Tag Archives: mental

The Need To Discuss Narcissistic Abuse

Those of us who have been through narcissistic abuse need to talk about it.  It is part of the healing process, discussing our experiences.  This happens for several reasons.

 

Narcissists routinely convince their victims of all manners of ridiculous things, & it takes a lot of talking to be able to sort out the truth from their lies.

 

Narcissistic abuse is very difficult to wrap your mind around, even when you have experienced it first hand.  Talking about what you have been through makes it more real, & enables you to accept that these awful things did happen.  Once that happens, you can begin to heal.

 

Narcissists invalidate their victims constantly, about every single thing that can be invalidated.  Once we realize we have been abused & come away from that, we crave validation.  We especially crave it about the experiences we had, because the narcissist told us we were the problem, they did nothing wrong.  It helps us so much to hear that they were the problem, not us.  We all need to hear this!  The less we hear it, the more likely we are to continue believing we are the real problem in the relationship.  We can’t heal if we don’t know this truth.

 

Some people may not understand that you need to talk about your experiences, & may be nasty to you, but that doesn’t mean there is something wrong with talking about it.  It means you’re a normal person who has been through an abnormal situation.

 

When you find people who don’t understand your need to discuss what you have been through, it’s time to move on, & find others with whom you can discuss your experiences without fear of judgment.  Other survivors are usually the safest people you can talk to.  They understand how surreal everything is, & how you need validation.  They also can share how they have learned to live with the abuse done to them.

 

Remember, Dear Reader, there is nothing wrong with you for feeling the need to discuss what you have been through!  Go with it!  You will feel so much better if you do.

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Differences In Justifying & Understanding Abuse

There is often a great amount of faulty thinking among people that says if you understand why an abuser abuses, that means you’re justifying the abuse.  While that certainly is possible, it isn’t always the case, & it’s also never wise.

 

Anyone who’s been subjected to narcissistic abuse knows narcissists love gaslighting.  Any time they can mess with your perception, feelings & sanity, they are going to jump at that chance.  This even happens when it comes to  their abuse.  They often deny it happened, say it didn’t happen the way you remember or even blame you for making them do whatever it is they did.  As a result of all the gaslighting, it can be very difficult to know & understand the truth.  In fact, it becomes so difficult, many victims do take on the blame for being abused.

 

I was one of those victims who believed being abused was my responsibility.  If I would just be a better daughter, get better grades, obey my mother even more, etc. my mother wouldn’t have needed to spend so much time screaming at me & telling me what a horrible person I was.  Maybe too, my father might try to protect me from her.  I later carried that behavior into my first marriage & my current marriage as well, believing all of the problems in my marriage or with the in-laws were 100% my fault.  In fact, it’s only been in the last probably 10 years or so I’ve been seeing how wrong that is.

 

One thing that helped me to see that I wasn’t always to blame is to understand the people who blamed me.  I learned about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, then later that there are overt & covert narcissists.  I learned how these people behave, & how they abuse.  I also learned about their motivation always being procuring narcissistic supply.  The more I learned, the more I understood my abusers.  Things finally started to make sense.  And, the more I realized those who blamed me when they were the abusers were really messed up!  After a lifetime of hearing that I was the problem, I can’t tell you how freeing it was to learn beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I was NOT the real problem!

 

A lot of people will say understanding your abuser is a waste of time.  They’re evil, why bother?  Maybe that works for them, which is great of course, but for me, it was an integral part of my healing.

 

But, this could have ended poorly just as easily.  If I hadn’t questioned the “disorder” in Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I probably would have bought into  the false believe that narcissists can’t help how they behave, because it’s a disorder.  Even seeing all the narcissists in my life control their abusive behavior very well, I wouldn’t have trusted my own instincts about it being something they can indeed control thanks to years of gaslighting.  I could have justified their abuse because they have a “disorder” which means they can’t control their behavior.  It’s not their fault they act the way they do.  Who can control a disorder, after all?!

 

I believe this sort of thinking happens with some folks who learn about NPD.  They hear it’s a disorder, & are willing to absolve the narcissist of responsibility for their behavior.

 

Maybe other people justify narcissist’s behavior because the narcissist had an abusive or neglectful childhood.  While certainly that can create issues in a person, narcissism is a choice.  Narcissists choose to behave the way they do, & they do it because it gets them what they want.

 

Many people justify their behavior because narcissists are not abusive all of the time.  They throw in some nice behavior sometimes.  This confuses victims.  They know the narcissist is capable of being kind & hope she’ll return to being that way.  They fail to realize this is only to lure a victim back into the narcissist’s web, so they make excuses for the bad behavior.  They say things like, “She’s under a lot of stress lately” or, “He was just drunk- it’s not his fault.”  Nice behavior done by a narcissist is never done out of love, but as a way to manipulate & control.

 

Justifying narcissistic abuse in any way is NOT healthy!  It damages your mental health!  It makes you believe you are to blame for what the narcissist does.  It makes you apologize to the narcissist when she abuses you.  It makes you tell yourself incredibly damaging things like you don’t matter.

 

Always remember, there is a huge difference between understanding your abuser & justifying her behavior.  And, only one (understanding your abuser) has the ability to help you.

