Tag Archives: maternal narcissism

My New Books

I thought I would let you know what’s happening on the book front with me..

I now have two books I’m working on as I can.  Unfortunately I’m still recovering from the carbon monoxide poisoning & the concussion that came with  it, so writing is a challenge for me at the moment. (as if writing with C-PTSD isn’t enough of a challenge sometimes..lol)  But, I’m trying to do a little as often as I can.

My one book is a fictional story I started over a year ago.  I had it about halfway done when the external hard drive it was on crashed, taking my book with it.  (Tears were shed, let me tell ya!)  I decided to start working on  it again, trying to recreate what was lost.  It was inspired by the movie “Gaslight”- the movie from which the term gaslighting was coined.  It takes place here in Maryland in the late 1800’s.  It’s about a young widow who, after her mourning period, is caught up in a whirlwind romance with a man who in truth is only after her money.  In order to have full access to it, he decides to drive his pretty young wife insane.  He enlists the help of the young maid he’s having an affair with by telling her that his wife is really his sister, & he’s trying to help her show symptoms of her “illness” since she usually hides them from the doctor.  She reluctantly agrees.  As they are in the process of driving this woman insane, the wife & maid end up learning the truth, & decide to turn the tables on him, driving him insane instead.

My other book is going to be about recovering from narcissistic abuse.  I’ve read so much about it, but there are plenty of things I haven’t read- I had to experience them & learn about them firsthand instead.  For example, if you read about C-PTSD (very common with survivors or narcissistic abuse), it says many people experience nightmares.  It’s often implied that the nightmares are about re-experiencing the traumatic events.  I have learned that although that happens, it’s more rare, & nightmares are often things that are very upsetting yet symbolic of past trauma instead.

So anyway, these two are my current projects.  I’m not sure when they’ll be released.  Honestly, I don’t even feel comfortable setting a goal on that right now, not until I recover more.  I’ll be sure to share when they will be released as the day comes closer though.

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

Aging Narcissistic In-laws

Aging narcissistic parents are a very disturbing group of people. While most people mellow out as they age, narcissists often get more vicious.  Not easy to deal with for their adult children!

As I write this, I’m waiting for my husband to come home.  He’s at the hospital visiting his mother who was admitted today.

Out of respect for his privacy, I won’t go into much detail, so please bear with me a bit.  Both my mother in-law & father in-law are narcissistic, her covert & him overt.  As they are getting older & their health is failing them, they are making more demands on my husband.  Also, he is facing the truth about them & how he’s been abused by them for the first time.  It’s not an easy time for him.  I’m very concerned how this situation is going to play out for him, & how he is going to deal with his own feelings.

I’m also a bit nervous about how I’m going to deal with my own feelings as well.  You see, there were countless times I considered divorcing him earlier in our marriage because of the abuse his mother put me through & his failure to acknowledge it at the time.  Honestly, sometimes I still get angry when I remember those dark days.

I’m sure there are others in similar situations, as many of us with narcissistic parents marry someone who also has at least one narcissistic parent.  I’m writing about this to share what God has been showing me about how to cope.

Pray.  About what?  Whatever comes to mind regarding the situation.  Personally, I’ve been praying for my mother in-law’s salvation (I’m unsure if she’s a Christian- I don’t believe she is), asking God to give my husband strength, wisdom & anything else he needs right now, & asking God to help me release my old anger at him.  Prayers like this can truly help you as well as the recipients of your prayers!  I admit, it isn’t easy to pray for my mother in-law, so sometimes I ask close friends to pray for her.  It helps me know she’s getting prayer, plus I don’t have to do it at that time- I can do it later when I feel able to do so.

Distractions.  I’m hoping to distract hubby when he gets home with a funny video that we love.  We’re big fans of the old TV show, “Mystery Science Theater 3000” with its fun, warped humor, & since it always makes us laugh, I think watching an old episode could do us both some good.  After all, it’s unhealthy to focus on the more serious issues in life 24/7.  The brain needs a break sometimes!

Nice gestures.  A little sweet, thoughtful gesture can go a long way when someone is going through hard times.  Hubby will be greeted with raspberry herbal tea (we both love it) when he gets home.  I’ll come up with other gestures once I gauge the kind of mood he’s in.  Sometimes, he isn’t in the mood for interaction- he just wants to be left alone.

Listening.  Before I start the movie, I’ll see if he wants to talk.  Often when his mother is in the hospital, he comes home very frazzled.  The hospital staff at this particular hospital isn’t the best (as I learned when my father was there last December), his parents are demanding & his sisters want constant updates until they come into town.  It can be a lot for him to deal with.

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More About Discovering Yourself After Narcissistic Abuse

I never felt comfortable sharing this information until now.  Maybe it’s finally the right timing, God’s timing?  In any case, I hope this helps you.  xoxo

A few years ago, I finally decided to start to get to know the real me.  Not the dysfunctional person my narcissistic mother tried to make me into, not my narcissistic ex husband, not even friends. The real me, the person God created me to be.  When asking Him to help me do this one day, He told me to study the personality of the wolf- that is what I am really like.  I did this & found it fascinating.  Granted, not all wolves have the same personality, but they all seem to share some basic qualities in common.  Many of those traits were also shared by my husky/wolf, Danya, who passed away in ’09.  He was the one of our three dogs we’ve had that I got along best with, because we understood each other very well.  Now I understand why we got along so well.

I assume God used this information about wolves because I’m an avid animal lover, & I am ever glad He did.  It’s been very interesting for me & comforting too, finally knowing who I really am.  It’s also given me a new fascination with wolves.  They are truly amazing animals!  In fact, as I write this, I’m also watching a show on the Nat Geo channel called, “She Wolf” about a rare alpha female wolf (usually alphas are male).  She was absolutely incredible!  Strong, brave, determined, a natural leader, a wonderful mama to her pups, playful & gentle.  It amazes me God sees me as similar to such an amazing creature as She Wolf!

Have you ever asked God to show you who He made you to be?  If not, I strongly urge you to do so!  I don’t know if He’ll compare you to an animal or not like He did with me, but be prepared to be amazed whether He does or not.  I certainly was- I never would I have thought I would share such character traits with the majestic, strong wolf!

God created you to be someone special.  I know, that is hard to believe when you grew up with a narcissistic mother treating you as if you were merely a tool to be used as she wanted, but it’s true!  Today I challenge you to throw off what you think you should be, to get rid of the dysfunctional beliefs that were put on you so unfairly.  Instead, talk to God about becoming who He wants you to be, who He made you to be!  The person He made you to be will feel so much more natural & right.  Granted, the change won’t happen immediately, but as you learn to rely on God to help you, the new you will develop.

I’ve noticed something else too- as I’ve changed, my narcissistic mother isn’t happy about it, but at the same time, she is respecting my boundaries (albeit grudgingly) for the first time!  I think she realizes that I now have a strength I didn’t before, & also realizes that strength means I won’t put up with her games like I once did.  Your narcissistic mother may respond the same way.  I hope she does!

Oh, & just in case you’re wondering about the personality traits of a wolf, here is what I found.  Wolves are generally..

  • Friendly (friendly with other adults, amiable with pups).
  • Strongest personality trait is that they make strong emotional attachments to others.
  • Natural aversion to fighting. Will do much to avoid conflicts/fighting.
  • Kind
  • Agreeable
  • Non-violent personality.
  • Although gentle, they will fight when necessary.
  • Highly intelligent, able to learn & remember events.
  • High degree of adaptability.
  • Gentle
  • Confident
  • Natural leaders.
  • Wildly playful.

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“You Just Need To Get Over It!” & Other Pearls Of So-Called Wisdom About Narcissistic Abuse

I read a very interesting quote, & it really hit home with me:

“There is a theme that runs through responses I receive from children of a narcissistic parent(s).  The child is subjected to unbearable levels of ongoing abuse- scalding criticisms, withering humiliations in front of other family members & alone, routine secret physical beatings & other horrendous acts of brutality including psychological & literal abandonment.  When the child lets family members know what is happening to  him, this person is not believed. When the victim of a narcissist tells the truth about his dreadful pathological parent, he is not treated with kindness or understanding.  The family is shocked; the victim is treated with disdain & often told he/she is the sick one or that this is all lies to get attention.”  Linda Martinez-Lewi, PHD

I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been treated this way, not only by those close to me (well, not close to me anymore obviously!), but even by therapists.  When I told my high school guidance counselor about my mother spending so much time daily screaming at me, she said, “That doesn’t sound so bad..”  I’ve also been told to let it go, get over it, work things out with my mother- it’s my responsibility, I need therapy, I use C-PTSD to get attention & more.

If you too are the adult child of a narcissist, I’m sure you can relate.

Hearing such cruel, invalidating statements is extremely painful.  You feel abused all over again.  It can be devastating to you & to the relationship you share with that person.  One person I had loved dearly & was once close to said a few comments along the lines of I needed to just get over things.  Her last comment actually destroyed the love I felt for her.  I suddenly no longer cared for her.  Not that I wished her bad- I simply felt nothing at all for her.

So how do you deal with these painful situations?  Avoiding them would be best, but unfortunately, that isn’t always possible.  Sometimes you can, because if you know a person well, you know  that this person isn’t safe to discuss certain topics with.  As a result, you avoid discussing those topics with that person.  Then there are other times when you mention your narcissistic mother to someone who you expect to be supportive, yet they surprise you by invalidating your pain.  Those times are the most painful, because you didn’t expect that response- you expected support & empathy.

When you are told to “get over it”, “you’re only making these things up to get attention,” etc., the first thing to do is to end this conversation before it goes further (hurting you more) however you deem appropriate.  You can simply change the subject, walk away or hang up the phone.  However you set  this boundary, you’ll run the risk of angering the other person, so you need to be prepared for that unfair anger. (The person I mentioned whose comments destroyed my love for her?  When we’d discussed the topic via email the last time, I told her I didn’t mean to be disrespectful, but I wasn’t asking for her opinion on my life.  After that, she didn’t speak to me for several months.)  Hopefully the other person you’re having the problem with will simply respect your boundary instead, as many people do.

Once the conversation is done, as soon as you can, get alone with God.  Tell  Him how it made you feel, & let Him comfort you.  Get your feelings out so they don’t end up pushed down inside of you, festering.  That only hurts you!  If you don’t feel comfortable telling God how you feel, journal about them.  Or, write the person a letter that you never send, telling her off if that helps you feel better.

If you’re suddenly doubting yourself (am I really making too much out of things?  That type of thought) because of what was said to you, ask God to tell you if you are.  He will reassure you that you aren’t, which helps tremendously to give you a healthy perspective on what was said.

You also need to evaluate your relationship with this person.  is she someone you’re close to?  Do you have a good relationship other than her lack of understanding about your abusive mother?  Then it is probably worth saving- just accept that your narcissistic mother isn’t a topic you two can discuss.  Or, does this person criticize or invalidate you in other ways?  (I don’t mean the healthy, constructive criticism we all need sometimes)  Then this relationship may need to end. You’ve been treated badly enough in your life thanks to your narcissistic mother- why continue to tolerate being treated badly?

