Tag Archives: mental

Being A Highly Sensitive Person In A Relationship With Someone Who Is Not

Highly sensitive people, also known as HSPs, are rather looked at as if we have some supernatural powers & are extremely fragile.  We are often perceived as freaks of nature that must be coddled through our daily existence.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  We are exceptionally sensitive to our surroundings & people in our lives, but we also are surprisingly strong.  We can handle a great deal provided we have our down time to recharge & people in our lives that accept that about us.  Yet somehow, we often end up romantically involved with people who don’t understand or accept that about us.

When you’re an HSP in love with someone who isn’t one, life is going to be a challenge.  It is so easy to assume that all conflicts in the relationship are your fault.  After all, you’re the sensitive one, so couldn’t you be over sensitive?  That’s certainly a reasonable question to ask!  However, did it not occur to you that you may see yourself as over sensitive because your significant other is rather insensitive in comparison? 

Your partner may not be an insensitive jerk, but rather an average person regarding their sensitivity level.  That isn’t a bad thing.  Most people are that way.  But, for the sake of your sanity, if at all possible, you need to accept your partner as they are & also ask them to accept that you aren’t like them.  You are more sensitive & being that way means your needs are different.  You need some things much more than your partner.  A partner who can accept such differences without judgment & try to accommodate them is a true gem!

Sometimes, non-HSP people tend to be thoughtless.  They may come home from work & turn on the radio or television with the volume way up when you need quiet.  Yes, this is very frustrating, but it doesn’t mean you need to be subjected to it.  Ask your partner to turn the volume down some & go into a separate space where you can have silence or your own preference for music or television set at a volume you prefer.  One of you in the living room & the other in a bedroom may work well.  If your home is too small for this, then consider going for a walk or a drive. 

Another helpful tip is to remind yourself often that not everyone is as sensitive to everything as you are.  Your partner may be a lovely, caring person but still can make insensitive comments periodically that upset you.  If your partner isn’t trying to cause you upset by such comments, if possible, let them go like water off a duck’s back.  Remember, not everyone will think like you, & that is ok!  If your partner is trying to upset you deliberately however, that is a very different scenario!  That is cruel & needs to be addressed.

You can blossom in a relationship with someone who isn’t a highly sensitive person, but there are some things you need to do.

Make time just for yourself, without your partner.  Enjoy whatever brings you joy – music, art, or your favorite hobbies.  Explain to your partner that it has nothing to do with you not wanting to spend time with them.  You simply need time alone to recharge.

There can be good things to remember about being with a non-HSP partner.  Your partner won’t struggle with being around other people while you enjoy your solitude, & you can introduce him or her to the beauty surrounding us every day.  The balance you bring to each other can be wonderful.  However, if your partner is too extroverted & frequently tries to convince you to socialize more often than you are comfortable with, that can be a problem.

Teach your partner about what it is like being a highly sensitive person.  This will show you how healthy your relationship is or is not.  Someone who truly loves & wants to be with you will be more than happy to learn about such things.  This also can help your relationship grow closer & increase your mutual love & understanding.

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My New Alexa Skills

I’ve gotten a bit creative lately. I made some amazon skills. The skills are “Scriptures On Narcissism,” “Narcissism Facts” & “Biblical Affirmations. There are links to all three on my website at:

https://www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com/home/alexa-skills/

These skills work with any Alexa device & are totally free. I don’t make any profit from them.

If there are any other skills you think would be interesting, I’d love to hear your ideas!

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Enjoying Life, Narcissism

Beware Of A Narcissist’s Scouts

According to thesaurus.com, some synonyms for the word scout are “detective,” “lookout,” & “sleuth.”    Such descriptions fit in perfectly to describe the type of person I want to discuss today.

A narcissist’s scout is nothing but a flying monkey.  They most likely aren’t obvious like most flying monkeys.  In fact, they often fade quietly into the background.  They also are probably someone you barely know, but is close to the narcissist.  Then suddenly, out of nowhere, they call, send a text message or email, or maybe a friend’s request on social media.  This sort of thing often happens around holidays, birthdays or some other special day.