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The Real You & The False You

Some years ago, I began to realize I didn’t know who I really was.  I was the result of people telling me who I was, how to dress, what to like & not like.  It’s taken a long time but I can say honestly that now, I’ve finally shed that false person & become the person God made me to be.

 

This is very common with children of narcissistic parents.

 

As a child, you learn early on that your job is to please your narcissistic parent at all times no matter the cost.  If there’s something about you that doesn’t please that parent, it’s best to change that into something that does please that parent rather than face the traumatic consequences.  This behavior becomes such a habit, you aren’t even aware that you do it.

 

Eventually you grow up.  Not into the person God created you to be- an adult version of that false self your narcissistic parent forced you to become.

 

While creating the false self worked for surviving childhood with a horribly abusive narcissistic parent, it no longer serves you well as an adult.  Chances are, you’re unhappy & don’t even know why.  Maybe you work at a job you hate.  Even though it’s a good job that pays well, it just doesn’t fulfill you or bring you any joy.  Maybe you wear a style of clothing you hate just because it’s what you feel you’re supposed to wear, thanks to your narcissistic parent.

 

It’s time for this behavior to stop.  Whether or not your narcissistic parent is still a part of your life, it’s time to stop worrying about pleasing your parent & start worry about pleasing yourself.

 

As always, prayer is the best place you can start.  Ask God to help you become the person He made you to be, & be glorified through you.  Ask Him to show you what you need to do to accomplish this.

 

Also, start paying attention to yourself.  This is hard to do, I know.  Narcissistic parents raise their children to ignore themselves & focus on the parent, & that is a tough habit to break.  It needs to be done though!  Pay attention to how you feel about things.  Do you really like that car you drive or is it just because your narcissistic parent said you should drive it?  If your job isn’t fulfilling, ask yourself why?  What about it doesn’t work well for you?  Do you really like vanilla ice cream even though you were always told you didn’t?  Even little things like the ice cream thing are important- your likes & dislikes make you, you.  So pay attention!  The more you pay attention to how you really feel about things, the easier it gets.  And, the more you learn, the more you’ll want to learn.  You’re going to find out that you’re actually a very interesting, special, unique person!

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How Families Protect Their Narcissist

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Shock & Abuse

Sometimes when abuse gets especially bad, it can put a person into shock.  This can be expected when someone is beaten or raped, especially by someone known to the victim, but it comes other times as well.

 

In cases of narcissistic abuse, a narcissist can be much like a machine gun of abuse- shooting out abuse after abuse in a short period of time.  A victim doesn’t have the time to cope with one episode before another comes along.  Or, the abuse can be so outrageous that it is simply unbelievable.  When this happens, victims can go into a state of shock

 

I believe this happens because the brain is trying to protect the victim.  Shock gives a person time to come to terms with the fact something awful has happened.  Unfortunately though, it still can be difficult to go through.  Focus & concentration can be hard to come by.  You may feel very “spacey”.  You also may miss things you normally notice such as if someone is making a joke.  And, you may not be able to identify your emotions.

 

During the last few weeks of my father’s life, due to the constant abuse I received for not saying good bye to him as well as my own grief, I experienced shock like I’ve never experienced before.  (That’s saying something too since I experienced it on a regular basis growing up due to constant abuse, especially in my late teens.)  At the time of me writing this, my father has been dead for about six weeks now, & the shock is still there.   It’s finally starting to diminish a little bit. One plus at least is I’m learning how to cope with shock, so I thought I’d share what I’m learning with you, Dear Reader.

 

I don’t think it’s a good idea to try to get over shock right away.  It happened for a reason- to protect your mental health.  Don’t try to force yourself to get better right away, because obviously you aren’t ready to cope with what happened just yet.  It reminds me of repressed memories- forcing them to come back to the forefront of your mind can cause you more suffering than is necessary.  Just let the shock work itself out.

 

Try to take care of yourself.  I say try because as an adult child of narcissistic parents, I know self care isn’t easy.  Try it anyway.  Get plenty of rest, eat good food, & don’t neglect your physical health.  Shock can take a toll on your body as well as your mind, so treat it well.

 

Do things that make you feel nurtured.  Drink herbal tea, coffee or cocoa.  Spend a day curled up in your favorite blanket & watch funny movies all day.  Buy yourself little treats like a new book or CD you’ve been wanting.  Simple little gestures can help you to feel better.

 

In time, the shock will lift, & you will need to face what you’re feeling after your trauma.  Don’t forget to continue taking good care of your physical & mental health when that happens!  Emotional work takes up a lot of energy, so you need to take care of both your physical & mental health as you heal.

 

I noticed something about my situation that I wonder if others have faced as well.  During the worst of the shock, I stopped remembering my dreams.  This was very odd for me as I’ve always had very vivid dreams that I clearly remember.   I believe that is because my brain was trying to come to terms with the daily traumas I endured for that time.  I finally started remembering some of my dreams about five weeks after the last traumatic episode surrounding my father’s death happened.

 

I find dreams to be extremely helpful in understanding my emotional health.  I strongly advice paying attention to your dreams once you begin having them again.  Write them down.  Look up dream symbols to help you to understand what your dreams are about.  Personally, I like http://www.dreammoods.com .  Also ask God to help you to understand them.  You may find some valuable insight in your dreams.