As I mentioned in this post, I recently realized that when the C-PTSD flares up, it seems like every single nasty, invalidating comment I’ve ever heard comes to mind.  Those times are so painful!  I tried to wait on it to pass when it happens, but that doesn’t always work so well.  Sometimes it seems like the comments play over & over, like an old cassette tape stuck on repeat.  So, what I do during those times is think of a specific comment said to me, for example, “that doesn’t sound so bad.”  Then I think about the event that led the person to make the comment, & remember, it really WAS bad!  It was horrible!  Having someone tell you that you’re a horrible person hurts, but add in the fact that was my mother, & she was screaming it in my face?  Yea, it was pretty bad.. if someone thinks it wasn’t, that person obviously has the problem!

I believe that some people simple aren’t able to grasp the hell that is living with narcissistic abuse.  Maybe they come from loving families, & never had to face any type of abuse.  As a result, they just can’t  wrap their minds around the fact not all families are as good as theirs.  Or, maybe they too came from a narcissistic parent, yet haven’t had the strength to face that, & continue living in the dysfunction instead.  Or, in all honesty, narcissistic abuse sounds so far fetched!  Sometimes the things narcissists do sound completely made up, they just are that “out there.”  If I wouldn’t have seen the things my mother did to me, I’m not sure I would believe anyone was capable of such acts either!  Maybe some people can’t believe another human being is capable of doing such things, especially to her own child.  Whatever the reason, that does not give them the right to invalidate your pain!  Narcissistic abuse is a horrible thing to endure.  Its damage can be lifelong & extremely painful.  Don’t let anyone convince you that it was “no big deal” or that there’s something wrong with you for how you feel after surviving such torture!

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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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The Civil Connection With Narcissistic Mothers

One of my readers made an interesting point. She read my post about The Silent Treatment that I wrote a couple of days ago, & mentioned how she gives her mother what she calls the silent treatment.  Hers is a bit different than her narcissistic mother’s silent treatment- she doesn’t try to punish her narcissistic mother with it (as narcissists do).  Instead she only speaks to her mother on her terms (when she is able to talk with her), & is very careful with the limited information she shares.  This is also what Dr. Karyl McBride, author of “Will I Ever Be Good Enough?” calls the civil connection.

I’ve done this with my mother & mother in-law.  Both are narcissists, my mother being the overt type, mother in-law the covert.  Both have responded very differently to it.  My mother used to get very frustrated, but it didn’t take her long to get to the point where she gives up quickly on me.  I’m more stubborn than her, & she knows that, so I assume she realizes there’s no point in trying to get something “juicy” from me once I’ve made up my mind not to give anything up.  My mother in-law, however, was a different story.  She would become visibly flustered, & try any tactic she could to force me to talk.  It became just plain funny to me after a while!  Watching her get angrier & angrier, yet unable to say or do anything about it for fear of looking bad, became very entertaining to me.

Have you tried this with your narcissistic mother?  If not, you have to try it!!  If nothing else, it’ll amuse you!

I like to give one word (or close to it) answers.  For example…

Mother: “How are you?”

Me: “Fine.”

Mother: “What have you been up to lately?”

Me: “Not much.” (she already thinks I’m lazy, so she’ll believe I haven’t done much)

See how that works?  It’s really easy.

Chances are, your narcissistic mother will start to push for more information from you when you give her such curt responses.  She will hint around, trying to get you to talk, as she won’t ask outright for fear of looking unreasonable, bad, or whatever.  Refuse to respond!  Ignore the hints.  I’m telling you, it will fluster her, & if you’re lucky, she’ll give up trying to get news from you.

Once, I had a doctor’s appointment on a day when my mother in-law thought I should do something for her (which is amazing in itself- she’s hated me from the day we met, so why would she think I would be willing to help her in any way?!).  I told her I couldn’t do it- I had a doctor’s appointment that afternoon.  I should have said “prior obligation” instead of admitting what I was doing, but it slipped out.  It turned out to be hilarious for me though!  She said things like,  “Well, if you’re seeing the doctor, it must be serious.  I understand why you can’t do this for me…” (I simply said “Thanks” in response), “If you can’t reschedule it, that isn’t a good sign.  I’m so worried about you!” (yea, right!  She didn’t care- she just wanted information, so I simply told her I was fine.), “Why are you seeing the doctor?” (the only direct question she asked, & I ignored her question, as I was listening to my husband & his father talk- I pretended I didn’t hear her over them), or “I guess you can’t do this for me since you HAVE to see the doctor on that day & no other…I don’t understand why it has to be THAT day..” (to which I responded with, “Nope, I can’t do it.”)  By the time my husband & I left her home shortly after, I was surprised her head didn’t explode!  I barely made it to the car before I started laughing!

If you haven’t tried this type of interaction with your narcissistic mother, please consider doing so!  Not only will it entertain you, it will give her less opportunities to hurt you.  You will speak to her only as you are able to do so, & by limiting your conversation as well as your exposure to her, you will give her less to criticize about you.  It really will make your interactions with her much easier for you!  Also, it’s not disrespectful, so if you are concerned about not honoring your mother, as many Christian daughters of narcissistic mothers are, please don’t worry!

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The Silent Treatment

I visited a very good friend of mine yesterday.  Like me, her mother was a narcissist.  A much more malignant narcissist than mine.  While we were talking, she mentioned that her mother never gave her the silent treatment.  In fact, instead she would fake illness brought on by the stress my friend caused by either disagreeing with her or disobeying her.

I told her what she was missing out on!  The silent treatment can be a wonderful thing!  It gives you a break from your narcissistic mother’s drama, cruelty, mind games & more.  At first, it may not feel good, but after a while, it really feels like a gift from God.  Yes, that sounds awful, I know, but it’s the truth!

Many daughters of narcissistic mothers have faced the silent treatment at some point.  As young children, it can be devastating!  It certainly was for me. I couldn’t understand why my mother wouldn’t speak to me.  I would try anything to gain her attention.  I even asked what was wrong, & was met with among the most ridiculous responses ever: “If you don’t know, I’m not going to tell you.”  At first this made me try harder, but I quickly realized that was why she said it, & stopped trying so hard.

As I grew older, I learned some more things about the silent treatment, & I’d like to share them with you to (hopefully!) help you.

  • The silent treatment is about control.  It is supposed to force you to ask, “What’s wrong?” so your narcissistic mother can tell you exactly what is wrong with you to upset her so much, she had to withdraw from you.
  • The silent treatment is also to make you feel inadequate, flawed, wrong, crazy.  The more messed up you believe you are, the less likely it is you’ll stand up to your narcissistic mother.  You will be easier for her to control.
  • The silent treatment really has nothing to do with what you did.  Whatever you did was just an excuse to give you the silent treatment.  Didn’t do anything?  That’s fine too- narcissists aren’t above lying to get what they want.
  • Normal, healthy people do NOT use the silent treatment!!  Normal people get angry, & may even want a little space from you if you said or did something hurtful, but that space doesn’t last long.  It’s only a little time to cool off, & not to punish you.
  • The silent treatment shows the person giving it is very immature, selfish, childish..  If your narcissistic mother can’t approach you like an adult to work things out, using the silent treatment instead, she’s behaving like a spoiled rotten little child.

So how does one deal with being on the receiving end of the silent treatment??

  • Keep the above list in mind.  This will help you to remember that this silent treatment speaks more about your narcissistic mother’s problems than something being wrong with you.  Like I said, normal, healthy people don’t use the silent treatment!  They speak to the person who hurt them & work things out like mature adults.
  • Never, ever ask, “What’s wrong?”  If you do, you most likely will open up her narcissistic rage arsenal of weapons.  “What’s wrong?” seems to translate to “Now I can really abuse her!!” in the mind of a narcissist.  If your narcissistic mother won’t try to work this out, then that is her problem.  How are you supposed to repair whatever you did wrong if you don’t even know what you did wrong?
  • Remember, refusing to play your narcissistic mother’s games is honorable!  Honoring your mother as the Bible commands doesn’t mean play into her manipulation.  To truly honor someone means you want the best for them, & the best is for your mother to be a healthy person.  Granted, to become mentally healthy, she has to want to become healthy- you can’t make her want that, nor can you make her healthy.  However, you can gently push her in that direction by refusing to engage in her games.
  • Think of this time without your narcissistic mother as a break.  In all honesty, probably you aren’t getting the silent treatment because you did something bad.  Probably, you dared to have your own opinion, didn’t praise your mother enough, didn’t jump through some ridiculous hoops that she wanted you to jump through.  Why beat yourself up over something so stupid?  Instead, just think of this silent treatment as a reprieve.  Enjoy the peace & quiet for however long it lasts!  Besides, most likely your mother will contact you soon anyway, as soon as she needs something from you.
  • Take care of yourself.  Refuse to think about “What did I do wrong?” or feel guilty.  Instead, do nice things for yourself. Get a mani/pedi.  Get yourself a new book you’ve been wanting.  Spend a day relaxing with herbal tea & good movies.

It probably will take you some time to stop feeling guilty & to start enjoying the silent treatment.  And then, you may feel somewhat guilty for enjoying it.  I know I did at first.  But, that doesn’t last long once you realize how peaceful your life has become!

I have realized that the last few times my mother has given me the silent treatment, it took me a while to realize it was happening!  Weeks would go by, when suddenly I realized she hadn’t called me.  Quite an improvement over fretting about how to get her to start speaking to me again & feeling guilty for being such a terrible daughter, don’t you think?

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How To Avoid Accepting Blame From A Narcissist

The topic of defending oneself to a narcissist & its futility came up in my facebook group this morning.  It was also mentioned how narcissists can turn anything back around onto you.  True, isn’t it?  They could beat you bloody, steal all your money, or call you horrible names for something so silly as reading a book, yet according to them, you are the problem.  And, if you aren’t careful, you can end up accepting that lie as truth. I’ve done this many times myself.

How can you avoid falling into that awful trap?  It’s easier than you may think..

First of all, I have found that a good relationship with God is vital.  When you are blamed, ask God if this is true, are you really at fault?  Ask Him to help you see things clearly so you don’t accept blame that isn’t yours.

Focus on improving your self-esteem.  The more secure you are, the harder it is for anyone to push false blame on you.

Learn all you can about Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  Knowledge truly is power, & knowledge of NPD will help you to remember that they are the ones with a problem, not you.  This is something you need to be very aware of in order to stop accepting the blame for problems a narcissist blames you for.

Another thing I’ve learned to be very helpful is to journal about the events.  Seeing them written out factually, without emotions, helps bring you clarity.  That is partly why I discuss my experiences with my narcissistic mother.  It helps me to keep a proper perspective while also helping others.  It also helps me tremendously when people say things like, “I read in your blog about what your mother did.  She was so wrong for doing that!”  It’s an additional validation.  I’m not saying you have to make what you write public as I have, of course, but if you opt to do so, it may help you as it helps me.  You can use false names if you want to remain anonymous.

Talk to those who understand.  Close friends or relatives who know the situation, & support you can be tremendously helpful.  Often those with narcissistic mothers don’t have many friends or relatives who do support them, as narcissistic mothers love turning people against her daughter, but there is still hope.  There are facebook groups & forums like mine that are full of safe people who understand your plight because they have been in your situation.