When you barely know the person, responding to them can seem innocent enough.  Sure, they know the narcissist, but they seemed ok.  What could be the harm in getting to know them?  PLENTY!!

Scouts rely on their ability to seem innocent & harmless to do their mission, & that mission is not becoming your friend.  That mission is getting information about you to share with their narcissist.  You may think that isn’t a big deal, but I promise you it is! 

When someone is as toxic as a narcissist, any information they have about you can be twisted around to make you look bad & benefit them somehow.  They can use the information to smear your good name which potentially could cause all kinds of problems.  Or, at the very least, it makes them feel smug because they know something about you that you don’t want them to know, & this provides narcissistic supply.  Better they know nothing!

Besides providing the narcissist with information about you, scouts also may try to force you to resume the relationship with the narcissist.  As I have said many times, I believe flying monkeys to be narcissists, & this behavior is proof of that.  They try to force the relationship to resume by using bullying tactics if they are overt narcissists, or, if they are covert, they will use guilt, shame & any underhanded manipulative tactics they can think of.  Either way, these people benefit from behaving this way.  They get the thrill of abusing someone & recognition from the narcissist for “trying to help” them out. 

Probably, the scout’s motivation for reaching out to you is to try to convince you to resume the toxic relationship while they gather information about you to provide the narcissist.  They get a lot of narcissistic supply from this.

If you go no contact with the narcissist in your life, chances are excellent this is going to happen to you at some point.  If the narcissist isn’t able to contact you, they will send a scout out.  It may even be years after the last time you spoke with them.  My longest time after last contact with a narcissist before the scout was sent out was 19 years.  One of my husband’s relatives sent me a friend’s request on Facebook, then followed me, while ignoring his friend’s request.

When this happens to you, the best advice I can give is not to respond to any contact from a scout, no matter how innocent it seems.  Chances are you will be opening a door that won’t lead to anything good.  Leave the door closed, & ask God to show you the best way to handle the situation.

Blocking any & all access this person has to you is a wise move as well.  They don’t need to know anything about you.  Even if this person hasn’t proven himself or herself toxic, remember that they also haven’t proven themselves safe, & only known safe people should have access to your life in any capacity.

There is one other option for something you can do.  Share information only for them.  I don’t mean to be vengeful.  I’m also not encouraging lying.  What I mean is do what I do.  I do this with my last scout.  I deleted her friend’s request immediately.  I noticed she follows me, & I almost blocked her but had another idea… I let her follow me.  I share very little on Facebook anyway, & am very careful about what I share publicly.  Right after I realized this scout follows me, I shared some funny memes about people who aren’t friends but follow people on social media.  The only other public things I share are my blog posts, memes & articles about Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  This was my way of telling her, “I know you’re just here to spy on me.  Here’s some information you can take back to the original narcissists.  I hope y’all read it & learn something about yourselves!”  And truly, I DO hope they learn something.  It’s unlikely of course, but maybe if I plant enough seeds, something will grow. 

By doing this, they have gotten quite a surprise I’m sure.  They were certain they were being smart, & I stupidly would befriend their scout.  They couldn’t have been more wrong.  Instead, the only things they will get from me is truth.  It’s a good tactic.. you can’t go wrong sharing the truth, & quite honestly, it feels good because by doing this, I’m showing them they aren’t going to outsmart me with their pathetic games. 

Whatever you opt to do with your scout, I truly wish you the best!

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Filed under Enjoying Life, Mental Health, Narcissism

Year End Sale On ALL Of My Ebooks!

From December 17, 2021 until January 1, 2022, my publisher is offering 25% off all of my ebooks. If you’ve been wanting to read any of them, it’s a great time to buy. Simply go to my author page on my publisher’s site at the link below. The coupon will be applied automatically at checkout.