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Discrediting The Victim

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Denial

Denial is a common survival tool of victims of all types of abuse.  Pretending things didn’t happen, weren’t that bad or there was a good reason your abuser acted as she did are all forms  of denial.

 

Denial may help you to cope for a while, but it shouldn’t be a permanent solution.  It can be very unhealthy.

 

It enables you to avoid facing the damage done & the pain you feel.  Although that may feel good for a short time, in the long run, it can hurt your physical & mental health.  Stifling emotions can create anxiety, depression, headaches, body aches with no physical cause, high blood pressure, kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes & more.

 

Denial may get you through a bad situation as it’s happening, but otherwise, it has no benefits.  I know facing the ugly truth can be hard, but I want to encourage you, Dear Reader, to face it.  As hard as it may be, it’s actually much easier in the long run than denial is.

 

Facing the truth allows you to heal.  When you no longer deny the facts, you can see the situation for what it is, then deal with it & heal from the damage.

 

Staying in denial often also means staying in an abusive situation.  Many people think they don’t have a right to be upset about their situation because their narcissistic parent wasn’t as bad as someone else’s, or at least their abusive husband didn’t beat them like their friend’s did, so they continue to have a close relationship with their abuser.  There is no logic at all in this!  Abuse is abuse, period!  It’s all bad!  Degrees of abuse don’t matter.  What does matter is no one should tolerate being abused!

 

When you know you need to start facing certain things, it’s time to get into prayer.  Ask God to help you.  Ask Him for strength & courage.  Ask Him to enable you to face whatever you need to, & only to allow you to face what you are able to at any given time.  You will be glad you did this as you begin to face ugly truths.  And, you’ll be glad you started facing those truths once you realize how much healthier you’ve become!

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Getting To Know Yourself After Narcissistic Abuse

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About Being Invisible

Growing up with narcissistic parents, you learn early in life to be invisible.  Stay out of everyone’s way.   Don’t bother anyone with your “petty” needs or problems.  After all, your parents are the important ones, not you.  You are there to attend to their needs, not them to yours.  They have drilled these so-called facts into your head from birth, so you know them well.

 

Being invisible is not only a way of life, but a handy survival tool in that type of environment.  The less your narcissistic parents notice you, the less likely they’ll use or abuse you.  Staying quiet & out of their way can make your childhood somewhat easier.

 

While being invisible can serve you well while in such a toxic environment, it is no longer necessary once you are out of it.  In fact, it won’t help you at all & may hurt you instead.

 

If you continue to remain invisible, people may not necessarily abuse you, but they also will not be there for you or love you as you need, because they will not notice you.  Or, if they do notice you, your needs won’t be very important to them because they don’t appear important to you.  Not discussing your needs makes people not even realize you have them.

 

Dear Reader, if this is you, it’s your time to become visible!  Let people know you exist.  It is perfectly OK to have needs & wants, & to let those be known among those close to you.  In fact, it’s healthy to do so.  In normal, healthy relationships, both parties have needs & let each other know what they are with the expectation that when possible, the other person will fulfill them.  God has created people to need one another, after all.  He obviously knows best, so why not try living life His way?

 

 

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Let Jesus Help You Heal

John 8:12  “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”  (KJV)

 

We all know that light conquers darkness.  If you were in a pitch dark room & lit a match, that tiny match would dispel a surprising amount of darkness.

 

Jesus referred to Himself in the above Scripture as the light of the world for a reason.  Light also gives life- look at plants, as an example.  Without light, they won’t survive.  Like light, Jesus gives life- eternal life.  If you follow Him, He will make clear what path to take in your life.  He also can show you things you might not have noticed before.  (If it wasn’t for Him, I don’t know if I’d know anything about narcissism.)

 

In your journey of healing from narcissistic abuse, have you asked the Lord to help you?  He truly wants to!  And, although even He can’t make it easy, He can help to make it less painful & difficult.  I can tell you from my own experience, I wouldn’t be where I am now without His help.  He’s shown me what I needed to do & how to do things.  He’s answered my questions, let me rant when I was angry or hurting & comforted me when no one else could.

 

If you haven’t asked Jesus for help in your healing journey, maybe now is the time for you to do that.  He wants to help, so let Him!  Ask Him to show you what you need to do & how you need to do it.  Ask Him for comfort, wisdom, strength, courage & anything else you need.  He will be more than glad to help, so why not let Him?

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Parents Who Demand Their Adult Children Spend Holidays With Them

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Sharing Some Beauty

I have a thing about beauty.. I love it in all forms & surround myself with it as much as possible.  There is something so peaceful, comforting & calming about it to me, especially when it comes to beauty in nature.

 

A few days after my father died, I looked out my kitchen window.  I saw a couple of beautiful butterflies on the marigold plants in our backyard!  They not only brought me comfort due to their special meaning in my life, but they also were so beautiful they brought some peace & joy.

 

I thought I’d make today’s post a bit different than usual, & share the beauty with you, Dear Reader.  As I’ve said many times, we can’t focus on narcissism all the time- it’s too depressing.  Consider this a break from that depressing topic & take in the beauty that God has created.  🙂

 

IMG_9106IMG_9103IMG_9083IMG_9079IMG_9097IMG_9093IMG_9091IMG_9085IMG_9073

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Signs Of Toxic People

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Why You Should Stay No Contact With A Narcissist No Matter What

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One Person Cannot Fix A Relationship

Many of us raised by narcissistic parents have similar experiences.  One experience so many of us share is being told we need to fix things.  We need to find out what works & repair the damaged relationship with our narcissistic parent.