Lastly, never engage a narcissist.  Ever. If she wants to blame you for something, don’t defend yourself.  Respond to her with calmness & logic. If she continues raging, walk away.  Let her look like a fool while you protect yourself.  If she recruits others to her side, & those flying monkeys wish to talk to you on her behalf, refuse to discuss that topic with them.

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Creativity- The Surprising Gift In Narcissistic Abuse And Mental Illness

The other night, I woke up around 3:45 to the funniest sound.  My youngest cat, Punkin was doing this weird three stage meow thing.. “ROWROWROW!!”.  Doing it very loudly, by the way!  He did it several times in a row too.  Why he was doing it, I have no idea.  I then heard the sound of him knocking something over, & running away from it.  I knew nothing had broken & he was fine, so I eventually went back to sleep.

Punkin has the cat version of PTSD.  Something in his life before coming to my home traumatized him badly.  I am guessing a dog killed either some of or all of his family.  Partly because he showed up alone at someone’s home as a young little guy of only about three months, & partly because although he’s been with me since last April, he still is easily upset by my dog, Dixie. In fact, I’ve seen him have a flashback when she startled him- he attacked her, then quickly caught himself & stopped before he hurt her.  That episode is what led me to research if there was such a thing as Feline PTSD, in fact.  I learned there was & that the symptoms are very similar to human PTSD.

Punkin is doing very well, though.  He hasn’t had another flashback since, & he tries very hard to manage his reactions around Dixie. They’re even on friendly terms now, other than occasionally when she startles him & he about jumps out of his skin..

Anyway, as I was thinking of all this at 4:00 a.m., something came to mind.  Punkin is a very creative, fun boy. He thinks of things to do that I’ve never even heard of other cats doing.  I wonder if having PTSD is why he’s so creative.  Many people with mental illness are very creative individuals.  I’ve noticed it also in talking with those who have survived narcissistic abuse.

Unfortunately I don’t think many people really embrace their creativity, especially those who have survived narcissistic abuse.  We’re so used to hearing that we are freaks, weird, strange, etc., that we stifle the creativity because of the negative connotations connected to it.  I’m guilty of doing this, too- it’s not just you!

But, creativity is a really wonderful thing!  Having it means you can see things in a way that makes other people rethink their perceptions.  It makes you more empathetic too, because you truly can see things from others’ perspectives, even if you disagree with them.  Creativity also means you can make things that improve the lives of other people.  You have the ability to write fascinating or educational stories, build useful things, or even improve things people use in their daily lives.

Narcissists aren’t usually creative, which is why the narcissist you know has tried to squelch your creativity- out of envy that you have something she never can have.  It isn’t because creativity is a bad thing!

Why not embrace your creativity?  It’s a part of who you are, & God gave you the gift- use it!  Enjoy it!  Take a lesson from my fun little kitty, Punkin.  He embraces his creative side.  As I’m typing this, he’s currently hiding behind the living room curtains & trying to stretch up tall enough to look out the window.  The other cats are simply sitting on the back of the sofa, looking outside.  Not Punkin- he wants to go about it a whole new way.  And interestingly, he’s having much more fun than the others.

What can you do to explore your creativity?  Did you like to draw or paint when you were a child?  Then pick up a pencil or paintbrush & give it a try.  Did you try writing poetry when you were a teenager like so many girls?  Find something that inspires you & try writing a poem about it.  Maybe try a creative writing class.  Did you once enjoy cross stitch, crocheting or knitting?  Try it again!  Or, if you’ve never really tried to do anything creative, walk around a craft store or look at a craft store’s website.  You might be surprised the amount of inspiration at those places!  They don’t only sell supplies for yarn crafts- they sell supplies for everything from drawing to dollhouses to model car building. You’re bound to find something you enjoy!

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Getting To Know Yourself After Narcissistic Abuse

I was recently reading a very good email from Dr. Karyl McBride, author of “Will I Ever Be Good Enough?”  It’s an incredibly good book for adult daughters of narcissistic mothers.

 

Anyway, her email was discussing the new book she has coming out soon.  She included an exercise in the email for helping you to get to know who you really are.  She called it “An inner selfie”.  Collect pictures from magazines or from the internet that represent some aspect of yourself.

 

I’ve done something similar this & it really does help you to get to know & inspire yourself.  I have several folders of pictures on my tablet full of pictures that speak to me in some way.  I have a folder of pictures that are uniquely feminine- flowers, beautiful women that I would like to model myself after, & other images.  There are several folders of various pictures that help me to feel good- one has images of Ireland, another a cabin deep in the woods in a blizzard, another has pictures of the beautiful interiors of luxurious trains, still another contains pictures of Claude Monet’s paintings, another a couple of cute vintage & beautifully restored campers.  I also have a folder full of pictures of inspirational quotes & another full of informative & validating quotes about mental health.

 

Growing up with a narcissistic mother, as you know if you too have one, means you grow up not knowing who you are.  You’re simply whatever your mother wants you to be, not the person God made you to be.  It’s the same way if you were romantically involved with a narcissist.   Today, why don’t you make a decision to learn who you are?  Start by collecting pictures that you’re attracted to.  Each one will reveal a little bit about who you really are inside, & help you to get to know yourself.  You may even learn that you like who you are.  🙂

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When Bad Times Happen With A Narcissistic Parent

Since I’ve said I’ll keep this blog real & not sugarcoat things, I thought I should share this.

As I’ve said, lately I’ve been feeling like I need to write for those who either can’t or won’t go no contact with their narcissistic mothers. I’ve been trying to be encouraging to those of you in that situation, & I firmly believe in what I’ve been saying.  But, this doesn’t mean bad times don’t happen sometimes.

Although things have been going quite well with my parents, Monday I was hurt by both of them.  It was my father’s birthday, so I wanted to call to wish him a happy birthday.  My mother answered the phone, & we talked for a while.  She seems to be trying to be nicer to me, I think because she realizes I’m pulling away as I always do when she gets nasty.  Even so, she still hurt me by talking with compassion & concern about a problem someone she knows has. Sadly, I’ve had the same problem for years now, & she doesn’t even care.  In fact, she obviously didn’t remember I have this problem.

Then, I spoke with my father.  He can be very pessimistic.  In fact, if you saw the movie, “Kindergarten Cop”, you may remember the little boy who, when his teacher said he had a headache, replied with, “It could be a tumor.”  That is who my father reminds me of sometimes- he can find a possible negative in most any situation.  He reminded me of my first car that is sitting in my backyard, waiting on restoration, & getting rustier by the day.  *sigh*  He told me I should sell her, which isn’t happening.  She’ll be restored somehow, & frankly, what business is this of his, anyway??

Unfortunately when you’re in a relationship with your narcissistic parents, times like this happen.  While the things I’ve written about definitely will help you, they won’t make everything perfect.  Bad times still will happen.  Please don’t be discouraged by these times.  They are going to happen.  They can’t be avoided 100%, unfortunately.

And, if you think about it, you’ll realize you are handling those bad times better.  I did.  I was hurt, of course, but I wasn’t devastated by Monday’s call.  The suggestions I’ve been making & putting into practice for myself- boundaries, looking for the positive, improving self-esteem & leaning on God most of all- have helped me a LOT.  I have no doubt they’ll help you as well.

I know being in a relationship with a narcissist isn’t easy, especially when everyone tells you to just walk away.  But, if this is where you feel you need to be at least for now, or you are unable to walk away, please be encouraged.  God will enable you to do what you need to do to protect your mental health!

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Maintaining Healthy Boundaries

It’s not easy for any adult child of a narcissistic parent to maintain good, healthy boundaries.  Some of us are too lax while others become too strict.  There needs to be balance, & below I want to offer some thoughts on maintaining healthy, balanced boundaries..

To have & enforce healthy boundaries, first off, I believe you must believe that you are entitled to have needs.  It is perfectly fine that you have needs. Your needs are just as important as anyone else’s!  If you don’t believe this, I encourage you to pray.  Ask God to tell you what He thinks of your needs, & if you are allowed to have them.  Then, just listen for His response.

Be firm & fair with your boundaries.  Realize what your narcissistic mother is & is not capable of, & keep your boundaries realistic. For example, if she cannot respect the fact that you need to leave her at a certain time, remind her of the fact you need to leave by a specific time.  When the time is approaching yet she wants you to stay, there is nothing wrong with saying, “I have to go in 10 minutes.”  Then, when 10 minutes comes, get up, say good bye, & leave.

Have realistic expectations.  Remember, your narcissistic mother won’t like your boundaries.  Prepare yourself for that by having effective, creative ways in mind to enforce them.

Remember, it’s ok to distance yourself.  Either temporarily or permanently, sometimes distance is the best solution for you when dealing with someone who has no respect for your boundaries.  Hanging up on or leaving the presence of someone who ignores your boundaries is acceptable!  It’s not unreasonable at all- you are taking care of yourself which means you need to do what is necessary to do so.  And, sometimes, severing ties is a viable solution.  However, you need to decide what type of distancing yourself is best for you- do NOT let anyone else tell you what you should do!  The decision is yours & yours alone to make, & nobody but God & you know what is best for you!

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Yesterday’s Experiences With My Narcissistic Mother

Good morning, Dear Readers!  I thought I’d share what happened yesterday…

I prayed quite a bit before going out with my parents, asking God to give me the right words as I needed them, & the courage to say them.  He didn’t fail me!

Time with my folks wasn’t so bad at all.  We had a nice conversation with my father.  He shared a few stories about his drag racing days when he raced at Old Dominion Speedway in Dumfries, VA.  My mother did spend a great deal of time regaling my husband & I with stories of how amazing & adored she is, which, truth be told, was really annoying!  However, annoying was as bad as it got.  She tried to get in a couple of nasty digs at me, which I responded to with calmness & logic.  Amazing how narcissists hate that!  They get very disappointed when their attempts to start a fight or even just get under your skin are met with calm instead of rage.  At least with rage, they can portray themselves as victims.  Calmness?  They have nothing to work with!  How frustrating for them!  HA!

As an example, the Bailey family history book I recently mentioned that my grandmom wrote & I got published?  My mother mentioned it during our meal, undoubtedly to criticize yet one more thing I have written,even though I only wrote a portion of it.  She said she was surprised to see that my great-grandmom’s name was listed as Minerva Rose, when legally it was Minnie Rose (how cute is that name, by the way?!  I just love it!).  “That’s just wrong- Minerva wasn’t even her real name!”  I responded calmly by saying, “I put it in there as Minerva because that was what she went by & she liked.  It isn’t like the book is a legal document.”  then started talking to my father about something else.  My mother’s response?  Silence.  She was speechless.  How awesome was  that?!  lol  She also said something about my grandmom once being drunk during the afternoon.  My grandmom from what I understand from my granddad went through a short time where she drank too much.  My mother was disgusted by this & said very angry with Grandmom.  I said, “Good grief.. who hasn’t drank too much at some point in their lives?!  Everyone has done it.”  She retorted with, “Well I certainly NEVER have!” with a haughty attitude (my mother’s family are very much against drinking.. they seem to prefer abusing their children..).  I said, “Well, ok, most people have done it. It happens.  So what?” then jokingly reminded my father of the day after he graduated high school when his mother found him sleeping it off rolled up in an old carpet… lol  (One of the very few times he has ever been drunk in his life, by the way)  Again, silence from my mother.  I made her speechless twice in one day!  This day may go down in history…

It was so nice to come home from a visit not completely frazzled or even angry.  I was tired after the visit, but that is because I rarely get decent sleep, & thanks to the agoraphobia, leaving home drains me even under the best of circumstances.  For once, being tired had nothing to do with my mother & her emotional vampire ways, I’m happy to say.

