Tag Archives: mental

Are You Trying To Be Stronger Than You Are?

Society values the strangest things anymore.  For example, being busy is admired these days.  Strange thing to admire since being too busy is unhealthy physically & mentally.

It also seems to me a false strength is admired.  What I mean by false strength is when a person feels unable to continue doing something, but goes on anyway.  Like when a loved one dies, the surviving people are expected to just go on like nothing happened.  People seem to think once the funeral is over, their grief should be too.  It’s time to go on with life at that point.  They don’t realize that for most people, that is when their grief really begins.  Or, if a person is physically ill or disabled yet pushes him or herself to the point of extreme pain &/or fatigue, that is admired.

Another type of false strength that seems to be admired in society is going on as if nothing happened after being abused.  “It’s in the past,” “let it go,” “stop wallowing in the past,” “get over it” & other heartless comments are commonly made to abuse survivors.  What many people fail to realize is we want to let it go & get over it, but we can’t.  We have to process things fully before we can truly let things go.

The simple fact is childhood is an extremely important time in a person’s life.  All things, good, bad or indifferent that happen to children make a very deep imprint on them.  Much deeper than on an adult.  When bad things happen to a child, that child carries that into adulthood, possibly even for their entire life.

Many people who suffered child abuse also have PTSD or C-PTSD.  These are disorders where the victim has experienced so much trauma, their brain has physically changed, broken even.  Neither disorder is something that can be shaken off, & they should be taken seriously.  Many, many people with PTSD or C-PTSD have committed suicide & many consider suicide on a regular basis – these are potentially life threatening disorders!

If you too suffer with PTSD or C-PTSD, then I am particularly writing to you, however, I think this article can benefit most anyone.

Growing up with a narcissistic mother, I was told constantly how lazy I was.  This has stuck with me – I still battle feeling lazy constantly even though I’m in my 40’s.  Many other adult children of narcissistic parents I’ve spoken with share similar stories with similar results.  I believe for many of us, this is at the root of this “I always have to be strong & productive” behavior.  As a result, we continue pushing ourselves beyond our physical & mental limits constantly rather than be “lazy” like Mom always said we were.

No matter what the reason, continuing to push yourself beyond your limits isn’t being strong- it’s unwise, because you’re putting your physical & mental health at risk!!

I hope to encourage you today, Dear Reader, to learn to take better care of yourself.  The fact you have made it this far shows you are strong- you have nothing to prove to anyone.  Listen to your body & mind.  If they feel stressed, then it’s time to rest.  There is no shame in resting your body & mind.  Even God rested.  Genesis 2:2 states, “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.”  (KJV)  In fact, there are also several accounts in the Bible where Jesus took off to be by Himself.  There is NOTHING wrong with rest.  It helps you to renew your strength.  In fact, if you incorporate rest into your life as you need it, you will be stronger.  In 2000 when I was one of my grandmother’s caregivers, she ran me ragged.  Once I stopped being at her beck & call constantly, & started making time to rest & take care of myself, I was better able to take care of her.  (And, with her being a narcissist, I needed every advantage I could get too!  lol)

If you truly want to be strong, practice self care & abandon pushing yourself too hard!  It really does make a difference!

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God Truly Works All Things Out To Good

My husband & I were talking last night about the relationship with my parents, & I thought I’d share a bit of that talk with you…

I was quickly reaching a point probably about 10 years ago where I wanted no further contact with my parents.  I prayed about it, & knew God was leaving that decision up to me, & would support me either way.  I wasn’t sure what to do, so I maintained the relationship.

As many of you know, in 2015 I nearly died from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.  While I was in the emergency room & still very delirious, I told my husband not to tell our parents about this at any costs, because if he did, I would kill him.  In spite of being totally in my own delirious world at that time, I still have some vague memories of thinking of how my parents would respond to my situation & knew there was NO way I could handle their lack of concern.

While recovering, I remembered this, & it hit me… my word!!  I can’t even expect comfort from my parents when I nearly died!  How messed up is this?!  That revelation threw me for a loop.  I was incredibly sad & angry about it at the same time.  That was when I told God, enough is enough.  I want these people out of my life!  I’m done!  Yet oddly, this time I felt He was saying, “No.  Wait.  I’ll show you when the time is right.”

Well, I waited & kept saying, “Now?!  Please?!”  “Wait.”  *sigh*  Ok…

Then May 5, 2016, I had a big fight with my parents.  I knew that night my mother wouldn’t speak to me for quite a while, then she’d call like nothing ever happened.  That is how she always operated.  I also knew my father would demand to me to try to smooth over this fiasco.  What I figured would happen, happened.  Over the next few months, I made the decision that I was officially done with my mother, then later decided I was also done with my father.  I felt God was saying the timing was right, so I blocked my parents’ phone numbers.

For a while, I wondered why that timing was right & why I felt God didn’t want me to end contact for that period of time.  Eventually it hit me.  I learned a LOT in the final couple of years of my relationship with my parents.  I learned a lot more in that short time than in the other years.  I started to understand what makes narcissists tick & figured out some pretty effective ways to cope with them.  This gave me a LOT of good information to write about & to share with my readers.

I am so glad to be able to help people, in particular ones for whom no contact isn’t an option.  That is such an awful place to be!  I am grateful I learned what I did during that time, in spite of how incredibly miserable that time was.

I’m telling you this so that you hopefully will be inspired to think the same way about your situation.  I’m not saying be grateful for the abuse you endured of course.  Who could be?!  But, chances are there is some good that came of it.  Being abused gives people a deep empathy & caring for other people, because they understand suffering so well.  That is a blessing.  Learning how to spot abusive people & how to deal with the ones you can’t avoid is another blessing.  Learning about how to set & enforce healthy boundaries is still another.

Like I said, I’m not saying you should be grateful you were abused.  That would be weird & I’d think very unhealthy to boot.  However, if you can find some good in it all, it can help you a great deal, because you know that your pain wasn’t pointless.  It had some purpose.  What others meant to destroy you, not only didn’t accomplish that, but it gave you some blessings as well.  God wastes absolutely nothing, & He was able to glean something good out of anything, even something so awful.  Romans 8:28 says, “And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.” (AMP)

So when you consider the awful experiences you have been through, please try to remember that some good things did come out of them!  Of course, it would’ve been nice if they came another way, but at least they did come to you.  Your pain wasn’t in vain!

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

Isolation

Narcissists love keeping victims to themselves, & will go to any means necessary to accomplish it.  Isolating a victim gives an abuser plenty of advantages…

The victim with no support system without caring friends & family, which often makes a victim easier to control.  Supportive friends & family give a person strength & help to raise their self-esteem, which are two qualities no abuser wants in a victim.

If a victim doesn’t even realize the situation he or she is in is abusive, caring people in his or her life will recognize it.  They will call the victim’s attention to it & convince the victim that he or she deserves better.  They also will do their level best to help the victim to escape.  Certainly no narcissist wants this scenario!

Lacking that support system also can lead to depression.  Depressed people are much easier to control than happy people.  They simply don’t care as much about anything, including themselves, so they may go along with all kinds of things.  They also won’t talk back or question an abuser like a healthy person would.  They don’t think they deserve any better, so they are easy to manipulate which works out very well for abusers.

Also with isolation, this severely limits the information available to a victim.  This means a victim is less likely to realize how wrong the abuse is & more likely to tolerate the abuse without question.  Isolation also means an abuser can control what information the victim is privy to, which is extremely advantageous to abusers.

Isolation can be accomplished by several different means, & abusers will use any or all of these tactics to get their way.

If a victim already has friends &/or relatives they are close to when the abusive relationship begins, most abusers will sow seeds of doubt in their victims’ minds about those relationships.  My ex husband did this.  We met just before I turned 17, & even then, he was starting to work on isolating me.  It got worse after we were married, though.  He began telling me that my best friend wasn’t really a good friend.  At the time, her now ex husband was doing the same thing regarding me.  As a result, our friendship ended.  (Thankfully we got back in touch after our divorces & are now inseparable.)  My ex also told me that my grandparents, who I adored, hated me & didn’t believe me that my mother was abusive, so I shouldn’t talk to them anymore.  He did it enough that I did sever ties with them for years.

