged for me to have her.

God can do the same for you. He can grant you a special blessing too amazing for you to comprehend! Ask Him to bless you! You aren’t being greedy or selfish- you are simply asking Him to do something He wants to do. You will be amazed at what happens!

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Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is just one of the many things that is stolen by narcissistic abuse.  It can be devastating & causes a great deal of problems in one’s life.  The good news though, is that you can learn to love yourself, & repair the damage the narcissist in your life did to you in this area.

The first step to take is to have a close relationship with God.  Lean on Him & ask Him to help you in this area.  He is a proud father, & has PLENTY of good things to say about you!

Study your Bible.  There is a lot of good information in it regarding who you are as a child of God.  I made a list & put it on my website.  You can see it here:  http://cynthiabaileyrug.com/Positive-Affirmations.php

Always remember- when someone criticizes you & it isn’t constructive criticism that is meant to help you, what they say most likely reflects what they feel about themselves, not what they think about you.  Chances are good she is criticizing you in order to make you feel as bad about yourself as she does about herself.

Listen to what people say to you when they complement you.  People don’t complement others just to hear themselves talk.   They complement because they mean it.

Sometimes even an especially unfair incident can make your self esteem kick in.   Last February when I got very sick, only a few people close to me cared.  I lost friends & some that stayed had no desire to hear it if I wasn’t feeling well.  It hurt tremendously, but the unfairness of the situation woke me up.  I realized how wrong this was- I had been there for them repeatedly, yet they couldn’t be bothered with me after facing a life-threatening illness.  It was cruel & unfair.  I realized I deserved better than that, & suddenly my self-esteem was better.  Sometimes being abused, mistreated or taken for granted can work in your favor in that way.  Not that they are good things of course, but sometimes something good can come out of it at least. God really can work good out of bad situations!

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Losing A Pet

As most of you know, I’m an avid animal lover.  I also have a weird knack for remembering dates.  So, I naturally remember this day in 1990 when I adopted my first cat, Magic…

Magic with Georgie Magic with Fluffy Magic looking handsome Magic chillin'

Magic was very special, my soul mate.  He was extremely intelligent, loving, devoted, protective, a great surrogate daddy to kittens, stubborn, devious & so much more.  He was in my life for over 16 years when he passed away quietly in my arms one afternoon.  Although he’s been gone since January 17, 2007, I still miss him daily.

I was thinking about Magic when something occurred to me.  So many people act like when you lose a pet, it’s no big deal.  “It’s just an animal” they say.  They fail to realize that animal is like a child to you.  You love him, take care of him, provide for him, comfort him when he’s sad or upset & nurse him when he’s sick.  How can you not be shaken to your core when you lose your furry child?!

If you’ve lost a precious pet, I would encourage you to honor his memory in some special way.  It will bring you comfort when grief threatens to overwhelm you, & remind you of fun memories as well.  I have a locket that has a small tuft of Magic’s fur on one  side & his picture on the other.  You could do something similar.  Or, you could get more creative.  A photo album or photo display in your home would be nice.  A special garden with a memorial plaque in your yard also would be nice.  Paint or draw your beloved pet’s picture.  When our neighbor’s Akita dog died, our dog, Bear, was devastated.. he loved Mathilda a great deal.  I decided to knit him an afghan since he liked to nap on them & a couple of my friends sent me squares to add into it.  All squares had two hearts on them in some unique way.  It brought him comfort when he was hurting.  You could do the same for yourself if you are into the yarn arts.  Or, you could sew a quilt.  The possibilities are endless.

Losing a pet is a horrible experience, but it has one good part.  Grieving hard means you loved hard.  As painful as it can be to believe when you first lose your furbaby, one day you will realize that it was worth it, because you had that special little angel in your life.  Remember that when you are in pain- it really will comfort you one day.

And, ignore those who try to invalidate your grief.  They are foolish or cold hearted.  Grieve that precious furbaby however you see fit.  You probably never will stop grieving completely, & that is ok!  It just means you loved that little one a great deal.

Tell God how you feel- He understands. .  In fact, God may bless you in a unique way at this time.  After losing Magic, I was listening to a CD one day, the soundtrack from the show “Touched By An Angel.”  Wynonna’s song “You Were Loved” came on & God spoke to my heart saying, “This is from Magic.”  I can’t hear the song with it’s moving lyrics without thinking of Magic now.  It always brings me joy & reminds me we’ll see each other again one day.  This has happened with other cats I’ve lost, too.  Bubba’s song is “Freebird” (Lynyrd Skynyrd), Sugar’s is “Not A Day Goes By” (Lonestar), Vincent’s is “Someday We’ll Be Together” (The Supremes), Jasmine’s is “Angel” (Aerosmith), Georgie’s is “Angel Eyes” (Steelheart) & Sneezer’s is “Carrying Your Love With Me” (George Straight).  If God has blessed me like this, He may do the same for you.  Why not ask Him to do so?