If you are forced to deal with a narcissistic mother, then please know I understand how frustrating it can be!  Also please remember that staying calm in your responses to her is a powerful weapon.  Look what happened with my mother yesterday- I’ve never made her speechless in my life until yesterday!  I also learned yesterday how fun it is to see my mother, the one who thinks she knows everything, totally speechless!  Not  fun out of being vengeful or mean- fun in the fact it showed me that I really do have some power!  I don’t want to control her as she always has me, of course, but to have a normal amount of power in a conversation with her as I do with other people was amazing!  She tried to upset me by insulting my writing & my grandmom but couldn’t, & I easily could set boundaries with her about something not being up for a topic of conversation.

I believe God enabled me to behave as was necessary, & to maintain my calmness.  I also think a contributing factor was what I wrote about in yesterday’s post, about finally having some self-esteem.  Being more at peace with myself, plus having a deep revelation on the fact that my mother’s attempting to hurt me is more about her dysfunctional thinking than anything to do with me, really helped me.

I pray what I have been learning lately will  help you as well!  xoxo

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Some Thoughts For Those Unable To Sever Ties With A Narcissistic Mother

Good afternoon, Dear Readers!

The last few weeks, I’ve been feeling led to focus on helping those with narcissistic mothers who are either unable or unwilling to go no contact with them.   There are many in this position, & there is very little information out there for these people.   I hope this post will encourage you!

My mother called last night, & hubby & I are going to lunch tomorrow with my folks (my father’s birthday is Monday, hubby is off tomorrow, so I thought this could work).  Unfortunately, I learned quickly during the call that my mother’s niceness has ended for now.  She was very nasty during the conversation last night, talking quite a bit about how hard it was for her doing so much all by herself for her mother when she was alive.  A guilt trip, I suppose, for not doing enough.  Not nice considering I was her mother’s primary caregiver for a year… the hardest year of my life, by the way, since she was a very malignant narcissist & just a hateful, heartless human being.  And,  my mother mentioning this was not surprising, since she has said these exact same things many times over the years, even while her mother was still alive & I was helping her.  *sigh*

While this turn of events is disappointing, it’s certainly not unexpected.  While some of my readers seemed to think I believed my mother was going to maintain her much nicer demeanor indefinitely, that was never the case.  I’m hardly that naive.  My mother only can be nice to me for brief periods of time, like many narcissistic mothers, & I am well aware of that fact. I accept that about my mother, because, well, let’s face it- she has no desire to change that about herself.  It’s either accept it or try to change her.  I’ll accept it, rather than overstep my bounds by trying to make her into something she is not.

While accepting that fact about my mother, that doesn’t mean I accept her abuse however.  I’ve learned how to handle this relationship with my mother, how to maintain a civil contact with her.

When my mother is in one of her pleasant moods, I enjoy it.  I never know  how long it will last, so I don’t think about that.  I just enjoy it, whether that mood lasts for a day or a month.  I also remember that this change isn’t permanent, & she can go back to full narcissistic mode at any moment.  That keeps my expectations realistic (well, low), so I am not disappointed when she changes.

When the narcissistic mode kicks back in, I keep a distance from my mother.  I answer her calls less frequently, & spend less time with her.

I’ve noticed her narcissistic mode lasts less time doing this.  She is now nicer, or at least civil, more often than not.  While I certainly can’t say my relationship with my mother is perfect by any means, it is way better than I ever thought it could be.  We have pleasant conversations pretty often now, & I don’t cringe every time the phone rings.  I’m also able to relax some during the good times where I wasn’t able to before.  I now know they may not last long, so I just live in the moment, enjoying them as they come up.  When they stop, I knew it was going to  happen, so I am not surprised or disappointed.  That is when I keep my distance, & wait for the nice mode to start again.

I believe these changes have happened for a couple of reasons. First, God. I prayed a lot recently as I’ve mentioned before, because I was so close to going no contact with my mother.  He told me that decision was up to me.  I asked Him to help me be able to stay in this very difficult relationship, at least for now.  I assumed that meant He would give me strength & courage as I needed it, but it’s been so much more than I could’ve expected.  I am now able to hear my mother’s nasty, cruel words, & not feel devastated.  Hurt sometimes, sure, but I am more able to see them as a result of her issues, rather than taking them personally.  That helps to take much of  the sting out of her words.  I also am now able to say “no”  & defend myself where that was once very difficult for me to do sometimes.  I also, for once, haven’t trouble speaking my mind to my mother.  Granted, I don’t do it all the time, but sometimes, it’s just not worth it.  Sometimes the topic is trivial & we simply have different opinions- so what?  That just means we’re different people.  Other times, if I need to speak up to her about how she treats me, I can tell she is going to ignore me, so there just isn’t a point in frustrating myself by speaking up.

God also has enabled me to be much stronger with setting & forcing very strict boundaries with my mother.  She has no choice but to go along with them now, whereas I used to have very weak boundaries, if any.  Does she like this?  No, but I really don’t care.   They are reasonable, & I am taking care of myself.  I think by doing this, I have gained a slight amount of respect from my mother for the first time ever.  Narcissists are bullies, & one thing I’ve learned about bullies is that they respect someone who has the guts to stand up to them.  They may not like that person, but they respect her!

I’ve also gotten a real revelation on something else- my mother can’t hurt me anymore!  When I was a kid, she threatened me with military or catholic school or to have me locked up in a psyche ward, she screamed in my face, calling me filthy names, she was also strong enough to throw me into a wall so hard when I was 19, my back was injured to the point I had to quit working a few months later.  Even in my early 20’s, my mother once threatened to contact my landlord because I had more cats than the lease allowed, all because I disagreed with her about something.  Those times are gone now.  We’re both much older, & now I’m the physically stronger one.  I also don’t need to sit there while anyone screams at me- I can walk out & never come back if I’m so inclined.  She also can’t have me taken away or contact my landlord because I am now a home owner.  The only weapon my mother has left are her words, & frankly, that weapon is rather lame.  She called me so many terrible names & said so many terrible things about me when I was growing up, while her current tactics may hurt me, they really don’t hurt me all that badly.  After all, I’ve been through worse!  The comic Chris Titus once  talked about how critical his father was when he was growing up, & said something like, “Thanks to him, I’m like an insult Navy Seal!”  That is how I feel about my mother.  My mother accused me of terrible things like doing drugs & having sex with the entire high school football team when I was a teenager (neither of which I did) & called me awful names. After surviving that, what else is there?!  What else can she say?  Nothing!  And, I’ve also realized that my mother needs me much more than I need her.  I have my own home & life now- I need nothing from my mother.  She has no hold over me.

These things have been very freeing to me, & very helpful in dealing with my narcissistic mother. I pray they will help you to find ways to deal with yours as well.

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May Your Christmas Be Peaceful & Narcissist-Free!

Good morning Dear Readers!

I wanted to take a moment to wish all of you a very merry Christmas tomorrow.  May your day be peaceful & full of joy!  I know for many of us with narcissistic parents & in-laws, the Christmas season can be very stressful & full of negativity.  If that describes your Christmas, you’re not alone.  I understand how you feel, which is why I try to make Christmas day a day I can spend relaxing & goofing off, minus the narcissists.  I hope you too can enjoy the day doing whatever you like!  If you must deal with the narcissists in your life, remember, it is perfectly OK to set time limits on how long you spend with them!  You can limit your time with them, then go home & enjoy the rest of your holiday in peace.

I would like to ask for a bit of prayer today, too… I spoke with the visiting nurse today who has been helping out with my father since he returned home from the hospital.  She said she is going to try to talk to my parents about getting some assistance.  Please pray that they will listen to this lady!  My mother hasn’t listened to me on this issue.  If she listens to the nurse instead of me on this issue, that is fine- I don’t care who talks her into it so long as they get the help they need & I can’t give!

And, I am very anxious today.  I have to take my father to the doctor about 30 minutes away today.  It’s raining, there is a lot of traffic out, it’s Christmas eve so drivers will be in a hurry & I’m driving my father’s car instead of mine.  All of this has made my anxiety levels go completely haywire.  Please pray for me to be able to relax!  Thank you!

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Adult Child Of A Narcissistic Mother, Be Compassionate With Yourself!

Tomorrow, Christmas eve, would’ve been my 24th wedding anniversary, if I had stayed married to my ex husband.

The day always brings some conflicting feelings.  Mostly, I am grateful I was able to get away from him, as he was a narcissist who treated me much like my narcissistic mother used to treat me.  I can’t imagine how bad things would’ve been for me if I had stayed with him.  Chances are good that I would have killed myself if we had stayed together.  I was that depressed with him.

It also makes me sad though, when I think of how damaged I was back then.  I knew marrying him was a mistake, which is why I had broken up with him a few months prior.  Yet I still allowed him to talk me into marrying him anyway.  I married him instead of continuing to date someone who I really enjoyed being with, because I believed my ex when he made me feel guilty for leaving him, & like I owed it to him to marry him for hurting him so badly.

It’s amazing the things that a child of a narcissist will do, isn’t it?

I’m sharing this embarrassing bit of information about myself with you today for a reason.  I’m sure you too have things in your past that you regret.  Bad choices made out of dysfunction, pain or even desperation to be loved.  I want you to know that you’re not alone!  You have nothing to be ashamed of! Mistakes like mine are a normal part of being raised by a narcissistic mother.  You grow up so dysfunctional because all of your growing up years, you were told you were a horrible, stupid, ugly, selfish, etc. etc. person.  You were blamed for things that weren’t your fault, & made to be responsible for things no child should be responsible for, such as her mother’s emotions.  Things like this cause a tremendous amount of damage that permeates your innermost being well into adulthood.  It is completely normal!

Please don’t do like I did for many years.  I beat myself up for being so stupid & marrying someone I didn’t love, for falling for all of his manipulations, for being so starved for love that I believed him when he said he loved me, for ignoring my instincts that told me to stay far from him & for passing up a good man for a narcissistic one.  I asked myself so many times how I could be so stupid, basically continuing the beating up of my self-esteem that both my mother & ex-husband started.  It was wrong & cruel, & I showed myself no understanding or compassion.  Don’t make that same mistake!  You deserve so much better than that!

While yes, you have made mistakes & done dumb things, everyone has!  No one is immune from making mistakes in their life, especially someone raised by a narcissistic mother.  Show yourself some compassion & realize that you have been through some damaging things- it’s only natural you have made mistakes.

Also remember, God loves you & forgives you.  If He forgives you, how can you not forgive yourself?

Be gentle & understanding with yourself, Dear Reader.  You deserve it.  xoxo

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Changing My Website.. Any Input??