Maybe because so many people have such a warped view of the parent/child relationship they think the children should be the ones to fix it when there is a problem.  Or, maybe it’s simply because people realize that we are the reasonable, sane ones & the narcissist isn’t, they think we should fix it.  Either way, the expectation is absolutely absurd.

The simple fact is that one person can’t fix a relationship.  It takes two people to make a relationship work, not one, especially when one person in the relationship is a narcissist.

Narcissists are unlike normal people in many ways.  One of which is they do not have the capacity to care what others think or feel.  All they want is what matters, period.  Healthy relationships require both people to actively work on it & consider what the other person’s needs are.  That will NOT happen in a relationship with a narcissist no matter how much you might want it to.

The only way to have any success in a relationship with a narcissist is to completely forget yourself & focus on them completely.  Ignore any wants, needs, thoughts or feelings you have & keep the narcissist as your top priority 100% of the time.  Even this success will be fleeting, however, because narcissists constantly change the rules.  What makes them happy today may not make them happy next week, then three weeks later, that thing makes them happy again.  I have tried this personally in my younger & more dysfunctional days, & can tell you that every word I write is true.  No matter how much you give or how you change to please the narcissist, it won’t work.  Nothing is ever good enough.  It is absolutely impossible to please a narcissist.

So, Dear Reader, the next time someone tells you that you need to fix the relationship with your narcissistic parent, please remember what I have said.  Chalk their foolish words up to a lack of wisdom.  They clearly have no idea what they are saying, & how impossible the task is.  Or, if they are a flying monkey for the narcissist, & they do know how she is, they are abusers themselves.  Abuse isn’t always about actively abusing someone- it can be more passive, such as encouraging a person to stay in an abusive relationship.

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Dysfunctional Ways Narcissists Cope- Reinventing The Past

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When A Narcissistic Parent Is Dying

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Why People Continue Relationships With Their Abusive Parents

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The Importance Of Validation After Narcissistic Abuse

A recent conversation with my husband gave me an interesting revelation.

 

He said when I talk about the traumatic things I’ve been through, it’s almost always what my parents did rather than how I feel or how things affected me.  He’s right.  I immediately chalked that up to having C-PTSD.  The disorder means sometimes I have to talk things to death to come to some sort of terms with them.  However, I felt there was something I wasn’t realizing about this.  God revealed to me what it is.

 

Surviving growing up with narcissistic parents instills a need for constant validation in a person.  That is why I talk more about the things they did rather than my feelings.  I can handle my feelings just fine on my own.  What I need help with is understanding exactly how bad my parents have been to me.

 

When you’re raised by narcissists, your reality is much different than real reality.  In my case, I learned my mother was always right & should get whatever she wants even if that means hurting me.  I learned my father is very helpless, & couldn’t do anything to take care of me or protect me from my mother’s abuse.  I also learned very early in life that my parents’ emotional needs were my responsibility.  I was to have no needs or feelings of my own since that could be a distraction from them & their needs & feelings.

 

Pretty messed up, huh?

 

Thankfully, as an adult, I’ve learned how wrong, dysfunctional & abusive these things are.  Even so, I still battle them to a degree simply because these beliefs were very deeply instilled in me.  If I tell someone about some awful thing my parents did to me & they get angry & say things like, “That was terrible!  It was wrong to do that to you!” their outrage helps to validate my pain & tear down those false beliefs.  An objective third party seeing that they were wrong & I wasn’t to blame (as I always was with my parents), is a huge help to me!

 

Are you like me?  When you discuss the abuse, do you discuss more about the events than how you feel about them?  Or, do you seek validation frequently by asking people if your perception or feelings are OK?  If so, know there is nothing wrong with you, even though it may feel that way.  It’s just one more thing that narcissistic abuse can cause in a person.  Don’t beat yourself up about it.  Accept it for what it is, & ask God to help you heal.

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How Narcissists Fool Their Victims

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Hard To Understand Triggers

Triggers are things that remind you of something else.  Sometimes, they can be good such as the sound of whipped cream being sprayed from that can reminds me of my late kitty, Delta, who loved it & would do a little dance for a spray of whipped cream.

 

Often though, when you come from an abusive past, triggers aren’t so nice.  Certain scents, sights, sounds or situations can take you right back to a traumatic event, making you feel like that scared child you once were.

 

Triggers are easy to understand when they are obvious.  The scent of a perfume that your abusive mother wore when you were a child or a cruel nickname that your father called you are obvious.  Not all triggers are so obvious though.

 

Some triggers appear to have absolutely nothing to do with why you feel the way you do.  Those triggers are what we’re going to talk about today.

 

Some triggers on the surface seem innocuous, yet you end up feeling just as bad as you did as a child in a traumatic situation.  Talking to someone who shows no empathy may enrage you because it makes you feel like it did when you were growing up with your narcissistic parent, for example.

 

When this happens, it can be confusing.  Having a strong reaction to something that isn’t really a big deal can make you wonder about your sanity.  It’s a horrible feeling, but it can be dealt with.