If an abuser isn’t successful at making a victim doubt a person, they have other ways to destroy the relationship.  If their victim is with someone, they can call  constantly, interrupting that time together & generally being highly annoying.  Before getting together with someone, the abuser can create some crisis, forcing the victim to cancel their plans.  Bonus for them is if they can make the victim not tell the person they had plans with, to just stand them up, because certainly that person will be angry.  Abusers also may keep victims so busy, they simply have no time to spend with anyone but the abuser.

Another way to isolate victims is for an abuser to show their disgust with the victim’s friends or family.  Constantly talking about how bad the people the victim cares about are can erode the love the victim feels for them.  The victim may begin to see these people as the narcissist does, & the victim ends those relationships voluntarily.

If the victim grows up with an abusive parent, that abuser has a big advantage that a romantic partner lacks.  The abusive parent can control the child from birth, & refuse to allow that child to befriend anyone of whom the parent doesn’t approve.  The parent can keep the child so close that the child has no opportunity to make friends.  A parent can even home school the child or refuse to allow the child to spend time with extended family, & the child must do as he or she is told.

If you’re involved with someone, anyone, who undermines your relationships or tries to separate you from others, it’s a HUGE red flag!  If at all possible, don’t let this person isolate you!  Maintain your healthy relationships!  They are truly invaluable!

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Ways Narcissists Use Shame To Abuse

Shame is a powerful weapon in the hands of an abuser.  It can cause a person to rely on their abuser for pretty much any information & make them easy to control by causing them to think they need someone smarter to tell them what to do.  Narcissists know this, & they have fine tuned many very effective ways to use shame to abuse their victims.

Narcissists will destroy a person’s self esteem in order to create toxic shame in a victim.  They point out a person’s flaws (real or imagined) constantly & tell embarrassing stories about them.  This keeps a victim on their toes, trying to be better, to please the narcissist, & to avoid doing embarrassing things that the narcissist will use to embarrass the victim with at any given time.

Narcissists also will invalidate a victim.  If they tell an embarrassing story, for example, & the victim becomes rightly upset, the narcissist will say things like, “I was just joking.”  “You can’t even take a joke!”  My narcissistic mother did this one constantly, & when I got upset, would tell me, “There’s something wrong with you.  You shouldn’t feel that way!  That was funny!”

Narcissists also love to reinvent the past.  They claim to be responsible for their victim’s successes, claim the successes weren’t all that great or even deny they happened.  Regarding their abuse, they will claim the abuse never happened or if it did, it wasn’t as bad as the victim claims or the victim made the narcissist do it.

Narcissists will twist a situation around to make themselves look like the victim rather than the abuser.  They do this in two ways.  They will tell others about how angry their victim is, how he or she yells at them, while leaving out the things they did that got the victim to that state.  They also will use a victim’s own valid reactions to their abuse to prove to the victim that the victim is abusive &/or is mentally unstable.

Narcissists never speak to their victims as if the victim is their equal.  Sometimes they will talk down to their victim, in particular if the victim in question is their child.  They want to maintain that adult/child relationship in order to make their child feel inferior to them, therefore making them easier to control.

Other narcissists will talk in circles, use big words, speak with authority & basically try to talk above their victim, which makes even the most intelligent victim feel stupid.  They may change their body language or physical position so they literally can look down at their victim.

If the narcissist’s victim has any sort of religious faith, the narcissist will not hesitate to use their beliefs to shame the victim.  Many tell their victims things like they are going to hell because of how they treat the narcissist, or they aren’t honoring their parent.  They let their victims know they are a total failure in every way, including their religious beliefs.

Narcissists view everything as a competition, & they will use comparisons to shame their victims.  If a narcissist & their victim have something in common, you can guarantee the narcissist will make sure the victim knows the narcissist does it better or has a better one or is more successful at it.  Whatever “it” is, the narcissist is the master, the victim the failure, according to the narcissist.

When a narcissist behaves in these ways towards you, keep in mind what is really happening!  You have no reason to be ashamed of yourself, no matter what the narcissist is saying.  He or she is only trying  to make you feel that way in order to abuse & manipulate you.  Like everything when it comes to narcissists, it’s all about the narcissist, & has nothing to do with you.  Never forget that!

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An Unhealthy Trauma Based Coping Skill

In today’s society, keeping busy, even too busy, is seen as admirable.  When people haven’t seen you for a while, & ask how have you been or what have you been up to, “Been busy” is an answer that always seems to get approval.  Saying, “Not much” on the other hand gets looks of disapproval.

I don’t subscribe to the admiration of busyness.  While I’m not advocating for being lazy & unproductive, I don’t think being too busy is wise in many ways.  The stress of it can cause physical & mental exhaustion.  That stress also can cause health problems such has high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease & heart problems.  Most people are aware that these things can happen.

What I don’t think most people are aware of is that making yourself too busy also can be an unhealthy way to cope with trauma.

After experiencing trauma, some people cope with it however works for them.  They do what they can to heal & they move on as best they can.  On the other hand though are people who have been through so much pain, they feel they can’t take anymore.  They don’t see that facing their pain is going to help them, or they’re afraid of the pain.  Maybe they think that it’ll take over & or they can’t recover from it, so they decide to hide from it.  Many in this position turn to addictions such as drugs, alcohol, sex or even shopping.  Making their lives too busy is a much lesser known addiction, but it is just as dangerous as the others.

A person who is too busy has no time or energy to devote to healing.  This enables the person to avoid their pain very well by removing the opportunity even to think about it.  Stuffing pain inside is unhealthy!  Doing so can cause big physical & emotional problems.  Emotions demand to be felt, & if they are ignored, they’ll find other ways to manifest, & chances are that manifestation isn’t going to be a healthy one.

It is much better to face your pain than to ignore it.  Yes, it’s painful, but it is much less painful than living with dysfunctional ways of trying so hard to ignore it.  Think of it like draining an infected wound.  Sure, the draining process is painful & well, pretty gross.  Once it’s done though, the wound heals much quickly & may not even leave a scar.  Ignoring the wound means it’ll take much longer to heal, if it does heal, & an ugly scar will be left behind.

Traumatic events are like the poison in an infected wound.  You can drain your traumatic wound by dealing with that pain.  Face the trauma, admit it happened, admit it was terrible, admit you never deserved it, admit you didn’t make anyone abuse you & feel those feelings attached to it.  Doing these things will help you so much to heal!

If you’re too busy, however, you can’t do this so easily.  You’re going to need to make some life changes first.  To begin, I strongly recommend prayer.  Ask God to guide & help you in this situation.

Also consider all of the things that are taking up your time.  How necessary is each activity?  What is your motivation for participating in each activity?  Which activities bring you joy?  Which ones do you dislike?

Once you know which activities you need to eliminate & which to continue, think about creating more efficient ways to do these things.  Let your dirty dishes soak while you run the vacuum so you spend less time scrubbing dishes.  Take turns with another parent of a child on your child’s sports team driving your kids to practice.  Common sense little time savers like these may not seem important, but they really can add up quickly, giving you more time to relax, enjoy your life do what you really need to do, including working on your emotional healing.

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About Ruminating Thoughts

Ruminating thoughts are very common after someone has experienced trauma, in particular in cases of PTSD & C-PTSD.  They are when a person can’t stop thinking about their awful experiences.

Like many people, I experienced them once C-PTSD developed, but I still had a slight degree of control over them.  Sometimes, I could force them to stop & think of something else.  After surviving carbon monoxide poisoning though, my brain was damaged.  Part of that damage was no longer having the ability to control those ruminating thoughts.  I had to learn new & effective ways to cope with them.

After my mother’s sudden death in April, my ruminating thoughts got really, really bad!  At first it was incredibly hard to handle them on top of everything else about the situation.  With God’s help, after a few months of this, I’ve gotten a much better grip on the awful ruminating thoughts.

When they happen, I’ve learned it’s best if at all possible to get alone & sit with the thoughts.  I let them run their course, reminding me of whatever awful thing they are about.  I also allow myself  to feel the emotions that the thoughts trigger.  Whatever it is, be it anger, sadness, hurt, I feel them.  No, this isn’t easy.  In fact it’s incredibly difficult, but it is also well worth it.  The more I do this, the less frequent the ruminating thoughts on that particular topic are.