I just thought I’d let you know that I am making some changes to my website.  I’m finally stepping out of the stone ages & no longer using Microsoft Frontpage to make my site (please stop laughing, computer people.. I’m just not good with site creation!  lol).  As I was working on it today, I thought that it would be a good idea not simply to change the appearance of my site a little, but to ask you, Dear Readers, if there is any other information you’d like me to include on my website.  I have quite a bit on there now about narcissistic & abusive mothers, mental health, Christian living & animals (you gotta get off the heavy topics sometimes!), but is there anything else you’d like me to include on my site?  Or, any area I mentioned above that you’d like me to expand on?

I welcome your feedback!  You can either leave a comment on this post or you can email me at CynthiaBaileyRug@aol.com

Have a wonderful evening!  xoxo

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Rambling & More Thoughts On Narcissistic Mothers

Good morning, Dear Readers!

Again, thank you so much to every one of you who has prayed for me & shown me concern these past 10 days.  My father is now home to recover after a caifoplasty (I think it was called?) yesterday to repair a compression fracture on his spine. I took him home last night & he was moving much better already.  🙂

These past 10 days have been brutal.  My father went into the hospital with this terrible back pain at 3 a.m. on Tuesday the 9th, then quickly had a bad reaction to the morphine & was delirious for several days.  They weren’t sure at first if it was pain, meds or what making him delirious, but thankfully figured out it was the morphine.  No more morphine for him!  EVER!  I warned him never again- I’m not happy with him calling me Mom!  lol

Those of you with a narcissistic mother can imagine the  “fun” this has been.  As if the drama with my father’s health wasn’t enough, she managed to turn everything around on her.  Even yesterday, the day he had an operation on his spine, my mother still turned everything around on her.  Amazing!!  Absolutely amazing!!  & not in a good way!  By the time I got home, much later than expected mind you, I was in tears of anger & frustration.  Not to mention anxiety because I spent the entire day at the hospital- not good for the agoraphobia.  My husband, bless his heart, listened to me tell all of the day’s awful events.  He also said, “I have seen the light!  I really get it now about your mother!  I am so sorry!!”  Thank God!!  I can’t put into words how grateful I am for that.  My husband is accustomed to his own narcissistic parents, & due to his upbringing, always tried to make excuses for or defend my mother.  I think that is a thing of the past now.  God is truly good- I never expected that to happen!

After I took my father home, I had to leave fast.  One of my cats has diabetes & a couple of other health issues, & I’ve found testing his glucose & giving him an insulin injection when needed at about 5 p.m. works well for us, usually keeping his glucose levels pretty stable.  By the time I got my father home, it was already 7:30!  I told my parents I need to go- Pretty Boy is late for his insulin.  My mother kept dragging her feet, pretending she didn’t hear me or coming up with reasons I needed to stay.  I ended up pretty much walking out on her.  *sigh*  She didn’t care that my boy needed help, my husband wasn’t home yet from work & couldn’t take care of him- I had to go.  It was maddening!!

The icing on the cake was when I was walking out the door.  My mother gave me a hug & said “I love you.  You’re doing such a good job!”  Maybe with a normal, non-narcissistic parent, this would be a nice thing to say.  However… with a narcissistic parent, this made me very angry.  The only time my mother tells me she loves me, is proud of me or other such positive things is when I’m doing what she wants me to do, as she wants me to do it.  I could count on one hand how many times my mother has said those type of things to me in the last 25 years.  Maybe even 30 years.

It was just so maddening!!  The only time I’m worthy of any praise, even just a small amount, is when I’m doing her will?!  Really?!  Never mind I’ve run a non-profit organization designed to help people with depressive disorders.  Never mind my writing helps other people often (I know- I get the emails to prove it!).  Never mind I’ve rescued over 25 cats since 1990 & 3 dogs who were in horrible situations. (I’m not trying to brag on myself with this information, by the way!!)  None of that matters to my mother.  All that matters to her is what I do for her.  ARGH!!!!  It’s not that I’m after her approval- I’ve accepted that I’ll never have it.  Even so, the reminders of this fact still hurt.  Reminders like this show me, yet again, that I’m not even human to her.  That I am simply a tool to be used when needed, according to my mother.  I don’t matter to her, nor do my needs, wants, feelings or even my furkids as she showed me so clearly last night.  It hurts!!

I guess my point of sharing all of this (aside from venting) is to let you know, Dear Readers, I really do understand.  I understand your frustration with your narcissistic mother.  I understand your pain & hurt.  I understand how aggravating it is when others don’t get it.  Having a narcissistic mother is truly a lonely road!

I really hope my experiences can help you somehow to cope with your own narcissistic mother.  If nothing else, I hope you realize that you truly are not alone, in spite of how it feels.  I love you & am praying for you!  xoxo

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Not A Good Day

Apparently the hospital where my father is staying is confused.  Great thing for a hospital, no?  *sigh*

 

They want to do a small procedure on my father to repair the compression fracture in his spine, & now that the nasty meds are out of his system, he agrees to get it done.  It was supposed to be done Thursday & he was going to come home last night.  Then no, he wasn’t coming home last night, but today after the procedure.  Just a little while ago a nurse told him it’ll be done Thursday& he can come  home then.  *pulling out hair*  I really wish someone would get their act together..

 

On the good side however, he feels great.  Pain is well controlled with much milder meds.  He’s in good spirits too.

 

Aside from the frustration with the hospital, it hasn’t been a good day for me because my mother really hurt me this morning.  I think I’m as hurt as I am because I’m overly tired & this past week has been an emotional roller coaster.  Plus, as I mentioned in my last post, she’d been pleasant & nice to me.

 

This morning when we spoke on the phone, she asked if my back was bothering me at all today.  Odd question for her, what with her showing some concern.  I should’ve expected it was a setup.  Unfortunately I didn’t.  I said it’s been kinda bothering me all week (I feel stress in my back very easily).  She said, “You just wait until you have back problems for 18 years!”  What the..?!?!  I couldn’t help it & started crying.  Thankfully, the narcissism was in full force & she had no idea.  I really wouldn’t have wanted to explain why I was hurt, as she would’ve only invalidated me further.

 

I guess the niceness is done now.  Kinda sucks- the last few days were very pleasant when I had to deal with her.  Not like I didn’t see it coming though.  It’s just very disappointing.  The good times are always very good, & I think that’s why it always hurts as bad as it does when they end.  Plus, it sure would be nice to have a normal, non-narcissistic mother.

 

So, I decided to get in some well needed self-care today.  I was thinking of staying home since I am about dying for some introvert time, just hanging out with the furkids.  But, instead I’m heading out to lunch with a dear friend.  The laughs will do us both some good.

 

I realize I’m very blessed with wonderful fans, so I’m hoping you will pray for me.  I really need the prayer right now.  I’ve been in survival mode all week, just getting through each crisis as it arose, & now that there is light at the end of the tunnel, I am not only exhuasted beyond belief, but overly emotional.  Thank you for the prayers!  I love you & am praying for you too!  xoxo

 

 

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Brief Update & Another Lesson About Narcissism Learned

This past week since my father has been in the hospital has been interesting to say the least.

On a positive note, he seems to be doing quite a bit better.  He’s still in pain with the compression fracture in his spine, but at least he’s not screaming in pain anymore.  They’ve also cut way back on his pain meds, & I think have eliminated the morphine.  Thank God- he reacted terribly to it!  He’s been hallucinating & acting very bizarre.  Yesterday he was much more coherent though, so I hope this means it’s almost out of his system.

Things with my mother have been very interesting.  Several times, she’s thanked me for all I’m doing to help out, said she doesn’t know what she’d do without me, & said she loves me.

Being the adult child of a narcissistic mother, i had the normal reaction to this.  Hoping this meant changes were coming to our relationship.  I quickly realized this isn’t wise- this is setting myself up for disappointment.  Maybe some narcissists change, but I have never seen it.  My mother is a malignant narcissist, so the chances of her changing for the better & permanently are slim to none.

I had to learn how to handle moments like this very quickly when a similar situation happened last year.  I thought I would share what I have learned with you so hopefully you will be helped when this type of situation arises with your narcissistic mother.

I have learned everything I can about Narcissistic Personality Disorder,  I learned that narcissists approve of you when you are doing what they want or need you to do.  If you say no, you are a horrible person, selfish, ungrateful, etc etc. according to them.  I keep that in mind when my mother says these nice things to me when I’m helping her.

I also had to talk to myself.  I had to tell myself it’s ok to enjoy this pleasant time with her, but it’s not ok to expect it to last.  Chances are very good that as soon as my father is out of the hospital, she’ll be back to her old ways.  I’ve had to remind myself of this a few times lately.  This will help me not to be devastated when she gets mean with me again.

This situation hurts!  It feels like everyone’s mother loves them- why doesn’t my mother love me?  Is there something wrong with me?  Am I unlovable?  While it feels like these are valid questions, the truth is they aren’t.  It’s her- something is wrong with her!  It’s not you!  Narcissism is a horrible thing.  Something made these people turn so self-centered that they refuse to think of anyone else.  To them, other people, including their own children, are simply tools to be used to meet their needs.  No one else has real problems- only they do.  No one else has feelings- only they do.  This has nothing to do with you or some flaws in you.  It truly is all their problem!

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Aging & Narcissists

This morning, I read an interesting article about the final years of Jim Jones.  He was a notorious cult leader who led over 900 of his followers to commit suicide in 1978.  Like all cult leaders, Jones was a narcissist.  His final years were full of more bizarre & controlling behaviors, & the article I read discussed why he was this way.

For years, I’ve wondered why so many narcissists get meaner as they get older, while your average person becomes gentler & kinder.  It began to make some sense to me as I applied what I read in the article to my own narcissistic mother.

As we age, we lose some qualities of youth, such as good looks, health & physical strength.  While most people accept this, narcissists don’t.  At the root of narcissism is an extreme insecurity.  They count on such things to always be there for them, yet those things aren’t.  When they aren’t, this makes the narcissist more insecure & they will lash out at those around them out.  Anything that makes a narcissist feel more insecure or that threatens their illusion of their perfect, false self angers them, & the aging process is no different.

Also, losing such qualities can mean losing control over those the narcissist once controlled easily.  A narcissist who was big, strong & healthy could physically intimidate another person when young, but once that person is older, not so strong or healthy, that ability is gone.  The narcissist must change how she controls her victim.  I have seen the changes with my mother.  When I was a child, it didn’t take much effort for her to control me- the vicious looks & cruel words always scared me easily.  In my late teens, I wasn’t so easily controlled, however.  She began screaming at me, sometimes inches from my face, calling me terrible names & saying horribly cruel things.  Once I moved out of my parents’ home at 19, my mother often said cruel things, but without screaming at me.  She also did other nasty little things.  For example, after she threw me into a wall & hurt my back when I was 19, she would constantly hand me something heavy or slap me on the back where it was injured when I saw her.  Now that she is older & frailer than she once was, her method of attack has changed yet again.  She loves to say cruel things to me quietly while we’re in a public place, such as a restaurant.  That way, either I have to take it quietly, or if I speak up, I’ll draw attention to my “awful” behavior & look like the crazy one.