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

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Animals, Caregiving, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Enjoying Life, Mental Health, Narcissism, Personality (including introversion, Myers Briggs, etc.), Writing

About Scars

Most people are very uncomfortable around someone with obvious scars.  They stare at the person who has scars from surviving a house fire or they avoid even making simple eye contact with the person.  Some especially rude people ask this person what happened while wearing an expression of sheer disgust on their face.  Experiences like this make the person with the scars feel ashamed of how they look.  This sort of experience also can happen to someone who wears their scars inside as a result of surviving abuse.

So many people who live with ongoing mental health struggles such as Complex PTSD, PTSD, anxiety & depression as a result of being abused are shamed.  Some people mock these mental disorders while others deny their existence, which further contributes to the shame most abuse victims feel on some level for being abused.  This behavior is incredibly cruel but also foolish.

Everyone has scars to some degree.  Those scars shouldn’t be a source of shame.  Scars tell a story of things you have experienced.

Some scars show a woman has birthed healthy children.

Some scars show what happened to a soldier who bravely threw himself in harm’s way to protect his fellow soldiers.

Some scars show that a fireman was injured while rescuing someone from a burning building on the verge of collapse.

Some scars show the vet assistant’s job involves a lot more physical pain than most people think because scared animals scratch & bite.

Some scars even show that a person was abused by someone they thought they could trust, someone they thought loved them & would be good to them.

The one thing all scars have in common is that they tell a story of something that could have destroyed a person yet they didn’t.  They tell a story of survival, strength & bravery. 

If you have survived abuse & feel your story isn’t somehow good or worthy like the people in the examples I provided, I want you to know that you are wrong.  Having a mental disorder or even disorders doesn’t mean you are weak, stupid, or a failure.  Far from it!  It means you survived something that could have destroyed you.  Narcissists do their level best to destroy their victims in every possible way, yet you survived that!  Of course you have some issues as a result of the abuse, because that is only normal.  Rather than be ashamed of those issues, why not be proud of the fact you survived what many people don’t?  Then, as if surviving isn’t enough, here you are, not only coping with those issues but learning, growing, healing & helping others who have experienced what you have.  You should be so proud of yourself for how far you have come!! 

Rather than be ashamed of your scars & try to hide them, I would like to suggest that you to accept them without judgment as reminders of your strength & courage!  Hold your head high & be proud of the person you are!

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

About Perspective Of Good & Bad Experiences

I love watching the old public tv show, “The Joy Of Painting” with Bob Ross.  He was an incredibly talented painter, & there is something so calming about watching him create his beautiful works of art.  I also especially enjoy the bits of wisdom he shared through each episode.  Not only bits of wisdom about painting, but about life in general. 

I was watching his show recently & he was painting a beautiful mountain scene in the fall.  During the course of painting, Mr. Ross said some interesting things.

The first thing he mentioned was as he was painting a lake.  To create dimension, he used dark & light colors together.  He said something like, “Don’t conceal all your dark areas or the painting will become flat.”  Immediately it made me think of the overly positive people of the world.  I don’t mean the average person who tries to be positive, but the ones who refuse to say anything negative or see anything but the good in people.  When people don’t admit that sometimes things are less than perfect & happy, they often are much the same way- flat.  They express only one mood- happy.  Honestly, I find this incredibly annoying to be around.  Not that I want to be around people who are always miserable either.  Somewhere in the middle is so much more comfortable & I think also healthy.  People who are real & honest are the most interesting people, in my opinion anyway, probably because they have many different aspects to their personalities & different moods.  They’re also more comfortable to be around, because you know they won’t judge you if you are anything less than completely positive & happy.  Many overly positive people also can come across very invalidating & shaming.  For example, if you’re laid up with a broken leg, it’s ok to be upset about that.  The unhealthy, overly positive type of person will say something like you should be glad it happened because now you have the time off to catch up on whatever hobbies you enjoy.  That comment can make you feel badly for being upset that you are in a miserable situation, even though you have every right to be upset.

Another interesting thing he mentioned was that you need darkness to show the light.  How true is that!  If you think of it in the natural realm, if you light up an average light bulb, it will look very different in the dark than it will on a sunny day.  In the dark, even a very dim bulb can look extremely bright.  Yet, in the sunlight, even the brightest bulb will appear pretty dim.  The contrast of dark & light always makes light appear brighter.