Also, if you have other furbabies, then please never take them for granted!  As I’m writing, my Pretty Boy is napping on the sofa, snoring loudly, while Zippy is laying across my wrist as I type, purring loudly.  Their contentment brings me joy.  I love my boys so much, & tell them so all the time, just like I do with the other cats & dog.  Animals, like humans, need to know they are loved.  And, you need to enjoy the time you have with your little furry angels to the fullest!

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Miracles Still Happen

I know many people don’t believe that miracles still happen.  They were just for Biblical days.  I respectfully disagree!  There is no time limit on miracles!

Yesterday I was looking at facebook.  One of my old posts popped up from October 15, 2013.  It was the day I took our cat, Pretty Boy, in for his annual check up.  Since he has diabetes we have to keep on top of his health.  I expected the normal results- he’s doing fine, just check his glucose levels & email us a report.

That isn’t what happened though.

The vet said he lost almost 2 pounds.  She also said something felt odd & she wanted to do an ultrasound.  Blood was drawn, then an ultrasound was done.  A while later, she came back into the exam room with the results of both.  She said Pretty Boy had liver carcinoma, & probably wouldn’t be around much longer.  His liver was enlarged & his red blood cell count was only 25 (it should be 35-45, she said).  I took him home, & prayed for him often.

Then this past February 9, we took Pretty Boy in for his check up.  Another vet, the owner of this hospital who I’ve known for many years, saw him since the first one had changed jobs.  He kept saying Pretty Boy looked “great” & my little guy had gained 2 pounds.  Another vet talked to us about the diabetes he’s lived with since 2011, & said she thought Pretty Boy was going into remission.  The first vet then told me to call him the next day for the results of his blood work.  I did, & was in for a surprise!  He said three times that Pretty Boy’s blood work was “perfect!”  I asked about the liver carcinoma.  He asked what I was talking about, so I explained the previous exam’s results.  He said, “She must have made a mistake- Pretty Boy is doing great.  His blood work is absolutely perfect.”  Prayers were answered, & God healed our sweet kitty!

Pretty Boy’s healing was a miracle, as far as I’m concerned.  As I’m typing this, he’s lying on the sofa, a couple of feet away, grooming himself & looking content.  I’m so grateful to see that!

Healing cancer, whether for a cat or a human, is a miraculous event!  It’s also proof that God still does miracles,  answers prayers & loves His children enough to care about what we care about.

Dear Reader, please be encouraged today.  What God did for my furbaby, He can do for you.  Or if you need a financial miracle instead of a healing , He can do that too.  Praying for the salvation of a loved one?  He can save them as well.  Whatever your need, God has the answer.  All you have to do is ask & know that He is your answer.

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Today Is A Special Day For Me- It’s My Anniversary!

Good morning, Dear Readers!  Today is my seventeenth wedding anniversary!

I thought in honor of that, I’d take a moment to remind you today to appreciate the special person you married.  It’s so easy, especially after many years together, to take each other for granted, but that’s not good for the relationship at all.  It’s depressing to feel unappreciated.  Do you want your spouse  to feel that way??

Take a moment to think about what you appreciate about your husband or wife today.  A kind heart?  A gentle nature?  The love he or she shows your children (or furbabies)?  Is he/she a good provider?  Do you share similar interests?  Think about this for a few minutes & come up with several things.  Then make sure you tell your spouse what you appreciate about him or her.

For my husband, I’m glad we’re still together.  We had many hard years, dealing with some potentially marriage ending problems, such as my problems with his family.  God helped us both to change & our marriage to survive.  I appreciate the fact we share a great friendship.  We can have a lot of fun together just hanging out, playing video games or going to a car show.  We also share a very warped sense of humor.  We both appreciate silly movies like “Airplane!” & quote it on a regular basis during conversation.  I love the fact he taught me so much about cars & we share an appreciation for the same type of classic cars.   He tolerates my quirks (& they are vast..lol) which I really appreciate since so few people do.  I am grateful he doesn’t judge or criticize things about me that many other people are quick to judge, like how I manage my C-PTSD & ongoing problems I have from the carbon monoxide poisoning & concussion.  I also appreciate him taking care of me on the days when C-PTSD or health problems flare up.  He’s a good man & I’m blessed to be married to him.