If they continue to feel they are losing control, narcissistic tactics will get more vicious, as I have shown with my mother’s behavior.  I personally don’t believe this means you have to cater to the narcissist or tolerate the abuse.  Instead, I believe there are 2 options- either sever ties with the narcissist, or if you can’t or are unwilling to do so, strengthen yourself to withstand the abuse.  There are several ways to do this…

First, pray.  A strong relationship with God is vital.  You need to be secure in knowing He loves you, supports you & will show you ways to cope.

Second, you also will need to have strong boundaries.  You need to know what you can & can’t tolerate.  You’ll need to have good, effective ways to enforce those boundaries.  If a topic comes up that you don’t want to discuss with your narcissistic mother, then change the subject, for example.  Change it over & over as necessary- eventually she will get tired of this.

Third, keep your conversations superficial.  Don’t divulge information about your personal life to your narcissistic mother.  That information only becomes ammunition for her to use to hurt you later.

Fourth, remember- you do NOT have to be available 24/7.  Don’t answer the phone every time she calls  Don’t spend a lot of time with her.  Keeping some distance will help you to preserve your mental health.

Lastly, don’t neglect yourself.  Spend time with God & with empathic, caring people who understand what you are going through & won’t judge or criticize you when you get angry.  Get good at being good to yourself.  Get yourself little gifts periodically, treat yourself to bubble baths or manicures regularly, or whatever nourishes your soul.  Taking good care of yourself will help to strengthen you when you have to deal with your narcissistic mother.

Below is a link to the article I read about Jim Jones that inspired this blog post.

http://jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=40230

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, 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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How To Deal With Those Who Invalidate Narcissistic Abuse

My always “fun” narcissistic mother called me the night before last.  She told me that one of the few movies with both like, “Duel” from 1971, was on TV.  I was pleasantly surprised not only because I enjoy the movie, but that my mother thought to let me know it was coming on.  I thought that was oddly not narcissistic & very sweet of her.

Then last evening, she called me again.  She asked if I watched the movie & we ended up having a rather pleasant chat for a while about movies & actors.  I relaxed for once while we spoke (that is a VERY rare occurrence).   Suddenly my mother asked me a favor- she asked me to give her a home perm.

*sigh*

I’ve done it many times, & really never minded it all that much, in spite of her often treating me like the hired help.  Then the arthritis in my hands got worse, & putting those little perm rods in her hair became quite painful for me. I told her this probably 2 years ago by now, maybe longer ago but I’m not sure, & haven’t done a perm for her since.  So last night’s request came as a surprise to me.  For one thing, we were talking just fine, then suddenly, she expects a favor that I’ve told her I can’t do.  UGH!  I had to remind my mother yet again that I have arthritis in my hands, & can’t do this for her.  Her response?  “So you’re saying you can’t give me a perm, huh?”  Really???  All she took from what I said was what directly affected her.  Fantastic.. typical narcissist. *banging head into walls*

I was thinking about this conversation this morning.  It’s things like this that happen over & over, & many people just do not grasp the severity of such incidents.  People who know my mother may think she’s rather eccentric, but not a bad person.  In fact, if I tell them stories like this, they say I’m oversensitive, reading into things, need to shake it off, etc.  These people act like I am the one in  the wrong, not my mother, who treats me as if I’m just here to be used.  They ignore the fact that things like this reinforce the fact my mother thinks I’m just here to serve her, that I’m not allowed to have needs, feelings or anything else.  My sole purpose in life is to be used by my mother, according to her.  So what I have arthritis?  I should suck it up, Buttercup, & do what she wants because she wants it!  Ugh.. & to tell the truth, I think my mother thinks I’m lying about having arthritis just to get out of doing for her.  Never mind it’s a medical fact, on record & I’ve had it for 12 years now…

This kind of behavior is it invalidating, & it’s plain hurtful!  It also has made me wonder why people are so quick to defend a narcissist & blame the victim.

I think many people are afraid of becoming uncomfortable.  Their comfort zone is so important to them that they cannot tolerate anything that doesn’t fit into said comfort zone.  They would rather be invalidating & hurtful to you than forced to believe the narcissist they know is anything less than a good person.  Maybe the narcissist is good to them (for the moment anyway, until the mask slips off..), & they simply do not want to face the fact that she is capable of heinous acts.  Learning someone you care about isn’t a good person is a painful thing, & many people do not want to deal with that pain.

What does this mean to you, the victim of a narcissist?

This means that you are going to need to be aware of people like this, as they are everywhere.  They even can be a close relative or friend.  Chances are, they don’t intend to hurt you- they are simply oblivious to the fact they are abusing you by invalidating you.  However, even intentions that aren’t bad don’t make this behavior hurt any less, or make it acceptable.

Once you’re aware of these people, you need to stop discussing your relationship with your narcissistic mother  (or father,or sibling, or friend, etc.) with this person if you wish to continue this relationship. If you continue to attempt to force this person to see your perspective, they will become resistant, & angry with you for trying to force them to see what they don’t want to see.  They will flatly refuse to see the truth, & it can put a big wedge in your relationship or even cause them to sever ties with you. Did you read my post “Two Good Lessons From One Dream“? If not, please read it now.  In that dream, God showed me clearly that you have to use wisdom on who you discuss narcissistic abuse with.  Don’t frustrate yourself & ruin relationships by discussing it with people who are hell bent on not hearing a word you have to say!  It’s not worth it!

How do you not discuss the cruel things your narcissistic mother is doing to you when people ask you?  By telling them that this topic is not up for discussion…

  • “I’m not going to discuss this topic with you.”
  • “Let’s talk about something else.”
  • “I don’t want to discuss this.”
  • Change the subject as often as necessary & ask the other person something about his/her life.
  • Walk away or hang up the phone if they insist on discussing this topic even though you set appropriate boundaries.

You owe no one any explanation, & an explanation only will start an argument anyway.  If they say anything to you on  the topic, the best way I have found to avoid discussing it is to change the subject.  Eventually, most people will get frustrated & give up trying to discuss the topic they originally wanted to, especially if you ask him/her about his/her life.  Most people, even non-narcissists, will talk readily about themselves.

Protect yourself from people like this, Dear Reader,& use wisdom  when you must deal with them.  You deserve it.  You have been abused enough by your narcissistic mother- you don’t need further invalidating abuse from “friends” or “family” even if they are well-meaning.

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Emotional “Purging”

I have a folder of various songs on my mp3 player that are very special to me. When I lost several of my cats over the years, shortly after their death, I’d hear a song or a song would go through my head out of the blue, & God would speak to my heart, telling me that the kitty who just passed on wanted me to know that this song reminded him/her of me.  I turned these songs on the mp3 player while finishing some housework..

The song “You Were Loved” by Wynonna came on- that was my Magic’s song, my first kitty & a very special dark sable/black guy who was in my life for over 16 years.  Grief overwhelmed me.  Physically I could barely stand & the sobbing hit hard.  In this pain, I cried out to God, telling Him I miss my Magic so much.  I clearly heard Him ask me what else do I miss?  A laundry list of things that are currently a problem in my life came out.  I miss having a mother- I’d love to have a normal, non-narcissistic mother who won’t hurt me purposely for her own amusement or to preserve her own image.  I miss not having financial problems- not saying I want a brand new car or whatever, just want the bills current or paid ahead & be able to do some things.  I want to no longer be constantly hurt or affected by or blamed for things other people do.

A lot of anger came to the surface too.  I’m angry at the people who have abused me yet never took responsibility for it or showed any remorse.  November 28th, it’ll be 24 years since my mother threw me into a wall & messed up my back.  In those 24 years, not once has she accepted responsibility for it, but instead told anyone who would listen I faked the injury to get out of working because I was lazy.  My mother is hardly the only abuser who hasn’t taken any responsibility, either, & that frankly just pisses me off!

Some of the anger that came up is because there are so many things in my life I can’t make sense of.  I thought about my ex boyfriend for example.  Last January, I learned not only was he gay (might have been nice to know that before we became a couple!), but he murdered his boyfriend, then himself.  I shared a life with this man- how did I not realize  he had such serious problems?!  I know I was young, but still, what the heck?!

Then the anger turned to sadness, & I started crying pretty hard… it didn’t want to stop for a long time as years of anger & pain came out & God comforted me.  Thankfully!  I hadn’t cried like that in a long time, & apparently I really needed to do so.

This experience reminded me of something I had long since forgotten about.  When I was a little girl, I think God gave me a survival skill that I never appreciated.  One night a week after I went to bed, I would make myself cry for a while.  I would think of anything sad that would make me cry, then just cry for however long felt right, & go to sleep after  that.  This was my own time & no one interfered with it, as my parents assumed I was asleep.  Growing up with an engulfing narcissistic mother was very, very hard.  I was very anxious & depressed, even as a little girl (not that anyone noticed, because I was good even then at hiding my feelings).  Those nights when I cried were good for me- I was able to get out the sadness, anger & anxiety I felt & go on with more peace the next morning.

As a grown up living with C-PTSD which includes nasty periods of depression plus all the stress I’m facing lately, I think it is time to implement a grown up version of this ritual I had.  Today showed me the need for periodic emotional purging.

i am going to spend more time with God, even if it’s while running the vacuum cleaner, & ask Him to help me, to help me purge of whatever anger, hurt, etc. is inside that needs to come out.  Then ask Him to heal me & help me to cry or do whatever I need to to get things out.  (Like most adult children of a narcissistic mother, I have trouble often with expressing emotions).

The reason I’m sharing this with you, Dear Reader, is because I think this may help you as well.  So many people, especially adult children of narcissists, aren’t good at getting out their emotions.  Look at all of the health problems today- high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, immune system problems.. so many of these are from holding in emotions & stress.  Feel your feelings.  Process them rather than stuffing them down deep inside!  It’s good for you!  Talk to God  about them, too- He not only will comfort you, but help you to deal with them & heal your broken heart as well!

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Ranting & Raving.. (revised)

Good morning, Dear Readers!

Well, it isn’t really a good morning for me.  I really do want to keep my posts as encouraging & as positive as I can, but I also promised you readers that I would also be real.  That means some posts won’t be all happy & positive.  This post is going to be one of those.  In fact, I was going to write it only in my journal, but I felt I should write it in here.  Maybe someone needs to read this today.  It’ll probably be pretty long, longer than normal at least, so get yourself comfortable if you want to read this.. lol

The last few days have been really rough, & the C-PTSD is flaring up badly as of yesterday.  My head is simply swimming.  To start with, our little American Eskimo dog, Dixie, has been sick.  Thankfully, she is well on her way to recovery now, but not recognizing her symptoms at first terrified me.  My pets are like my children, so  when they are sick, I get extremely concerned.  Then my husband’s mother went into the hospital a couple of days ago.  I’m not sure she didn’t put herself there for attention, to be completely honest about it.  It wouldn’t be the first time she’s done that.  I think it was last year just before Christmas my husband told me she said that she quit taking her meds for a few days prior to going into the hospital.  Yep, I love narcissists.. NOT.  *sigh*

And, as the icing on this crappy cake, my husband & I saw my parents yesterday.