Immediately following my mother’s death, I kept having ruminating thoughts about the night the police came to give me the news of her passing.  It was hardly a pleasant experience to say the least.  I would relive their visit over & over in my mind.  At first, I did my best to ignore these thoughts.  I didn’t see it could do me any good to think about that night.

As time went on though & the thoughts were still frequent, I realized something had to give.  I started allowing myself to think about that awful night, & to feel the emotions that I remember feeling that night.  I leaned on God to help me but even with Him, it was still quite painful.  However, the more I did this when they happened, the less painful remembering that night became.  As an added bonus, the less frequently the ruminating thoughts about that night became.  I still remember that night pretty frequently & it still hurts to be honest, but now I think it’s on a much more normal level.  After all, it’s only been just under 4 months since my mother died.  That isn’t a long time at all, so it’s totally normal considering the length of time, our lack of relationship & the rest of the odd situation that I’d still be very upset about her death.

If you suffer with ruminating thoughts, I recommend that you do the same things I have.  Get alone with the thoughts as soon as you can.  Let them run their course & feel your feelings.  Let God help you to get through them, too.  Tell Him what you feel & allow Him to validate & comfort you.  It’s going to hurt at first, but I promise, it gets easier as you do it!  I also promise it’s well worth the pain you feel at first when those ruminating thoughts come less frequently or even disappear in time.  It’s kind of like lancing a boil.  That doesn’t even sound pleasant & must be awful to experience, but it must be done in order to release the infection so the body can heal.  You’re doing the same basic thing – you’re going through the discomfort of facing these ugly things head on so your mind can heal.

Ruminating thoughts are a miserable thing, I know.  They don’t have to cause you unnecessary suffering anymore, however!  You can make these miserable things work in your favor.  You can use them as a tool towards healing!

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Narcissists & Life Altering Events

When your average person experiences something that could be drastically life altering or even life ending, they are shaken up badly by the entire experience.  Your average person may use the terrifying ordeal as a motivation to make positive changes in their life, such as working less hours or spending more time with their loved ones.  They look at life differently.   They become more appreciative of people & tell them how much they are appreciated.

This doesn’t happen with narcissists.

Narcissists think so differently than mentally healthy people, it makes sense that they also won’t respond in a normal way to such events.

A narcissist diagnosed with a deadly disease, for example, may complain a lot about it. They may feel sorry for themselves a great deal.  They will look for pity from others.

A narcissist who survived a potentially deadly accident or terrible health scare often fails to see that they were blessed to survive & have this second chance at life.  Instead, they may act like they are too good to have died in that way.

In an elderly narcissist who is getting more frail, the entitlement attitude becomes even more obvious than ever.  Elderly narcissists often expect their spouses & adult children to take care of them 24/7, even doing things that the narcissists are still able to do.  They use their failing health as an excuse to get out of doing things & a way to manipulate their families.  Some have been known to take too many or too few medications to make themselves sick in order to gain attention.

In situations like these, narcissists may feel similar fear & terror everyone would feel.  The difference is they don’t admit to these feelings.  Instead, their sense of entitlement & grandiosity comes into play.  They feel entitled to have their families, neighbors & doctors swarm around them to take good care of them.

And, if the narcissist in question recovers from a serious illness or survives a potentially deadly accident, don’t count on him or her changing.  Narcissists don’t process things like healthy people do, as I mentioned earlier in this post.  They won’t be inspired to make good, positive & healthy changes in their lives.  In fact, some narcissists seem disappointed that their health problem has improved since it means they no longer are able to be the center of attention.

Witnessing such behaviors can be shocking, even when you know quite a bit about Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  It’s impossible for a normal, functional person to grasp fully narcissistic behaviors.  They’re so drastically opposed to functional behaviors, it’s often impossible for a non-narcissist to wrap their mind around such things.  If you feel this way upon witnessing a narcissist act in their totally dysfunctional way after a crisis, you’re not alone!  My mother has had heart surgery twice in her life.  The first time she seemed to have changed, but it didn’t last long.  She was back to her overt narcissist ways in no time.  The second time, there wasn’t any change, not even for a day.  Witnessing both times was very difficult for me because it made no sense.  Then having my own brush with death in 2015, it became even more mind boggling.

While I often suggest trying to understand what makes narcissists tick as a way to help victims protect themselves from accepting the blame for the problems in the relationship & predicting what the narcissist will do, in this area, I say give up.  There’s no way to understand this bizarre behavior.  Chalk it up to one more extremely dysfunctional way of thinking on the narcissist’s part.

Lastly, if you experience some sort of health scare, bad medical diagnosis or close call of some sort, I don’t recommend telling the narcissist in your life if you can help it.  The vast amount of concern the narcissist has for herself won’t be showed to you. If the narcissist has experienced the same thing or knows someone who has, she WILL invalidate you.  They had it worse, you just need to suck it up or take a pill.  This sort of thing is why I never told my parents about my brush with death.  When in such a situation, you don’t need their toxicity.  You need compassion & gentleness, which are 2 things narcissists lack.

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Some Reasons People Try To Stop You From Talking About Narcissistic Abuse

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About Feelings & The Adult Child Of Narcissistic Parents

People who grew up with narcissistic parents learned early in their life that their feelings didn’t matter & in fact, they weren’t even allowed to have feelings.  The only feelings that are important to any narcissist are the feelings of that narcissist, after all.  Growing up in such an environment, it’s very common for children to learn to ignore their feelings or on the off chance they feel something, to stuff that emotion deep down inside & ignore it.

This is  very unhealthy behavior!!  Feelings don’t just disappear or die.  They remain, even when ignored & neglected.  Sure, you can ignore or even numb them successfully for a time, but they will demand attention at some point.

Feelings are actually a wonderful thing, in spite of what our narcissistic parents taught us.  They let us know when things are good or bad.  They warn us when something harmful is happening & give us a release when too many bad things are happening at once.  Sharing your feelings also can create intimacy with someone by making you vulnerable with that person.  That really is a good thing, provided you share with a safe, loving person.

After a lifetime of ignoring your feelings though, where do you begin?

First, start paying attention to yourself.  Notice how you really feel about things.  Do some things make you happy?  Sad?  Angry?  Pay attention to what those things are & how they make you feel.  This will help you to get to know yourself better as well as how you honestly feel about things.  You can journal about your discoveries, too, as having a written record to look back on can be very helpful.

Also, never judge yourself for what you feel.  Feelings just are, they just happen, even the strange ones.  You aren’t wrong if vanilla ice cream makes you angry.  Chances are that if you get angry when you see vanilla ice cream that there is some trauma in your past connected to vanilla ice cream, & that is why you feel that way.  Figure out what that trauma is & face it head on.  Sure, that sounds odd, but things like that can happen.  I believe God lets us face only what we can at a time which is why some repressed memories start as unusual things like the ice cream example.  That first strange little thing is a stepping stone to a larger thing that needs your attention.

Don’t forget to talk to safe, good people about your feelings.  It helps to have caring people validate your feelings.  There is nothing wrong with you for what you feel, but it can feel that way at first.  Having someone you can trust tell you that you’re OK, & there is nothing wrong with you for what you feel can be incredibly helpful!

Most of all, don’t forget to pray & pray often.  God will help you however you need the help, so let Him!  Tell him whatever you think & feel, ask for whatever you need & listen to His voice as He speaks to you.  You’ll be glad you did!

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Ways Narcissists Gain Attention

Narcissists love attention, & many must be the focal point of everyone’s attention at all times.  Overt narcissists are naturally more brazen in how they command attention than their covert counterparts, but covert narcissists love attention too.  There are countless things they can do to draw all attention to themselves, but this post addresses some of the more commonly used tactics.

Narcissists have no manners whatsoever.  Add that in with their insatiable desire to have everyone’s attention, & you have a person who WILL interrupt whoever is talking.  When a person interrupts, they naturally become the center of attention, so it’s a useful & very commonly used tactic for narcissists.

Overt narcissists can be loud in how they interrupt people.  They usually will talk over people.  Covert narcissists, as usual, are more subtle.  They will try to have the final word in any conversation.  There is also a trick my covertly narcissistic father used.  As I would start to speak, he’d act like he was going to speak.  Naturally, I’d apologize & let him talk.  Eventually I realized that was his goal.  He didn’t want to hear what I had to say.  He wanted to shut me up so he could talk, & knowing I hate bad manners, I’d be polite & let him talk.