The same things happen with good & bad things in life.  The bad, or darker, things that happen make you appreciate the good, or lighter, things.  If you have only good things happen, you can count on not appreciating anything good that happens to you simply because that is the norm for you.  There is nothing to compare your experiences to that will make them appear worth appreciating.  If there is a balance of both good & bad things, however, the bad things truly will make you appreciate the good things.  The good things will look so much better in contrast to the bad, just like that dim light bulb will look especially bright in a very dark room.

It was kinda strange, realizing these things from watching a man paint a pretty landscape, but I hope you found them interesting like I did.  And, his show can be found on YouTube & I think it was Pluto TV where I found it.  Very worth checking out if you have the chance!

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

Empathy vs Codependency

A couple of very misunderstood concepts today are empathy & codependency. 

Some things I’ve read about empathy haven’t been overly accurate.  In fact, some make it sound like being empathic is some sort of weird psychic power when it is nothing of the sort.  Some people also seem to think having empathy means that you have no boundaries, & are completely self sacrificing 1000% of the time.  According to Merriam Webster’s online dictionary however, empathy means: “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.”  Empathy is a good thing to have, since it enables you to be kind to others.

Codependency isn’t like empathy.  It isn’t concerned about what is best for others or how you can help people.  It’s about enabling bad behavior.  Also according to Merriam Webster’s online dictionary, codependency means: “a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (such as an addiction to alcohol or heroin)”.  Codependency says, “Let me make this situation pleasing to you” whereas empathy says, “How can I help you to help yourself to do what is best for you?”

Although both of these words clearly have very different meanings, some people confuse them, using them interchangeably either from a point of being naïve or being manipulative.  With narcissists, it’s almost always manipulative.  Narcissists don’t care if someone empathizes with their pain, but they do care about having a victim who is willing to overlook their abusive ways & enable their toxic behavior.  Narcissists may claim their victim is lacking in empathy when what the narcissist really wants from the victim is codependency.  Many victims of narcissistic abuse are empathic people, & unless they know better, they will be hurt by the narcissist’s accusation.  Rather than have the narcissist think they are heartless, sometimes empathic people enable the narcissist’s toxicity in an attempt to get the narcissist to think they are good people & earn the narcissist’s favor.

If you realize that you have codependent tendencies or are in a codependent relationship, you’re not alone.  It happens to many victims of narcissistic abuse.  The good news is you don’t have to stay that way.  You can unlearn these unhealthy behaviors!

As always, I recommend starting with prayer.  Ask God to show you what you need to change & how to make appropriate changes.

Also learn what you can about empathy & codependency.  Learning what you can will help you to see when you’re being empathic & when you’re being codependent.

Don’t forget to learn about boundaries, too.  You’ll need to gain a good sense of boundaries & know effective ways to enforce them.  To help you get started, I created a free online book study course about boundaries.  It’s available on my website at: www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com

I know this probably sounds pretty overwhelming & hard to make the healthy changes you need to make, but really, it’s easier than you might think.  Once you recognize progress in yourself, it encourages you to keep on doing what you’re doing.  Also know that you’ll feel a lot of guilt when you begin to change your codependent ways.  That is totally normal.  When it happens, rather than give into ask yourself if you truly have a reason to feel this guilt or not.  Chances are excellent that you’ll recognize that you have no valid reason for the guilt.

I wish you the best with making these healthy changes!

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

Depression During The Holidays

Many people suffer with depression during the holiday season.  November & December are very painful for them.  Yet sadly, this phenomenon is rarely discussed.

Thanksgiving & Christmas can be a very difficult time for many people & for countless reasons. 

Even for those who adore the holidays & circumstances are good in their lives, there is the stress of extra money spent for meals & gifts, so much more to do in preparation such as meal planning & decorating, less time to relax & more.  This stress can ultimately result in anxiety & even depression.

For those who don’t host, holidays still can be very stressful.  There are family demands & expectations.  Many dysfunctional families have very high expectations for the holidays & everyone must meet them or else suffer consequences.  Having been down this road, I can assure you, it doesn’t exactly make a person happy during the holidays!