Recently, my parents bought a new chair.  Once it was delivered, my mother decided she didn’t like it, & wanted to exchange it for another one.  She called to ask if my husband would mind picking it up with his truck, as she didn’t want to pay another $80 delivery charge.  He said he’d be fine with doing it Saturday (yesterday).  So Friday, I said I should call her to be sure of what time to meet my parents at the furniture store.  He volunteered to make the call instead, which was fine with me at the time.  Now, I’m not happy he did this at all & that will not be happening again as I have learned a painful lesson.  Although I have told him many times, do NOT say anything about our furkids or his parents to my parents other than everyone is “fine”, he told my mother Dixie was sick & probably needed to see the vet in the morning, & also that his mother was in the hospital so we couldn’t make it a long visit.  If my mother hears anything other than FINE about any of them, I will end up very angry with either her nasty comments about my furkids, or fake concern over my in-laws.  The fake concern hurts me very badly, because she knows perfectly well I haven’t spoken to my in-laws since 2002 because of how cruelly my narcissistic mother in-law has treated me.  And a side note here- I asked God once why my mother does this.  He showed me that my mother thinks my in-laws have a perfect life- been married 60+ years, financially comfortable, nice home in a nice area, their children, grandchildren & great-grandchildren visit them often.  She fails to see the mountains of dysfunction in their family, only what looks good on the outside.  My mother, being a narcissist & naturally overly concerned with appearances, wants to impress them. By me refusing to tolerate my mother in-law’s abusive ways, I’ve embarrassed my mother.  In return, she wants to hurt me as much as possible by showing concern for them, as well as showing them even though I’m a “terrible person,” at least she isn’t bad like me.  She is good enough to care about them even if I don’t.  This is also why she has sent them Christmas cards since I first told her how cruel the mother in-law is.  Amazing what goes on  in the mind of a narcissist..

Back to the original topic..

The visit started at the furniture store.  My mother sat in the car, & my father approached us in hubby’s truck.  He handed hubby a booklet about county services for seniors I’d given my parents a couple of months ago.  He said it was because hubby’s parents probably needed it.  Really?  Hubby told my father no, they’re fine- my parents need it.  My father said my mother thought they needed it more, so they should have it. Hubby grabbed the booklet & spoke to my mother, telling her SHE needs this, his parents are taken care of.  I heard snippets of their conversation- she kept changing the subject, showing concern for his mother being in the hospital.  ARGH!  So while this happened, my father & I walked into the customer service area & gave them the receipt.  We waited a few minutes for him to bring the chair outside for us, & chatted.  Finally we were loaded up & ready to go.  I moved the truck over to beside my mother’s car to get it out of the way.  My mother said hi to me, I ignored her & waited for hubby.

At my parents’ house, my mother asked me how Dixie was.  i said fine.  She said “Oh?  Your dad said she was really sick.”  I said nothing further.  (I feel somewhat bad about that, because knowing her, she’ll jump on my father for lying to her even though he wasn’t lying.  But, not trying to be vengeful here, he has no problems throwing me under the bus with my mother.  Why should I feel bad that I inadvertently did the same to him once, yanno?)  So she then talked to hubby about his mother.  I continued ignoring her, but was stewing inside.  How dare she?!  Plus i was also angry hubby told her about Dixie when I have said many times mention NOTHING about her or the cats to my mother.

My husband, father & I assembled the chair.  While working on it, my mother brought out a plate of cookies & demanded we all eat one.  I refused.  All my life, my mother has insulted what I eat, how much I do or don’t eat, demanded I eat what she wants when she wants me to & ridiculed me for being fat no matter how little I may weigh.  When she tells me to eat something now, I refuse in order to set a boundary.  Plus, the emotional flashbacks I get make me feel like I did at around 10 years old when her abuse regarding food was so bad that I became anorexic then later bulimic: terrified of her anger if I didn’t do as was told or take her criticisms with a smile, angry, like I am too hideous & disgusting to live.  This feels HORRIBLE & it makes me angry that at 43 years old, I quickly can revert to feeling like I did as a child.

Finally, the chair was done, & we were ready to leave.  As I said goodbye to my father, my mother spoke to my husband about his parents again, feigning such great concern for their well-being.  I could feel the anger inside me bubbling by this point.  Then, as I moved to say goodbye to her before my head exploded, she said “Wait a minute.”  My mother went into another room & came back with a plate of cookies & a get well card for my mother in-law!!  She handed them to hubby.  I was in shock at this point.  She then hugged us both & told me she loved me as we left.  I practically ran to the truck.  I also realized when she has been especially cruel to me recently, she always says she loves me.  No other times.  In fact, I could probably count on one hand how many times she has said that in the last 30 years until this behavior began recently.

I cannot put into words how hurt I am by this whole episode.  I know my mother is extremely angry with me because I set boundaries with her early last month.  (See this blog entry)  I’ve been expecting a narcissistic rage because of that as I mentioned in that post, which meant I was expecting her to say excessively cruel, hurtful things to me in a public place.  But this betrayal & flaunting it?  And to top it off, my husband basically handed her the weapon on a  silver platter & doesn’t understand why I’m upset?

I am just depressed, hurt & angry today.  I feel so alone in this situation, & am so tired of feeling that way. I can’t talk to my husband about it since he doesn’t really understand.  I can’t talk to my father- he’s got his own concerns with how cruel she is to him, & those concerns are very valid.  He also won’t speak on my behalf to my mother.  I also feel like I don’t matter.  Again. I am so tired of this feeling!  My mother made me feel this way growing up.  Being a typical malignant narcissist, I was only there to be an extension of her, meet her needs & please her.  I wasn’t to “bother” her with having needs or feelings. Growing up, things haven’t really improved with her in that area.  My husband’s invalidating “I wouldn’t give it any credence” comment about my mother’s actions yesterday have made me feel the same “I don’t matter” feeling.  I’m so tired of it!!!

I’m also incredibly frustrated.  Something must be done with my mother, but I am too frazzled at this moment to figure out what.  If I speak up about her “Caring” about my mother in-law, it’ll feed her- she will be sure to show more concern for her just because she knows exactly how much it hurts me.  If I remain quiet, she will show more concern to be sure she is getting to me.  Damned if I do, damned if I don’t… So, I need to pray about how to handle this after I feel better.

Right now, I’m wallowing in the self-pity place.  I know  this all too well, & I don’t like it at all.  But, I have learned some things since I’ve been here so many times in my life: this place is necessary, & it doesn’t last forever.

So many people will tell you things like “pick yourself up by your bootstraps” but sometimes you need to wallow for a bit, to feel sorry for yourself because you have been through something very painful.  I think of it as feeling compassion for yourself.  If someone told me what I just told you, my heart would break for them.  I would want to tell them everything will be fine & somehow make it better if I could.  So why not have that same compassion for myself?

I also think that the self-pity times allow us to process painful things, & we need to process painful things!  Sweeping things under the rug or ignoring the pain they cause do no good at all!  In fact, ignoring things can cause a great deal of harm.  I never really dealt with the abuse I endured until I was around 30 years old.  By the time I was 41, I developed full blown C-PTSD after living with many of the symptoms my whole life.  I wonder if I had been able to deal with things earlier, if I would have C-PTSD now.  Not dealing with things also can cause physical problems such as arthritis, heart problems, ulcers, high blood pressure, & much more.

If you made it this far, God bless you!  Thank you for listening to me rant & rave.  I hope somehow you were able to glean something helpful from this post.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

I’m revising  this post only slightly…..

 

I saw yesterday that the card my mother gave my husband for his mother wasn’t in a sealed envelope- the flap was just pushed in.  Seemed odd to me, but I figured that meant my mother wanted me to read it.  Knowing her, that just made sense in her dysfunctional little world.  So, I finally gave in a few minutes ago.  This is the card- nothing has been altered at all. This shows just how hell bent my mother is to hurt me- she is sending a nicer card to someone she can’t stand than she has ever sent to me.  I honestly don’t even know if she’s ever given me a get well card…

 

This is the outside of the card...

This is the outside of the card…

& here is the inside... lovely wording, isn't it?

& here is the inside… lovely wording, isn’t it?

 

 

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

Recovering From Narcissistic Abuse- My Next Book’s Topic

Good morning, Dear Readers!

 

I have decided on my next book’s topic.  What it’s like to recover from narcissistic abuse.  The weird things you may not accociate with it such as odd nightmares as well as details about living with C-PTSD, low self-esteem, constant self doubt & anything else I can think of to add to the book.

 

If there is any topic you’d like added to this book, please feel free to suggest it.  I’m open to suggestions!  You can either email me at CynthiaBaileyRug@aol.com, or you can contact me via this form:

 

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Gifts & Narcissists

Giving gifts can be a wonderful thing.  It makes the receiver feel loved because someone would listen closely enough to know what gift would make the receiver happy, then spend the time to pick out this gift, spend the time to wrap  it up pretty & all this shows that they cared enough to want to do these things.  The giver is also blessed because there is a great joy in seeing someone’s face light up when they get a special gift that you are responsible for picking out.

 

Unfortunately with narcissists, this isn’t the case.

 

For one thing, narcissists are notoriously terrible at giving gifts.  To give a good gift, you have to look beyond yourself.  You have to listen to what the receiver says about their needs & wants.  You have to know things about them, such as their favorite color, the size clothing they wear, styles they like, their favorite author or singer.  Narcissists can’t be bothered with such “trivial” matters, so they will choose what they like or what they think you need instead.

 

Narcissists also give you gifts in order to try to make you more like what they think you should be.  Clothing in a color or style that they think you should wear instead of clothing you like, or a CD from a band they like instead of from a band you like.  Probably fifteen years ago or so, during a conversation with my mother in-law that took place not long before Christmas, I mentioned the fact I don’t like to cook.  I do it of course, but that doesn’t mean I enjoy it.  For Christmas that year, she & both of my sisters in-law gave me a lot of cooking paraphernalia.  I got spoons, spatulas, cook books, food & the largest, ugliest pasta dish I have ever seen in my life (I did find a good use for it eventually.  When the roof leaked, in the short time before it was fixed, I used that ugly dish to catch the rain water that leaked into the attic ..lol)

 

And of course, in true narcissistic fashion, when they give gifts, the purpose is self-serving.  Giving makes them feel like they are good people.  See how caring they are?  They gave someone a gift!  Yay for the narcissist!!  My mother gives me things constantly, often things she has gotten as gifts but didn’t like, clothes she wants rid of, clothes she will buy for me because she likes the color/style (not that I like them), or things she has received in return for donating to a charity.  For the longest time, I felt like I should hold onto these things, I think because on some level, I thought these gifts meant she actually cared for me.  Once I realized that she was giving me things not to bless me, but to serve her own agenda or clean out her own junk, I didn’t feel that need any longer to hold onto her gifts.  Some, yes, but not many.

 

There also may be another motive when receiving gifts from a narcissist.  They may want something from you.  They may want you to do something for them, so when they ask for you to do that favor, they can say, “How can you say no after I gave you that great gift?”  My in-laws are like that.  Gifts come with strings attached.  They give my husband birthday & Christmas cards with money, & in return, he is to help them with whatever needs they have, no matter how ridiculous.  (Not that he shouldn’t help out his aging parents of course, but when they call him to take one of them to the emergency room rather than 911 in an emergency, something is very wrong!)  Have they ever spelled this out?  No.  It is an unspoken rule, as many narcissistic families have.