 

As soon as you can, go somewhere where you can be alone & pray.  Ask God to show you what is going on, what’s the root of this feeling?  He will show you, & from there, you can begin to heal.  It may be something that you thought was small, but apparently it wasn’t since it’s still causing you problems.  Or, it may be a big, ongoing issue.  Either way, once you know what the problem is, then ask Him to help you to heal & show you what you need to do in order to heal.  Write your experiences & feelings in a journal.  Talk with a therapist or trusted friend.  Work on this however helps you, & the trigger will lose its power.

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How Much Do You Know About Your Personality?

A couple of years ago, two of my wonderful readers told me about the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (aka MBTI) personality test.  Since, I’ve become utterly fascinated with it!

 

This test gives you a four letter description of your personality.  I found it to be incredibly accurate for myself & my husband.  Here is the link if you want to try it: http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp

 

While I realize not everyone is as fascinated with psychology & what makes people “tick” as I am, I still recommend taking the test & learning as much as you can about your personality.  This is especially important to survivors of narcissistic abuse, I believe.

 

Whether the narcissist in your life was a parent, sibling or spouse, narcissists do a tremendous amount of damage, as you no doubt know all too well.  One thing they all try their best to do to their victims is to turn the victim into what they want that person to be.  Narcissists want victims to lose their natural, God given personality & become someone pleasing to the narcissist.  Before you realize that is happening, chances are you lost a lot of yourself thanks to the narcissist.

 

Learning about your personality type can help you to regain the part of you that was lost.  It also can help you to learn about things you never understood about yourself.  For example, I always thought I was weird.  I’ve been told it often enough!  I constantly try to understand people’s motivations & solutions to problems, when many people don’t bother with such things.  My mother used to criticize me as a child for “always thinking” because of this.  I took that to mean that something was wrong with me.  Once I learned of my personality type, I learned that there isn’t something wrong with me.  It’s just my natural personality, which happens to be the rarest one.

 

Another benefit of learning about personality types can happen when you learn the types of those in your life.  Since I learned my husband’s type, I understand him even better now than I did before he took the test.  And, as a bonus- he got interested in learning about his type as well so he’s developed a better understanding of himself.

 

Dear Reader, I hope you will take the test & learn about your personality & those of your loved ones as well.  The test only takes a few minutes & is free, but it can be very beneficial.

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If Your Parents Didn’t Allow You To Relax

A common criticism from narcissistic parents to their children is calling them lazy.  I can’t count how many adult children of narcissists have said their parent constantly called them lazy.  I’m also one of them.  These parents don’t allow their children to rest when sick or simply relax after a long day without criticisms.

 

While being called lazy & not being allowed to rest & relax doesn’t really sound like a big deal, it actually is.

 

Being treated this way is surprisingly damaging to a child.  It can cause a child to carry a tremendous amount of guilt & even shame until the child dumps the dysfunctional false belief put on her.  Many so called lazy kids show the following characteristics that stem from being called lazy…

 

  • Feeling as if you never should rest or relax.
  • Feeling intense guilt &/or shame if you need to rest, such as when sick or injured.  Along those lines- resuming activities quickly, not giving your body time to recover.
  • Feeling unappreciated.
  • Feeling as if you never can do enough.
  • Developing OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), & being fanatical about cleaning your home or doing your job.
  • Going in the opposite direction from OCD & being extremely messy.

 

If any of this sounds familiar, then it’s time to make some changes.

 

I have found that looking objectively at myself was a good place to start.  I looked at what I do & realized I do quite a bit.  Granted, in the past few years, my health has forced me to streamline my routine so I don’t do as much at a time as I once did, but I still do quite a bit.

 

I also looked at my mother objectively.  She is rather lazy.  She’s never been one to keep her home spotless.  Since marrying my father she put him in charge of not only maintaining her car but cleaning it as well.  She doesn’t cook often & never has.  She hasn’t held a job since before getting married, other than a part time job for a week or two in 1989.  This tells me that her calling me lazy was simply projection rather than fact.  (Projection is when a person behaves in a certain way, then accuses another of being that way when they truly aren’t.  It allows the accuser to get mad about the flaw without taking responsibility for it.  It’s a very common tool used by narcissists.)

 

I began to tell myself I’m not lazy.  I believe in working smarter not harder, but that isn’t a bad thing.  It was starting to sink in, until I got sick in 2015 with Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.  It took every ounce of energy out of me for months on end, & I felt like the laziest human on the planet since all I could do was lay around.  As I lay there recovering, I watched a lot of TV.  One evening, out of the blue, God spoke to my heart & told me why He allowed me to get sick.  One of the reasons was I needed to rest more.  In spite of starting to realize I wasn’t lazy, I still pushed myself too hard.  Now I have to rest sometimes- my body just can’t work as hard as it once did.  He said if I continued pushing myself too much, it would kill me eventually.  It had to stop.

 

I can’t believe I’m the only person God would do this too, so I’m including it as a warning to you, Dear Reader.  If you are that typical adult child of a narcissistic parent who pushes yourself too hard, it’s time to stop.  If you don’t, what’s to say God won’t allow something to happen to you that causes you to need to rest?  It’s much better to rest on your own terms!  Try what I did- look at your situation objectively & you’ll see you aren’t lazy, & there is nothing wrong with resting & relaxing!  You also deserve to have joy in your life, & how can you do that if you work non stop?  Take better care of yourself, Dear Reader!  You deserve it!