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Love Changes, & Not How You May Expect It To

I’ve experienced a very odd thing a few times in my life.  I would guess I’m not the only one who has dealt with it so I thought I should write about it.  Sometimes, after being treated very badly by someone, the love & compassion I once felt for that person died suddenly.  This doesn’t mean I wish someone harm or harbor any anger towards them- it just means I feel nothing.  It’s indifference, which I believe is the opposite of love.

As I write this, my mother in-law is in the hospital.  I wish I could say I was concerned, but I feel nothing other than concern for how this situation will affect my husband.  This sounds terrible, doesn’t it?  But, the fact is that for the first eight years of our relationship, she was extremely verbally abusive to me & that took a toll on me.  Then one night in 2002, she called to talk to my husband who wasn’t home from work yet.  She screamed at me because he was still at work & for his allergies that were flaring up.  That wasn’t even our worst conversation, but still, something in me shut down as she was screaming.  I wasn’t even angry- I just felt nothing for her at that point.  I haven’t spoken to her since & have no desire to do so, even though she isn’t doing well.

Something similar happened with someone else I was close to.  She once told me out of the blue that I needed to get over my “childhood hurts”.  It was the last of several similar hurtful comments she’d made over the years, & it killed the love I’d once felt for her.  When she died about a year later, I felt virtually nothing.

No one seems to talk about this sort of thing.  It seems acceptable to say you’ve fallen out of love with your partner, but not to admit that the love you once felt for someone died because of their hurtful, abusive behavior.  However, I think it must be normal.

Everyone has what I think of as a love account for each person in their life.  It’s like a checking account, except it doesn’t hold money, it holds love.  Gentle, sweet, thoughtful actions put love into the account, while harsh, thoughtless ones take love out of it.  If someone is good to you, that account stays on the positive side, building up a good balance.  Yet, if someone is cruel to you, withdraws are made.  If too many withdraws are made, your love account balance can go into the negative.  At this point, hopefully that person will flood you with loving gestures in an attempt to repair the relationship & bring the balance back up.  If he or she doesn’t though, this is when your love can die for that person.

If you have experienced this too, Dear Reader, please know you aren’t alone.  I’ve been there!   Don’t beat yourself up for it.  You can ask God to help you to restore the love you once felt if you like, but don’t be surprised if He doesn’t.  He hasn’t with me.  I have learned to trust Him.  Maybe this happened because it was time to end the relationship.  Or, maybe if the relationship continued as it had, things would have gotten worse.  I don’t know, but I do know to trust God in this area.  He truly knows best.

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

Meet The Newest Member Of The Bailey/Rug Family!

This beautiful little lady is Minnie Rose…

Minnie Rose

Is she not the prettiest little diva kitty?

I thought that I’d share her cuteness with those of you who follow my blog since so many of you are also die-hard animal lovers like myself.

Minnie Rose is about 1 year old (I think a little under a year) & a dilute tortoiseshell.  True to the tortie nature, she’s very quirky & talkative, & has the sweetest, softest little meow!  She’s a real purr machine too- a little rub on the head & she’s purring happily.  She’s never been around other cats aside from her birth family, so she’s had a little trouble getting used to having a big family.  I’m proud of her though, as it only took her about a week to come out of her shell.  She’s a little skittish around the other cats still, but it’s improving drastically by the day.

She is so funny- she chose her name!  She hid for her first few days, so I didn’t really get to know her well enough to name her yet.  I could see the inner diva, & was thinking of possibly calling her Aretha, after Aretha Franklin.  As I got to know her better though, I thought she seemed more like a Minnie.  She wasn’t impressed.  On a whim, I called her Minnie Rose- my great grandmother’s name.  Immediately her entire demeanor changed!  She became relaxed & more confident.  Since then, Miss Minnie Rose has been coming out of her shell more with each passing moment.  It’s a beautiful thing to see!