 

Some narcissists also give to others in the hopes of making themselves appear to be the martyr, taken advantage of by ungrateful people.  This often makes the recipient of the gifts feel as if they are taking advantage of the giver, & they offer to repay the “generous” narcissist somehow.

 

If you receive a gift from a narcissist, just be forewarned- the gift probably has some pretty hefty strings attached to it!

 

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You Are Not Alone!

Good afternoon, Dear Readers!

Every morning, I receive an email with a Scripture in it from a Christian website.  It’s a nice way to start my day.  Today’s Scripture was 1 Peter 5:8-9:

Be clearheaded. Keep alert. Your accuser, the devil, is on the prowl like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.Resist him, standing firm in the faith. Do so in the knowledge that your fellow believers are enduring the same suffering throughout the world.” (CEB)

The last sentence is exactly why i write about some of the topics I write about- to let people know thy aren’t alone.

Growing up with a narcissistic mother, although I knew nothing of narcissism until a few years ago, I knew something was different.  My experiences were vastly different than my friends’.  I didn’t know anyone else who acted like her or treated their children like my mother treated me.  Once I started talking to a school counselor then a couple of therapists when my mother’s abuse peaked when I was 17, I was invalidated.  The school counselor said “That doesn’t sound so bad to me” when I told her my mother would scream at me, lecturing me about what a terrible person I was.  One therapist, after meeting my mother said she could no longer see me because I was such a “terrible daughter.”  My friends couldn’t understand my suffering, obviously, as narcissistic abuse is nearly impossible to understand even when you have experienced it firsthand.

Then in 2012, I developed all of the symptoms of C-PTSD.  Suddenly, I became a different person.  I was no longer able to hide depression & anxiety as I had previously.  I started with flashbacks & more frequent nightmares.  My sleep became worse than ever- trouble falling asleep & staying asleep.  In discussing some of my symptoms, i learned a lot of people simply don’t care about them.  People close to me, not strangers.  One person even said I used C-PTSD as a “poor me” card.  I told my father that I have this awful disorder twice, & twice he changed the subject.

All of these things have meant I have felt completely alone my entire life.  it’s a terrible feeling.

Once I started writing about my experiences though, I learned that I’m not alone.  There are many, many other victims of a narcissistic mother out there!  The funny part is we all grew up thinking it was just us, that no one understood or experienced the same things.

Many of these people also have C-PTSD as a result of the narcissistic abuse, & many of them feel alone as well due to people close to them not caring.

it is truly tragic how many people feel as if they are completely alone!  While I know I can’t change the world, I want to use my writing as a way to reach people, to let them know they aren’t alone. I pray this blog, my website & books do just that, because the truth is, you are not alone!  So many other people understand your pain & have been through similar experiences!

I also have 2 forums available.  Both are safe places where you can talk about anything you like, gain support, be prayed for or pray for others, learn valuable information & make new friends.

Below is a link to the first forum.  It requires registration to read or post.  If you’re worried about privacy, create a fake user name rather than using your real name. I only recently started this one, so it is a bit slow as it is just starting.  Feel free to start talking though- I will respond, & I believe if a few people start talking, others will join & there will be a snowball effect.

http://cynthiasforum.boards.net/

This link is a link to my fan group on facebook.  I gave up my fan page for two reasons: one person used it as a means to harass me & privacy for my fans.  This group is a closed group, which means that only other members can see what you posted in the group.  No one else.

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

I want to stress, both groups are private & safe. I hope to see you there soon!

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Triggers And Coping With Narcissistic Games

Good afternoon, Dear Readers!

I had a strange call from my parents last night.  I realized some things from it that I’d like to share with you today..

Last night, my husband was on the phone for a while.  When he hung up, he told me my parents had called but he hadn’t clicked over because of not wanting to interrupt his other call.  Shortly after telling me this, our phone rang & my parents’ number popped up on the caller ID.  I answered it.  It was my mother.  She said that my father had been trying to call but couldn’t get through, so SHE had to call (always she does things right when others can’t yanno- typical narcissistic behavior).  She said for me to hang on & she’d get him.  Ok.. this was odd, I thought, plus the tone in her voice sent shivers down my spine.  Probably anyone else who heard it wouldn’t notice anything out of the ordinary, but it made me feel like I was a teenager again, waiting on my mother to scream in my face & accuse me of awful things I hadn’t done.  The tone basically said, “I’m being civil because there is a witness, but just wait until we’re alone.  All the immense disgust & hatred I feel for you will come out!”  *sigh*

So then my father got on the phone.  It turns out he has a new health concern & is going to get it checked out on this coming Monday.  He asked if I could take him to the doctor nearby in Annapolis.  I said fine.  (It isn’t- it interrupts my routine which makes me extremely anxious- but to take care of his health, I’ll deal with it).  I asked for details & he said that he & my mother would be by to pick me up around 9:45.  HUH?!  I asked why do I need to be there if she is driving him?  I assumed I’d be driving him since he isn’t allowed to drive after last month’s mild stroke.  He said she claims she can’t remember where the office is.  Ok, but how about getting directions?  It’s super easy to find!  It’s 8 turns (including turning out of their driveway & into the doctor’s parking lot) to find this place from their home.  Something felt very fishy & with a little prayer, God showed me what was going on.

My mother is angry with me because, being the “horrible” person I am, I set a boundary with her a few weeks ago as I’d mentioned in another blog post.  She decided to feign being clueless about where to to in order to get me alone so she can dish out her narcissistic rage.  She also knew I would go, because if I don’t, she will claim she can’t take my father to this important appointment, forcing him to miss it.  She will enjoy having me trapped in her car with no means of escape, & trapped with her at the doctor’s office for that purpose.  She loves to let me know what a horrible person I am, how crazy I am, how wrong I am for liking & disliking the things I do, what a piece of junk my car is, etc. in public places now, because if I speak back to her, I will look like the unreasonable daughter abusing her dear, elderly mother.  Her car is another good place for her, because I can’t escape.  The days of her screaming these things in my face are gone now that she is no longer bigger & stronger than me.   Those days are now replaced with quiet, scathing disapproval & verbal abuse in an attempt to bait me into looking like a raging lunatic.  Thank God, I am well aware of this game & know what to expect.

So what did I learn from this conversation??

First, I learned to appreciate triggers.  As painful as they can be, triggers also serve a purpose.  When something makes you feel afraid or angry as you felt as a child, it makes you feel that way for a reason!  It’s a warning that something isn’t right.  My mother’s tone of voice mentally took me back to the days I was a teenager & suffering the worst of her abuse.  God showed me that the familiar tone of voice was to warn me a narcissistic rage is in my near future with her.  (Something I will remember regarding future triggers!)

I also learned that I really have learn to prepare better- it’s only good self-care!  Normally in these situations, even when I have known something was brewing, I failed to prepare.  My husband suggested I take an mp3 player with earbuds so I can escape into music if it gets too bad.  A very wise idea that hadn’t occurred to me!  An idea that I had was to contact friends & see who may be available during that time so I can leave if need be.  Someone can come pick me up if I need to walk out.  I’m in the process of finding someone now.

Triggers can serve as a very good warning that something is about to happen that we need to prepare for, such as last night’s call from my parents.  If you, too, have a narcissistic mother, triggers can benefit you as well.  Pay close attention to them.  If you are unsure why her tone of voice or body language triggers fear in you, ask God for help.  Ask Him to show you what you need to know.  He will!  And, once you realize what the trigger was about, prepare to the best of your ability.  Unfortunately, all narcissists can catch their victims off-guard sometimes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t avoid much of their cruelty.  Again, ask God for help if you need to, & He will show you very creative & effective ways to cope.

Although often severing ties with a narcissistic personality disordered individual is best, sometimes it simply is not possible, or you know in your heart it isn’t right for you at this time.  With prayer & help from God, you can learn ways to cope with a narcissist.  It may not be easy, but it is possible.

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Caregiving, Mental Health, Narcissism

To Stay In Relationship With A Narcissist Or Not

I’ve liked quite a few pages regarding narcissism on facebook.  This morning when I got online, several of those pages were singing the praises of having no contact with the narcissist in your life.  “It’s the only choice you have!” they say.  While that sounds logical, & often is the best choice, sometimes for various reasons, there isn’t an option to have zero contact.  Sometimes, people had children with a narcissistic partner, & while they can separate or divorce this person, they still have to have some contact due to having children with this person.  Others may live with an elderly narcissistic parent & they can’t afford to move out.  Still others may be in a situation like mine where I have chosen to limit contact drastically because I don’t feel severing all ties is the right choice for me at this time.

People who are unable or unwilling to go no contact are the people I want to talk to today.

Please, please, please- don’t let anyone pressure you into going to contact with the narcissist in your life.  No one knows your situation like you do, nor do they know what you are able to handle.  You alone need to decide when & if booting the narcissist out of your life is the right choice for you.  And, when making that choice, you need to think & pray about this situation carefully.  Never make this decision in the heat of the moment, because you may regret it later.

If you decide not to cut ties with the narcissist, there are some ways to deal with them.  Granted, there will always be frustration, hurt & anger when dealing with any narcissist, but you can cut back on these things.

  • Remember, the narcissist’s hurtful behavior isn’t about you- it’s about her.  Her lack of empathy, judgemental ways & verbal abuse are all on her.  They don’t mean there is anything wrong with you!  Don’t believe her when she tries to make you feel bad, ugly, stupid, wrong, crazy, etc.  Know your worth, & don’t let her determine how you feel about yourself.  No one so dysfunctional should determine your self-worth!
  • Set & enforce strong boundaries, & be prepared for them to be met with hostility.  Narcissists don’t like anyone trying to have boundaries, since they like to overrun them.  She will  be angry with you for daring to have boundaries, & will try to make you feel crazy or selfish.  She may even give you the silent treatment to punish you for doing so.
  • Prepare for what you know she will do.  For example, I know my mother hates my car.  It once belonged to my granddad (her father in-law), & later my father.  She will criticize it at any given opportunity, often by saying “I’d never own a car that YOUR grandfather owned!”  At the moment she said it, I was too angry to think of it, but later I came up with the perfect comeback- “Really?  You owned this car for 3 years.  Could’ve fooled me.”  What nasty thing does your narcissist do often?  Think of a good way to counter it!  Ask God for some creativity- He’ll give it to you!
  • Keep calm in the presense of the narcissist.  Don’t let her see your anger or hurt- she will feed on such things & become crueler.  Stay calm until after you are no longer in her presence, then pray, vent to a safe friend or relative, journal or whatever helps you get out the anger & hurt.
  • Get good at self care.  Dealing with a narcissist is exhuasting, physically & mostly mentally.  Take care of yourself.  Get plenty of rest, do things that restore yourself, nurture your relationship with God, participate in relaxing hobbies you enjoy, spend time with people who genuinely love & care about you.

I hope these tips help you if you are unable or unwilling to sever ties with the narcissist in your life.  ❤

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