Often young married couples are pressured to spend holidays with their two families, which is very stressful.  Their holidays are a source of stress & scheduling to make everyone happy or consequences if they don’t.

There are also so many people who have lost a loved one to consider.  This may be their first holiday season without the loved one who enjoyed hosting holiday get togethers.  No longer having those gatherings can create sadness as losing them is what is known as a secondary loss to the primary loss of that special person.  Even years later, that loss still can be painful.  Or, even if that person didn’t make a fuss over holidays, holidays still may be a reminder that someone special is gone.

Many other people have had to sever ties with their abusive families, & the holidays are a painful reminder that they are without a family.  Seeing others happily spending time with their families or talking about how they can’t wait to visit with their relatives are painful reminders of what a person in this situation is missing.

People who are unable to be with their family during the holidays experience similar emotions.  Law enforcement officers, first responders & military personnel are some examples of people in this situation.

I recently read that an estimated six percent of people struggle with depression during the holiday season.  Many of those people don’t experience depression at any other time.  Some of them also have been misdiagnosed as having Seasonal Affective Disorder because they present with similar symptoms & happen at similar times of the year. 

It’s also estimated that 64% of people with a mental illness experience worsening of their symptoms around the holidays.

If you too experience depression during the holidays, you aren’t alone by far!  Many people share your pain.  There are some things you can do that can help.

I always recommend starting with prayer.  Ask God to help you however you need.

If you feel alone, try spending time with friends whenever possible.  Go out for coffee or lunch.  Hang out at home & talk.  If they aren’t available, volunteer with a cause near to your heart or visit folks in nursing homes. 

Consider seeing a counselor.  If you aren’t able to or are uncomfortable doing this, at least write in a journal.

Have good boundaries.  Don’t say yes to every invitation.  You don’t need to be constantly busy. 

Create new traditions either just for yourself or with your family.

If you feel you must visit others on the actual date of the holiday, set aside a different day to enjoy the day with those closest to you. My paternal grandparents never celebrated Christmas on December 25.  They celebrated on the weekend between Christmas & New Year’s.  That way, no one felt pressured to be with them on Christmas day.  They could spend the day however they wanted & still enjoy my grandparents’ annual Christmas celebration.

Don’t expect your adult children to spend all day with you, especially if they have a significant other or friends they want to visit.

Keep your expectations realistic.  Don’t expect to lose this depression easily.  One good holiday won’t cure you forever.  It may take several holidays to make progress.  Or, you may not be able to shake the depression completely.  I haven’t been able to.  But, since I know it will come each year, I try to find ways to bring some joy into my life during the season.

Don’t let anyone shame you for how you feel at this time! I’ve experienced this & can’t tell you how maddening it is. People who are quick to judge lack empathy & have no business hurting someone who is already hurting. Ignore them!

I hope these tips help you!

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Filed under Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Enjoying Life, Mental Health

30% Off All My Print Books Until November 30, 2021

My publisher is having a really good sale on print books right now! 30% off! Shipping time may be a bit slow due to supply chain issues, but if you don’t mind the wait, this is a great time to get the books you want. Simply use code SAVE30 at checkout.

The print versions books can be found at the link below…

https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

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

Some Reasons Why Victims Side With Abusers

If you have survived an abusive relationship & are working on healing from that, the possibility of someone who has been a victim siding with their abuser can seem utterly impossible to comprehend.  Yet sadly it happens more often than you might think.

Many people who have been abused refuse to find some way to come to terms with it.  They won’t accept that someone who was supposed to love them not only didn’t love them but actively tried to hurt them.  This is particularly the case with children abused by their parents.

Being abused by a parent also can make you feel like if your own parent doesn’t love you, then clearly you must be unlovable.  Children naturally seem to have a propensity for accepting blame that isn’t theirs, so when their parent doesn’t love them, they assume it’s because of something they have done wrong or there is something wrong with them.  Instead, they accept this faulty belief as fact, thinking they deserve the abuse.  They often grow up to say things like, “Yea, Dad was hard on me but he made a man out of me!”