The other cats & dog love her already.  Luke, one of my Norwegian forest cat mix boys, is quite protective of her.  Punkin, my young orange tabby, has quite a crush on her- he howls that tom cat howl when he’s around her.  Chester, my 8 year old tuxedo, flirted with her when she hissed at him until she relaxed completely.  Sabrina, my 3 year old black medium hair girl, & Valentine, a 5 year old tortie, are on very friendly terms with Minnie Rose.  The other cats are giving her space until  she is more comfortable, I think.  Dixie, my 11 year old American eskimo dog was playing with her a couple of days ago.  It’s been so awesome to see everyone welcoming Minnie Rose into the family so lovingly.  *shameless furmom brag moment*

Minnie’s former owners said she hid a lot under the bed.  I think she was hit too, because if I move too quickly or she hears an angry tone of voice, she flinches.  She is flinching less though, & I think it’s because she is realizing she’s in a safe, happy, loving home now.  That’s making her more confident

I’m looking forward to many happy, fun years with little Minnie Rose.  She is already a blessing to our little family.  🙂

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My Favorite Story Of God’s Tremendous Love

God keeps encouraging me to be open, which is a real challenge for me.  I’m so introverted it’s tough to talk about private things. But, I’m trying..

One very private thing I felt like I should share has nothing to do with the usual topic of narcissism, but we all need a break from that negative topic anyway.  I wanted to share a story with you that shows how gentle & loving God is during our times of greatest need.

When I was growing up, my narcissistic mother did her best to keep me distant from my father’s family.  I wasn’t allowed to play much with my cousins or spend the summer with my grandparents.  When my parents & I visited family, I had to stay at my mother’s side most of the time.  As a result, I was never very close to my paternal grandparents, although I loved them dearly.  Then at age 17, when the abuse was at its peak, my mother told me how they were deeply ashamed of me for how terribly I was acting.  I knew better, or so I thought, but even so, when my ex husband later agreed with my mother, I thought I was wrong.  After all, he hated my mother as much as she hated him- if he is agreeing with her, she must be right.  As a result, in my early 20’s, I drifted out of their lives.

Several years later in 2000, I wrote a letter to my granddad.  (Grandmom had passed in 1996).  Shortly after, I went to visit him at his home.  I was nervous, but that faded immediately.  As soon as he opened the door & gave me one of his bear hugs, I knew all was fine.  We ended up being very close by the time he died on May 31, 2003.  He was not just my grandfather- he was my friend, confidant & cheerleader.

His death hit me very hard.  I could barely function for the first month after.  I asked hubby to drive me to Bristow, VA to his grave about one month after his death.  I hoped maybe it’d help. Besides, the drive was beautiful- Bristow is a peaceful, country town.  The cemetery there is among the prettiest places I’ve ever seen.

Off to Bristow we went.  For the first time, I saw his headstone, & it tore me up.  It made his death final.

valley view cemetery (2)

Hubby left me alone for a while, & sat in the car. I prayed, telling God how painful this was & how much I missed Granddad.  Suddenly the most bizarre thing happened.  I heard my granddad’s voice speaking to me as if he was standing beside me.  He said, “I’m always with you- in your heart.  I love you.  Whenever you see a butterfly, I want you to remember that.”  at  this point, I looked up & there were 2 pale yellow butterflies fluttering together about 5′ from me.  “You tell Eric to take good care of you.  I love you.”

This incident shook me up at first.  I wondered was I crazy?  But no, I wasn’t crazy.  Hearing his voice one last time helped me to start healing.

Some people have told me I only heard what I wanted to hear, or God doesn’t do things like that, but I disagree.  God knew what I needed when I didn’t, & provided that.  Plus, since then, a few times when I’ve seen butterflies, God has spoken to my heart & said things like “Your granddad is thinking of you & wants you to know he loves you.”

Since that day at the cemetery, I’ve seen butterflies.  Lots of them!  I even saw one during the winter once, in my car.  I was particularly stressed at the time since hubby was sick, & on my way home from the hospital, a little moth appeared in my car!  There was no earthly reason for that, as butterflies & moths only survive in the warm weather.  When I work on my car (which was once Granddad’s car), butterflies often appear. If I’m upset, I can guarantee I’ll see butterflies in the oddest places.  Once in a store, I saw butterflies on t-shirts, dishes, stuffed animals, dishes & books.  That was the day that God told me Granddad had been thinking of me.

If you’re in a painful place, please know  God still loves you.  He will comfort you if you allow Him to.  It may be in a completely unexpected way like what happened to me, but it will be just what you need.  And, if you’ve lost someone you love, don’t doubt their love for you has vanished or even changed just because they’ve passed away.  They still love you & think of you often.  Nothing, not even death, will change that.  Take comfort in that.  It truly helps.