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C-PTSD, PTSD & Nightmares

When you first learn that you have PTSD or C-PTSD, you will hear about having nightmares, but very little has been discussed about what kind of nightmares.

 

When I first realized I had C-PTSD in 2012, I read everything I could find on the disorder, & kept seeing nightmares on the list of symptoms.  I assumed it would be dreams repeating traumatic events.  Unpleasant, for sure, but I lived through the real thing so I figured I could handle the nightmares.

 

Not even close!

 

I have had nightmares ever since I can remember, but the frequency has increased greatly since 2012.  And, of the many nightmares, very few were actually reliving the trauma.  Instead, many were very strange, such as having my car stolen then totaled, finding a little child I needed to protect or other odd subject matter.  I honestly wondered what was wrong with me.  How could I have such awful & strange dreams yet nothing of the trauma I have been through?  It seemed completely bizarre to me.

 

Recently I realized something.. these dreams may not be specifically about trauma, but they share similar emotions to traumatic experiences I have had.  The nightmares often leave me feeling powerless, abused, unloved (even hated), helpless & more.

 

I’ve heard a few people say their nightmares are much like mine- not about traumatic events, but about events that trigger similar emotions.

 

I believe this means such nightmares must be a normal part of having C-PTSD or PTSD.

 

If you too are having odd, unsettling nightmares, then know you aren’t alone.  Nightmares are part of PTSD & C-PTSD, unfortunately.

 

As disturbing as they are, they may be able to help you.  Dreams & nightmares alike have meanings.  They’re never random, even though they feel that way.

 

Dreams can show you areas you need healing in or areas where you have healed well.  They can show you things you weren’t aware of or you need to be aware of.  They also can simply help you because your brain is  processing some information.  The brain processes information every single moment, even when you’re asleep.

 

If you want to understand your dreams & nightmares, prayer is the best place to start.  Ask God to help you to understand them & learn what you need to know from them.

 

A good dream dictionary is a helpful tool too.  I use a website (there are many to choose from).  They can help you to see what each item in your dream represents, which can make it easier to interpret them.

 

It’s also a good idea to keep track of your dreams.  Write them down & look them over from time to time.  That can help encourage you when you see how far you’ve come.  It also can help to remind you of things you need to deal with.

 

Personally I write down my dreams & nightmares, plus what I find the meaning of everything I can remember in them.  Colors, objects, people, feelings.  Once it’s all written down, I ask God to help me to understand what the dream or nightmare meant.  It’s proven to be quite helpful to me many times.  It could benefit you as well

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Comparing Your Healing To Others

When you begin talking to people about experiences with narcissistic abuse, it can be tempting to compare your experiences.  Especially in online groups, it’s very easy to see people in different levels of healing.  It can be discouraging seeing people who are obviously in a better place than you.

 

I want to encourage you today, Dear Reader.  Stop comparing your healing with that of other people!  Nothing good comes from comparison!  It only makes you feel badly about yourself!

 

Instead, remember- people are very different.  We all respond to things differently, we feel things differently & we process things differently.  Even if you & another person have very similar experiences with narcissistic abuse, those differences mean your healing will be unique to each of you.

 

One area in particular I struggled with is anger.  I think many people struggle in this area.  I used to feel badly because I’d see so many others who weren’t angry.  Yet, there I was, livid every time I thought of certain things my parents had done.  Others had experienced similar situations, yet obviously weren’t as angry as I was.  It made me wonder what was wrong with me.  I went to God with my concerns, & He shared some interesting things with me.

 

If you weren’t allowed to show anger as a kid, as is the case with most narcissistic parents, you’re going to be very angry as an adult.  The anger built up over the years because you had no way to release it.  Some children of narcissistic parents are fortunate enough to find outlets for their anger, so they don’t feel as angry as adults.   I was never allowed to show anger, not even simple frustration, as a child.  I was shamed greatly if I got angry, so I learned to avoid showing anger at all costs.  It’s only natural that I have a bigger problem with anger than someone who found outlets for their anger as a child.

 

There are also folks who continue to hold in their anger.  They deny feeling it, because they are still convinced that anger is a terrible thing that should be avoided at all costs.  These people may even be shaming towards others who feel anger, although unintentionally.  For example, they often try to be extremely positive  in order to deny their anger, which makes someone who is angry feel bad for not doing the same, even though being too positive isn’t mentally healthy.  (Being realistic is much healthier)

 

I hope you see that comparing your healing journey to that of other people is a complete waste of time.  There is truly no good that can come of it!  Walk your individual path proudly.  God has a unique plan just for you!  xoxo

 

 

 

 

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An Important Point About No Contact

No contact is often the only solution preached when a victim of narcissistic abuse looks for advice.  People make it sound like once you get that narcissist out of your life, everything will be peachy keen.  However, this is not the case!

 

No contact is a wonderful thing.  I am very much in favor of it since often it is the only solution that can help a victim keep their sanity.  It creates the distance needed to help the victim have clarity of thought that is impossible while involved with a narcissist.  That being said, though, there needs to be more to it than simply cutting the narcissist out of your life.