And, if a narcissist is hard of hearing, interrupting becomes easier yet.  Many have what I call selective hearing.  While they may indeed have diminished hearing, they also use the excuse of not hearing a person when it fits them.  If they want someone else to stop talking so they can talk, they can just start talking & claim they didn’t hear the other person talking.

Another way narcissists gain attention is by turning a conversation back to themselves.  After all, if people are talking about something that isn’t the narcissist, that means the narcissist isn’t the center of attention.  They will spin the conversation around to themselves in such a way that no one will have a clue how that happened.

Narcissists also gain attention by telling stories about you to other people, preferably in a group of which you also are a part.  Not good stories like how you got that big promotion at work or were your high school valedictorian, only stories that embarrass you.  This tactic is especially popular with narcissistic parents, but spouses also may use it, especially if the narcissist is older than the victim.  Telling embarrassing stories makes a person feel shamed & foolish, which makes a person easier to control, so that is an added bonus to the attention the stories gain.  And, the narcissist may spin the story so it looks like he or she rescued you somehow.

If the narcissist has some sort of pain like back pain, arthritis, or even a short term problem such as a broken leg, the problem will be used to his or her advantage.  You can expect this person to claim unbearable pain when not receiving all attention.  A similar scenario can happen if the narcissist has an illness or disease.  If this narcissist isn’t the center of attention, suddenly he or she will claim symptoms are flaring up, or maybe that he or she must lay down or go home immediately.  In either scenario, most people will focus on the narcissist & try to help, returning him or her to the center of attention.

Shock value is another favorite way narcissists gain attention.  My mother literally crashed my late father in-law’s funeral in 2018 to get her precious attention.  She drove to the graveside as the funeral was just starting & wouldn’t get out of her car.  People were shocked, & staring.  It worked as she wanted.  Other shock value tactics may include things like burping or passing gas loudly, or saying something totally outrageous such as gory details of how someone was murdered.  Shock value naturally stuns people, & they focus all attention on the narcissist, as was the goal.

When the narcissist in your life behaves this way, deprive them of that attention.  If they interrupt you, talk over them or talk to someone else.  If they change the topic back to themselves, change it back to the original topic.  If they use embarrassing stories, pain or shock value, ignore them.  Depriving a narcissist of attention means that action won’t be used again because it doesn’t work.

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Thinking About Your Past- Good Or Bad?

I caught a brief video on Facebook recently & in it, the gentleman said, “if you hold onto your history, you do so at the expense of your destiny.”  This sounds so inspiring doesn’t it?  But then I paused to think about it for a second.. & it hit me wrong.

Your history can be a very good thing, even when it’s full of awful, negative things &  trauma.

As you live life, you learn.  Good, bad & indifferent, you’re constantly learning things.  If you let go of your past, you’re also letting go of things you’ve learned.  As an example, say you were once married to a narcissist.  It was a horrible & traumatic time.  Then you got away from that person.  As you healed from the experience, you learned a lot.  You learned about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, ways to identify narcissists & ways that you could heal from the abuse you endured.  If as you heal, you try to forget what that marriage was like, you put yourself in a dangerous position.  Even though you learned how to identify a narcissist, you may not do it.  You may meet another narcissist who wants to date you & even though you recognize the signs, you may think “I’ve learned & grown so much.  I can handle it.  Narcissism isn’t that big of a deal!”  You easily could end up dating or married to this person & suffering another abusive, miserable marriage.  However, if you remember just how awful it was being married to that first narcissist, you won’t even give this one the time of day, let alone become romantically involved.

Another thing to consider… if you wish to heal completely from any emotional trauma or abuse, you have to delve into your past to do so.  To truly heal, you have to get to the root of the dysfunctional behavior that lets you know something is wrong.  If you want to get rid of a weed in your garden, you can pluck it or dig it out by the root.  Only by digging out the root can you truly get rid of the weed.  If you simply pluck the flower part, the root is still there, which means that weed will return over & over again until you get rid of the root.  That is how emotional healing is.  Sure, you can stop drinking, using drugs, or whatever other unhealthy coping skill you’re using, but unless you find the root of what drove you to that behavior in the first place, the behavior may return or another dysfunctional one will show up in its place.

While I agree that we should do our best not to let our pasts control us or define us, I think our pasts can be very valuable teaching tools for the present.

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Having A Healthy Perspective

If you have survived narcissistic abuse, then you know how badly it can mess with your mind.  One thing it does is it can skew a person’s perspective in all kinds of ways.  It can leave a person feeling badly about themselves, such as believing they are ugly or stupid when nothing could be further from the truth.  It also can make a person overly pessimistic, because he or she has had so many bad things happen to them.  Or, it can turn a person overly optimistic, because either he or she has decided not to be so negative like the narcissist who abused them or he or she is  trying so hard to distance from the abuse in every possible way.

In any case, neither being too pessimistic or optimistic is good.  Pessimists are often depressed because they only see the bad things in life & expect only bad things to happen.  Optimists are often depressed, too, because they constantly expect good things to happen.  When something happens that isn’t so good, they are shocked & saddened.

Being realistic yet slightly optimistic seems to be the healthiest way to think, in my opinion anyway.  You accept things as they are, whether good or bad, & if there is a way to glean good from it, you do it.

It can be tricky to get your thinking more balanced after being so out of balance for a long time, but it is still possible.  It takes time, patience, understanding with yourself, focus & help from God.

Prayer truly is the best place to start.  Ask God for whatever it is you need, such as helping you to be more aware of unhealthy thoughts so you can change them.

I recommend too, focusing on God.  If your relationship with Him isn’t particularly close, then work on it.  Drawing close to your Heavenly Father really helps to bring comfort, peace & joy.

Also try to focus on what you think about.  Many times, people just think things & don’t even realize what they are thinking about.  Slow your thoughts down & pay attention to the things that cross your mind.  Acknowledge them & accept them without judgment.

Question those thoughts, too.  Is it possible that your expectations of this person/situation are unrealistic?  Ok, so this situation is pretty bad.. is there something good that you can take away from it?

If you tend to think too emotionally, then try to interject some logic into your thoughts.  If you have trouble doing this, try imagining your situation not as yours, but as that of a friend who has come to you with this situation, looking for advice or comfort.  How would you feel about it as an outsider?  What would you think of your friend’s feelings?  Thinking this way can help to detach you some emotionally so you can look at situations more objectively.

Although it may take some time, you can learn to have a healthier perspective on life.  It will be well worth your time & energy when you are a happier & more peaceful person.

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Hyper Vigilance

Hyper vigilance is a term used to describe when a person feels an extreme awareness of one’s surroundings.  It’s so much more than simply noticing obvious things, such as if a new person entered the room or if someone else left the room.  It’s being aware that & much more.  It can be an awareness of things most people don’t even notice, such as if someone had a fleeting expression of anger or someone’s tone of voice changing ever so slightly.  It also can include an extremely exaggerated startle response, increased heart rate & fast, shallow breathing, feelings of anxiety & even panic.

Hyper vigilance is a natural part of C-PTSD & is extremely common among those who have survived narcissistic abuse.

When you are in the midst of narcissistic abuse, you learn quickly that in order to avoid the narcissist’s rage, you have to be perfect.  In order to be perfect, you must be aware of whatever the narcissist thinks, feels, wants or needs at any given time.  To be aware of such things, you have to notice even the slightest change in the narcissist.  Even such very subtle things as a slightly raised eyebrow or a transient half smile can clue you in to whatever the narcissist may want from you or is thinking.  Hyper vigilance becomes a very useful survival skill with narcissists, because it can protect you from the narcissist’s rage & abuse.  Unfortunately though, once the relationship with a narcissist has ended, the hyper vigilance often remains even though there is no longer a need for it.

There are some ways you can cope with hyper vigilance in this situation.