As for me, I’ll continue to smile every time I see butterflies, because I know it means my favorite person is sending me his love.. 🙂

Granddad at 50th anniversary party

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A Little Kindness Goes A Long Way

Last night I had a very bizarre dream.  I dreamed that there were a bunch of small children in my yard, making a lot of noise.  It was irritating me (I like peace & quiet) & I went to chase them off.  As I was getting my coat, I heard them in the backyard as well & was becoming more irritated.  Who were they & why were they on my property?  I went outside & they were gone, so I came back inside.  I looked at a shelf & found they’d left me things I need, like soap, cleaning supplies, food & even my favorite perfume from my teen years.  I knew they weren’t actually children, but angels when I saw this.

Upon waking up from this bizarre dream, I had no idea what it meant, but it reminded me of a Scripture…Hebrews 13:2 “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” (KJV)  

I wonder how many people really believe this Scripture?  The actions of most people don’t really show that they believe it.

I’m not saying that we have to cater to everyone we meet, ignoring our own needs.  Not by any stretch.  I’m saying just be civil & kind to one another.  Be an example of God’s love- patient, kind, caring, all while exercising healthy boundaries.  Believe it or not, sometimes saying “no” is actually the most loving thing you can do for another person.  If it wasn’t loving behavior, God wouldn’t tell us no sometimes, would He?

I just wanted to take a moment today to make you think about how you treat people, even the strangers you pass on the street or the cashiers at the grocery store.  Simply smiling at a stranger can make their day.  So many people are rude & unpleasant to strangers, so why not be different?  Be nice instead.  Be polite.  Ask how someone is & wait for an answer that you genuinely care to hear.  Don’t give the impression you’re only asking to be polite- let the other person know you really care how they are.  Little gestures like this truly make a person’s day.  They say, “I care about you” & there is a great shortage of caring people in the world.  Be one of those who do care!

Since many of you reading this are also adult children of narcissists, I can’t help but think you may be hoping I don’t mean include your narcissistic parents in this niceness thing.  Well, sort of I do.  What I said about exercising good boundaries?  That is extremely important when you deal with narcissists, & truly, boundaries are very loving.  They mean you won’t enable certain behaviors from others.  Narcissists don’t think boundaries are good or loving, but they really are in God’s eyes, & that is what really counts!  😉

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“You’re Too Sensitive!”

Are you often told you’re too sensitive?  Criticized for crying easily or wearing your heart on your sleeve?

Many of us who grew up with narcissistic parents have heard those things & much more, especially from our narcissistic parents.  It doesn’t help that most people these days think you shouldn’t show emotion.  They often get extremely uncomfortable when someone shows emotion, & try to shame them into being silent.  Have you ever survived losing a loved one or survived a traumatic event, then shortly after been told you need to “get over it already”?  That is a prime example of what I mean by trying to shame someone into being silent about their emotions.

I don’t believe this is at  all healthy!  God has given us emotions so we can comfort another person who is suffering, know when to end a relationship or start a new one, when we need to make changes, when we are being mistreated or to appreciate when we are being treated well & much more.  Why shouldn’t we feel these things??

Also, I believe being sensitive isn’t a bad thing.  I believe it shows that you have a good, caring heart when things touch you so easily.  Many people who were raised by narcissists turn out calloused & uncaring, but there are also a great deal of us who turned out sensitive & loving.  We know what pain is like, & we don’t like seeing others in pain!  We want to help them if possible, even if it’s only to make them laugh a little or know there is someone who cares.

So few people are comfortable showing their sensitivity for fear of criticism, but I would like to encourage you today to show that part of you to the world!  The more of us who do, the more willing others will be to show their sensitivity too.  It gives others courage to see people who share a quality being so open & unashamed about it.  And, let’s face it- the world is not a nice place!  It could use a lot more niceness, compassion & sensitivity.  If you let a hurting person know you understand, that they aren’t alone, you’re there if they need you, or even cry with the person, that truly can comfort that person more than most anything else can.  You may inspire a turning point in this person’s life- they may begin to heal because of you or use surviving their painful experiences to inspire others.  They even may be inspired to stop contemplating suicide!  You never know- you may save someone’s life or inspire them in a way no one else can!

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God Wants To Bless You!

I want to share this story to encourage you today, Dear Readers.  God does care about infinitely about you, & what you care about!  He also still does miracles today- miracles weren’t reserved only for Biblical times!  I know it can be hard to believe such things, especially when you’re dealing with a narcissistic mother, but they’re very true!