 

If your parents are narcissists, chances are you find yourself in friendships & romantic relationships with narcissists.  You can end the relationship with your parents, but if that’s all you do, you’ll continue to find yourself in these toxic relationships.

 

Rather than cutting ties only, you need to learn all you can about narcissism.  Doing this will help you to spot narcissists easily, before they lure you into their dysfunctional web.  It also will show you that you are not to blame for anything they did to you.  Narcissists love blaming their victims for the abuse they dish out, which leaves victims feeling guilty unnecessarily.  Learning about narcissism will help you to get a revelation on the fact that their abuse was all on them.  You truly aren’t the problem, a bad person or anything else they said you were!

 

Also, focus on your own healing.  Grow stronger & healthier emotionally.  Get to the root of your issues so you can truly heal.  As you get healthier, your self esteem will heal too, & you will find yourself attracted to & attracting healthier people into your life.  You also will find you can handle yourself with the abusive ones that are impossible to avoid.

 

If you are considering going no contact, then please keep these points in mind!  Going no contact can help you a great deal of course, but you don’t need to stop there.  Learn about narcissism & focus on your healing as well as going no contact, as these things will benefit you immensely!

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Are You Enjoying Where You Are Or Comparing Yourself To Others?

Some time ago, I got caught up in comparing my success as an author to other authors.  I realized many who write about similar topics to me are much more well known.  Their blogs, Facebook pages or groups have thousands of followers.  Mine?  Not nearly so many.  This used to make me sad, but God told me something.  It helped me a great deal, & I think it may help you as well.

 

“When stars burn extremely brightly, they burn out quickly.  Stars that don’t shine as brightly burn much steadier & for longer periods of time.”

 

If you’re feeling frustrated in your ministry or calling, like you don’t measure up to others, then it’s time to stop comparing yourself to other people!  Dear Reader, God has given you a unique calling, so focus on enjoying where you are with it.  If you compare yourself with others who seem more successful than you, remember what God told me about stars. Maybe those bright stars have a lot more success than you do at the moment, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have plenty of success as well!

 

Every single person has an individual path to walk in life.  God’s ways are perfect, so why not focus on enjoying your path, enjoying where you are right now rather than comparing yourself to others?  Doing that has taken an incredible amount of pressure off of myself & enabled me to enjoy what I do a lot more than I had been enjoying it.  It will do the same for you!

 

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A Message For Those Who Support Narcissistic Abusers

I always said I’d keep my writing real & I’m doing that with this post.  Be forewarned, it’ll be ugly because I’m very angry as I write this.  It also isn’t going to be pretty or succinct, but it’s going to be real.

**note- this post had to be edited for clarity before publishing.  For a short time after a flashback, my brain doesn’t work very well.  I made tons of spelling errors & unclear thoughts when I first wrote this post.  I needed a couple of days to recover then correct this post before publishing.  Although I wanted this post to be 100% real, that wasn’t quite possible if the post was to be readable.  I did maintain the thoughts & original message, I just prettied it up.  This post isn’t indicative of how coherent I am after a flashback. Thanks for understanding!**

 

This was just going to be a journal entry, but I felt instead I should make it a blog entry.  It felt important enough to put out there for the world to see & to rearrange my scheduled posts so this will post in just a couple of days.  When I prayed about this, God told me, “It needs to be said.”  So, I’m saying it.

 

A little while ago, I was watching “Law & Order SVU”.  One of the detectives was talking to a young woman about statutory rape.  That phrase triggered a flashback as soon as I heard it.

 

When I was 17 & trying to date my now ex husband, my overt narcissistic mother’s abuse was at its peak.  She didn’t like him, & was determined to keep us apart at any cost.  One of the many cruel things she did during that time was accuse me of things I wasn’t doing, including having sex.  She was absolutely obsessed with that topic, thinking I was having sex not only with my ex but a LOT of guys at our high school, including the entire football team.  Anyway one day during one of her many daily screaming fits at me, she told me that since my ex was six months younger than me, she could easily have me arrested for statutory rape for having sex with him.  I can’t describe the blind fear that put in me.  Not because I was actually doing anything, but because I was certain that the police would believe her.  She had about everyone we knew convinced I was nothing but a promiscuous juvenile delinquent.  I couldn’t believe the police would think otherwise.  It also made me wonder exactly what else she was capable of.

 

As I was writing this in my journal, trying to process this abuse, I also had another thought.  I thought about people who blindly support narcissists.  They need to know things like this, things the person they’re so devoted to is capable of doing.  If you know someone who is on a narcissist’s side, then by all means, feel free to show them this post if you think it’ll make a difference!

 

The rest of this post is directed at them.

 

Dear supporter of a narcissist:

 

Think for a moment about what I shared above.  My own mother threatened to have me arrested for something I wasn’t even doing.  And, this is just one example of how she abused me.  She screamed at me for hours every single day, telling me what a terrible person I was, I was stupid, ugly, a disappointment & so much more.  She didn’t just say it, although that would’ve been bad enough.  She literally screamed it repeatedly each & every day several times a day.  She often was so close I could feel her breath on my face.  (To this day, I still get panicky if I feel someone’s breath on me thanks to her.)  My ears would ring after she stopped screaming, because she was so loud.  Many narcissistic parents do the same kinds of things my mother did to me to their children.  How can you support a person who is capable of doing this to their own child?!  Do you honestly think that person is truly worthy of your loyalty?