Cognitive behavioral therapy can be very helpful.  Talking about your feelings & experiences is helpful, because when you bring problems out into the open, they often lose their control & power over you.  You also begin to see the flaws in the thinking that causes your problems in ways you never did before which means you can correct these things.  Even if you opt not to partake in therapy, just talking about your feelings & experiences can help, if you talk with only safe, non judgmental & understanding people.  Best of all, if you can find someone who has experienced situations similar to yours because that person can understand you as others cannot.

When you feel anxious, stop & take a deep breath.  Release it slowly.  This simple action enables you to take a moment to stop & regain your focus, plus the act of breathing helps to calm your body.

Remind yourself that you are safe.  There is no danger & no need to be hyper vigilant in this situation.  Look around at your surroundings & take in what you see.  If you’re with someone, ask them for help if you need it.

Acknowledge what you feel.  Question it.  Does it make sense in this situation?  Why or why not?  Logic helps to calm emotions, especially emotions that are disproportionate to the situation at hand.  Use that to your favor by questioning what you feel.

Medication may be helpful, so talk to your doctor or therapist if you are interested in trying it.  Anti-anxiety & anti-depressant medications can be quite helpful.  There are many to choose from, so it may take some time to find what works best for you.  Also, don’t forget to ask your doctor about possible side effects before you agree to take a medication.  There are also herbal alternatives, such as Valerian Root, lemon balm & kava kava that may help to calm your anxiety, & St. John’s Wort & Sam-E for depression.

Hyper vigilance is a nuisance, I know, but it can be managed!  Be as patient, understanding & gentle with yourself as possible, & you will see positive results in time.  xoxo

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How A Narcissist’s Projection Can Work For You

Most of us who have survived narcissistic abuse know at least some about projection.  Projection is when a narcissist accuses a victim of something that the victim doesn’t do, but the narcissist does.  As one example, my narcissistic mother accused me of lying more times than I can count.  Although in all fairness I lied some to her, I didn’t lie to her often, & when I did, it was out of self preservation.  She, however, has lied to & about me more times than I can count.

Projection is a very effective weapon for a narcissist.  It allows the narcissist to get upset about the flaw they are accusing another person of while simultaneously accepting no responsibility whatsoever for it or making appropriate changes in their behavior.  It also means that unless the victim is aware of the phenomenon of projection, the victim will listen to the narcissist & make whatever changes they need to in order to please the narcissist.  This means plenty of narcissistic supply to any narcissist.  Controlling a victim?  Turning a situation around so the victim feels responsible while absolving oneself of responsibility at the same time?!  This is a big narcissistic supply win!

Victims need to be aware of projection so not only do they refuse to accept this burden & blame any longer, but also so the narcissist in their life is deprived of getting their narcissistic supply.  Depriving a narcissist of supply is VERY important to help you maintain your sanity while in a relationship with any narcissist.

Another reason to know about projection is because it can help you to learn about the narcissist.  Remember what projection is- a narcissist accusing a victim of things that they are doing, not the victim.  A narcissistic wife who accuses her husband of cheating is most likely cheating or at the very least, has chosen someone she wants to have an affair with.  The narcissistic boss who accuses an employee of stealing from the company probably has stolen quite a bit.  A narcissistic parent who accuses their adult child of lying is most likely a liar.

If you pay attention to what the narcissist in your life accuses you of doing, you can learn what they are up to.  This knowledge can help you to figure out ways to deal with the narcissist because now you know just what you’re dealing with.

The next time the narcissist in your life accuses you of some outrageous behavior, Dear Reader, I urge you to listen to it.  Not because they are right, but because it can help you to understand what they are up to.

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My Ebooks Are On Sale For The Entire Month Of July

My ebook publisher is having a sale on my books for the entire month of July.  25% off!  Check it out at the link below

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CynthiaBaileyRug

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Why Do Narcissists Doubt Those Who Say They’re Sick?

If you have a narcissist in your life, no doubt that you have had the unpleasant experience of telling that person that you are sick only to have them not believe you.  I certainly have.  I can’t count how many times my mother didn’t believe me that I had the flu or some sickness.  She didn’t even believe I was injured when clearly I was limping or bruised.  In fact, after she threw me into a wall when I was 19 & I had back pain for the next 10 years, she deliberately would hand me heavy items, smack me in the back & tell people I was faking the injury.

Does any part of my story sound familiar to you?  I would guess it does.  It’s so upsetting & frustrating, isn’t it?  Even if you don’t care what this person thinks of you, it’s hurtful knowing they actually think you’d be capable of lying, let alone about something as serious as your health.  It also can be difficult because if the narcissist is talented enough at gaslighting, you may start to doubt yourself & believe what the narcissist says.  I know, it sounds hard to believe, but it can happen.  I had plenty of times where I wondered if my mother was right, & I really was faking my back injury.

I used to wonder why this happens.  Why don’t narcissists believe people when they say they’re sick or injured?  Eventually, I think I figured it out.

As anyone who knows anything about narcissism knows, narcissists lack empathy.  If another person is sick or injured, they simply couldn’t care less.  So what if someone is suffering?  It doesn’t affect the narcissist, so it doesn’t matter to the narcissist.  If they can convince a person that they truly aren’t sick or injured, maybe the person will stop “bothering” the narcissist with their complaints & problems.

There is also the attention factor.  Narcissists expect to be the center of attention at all times.  If someone is sick or injured, other people will care.  Their attention will be on the patient, not the narcissist.  This is a problem for any narcissist.  If they can convince others that the patient isn’t really sick or injured, they may be able to divert all attention back to themselves.

Along the lines of getting attention is the fact that many narcissists will exaggerate or even outright fake illness or injury for attention.  Not long before the last time I spoke to my mother, she had a trip to the emergency room.  Suddenly she was violently sick to her stomach one day, & my father called an ambulance.  It turned out simply to be vertigo.  Highly annoying, yes, but not serious.  A few hours at the emergency room, & she was home again.  When I spoke to her that last time, she mentioned how she “was in the hospital.”  That comment made it sound much more serious than it actually was, didn’t it?

There are also those who will make themselves sick or hurt themselves in order to gain attention from their loved ones & from medical staff.  Munchausen Syndrome is what that is called.

I believe that because some narcissists will fake or exaggerate their own health issues or even harm themselves, they believe other people do the same.  Narcissists tend to see everyone as alike.  They expect other people to do the exact same things that they do, so if they will fake problems, it’s only natural to them to assume that other people will do the same. They can’t seem to comprehend that other people don’t act like they do.

The next time the narcissist in your life doesn’t believe you about being sick or injured, I hope you will remember this post.  Their lack of belief is their problem, & it has nothing to do with you at all.

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Recovering From A Smear Campaign

After escaping abuse at the hands of a narcissist, many victims find their narcissist has created a smear campaign against them.  In other words, they trash the victim’s reputation to anyone & everyone who will listen.  They also turn friends & family against the victim, including people the victim never expected could be turned against them.  This on top of all of the horrors of the abuse can be utterly devastating.

When a narcissist creates a smear campaign, you first need to remember what it is.  It’s an abusive tactic designed to isolate you, to leave you without support & love by making people think terribly of you.

A smear campaign is also done to remove your credibility, so if you tell others what the narcissist did to you, you won’t be believed.  It is a way for a narcissist to protect his or her reputation by removing the believability of the claims of their abusive ways & focus from their behavior while making a victim look bad at the same time.

This may be the hardest part of a smear campaign, but it is also very true.  People who blindly believe the lies don’t truly love you.  If they did, they would know you well enough to recognize the lies rather than believe them.  They also would defend you to the person spreading such lies.  As painful as this realization is, it’s also very important.  You need to know who truly loves you & who doesn’t.  This is the one good thing about a smear campaign, how it shows you who loves you & who doesn’t.

You also need to remember that ultimately, this smear campaign isn’t about you.  It’s about the narcissist who started it.  The narcissist wouldn’t have started it if you wouldn’t have seen the ugliness behind the mask.  Because you did though, he or she has determined it’s best to destroy your reputation & your credibility so their secret will remain safe.  As an added bonus, the narcissist gets narcissistic supply by hurting you & feeling powerful by destroying your reputation.

Those who support & help to spread the lies of the smear campaign aren’t innocent either.  They are also gaining something from what they are doing.  Maybe they have gained favor with the narcissist, maybe the narcissist is giving them money or gifts, or maybe they’re just getting narcissistic supply by looking like they care while they’re abusing you by slandering your good name.  There is also the possibility that they are in denial about what the narcissist is, so they are trying to shut you down so their denial won’t be threatened.