As I mentioned in this post, hubby & I had to take one of our cats into the vet for his annual checkup on Monday.  I was to call the vet yesterday for the results of his bloodwork, & wow, did I get a surprise!  The vet’s exact words were, “His bloodwork was PERFECT.”  I was stunned, & even asked the vet if he was sure.  He was!  I asked about the liver carcinoma that Pretty Boy had been diagnosed with in October, 2013.  The vet was obviously confused, & said there’s no sign of it- maybe the other vet who saw him mistook a benign mass for carcinoma.  Normally, I respect anything this man says- he’s been our vet for 20 years, & is among the best in the Baltimore area.  However, the other vet who diagnosed Pretty Boy with the liver carcinoma didn’t make a mistake.  She was almost as good as he is, plus she did a blood test & an ultrasound, so there was no doubt as to her diagnosis.  It obviously also difficult for her to tell me there was nothing that could be done for him, & she didn’t expect him to be around much longer.  I began to pray for him regularly as soon as we got this news, & God truly answered my prayers!

God truly hears our prayers, even when we feel like He doesn’t.  He also truly cares about what we care about.  When you pray, please be encouraged that God is listening!  He may not answer your prayer as you think He should, but still trust Him!  He knows best, & is worthy of your faith!

And, for those of you pet parents reading this, please never doubt that God loves your furkids even more than you do.  I know, many in the Christian community doubt this, believing animals have no souls, or are only here for people to use (or eat) as they see fit.  I must disagree with this however!  Ecclesiastes 3:19 says, “For that which befalls the sons of men befalls beasts; even [in the end] one thing befalls them both. As the one dies, so dies the other. Yes, they all have one breath and spirit, so that a [a]man has no preeminence over a beast; for all is vanity (emptiness, falsity, and futility)!” (AMP)  Here it is in the Message translation, too “19-22 Humans and animals come to the same end—humans die, animals die. We all breathe the same air. So there’s really no advantage in being human. None. Everything’s smoke. We all end up in the same place—we all came from dust, we all end up as dust. Nobody knows for sure that the human spirit rises to heaven or that the animal spirit sinks into the earth. So I made up my mind that there’s nothing better for us men and women than to have a good time in whatever we do—that’s our lot. Who knows if there’s anything else to life?”  This tells me that God loves animals just as much as people.  So, I encourage you to pray for your pets!  They are entrusted to us to care for them, to feed & shelter them, to love them.. what better way to care for them than to pray for them?

For further information about what the Bible says about animals, I have written a book on the topic.  You can find it at this link: Pawprints On Our Hearts paperback or Pawprints On Our Hearts ebook

Also, here is a picture of my handsome little miracle kitty, Pretty Boy…

pretty boy's best diabetes day ever 01272014

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Avoiding Regrets In Relationships

Last night, I got a message from one of my cousins saying her father, my uncle, had just passed away earlier in  the day. I had to call my father to tell him the bad news about his brother.  It wasn’t a good conversation at all.  See, my father & uncle were once very close.  However, they hadn’t spoken in a long time, I think 2001 or 2002 was the last time they spoke, & prior to that, they hadn’t spoken many times since 1996 when they had a big disagreement.  So, now my father has to cope not only with losing his brother, but also with regrets over how their relationship ended up.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot since last night when we spoke.  It seems to me this is a very common scenario- someone dies, & the ones left behind have regrets.  Regretting letting some trivial argument come between them, maybe simply not calling/visiting as much as they wish they would have or failing to say, “I love you” more often. It’s a very sad situation.  Also it’s a situation people don’t want to think about.

I know thinking about the possibility of losing someone you love isn’t pleasant.  However, it is bound to happen at some point.  Death is a natural part of life.

I would just like to take a moment today to encourage you to be sure you don’t have regrets in relationships.  Tell those you love how much they mean to you.  End your phone calls, emails or visits by telling them, “I love you.”  (I always did this with my granddad, & it brings me some comfort that our last words to each other were, “I love you.”)  If they do something for you or say something kind to you, tell them how much you appreciate it.  Call them often.  Go out for a cup of coffee or to lunch often. Give them little gifts that show them how much you love them when it isn’t their birthday or another gift-giving occasion without expecting anything in return.  An unexpected gift with no strings attached at an unexpected time is a wonderful thing!  Use complements & praise often. Pray with & for those you love. Encourage them when they are down.  Listen quietly without offering advice.