 

Not only did my mother abuse me daily, but my covert narcissist father did nothing to stop it.  When I told him, he would say something about the way she treated me was hard on him, but there was nothing he could do to stop it.  As if failing to protect me wasn’t quite enough, he also wanted me to comfort him instead of him comforting & protecting me like any decent parent would do.  This is abusive & it’s pure evil, treating your own child this way, yet many covert narcissists do this & more.  Why does someone like this deserve any of your respect, loyalty & devotion??

 

Here we are, almost 30 years after the threat of being arrested & the daily scream-fests.  I’m still dealing with it & countless other similar incidents.  Thanks to the abuse I endured, I have C-PTSD, which means have flashbacks on a pretty regular basis.  Today’s was not an isolated incident.  Anxiety & depression often get so bad that I can’t even leave my home.  My moods are a roller coaster & it takes a LOT of strength not to yell at my husband or cry on him most days even though he’s not the cause of the mood swings.  I have nightmares more nights than not, when I can finally get to sleep that is.   Usually, even with sleep aids, I still have trouble falling & staying asleep.  We won’t even discuss how pitiful my short term memory or my comprehension are thanks to C-PTSD.  Many adult children of narcissists also suffer with C-PTSD because of being abused by the people who were supposed to love & protect them- their parents.  We are the ones who deserve  love & support, not the abusive, wicked narcissists who derive pleasure from hurting others, even their own kids!

 

Meanwhile, like most narcissistic parents, my parents tell people they don’t know what’s wrong with me.  (They obviously didn’t care enough to listen when I told them during our last conversations why I was upset with them, even though I was in tears.)  They don’t get why don’t I call or visit or take care of them.  The simple truth is I had to get away from them to protect what’s left of my sanity & protect myself from further abuse.  I just couldn’t take any more.  My mother made it easy by removing herself from my life last year.  My father wasn’t far behind.  I just saved him the trouble by going no contact before he did.

 

And as if all of this wasn’t bad enough, then there are many people out there who defend these evil narcissistic people & invalidate their victims!  They say victims need to get over it, fix things with their parents, use guilt laden phrases like “your parent won’t be around forever yanno!” (they must have forgotten many children die before their parents)  or simply don’t believe them.  Talk about a slap in the face!  It’s just one more incident of abuse heaped on the pile.  Discrediting a victim especially when you don’t know the facts is abuse!  It’s invalidation!  

 

People who blindly side with someone when two people are having problems are acting incredibly foolishly.  It makes no sense to side with one person while not knowing all of the facts!  It’s even worse when the side chosen is the side that enables & encourages a person to abuse their own child, no matter what the child’s age!  Unless a person is truly naive enough to be duped by a narcissist, the only reason a person would do such a thing (that I can fathom anyway) is they get a thrill from abusing the victim like the narcissist does.  I believe there are many wicked people like that, which is partly why I refuse to engage with anyone who shows me they are on the side of someone who is clearly abusive, in particular to me.

 

Does this describe you?  If you are reading this & offended, I’m sorry- I don’t want to offend anyone.  But, I do want to get people to think & one way to do that is to spell out the ugly truth.  If someone you know has told you they’re being abused, don’t brush them off!  Most people don’t make up lies like this.  It takes a lot of courage to admit you’re being abused, especially by a parent.  Don’t think that parent is too nice & couldn’t possibly be abusive either.  All abusers have a public persona & a private one.  Appearing “nice” in public is a way to make sure no one believes a victim.  They aren’t genuinely nice.  Don’t be naive enough to think otherwise.

 

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“Why Didn’t You Tell Someone?”

When victims of abuse first tell their story, people often ask why they didn’t tell someone when it was happening.  They figure it couldn’t have been so bad if they didn’t even tell anyone.

 

This thinking is incredibly faulty!  Nothing could be further from the truth!

 

Abusers of all types have some things in common.  One of those things is they love secrecy.  They don’t want people to know what they are doing to their victim, so they threaten & scare their victims into silence.

 

Some abusers tell their victims things like, “If you tell anyone, I’ll kill your child/parents/sibling.”  Others beat their victims upon finding out the victim told someone what the abuser has done.  Narcissistic abusers usually aren’t so obvious with their intimidation, but they value secrecy nonetheless.  When I was growing up, my mother used to scream at me when she thought I was “airing our dirty laundry” as she called talking about her abuse.  She would shame me for needing to talk about things, like there was something incredibly wrong with me- everything she did was completely normal, I had no right to think otherwise or talk about her behind her back.  I stopped talking.  It wasn’t worth the screaming & berating.

 

Then sometimes if we tell, people either don’t believe us anyway or they think we’re exaggerating.  When I was a teen & told some people about my mother, no one believed me.  One school guidance counselor said “it didn’t sound so bad.”  When my mother threw me into a wall, I went to my friend’s parents’ home to see if I could stay with them.  Her father laughed at me.  26+ years later & I still don’t get the joke.

 

Reasons like this are why victims don’t tell someone when the abuse is happening.  We’re terrified the abuser will follow through on their threats or hurt us in some way, or afraid no one will believe us.  As painful as staying quiet about what’s happening is, it’s easier than facing the wrath of the abuser or apathy of someone we turn to for help.

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