When a smear campaign happens, the best thing you can do is to ignore it.  Ignore everything that is being said about you & don’t defend yourself.  Anything you say to defend yourself may be taken as proof that the narcissist is right about you, that you really are crazy, angry or whatever other nonsense the narcissist says.  The best thing you can do is to live your life.  Let your good character shine & it will prove the smear campaign to be wrong.  Anyone who cares about the truth will see that your behavior doesn’t line up with what is being said about you, & question what they have heard.

If anyone tries to tell you what the narcissist is saying about you, if at all possible, end the conversation.  Change the subject.  Walk away.  Do not engage in it.  You don’t need to hear the lies that are being spread about you.

And never ever forget that this smear campaign isn’t about you nor is it a reflection on who you are.  It’s about the narcissist who started it & the mindless minions who help to spread it.

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Phrases To Shut Down Narcissists

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About Victim Blaming

Victim blaming is a common phenomenon in society today.  The woman who was abused by her husband is to blame for not leaving him sooner.  The victim of rape is blamed for being drunk or high.  The victim of theft is blamed for not locking his door.

This awful phenomenon invalidates the pain of the victim.  It can make a victim feel as if she wouldn’t have done what she did, then the traumatic event wouldn’t have happened.  How could she possibly have the right to be upset?  It’s an absolutely awful thing to do to someone, making them feel this way!  No one deserves traumatic, terrible things to happen to them.  What victims do deserve is kindness, understanding & support.

Whether the person blaming the victim is the cause for the victim’s pain or not, blaming her also enables that person to distance himself from the victim & her pain.  If the victim is the cause of her own suffering, then he need not feel sorry for her or try to help her.  If the victim caused her own suffering, then the abuser need not feel bad for doing whatever it was he did to her.

Narcissists love victim blaming.  It serves them very well.  I lost track of how many times my mother told me I was the reason she “had” to abuse me.  She even called it “tough love” instead of what it really was, abuse.  She claimed if I didn’t do whatever it was I had done (or she thought I had done in most cases), she wouldn’t have been forced to scream at me, destroy my things, etc. etc.

If you have been on the receiving end of victim blaming, please do not allow that trash to get inside you!  You did NOT deserve what was done to you!  You are not to blame, the abuser is!  You have every right to be angry, hurt, & yes, even traumatized!  Don’t believe those fools who tell you that you deserved it.  Anyone who blames an innocent victim has serious emotional problems.

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How Abuse In Childhood Manifests In Adults & Ways To Cope

Children who are abused by their parents without fail show signs of that abuse in their adult years.  This post addresses some of those signs.

Abused children grow up believing they have no control over what happens in their lives.  This is because abused children are not taught that they have the right to have boundaries or even to say “no.”  That faulty thinking often carries into adulthood when the abused child finally realizes that he or she has as much right to have boundaries as any other person.

Abused children also grow up into a false person of who they really are.  Children want their parents’ love & approval.  It’s only natural to feel this ingrained need so strongly.  With healthy & functional parents, it’s a good thing.  With abusive parents however, it’s not so good.  In fact, a child can be so starved for their parents’ love & approval, they learn to live in whatever way they believe is pleasing to their parent(s).  A child whose parents tell her she needs to be a nurse when she grows up may become one, all the while hating her line of work because she really wanted to be a teacher, or vice versa.  Sadly, this can continue until that child gets to know the person that God created him or her to be & discards that false self.

Abused children grow up not in touch with their emotions.  Abused children are often told that their emotions are unacceptable.  Usually the only acceptable emotions in a home with abusive parents are the emotions of the abusive parents.  They criticize their children for having a bad temper when they are righteously upset at being abused.  They call their children oversensitive & mock them for their emotions.  These children learn quickly the best way to deal with their emotions is not to deal with them, so they push them deep inside so they don’t have to feel anything.  While this is a useful survival skill with abusive parents, it doesn’t serve anyone well long term.  This child needs to learn to trust his or her emotions, to recognize them & find ways to cope with them in healthy ways.

Abused children often become people pleasers.  Children whose parents abuse them learn quickly the best ways to avoid abuse is to please their parents.  If they can just be good enough, smart enough, talented enough or pretty enough, their parents won’t hurt them anymore & will love them, they believe.  Sadly this mentality carries into adulthood, & that abused child is an adult who worries about pleasing other people at any personal cost.  This adult is angry, bitter & miserable, yet feels unable to make any changes.  Realizing what is happening is the first step.  Once that has happened, learning about boundaries & developing healthy self esteem will help tremendously.

Abused children learn not to trust their instincts.  Narcissistic parents love to gaslight their children.  Gaslighting in its simplest definition is when someone distorts another person’s reality in such a way that the victim learns quickly not to trust their own instincts or perceptions, often even their own sanity.  Children whose parents gaslight them grow up with instincts like every other person, but they lack the ability to trust those instincts.  As a result, they frequently end up in situations that are bad for them or abusive relationships.  Even if they felt somehow that something was bad for them, they ignored it since they don’t feel they can trust themselves to know what is best.  Learning to trust your instincts after a lifetime of gaslighting is NOT a fast process, but it is possible.  Listen to your instincts, & observe what happens.  Chances are, you’ll see those instincts were right time after time.  The more it happens, the more you learn you can trust your instincts.

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The Double Bind, No Win Situation

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How Narcissists Make You Feel Dysfunctional

Narcissists seem to have a “gift” for making their victims feel that they are the problem in the relationship, that they are the ones who are dysfunctional, not the narcissist.  Often, they are so talented at doing this, a victim is completely baffled as to how it happened.  This post will explain some ways narcissists accomplish this.

Narcissists love gaslighting.  Gaslighting is the systematic tearing down of a person’s sanity.  Narcissists will deny having done something, deny the incident happened as it did, find a way to blame the victim for the problem & more.  Constant gaslighting tears down a person’s ability to trust their own memories, feelings, perceptions & yes, even sanity.

Narcissists either imply or say outright that their victims are crazy.  My mother used to tell me often, “You need help.”  It was accompanied by a pitying expression.  She was implying I was in dire need of psychological help, yet, never got it for me.  Why?  Because she knew I was sane.  I, however, had doubts for most of my life about my sanity.  After all, no one would say such a thing to their own child if it wasn’t true, I thought.

Narcissists project their faults onto their victims.  Narcissists view others through a very distorted lens.  Titus 1:15 says, “To the pure, all things are pure; but to the corrupt and unbelieving, nothing is pure; both their mind and their conscience are corrupted.”  (AMP)  One aspect of this is accusing their victims of the very things that they themselves do, even when there is no evidence of the victim doing anything of the sort.  They often accuse their victims with such certainty, the victim may believe the accusations are true.  There is one good thing about projection.  It can be useful in learning what the narcissist is really up to.  The narcissistic husband who claims his wife is unfaithful is most likely having an affair.  The narcissistic mother who accuses her child of lying is a lair.  Listening to what the narcissist accuses you of can give you a great deal of insight into what they are truly like.

Narcissists love the silent treatment as a weapon.  In my late teens, my mother & I argued constantly.  One of her favorite ways to hurt me was to give me the silent treatment.  I would beg her to tell me what was wrong, & she either refused to answer or would say, “If you don’t know, I’m not going to tell you!”  At the time, either scenario was devastating.  Saying nothing showed me I wasn’t worth her time or energy to speak to.  Saying she wouldn’t tell me if I didn’t know what was wrong made me feel crazy, stupid & ashamed for not knowing what egregious sin I had committed.

Narcissists lack self awareness.  Rather than question that maybe, just maybe, they might be the problem in their relationships, they blame all relationship woes on other people.  If you aren’t aware of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, it can be quite easy to believe that the narcissist is right, & you are at fault for their problems or the problems in your relationship.

Narcissists are provokers.  In other words, narcissists will do whatever it takes to push their victims to the point of rage so they can use that rage to prove to the victim that the victim is crazy, abusive, irrational or anything else.  Since the narcissist stays calm while the victim is clearly upset, it’s easy for the victim to believe what the narcissist says at this point.