Since I know many of you reading my blog also have a narcissistic mother, some also have narcissistic fathers, you may be wondering how this applies to you.  More or less the same.  If your narcissistic mother does something kind (I know, rare, but it does happen once in a while!), thank her for thinking of you & doing whatever it was she did.  If you can give her a genuine complement, give it.  If you see a little something she would like, buy it for her without expecting anything in return.  Pray for her.  Basically, bless her as you feel you are able to for your narcissistic mother.  I’m certainly not saying to tolerate abuse from her, or kiss up to her by any means.  I am saying to respect whatever boundaries you have with her, while blessing her as you are able to do so.  It isn’t easy, I know, but if you treat her as well as you are able, & as she deserves, you won’t have regrets about your part of your relationship.

Also, when you do something  for your narcissistic mother, do only what you feel you genuinely don’t mind doing. If it appears at all forced on your end, she’ll pick up on that, & you could be facing a narcissistic rage.

I have practiced what I am writing about today with my mother.  I honestly can say now that I have no regrets with her.  I have done my best by my mother (in spite of what some people may think, ie her flying monkeys) while protecting myself at the same time.

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Why Not Tolerating Abuse Is A Godly, Loving Behavior

One thing it seems like all adult children of narcissists share is the large amount of people who  think that we should continue to tolerate anything & everything our narcissistic parents dish out, because of such logic as, “That’s the only mother you’ll ever have!”, “She’s doing her best!”  or, “She won’t be around forever yanno!”  So many people think tolerating abuse is loving, Godly, martyr-like behavior.  How people can think this is utterly beyond me.

Consider Mark 12:32-33, & notice the last part of verse 33…

Mark 12:32-33   “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”  (NIV)

What exactly does it mean to love?  Here is how love is defined in the Bible..

1 Corinthians 13 “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”  (NIV)

I see nothing in there that states how tolerating abuse is a good thing for anyone.  Basically, I see 1 Corinthians 13 this way- love wants what is best, & tolerating abuse is hardly best for anyone.  The victim certainly doesn’t get what’s best- instead they end up hurt & angry at best, or possibly even doubting their sanity at worst.  Depending on the type of abuse the narcissist dishes out, they may also end up in financial straights or with physical injuries.  The abuser doesn’t end up with what’s best when abuse is tolerated either, because being allowed to get away with bad behavior certainly isn’t loving!  Getting away with bad behavior only encourages that bad behavior to continue, & probably even to escalate.  Narcissists in particular, when not confronted with boundaries or consequences for their behavior, will continue to push the limits to see just how far they can go.

People who try to tell you that you need to let your narcissistic parent abuse  you truly have no inkling of God’s definition of love.  Sadly, many of them are very convicted in their beliefs, so trying to explain this to many of them will be a waste of your time.  However, if this is someone you know well, you will know if this person will be open or not to hearing you explain what God’s definition of love really is.  If they are, then hopefully your relationship will survive this bump in the road unscathed.

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Update & Sharing What I’ve Learned Recently

Good evening, Dear Readers, & happy new year to you!

I’m sorry I’ve been missing in action lately.  I’ve been having computer troubles, plus I’ve been busy.  I’m reworking my website, so I can make changes easier.  Thankfully it’s about 2/3 completed! Not easy with a cranky computer!  And, I’m happy to say my Facebook fan group has been growing & is quite chatty lately.   Plus, my forum is starting to grow as well, for those not interested in joining the Facebook group.  If you’d like to visit either, the links are on my website, http://www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com

These positive changes are very exciting, yet also very intimidating.  I don’t do change well, even when it’s good change.  Plus, although I’m honored God trusts me to help others, that’s a lot of responsibility!  I never want to let anyone down, even though I will sometimes because I’m only human. 

I’m trying to focus on the very positive things as much as possible, though.  It’s not always easy to do, especially when my anxiety levels go crazy (gotta love C-PTSD huh?), but I’m trying & it’s helping.  I’m also getting better at self care.  It’s truly amazing how a little time spent with some candles, a good movie & the furkids can relax me.

I’ve also gotten better at grounding myself during flashbacks.  Touching & focusing on a rough surface, such as a coarse fabric, helps me a great deal, as does looking at traffic that passes in front of my house.  Not sure why, but what helps isn’t important.  The fact it helps is.

Why have these things happened?  I believe they’re simply answers to prayer. 

I have a bad habit of praying for other people, but rarely for myself.  While God loves it when we care about others, He still wants us to care about ourselves.  (Remember, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”?)

Recently my parents have needed quite a bit of help from me, especially while my father was hospitalized last month.  This caused me a lot of anxiety, & the only thing that enabled me to get through was God’s help.  I started praying for myself more than ever, & God has truly blessed me in return.