Narcissists will say that they forgive you, even when you have done nothing wrong.  By saying this, they are implying that you are the problem in this situation, & they are very good & kind people to forgive you for the awful things you have done.

Learning about these tactics can help you to protect your mental health, & not fall for the narcissist’s lies that you & you alone are the dysfunctional one in the relationship.

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Just So Everyone Knows..

I’ve decided to take a hiatus from writing books for a while.  Dealing with my mother’s estate is a lot of work, & with my mental & physical limitations, also excessively stressful.  Writing is a lot of work, so I don’t feel I can write & deal with that at the same time.  Or, if I could, I doubt I’d do either all that well.  So, writing books is going on the back burner for a bit.

I’m still going to keep up with this blog & my YouTube channel though.

Since I have some really wonderful readers, I know you’ll understand & I thank you so much for that understanding.  xoxo

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Mother’s Day, 2019

Those who are of the “But that’s your MOTHER!!!  She wouldn’t hurt you!” mentality, please leave quietly now.  This post is for those who are suffering through this day due to having a narcissistic mother.  No doubt it will irritate you, & those for whom this post is written don’t want or need to hear any judgmental comments.  Thank you.

Now that that’s out of the way….

For those of you with narcissistic mothers, I know this is one of the worst possible days of the year.  For many weeks prior, the message of loving mothers is everywhere.  “She’s your mother- she would do anything for you.”  “She loves you more than life itself!”  “Don’t forget to idolize your mother today!!”  When your narcissistic mother has tried to kill you, either physically or mentally, there aren’t exactly a lot of warm feelings associated with Mother’s Day.  How could there be?

Many people at least are sympathetic to our pain, even if they can’t understand it.  God bless these people!  Then there are the others.  Those who say shaming things like, “But that’s your MOTHER!”  Often these people are narcissists themselves, flying monkeys who help their narcissist abuse their victims.  Others are people who have suffered abuse & refuse to acknowledge their pain.  Their goal is to shut down anyone who faces their pain.  Witnessing someone face their pain reminds them of their own & makes them feel cowardly for not facing theirs.  Rather than make healthy choices, they opt to shut down healthy people instead.

Understanding things like this can help to take some of the pain out of their heartless comments, because it proves that the comments are about the dysfunction of the person saying these things.  However, it’s still going to sting a bit, even knowing that.

Being raised by a narcissistic mother is painful.  There are ways to cope, however.

I firmly believe it’s necessary to grieve.  Grieve for the fact you didn’t have a good childhood.  Grieve because your mother never has been or will be a loving mom.  Grieve what you missed out on by your mother not being a healthy, functional mom.  Grieving such things helps you to accept your situation & heal.

On Mother’s Day, if you have children, spend time with them when possible.  Enjoy your family & celebrate this gift God has given you.

Don’t forget to acknowledge those wonderful women who were like mothers to you.  I had a friend I called my adopted mom.  She was about 20 years older than me, & a wonderful lady.  Kris was nurturing, kind, loving, a natural mom & a devoted Christian.  Unfortunately it wasn’t until after she died that I realized I should have celebrated her on Mother’s Day.  Don’t make the same mistakes I did!  If you have a wonderful mom figure in your life, wish her a happy Mother’s Day.  Give her flowers or a card.  Take her to lunch.  Do something together to show her how much you appreciate her.

If you absolutely must deal with your narcissistic mother on Mother’s Day, before you see her, pray.  Ask God to show you what you should do.  He will help you to know the best ways to cope!

Don’t forget, you also have the right to set limits on your time spent with your mother.  Don’t spend the entire day with her if you don’t want to.  Set aside an hour or two for her & no more.  If you know you’ll have trouble leaving when you want to, arrange something to do so you have to leave her at a certain time.

Take care of yourself on Mother’s Day & every day, Dear Reader.  You deserve to be loved & cared for, especially by yourself.  xoxo

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About Understanding Narcissists

I recently read a comment on a post on Facebook where someone mentioned how some people “waste their time” trying to understand why a narcissist behaves as they do.  I’ve seen comments similar to this often, although said in different ways.  “Who cares why they do what they do?  They only cause pain & suffering!”  “They’re evil, that’s all you need to know about narcissists.”

I have a different perspective on this topic as I’ve mentioned before & felt that maybe it was time to mention it again.

When you understand the motivations of the narcissistic person & what is behind them, it can help you to remember you aren’t the problem, you aren’t overreacting or crazy & the narcissist is the problem in the relationship.  While that sounds like common sense, as most victims know, in the midst of narcissistic abuse, reminders like that are invaluable.  Narcissists do their best to convince victims they are the problem, & sadly, are often successful in their efforts.

Another plus about understanding narcissists is when you do, you clearly can see that you have done nothing to deserve what this person has done to you.  You understand that this person has been manipulating & abusing you, & that you were doing only normal things to do under such abnormal circumstances.  You did what anyone would do if treated as you were treated.

You also may begin to feel some pity for the narcissist because you understand just how badly damaged this person is.  This too can be a good thing, because it will make you want to pray for them.  I must warn you though, it can be easy to get out of balance in this area.  I did this with my late mother in-law.  I noticed once that after my father in-law had snapped at her, she was especially mean with me during the rest of my husband’s & my visit.  I thought maybe this was simply how she coped since she had no healthy coping skills.  As a result, I let her mistreat me for a while without complaint or setting any boundaries.  It didn’t take me too long to realize that this wasn’t helping her.  She was still miserable, & she still was hurting me.  Nothing good came of this.  I allowed myself to feel too much pity for her, & as a result, she treated me even worse than usual.  Learn from my mistake!  Keep your emotions in balance.  Feel pity for this person & let it motivate you to pray for this person.    At the same time though, remember to keep your boundaries in place.  Just because someone has been through some serious problems, that doesn’t mean they have the right to be abusive.  There is no excuse to abuse!

I realize what I’ve said in this post doesn’t work for everyone.  Some folks will read this & immediately know it won’t help them at all.   I don’t want you to think there’s something wrong with you if you feel that way.  I am one who has been helped a great deal by understanding the narcissists in my life, & I wanted to help others think about this as a possible useful tool for them.

If you do feel that understanding the narcissist in your life can help you, I have some tips.

Learn what you can about this person’s childhood.  Childhood forms who we become as adults.  Chances are, you’ll find some hints as to why this person is as they are today.

Learn everything you can about Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  I don’t believe there is one non-narcissist that can completely understand narcissists, but even so, learning what you can about it will be extremely helpful.

When you decide to learn about the person & the disorder, don’t get out of balance.  This mission doesn’t need to become an obsession, since that would be very unhealthy for you.  Take frequent breaks where you think of anything but the person or narcissism.

Most of all, pray.  Ask God to help you learn, not to obsess & to teach you creative & effective ways to cope with this person.  Ask Him to help you to pray for them, too.  After all, you may be the only person willing to pray for them.

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Closure With A Narcissist

People often talk about closure & how beneficial it is.  They encourage victims of narcissistic abuse to get closure somehow, such as by saying good bye to their dying narcissistic parent even if they have not spoken for years.  What these people fail to realize is closure in the normal sense of the word is impossible with narcissists.

Closure is when someone knows & understands why a relationship ended.  Maybe one person even apologized for mistreating the other person, an explanation was given, good byes were said, even some tears shed.  This  scenario just cannot happen with narcissists.

Narcissists do NOT want to give their victims closure.  They prefer to leave them suffering, wondering why things were as they were.  Often, their adult children spend their entire lives wondering, “Why couldn’t Mom love me?”  Even if Mom knows, there is no way she would admit the truth to her child, because her reasons might make her look less than perfect.  Since appearances are so important to a narcissist, they will refuse to admit any wrong doings or even simple shortcomings.

Normal closure is impossible with narcissists, but that doesn’t mean a form of closure isn’t possible.  It absolutely is.

If you can surrender the hope that one day the narcissist in your life will change or show genuine remorse, you can have closure with that person.  I know this probably sounds like giving up, & maybe in a sense it is, but I believe it is a healthy move.

Everyone knows that most narcissists don’t change unless it is to behave even worse.  As long as you cling to the hope that maybe this time will be different or one day he or she will see the light & change their terrible, abusive behavior, you aren’t getting closure.  In fact, you’re going to be miserable & constantly disappointed.  You are tying yourself to this person with your expectations.  Why do this?  You’re only causing yourself pain.

Aim for closure with the narcissist in your life.  Giving up the hope & expectations of change will do you a world of good.  It may not be closure in the traditional sense of the word, but it still is helpful & healing for you.

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Stop Beating Yourself Up For Making Mistakes

When you have survived narcissistic abuse, escaped it & began to heal, you will think a LOT.  You’ll think about the things you endured, & wonder how you survived.  You’ll also think about things you did while in the midst of the abuse or even after you first escaped it.  This can be extremely difficult, because chances are, you’ve done many things you aren’t proud of.

That is certainly something I’ve experienced.  When I look back at my young adult life, it’s just embarrassing.  I met my  ex husband just before I turned 17.  He was very pushy about getting me to date him, & proposed 3 months after we met.  I went along with whatever he wanted, against my mother’s demands, because I didn’t think any other guy would ever want me.  This desperation is so embarrassing now.  I didn’t even find him physically attractive- I just figured I should grab him since no one else would want me.  I sneaked around to be with him even knowing my mother most likely would find out & scream at me about it as she always did.  I later married him even though everything in me was saying it was a huge mistake & I shouldn’t marry him.

Looking back at that situation is embarrassing.  Humiliating, really.  I have a hard time believing now that I’m that same person.

Do you have a situation like that in your life, Dear Reader?  I’m guessing you do.  I think we all do.  I want to tell you today that you have nothing to be ashamed of!

Growing up with a narcissistic parent (or two), you learn a lot of terribly dysfunctional beliefs.  Those beliefs will play a part in the things you do until you learn that they are bad, & you replace them with healthy beliefs.  This means you’re going to do some things you aren’t necessarily proud of, like me getting involved with my ex husband.

When you remember those times, rather than shaming yourself, think about who you were at that time.  You were a dysfunctional, abused person.  Naturally you’d make bad choices.  How could you not if you didn’t know better?

It’s OK that you made mistakes.  We all do, especially when given such a horrible, dysfunctional start in life.  Forgive yourself!  Stop beating yourself up!  How could you expect to make wiser choices when you simply didn’t know any better?

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Differences Between The Silent Treatment & No Contact

Many people don’t seem to realize that the silent treatment & no contact are very different things.  As a result, many people shame victims who implement no contact.  They call victims immature, spoiled, unreasonable & more, saying victims are pouting or trying to punish their abuser when the truth is, abusers are the ones who are being immature, unreasonable & trying to punish their victims by using the silent treatment.

No contact isn’t done to punish or hurt anyone.  It is done because a victim has tried & tried to make the relationship better yet nothing has improved.  It’s a desperate, last ditch effort to protect a person’s mental & physical health by escaping an abusive person.  Any person can take only so much before it affects their health.

No contact is also permanent.  There is no going back for the victim who has settled on no contact as their best option.  That is partly why so much serious consideration goes into it.  Contrary to what many folks believe (primarily abusers & their flying monkeys), almost every single person who has implemented no contact in their life did so only after months or even years of a lot of thought & prayer.  It’s not a spur of the moment decision done in the heat of anger.

This also means that victims don’t want their abusers trying to contact them in any way.  They don’t want calls, texts, emails, etc. in some pathetic attempt to lure or scare the victim into returning to the relationship.  Many abusers seem to think their victims want this type of harassment & it will win their victims back, but nothing could be further from the truth.  When a person goes no contact, it’s because they want NO CONTACT, period.  It isn’t some attempt to get the abuser’s attention.  Abusers often think this is the case, because that is what they want to accomplish by not speaking to someone.

The silent treatment is done on the spur of the moment.  Abusers are spontaneous people, & not in a good way.  Anything a victim says or does can make an abuser decide in an instant to use the silent treatment.  Or, a victim doesn’t have to say or do anything.  Abusers don’t exactly have the most integrity in the world.  If they want silent treatment drama, they certainly aren’t above creating it by inventing some imaginary slight from their victim.

The silent treatment is done to manipulate & control.  The goal is to make the victim feel so insecure & badly that he or she comes crawling to the abuser, apologizing profusely & being willing to do anything to make it up to the abuser.  The abuser rarely tells the victim what awful sin he or she committed, but instead makes the victim guess.  This makes the victim easier to control & more willing to try harder.  I remember my mother using the line, “If you don’t know what you did, I’m not going to tell you.”  Not exactly a healthy or useful way to cope with conflict.

The silent treatment is also done to punish victims.  When you aren’t aware of what the silent treatment is all about, it can be devastating!  I remember my mother giving me the silent treatment countless times my entire life.  It was a horrible feeling when my own mother wouldn’t speak to me or even tell me why.  In fact, my mother once stopped speaking to me for 18 months several years ago.  Why she did that, she never would say.

The silent treatment is also temporary.  It ends when an abuser gets their way or becomes bored with it.  A victim knows when it’s over too, because the abuser contacts them acting like nothing happened that was out of the ordinary.

There is one last big difference between the silent treatment & no contact.  Victims grow accustomed to the silent treatment.  After enduring it so many times, it stops upsetting them.  Abusers are always shocked by no contact, no matter how horribly they treated their victims.  And ironically, the ones who seem the most shocked by no contact are the ones who repeatedly used the silent treatment.

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My New Project

I recently had an idea.  I am going to create a series of small books that focus on only one facet of narcissism & narcissistic abuse at a time.  Each book will be maybe 1/4 the size of my regular book & naturally much cheaper.  I think this is a unique way to get information out there & hopefully it will help raise awareness too.

I’ll be releasing a few in the near future,  I’m thinking maybe 3 or so, & I’ll post about it when that happens.  I don’t want to release a series that contains only one book, yanno?

When the books are available, they will be available on my website at:

www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com

And also at my ebook publisher’s website at:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CynthiaBaileyRug

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Thinking Of Confronting Your Narcissistic Parent?

During the course of healing from narcissistic abuse, you may want to confront your narcissistic parent.  You may want to let her have it, to tell her she’s abusive & evil, to tell her although she tried, she didn’t destroy you & many other things.  In your fantasy of doing this, she breaks & apologizes for all of the hurt she has caused you.  She says she wants to change, & to make it up to you for all of the damage she has done.

Unfortunately this is a very unrealistic expectation.

Narcissists don’t admit to any wrong doing on their part.  They often do one of three things- either blame the victim for making them do what they did, say it happened an entirely different way or deny it ever happened in the first place.  As a result, often confronting the narcissist is more damaging to the victim than if they don’t confront.

Confrontation is certainly your choice.  You have every right to call out an abuser on her abusive behavior.  However, you need to have realistic expectations on how the situation may happen for it to be a healthy choice for you.

If you confront your narcissistic parent, will it help you to get it all out to her?  Will it help you to call her out on what she has done even if she denies it or blames you?  If so, then confrontation is a good option for you.

However, if you expect that your narcissistic mother will suddenly have a moment of lucidity, then accept full responsibility for her actions, genuinely repenting of what she has done, you are setting yourself up for serious disappointment.  In fact, that disappointment may be devastating for you.

Probably around 10 years ago, my father went through a phase of complaining even more than usual about his & my mother’s marriage to me.  I hate that!  That is emotional incest & abusive!  I don’t want or need to know about their marriage problems, yet both of my parents have dumped them on me my entire life.  One day when I saw him alone, I finally decided enough was enough.  I was tired of changing the subject to get him to stop complaining.  I had to tell him that he was hurting me, & it needed to stop.  So I did.  I told him those words- “It hurts me when you complain to me about your marriage & about Mom.  Please stop it.  Find someone else to talk to.”  He responded by saying, “Oh ok.. but just this one more thing…” He went on to complain about her for 45 more minutes until he left my home!  (Yes, I timed it!  I was curious how long it’d go on.)  I ended up even more hurt than I was originally, because at this point, he knew he was hurting me yet did what hurt me anyway.

When considering confronting your narcissistic parent, please consider it long & hard.  Pray about it too, & ask God to show you what you should do & if you should confront, how you should do it.  I would hate to see you hurt, Dear Reader, so please do those things before you confront your narcissistic parent!  xoxo

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