I think as a daughter of a narcissistic mother, I always felt selfish praying for myself.  If you too have a narcissistic mother, no doubt you can relate.  After all, we’re not supposed to have needs, wants or feelings according to our mothers.  We’re called selfish if we do have them.

The good news is God disagrees with that.  He wants to help us by meeting our needs & wants, & He cares about our feelings.  In fact,I’ve grown much closer to Him since I’ve been praying more for myself. 

If you don’t pray for yourself much or at all, I’d like to encourage you to start now.  What do you have to lose?  But, you have so much to gain!  Blessings, help as you need it, & best off all, a closer relationship to God.  😀

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

Loving Your Enemy- How It Relates To Narcissists

As I was falling asleep last night, hubby was watching TV.  He had some Christian program on, & I heard Matthew 5:44 as I was dozing.. “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;” (KJV)  I quickly made a mental note & asked God to remind me to look up this verse & how it relates to narcissism.   Thankfully, He reminded me this morning so here I am, having looked it up.

 

I checked this verse in the Message translation of the Bible, & it was quite eye opening:

 

Matthew 5:43-47:  “You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.”

 

That right there is one of the reasons I love the Message translation so much!  It spells things out super clearly!

 

I think many people think loving your enemies means allowing them to hurt & abuse you.  Clearly this isn’t what God means.  Not even close.

 

The best way to handle a relationship with a narcissist is to pray about it- ask God how you should handle yourself with this person & do as He says.  Learn from your experiences, too.  Being in a relationship with a narcissist can teach you plenty of things, such as learning what boundaries to set & enforce.  You also can love this person without tolerating their abuse by setting boundaries & giving them consequences for their actions.  Both are very loving behaviors, as they teach how to be a better person.  (Whether or not the narcissist learns from your boundaries & consequences is up to her, but you can rest assured you have done the right thing).

 

So many people say that you should cut ties with any narcissist, no matter who he or she is, or where this person is on the NPD spectrum.  While often that is necessary to protect yourself, sometimes it isn’t feasible to sever those ties for various reasons.  In cases like that, then you need to make the best of it for you.  Why not use the opportunity to learn & grow?

 

In 2001, I cut ties with my mother.  I didn’t speak to her until she called me in 2007 because she was having heart surgery.  I  almost didn’t allow her back into my life at that point as she showed no repentance for her past awful behaviors.  She isn’t one to accept responsibility, so this wasn’t exactly a surprise.  However, I allowed her back in anyway.  Since that time, it hasn’t been easy, as any of you who read my blog or books know.  But, I’m still glad I did it.  There have been a few good times, more than ever before, & I have learned a lot.  During our time apart, I was able to heal from much of the abuse she put me through, but it’s during  the time together that I’ve been able to grow & learn so much about myself as well as my mother.  I also have a peace now I didn’t back in 2001, because I have given the relationship with my mother my best.  If one of us opts to end it now, so be it- I have the satisfaction of knowing I’ve done all I can do.

 

Whether you are currently in a relationship or not with your narcissistic mother, you still can follow the command Jesus gave us, & “love your enemy.”  You can pray for her- pray for her healing, her Salvation & anything else you know she needs.  You also can pray for yourself- ask God what you were to learn from your experiences, & how to put this knowledge into practice.

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Filed under Mental Health, Narcissism

If You Think You’re Alone, You’re Wrong!

Good morning, Dear Readers!

I wanted to thank every single one of you who has contacted me over the last few days with encouragement, compassion & concern.  Your kindness truly has meant the world to me, & I can’t thank you enough.  I never expected such a response from my posts- it was a wonderful surprise.  When I felt God wanted me to post what I did, I assumed it was for someone else’s benefit, not my own.

This truly goes to show that when you are rejected by your own family, God gives you a new one.  Psalm 68:6 says, “He gives families to the lonely, and releases prisoners from jail, singing with joy! But for rebels there is famine and distress.”  (TLB)  This Scripture is so true, & you lovely people have proven it.  Thank you!

Being raised by a narcissistic mother makes you feel completely alone like nothing else can, I think.  That lonely feeling is there even when you are surrounded by others.  It even goes with you into adulthood.  The good thing is if you allow God to, He will send others into your life who understand & offer you unconditional love & support.

If you are on facebook, I have a group on there full of lovely, wise, caring people, many of whom have narcissistic mothers.  I would love to see you join us!  Here is the link:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/FansOfCynthiaBaileyRug/

If you aren’t on facebook, I also have a forum that I am trying to get started.  Feel free to join in the conversation!

http://cynthiasforum.boards.net

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