Another reason victims of abuse may side with abusers is cognitive dissonance.  That is the feeling that comes with learning the truth that directly clashes with some deeply held belief.  Believing your parents are good people then learning they were anything but creates that painful cognitive dissonance.  It makes a person question everything they thought they believed.  Cognitive dissonance is truly painful, & many people would rather avoid it completely.  If that means siding with their abusive parent, so be it.  They prefer that to facing their pain.

Sometimes adults who survived abusive childhoods see other victims dealing with their pain.  They see the suffering they go through with flashbacks, nightmares, crippling anxiety & depression, maybe even suicidal tendencies & they are afraid that if they face their pain, they will end up going through the exact same pain.  Also, they may be reminded of their own pain that they refuse to face.  Instead of trying to show victims they care, they rush to shut them down.  One way they do this is to side with abusers & try to normalize their behavior.  Not only the abusers of their fellow victims, but theirs as well.

Another reason victims may side with their abusers is to create the illusion of normalcy.  If they can justify their abusive parent’s behavior, then it becomes normal, which in turn means they were treated normally & are normal people.  Thinking this way makes the victims feel normal, & not like a victim or something is wrong with them. It also has another purpose.  Many times, victims of child abuse marry other victims as adults.  In these situations, often one person faces their pain while the other tries their best to avoid it.  If the one facing their pain points out to the one who refuses to that his or her parent is abusive, that causes pain that this person has tried hard to avoid for a long time.  If he or she can make the other person believe they are overreacting, over sensitive or even crazy, the abuse was totally normal, & their parent did nothing wrong, this can stop the healthier person from discussing this topic.  The healthier person will get discouraged in trying to help their partner, & may give up the unhealthy person to their dysfunctional ways.

Rather than deal with painful things, it seems like many victims of abuse think that the easier alternative is to side with the abusive parent.  Pretending all is fine & their abusive parent wasn’t a monster at all but instead a good parent doing their best is truly a dysfunctional coping skill!  It’s a shame it’s also such a common one.

If you have someone in your life who is doing this, I know how incredibly difficult & frustrating it is.  You want the best for him or her, but this person doesn’t see that.  They see you as unreasonable, over sensitive, unkind, or whatever.  If you are to continue this relationship, then please pray.  Ask God to give you wisdom about how to handle things & pay attention to what He says.  He knows this person better than you possibly could.  If you feel God wants you to speak on this subject, then do so gently & humbly.  Remain logical & not emotional because heated emotions only shut this type of person down.  Ask logical questions too, like, “Why do you think it’s OK your father beat you with a belt?  If I told you my father did it, would you still think it’s OK?”

God may also say that you shouldn’t discuss this with your loved one.  Some people are extremely determined to continue in this dysfunction & nothing anyone says can get through to them.  If this is your situation, then do NOT discuss it!!  Have a safe place to vent your frustrations though, because you are going to need it.  Pray, journal, talk to a close friend.. just don’t keep your frustrations inside.  Remember, you don’t have the right to try to force something on another person, even if your intentions are good & it’s a good thing.  Let God deal with this person & show them the truth.  When He does it, there won’t be any doubt it’ll be done the best way possible!

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Warrior For Truth

On the morning of July 30, 2016, I woke up from a very odd dream.  In it, I saw my in-laws.  I was keeping a distance when one of my sisters in-law approached me.  My personality in the dream was as it is in real life, & I wanted nothing to do with her due to her past treatment of my husband & I.  She meekly mentioned seeing information about narcissism & then talked about their family.  She said reading this made her realize how bad things were.  I told her I was glad for her because now she can heal.  Then I woke up. 

I try to pray each morning before I get up, but this particular morning, it was a struggle.  I kept thinking about the strange dream & wondering what it meant.  God told me that the way I was in the dream is how I am.  I value truth over everything else.  He called me “a warrior for truth.”

That phrase has stuck in the back of my mind ever since that dream.  And, the older I get, the more I realize just how true it is.  I need only truth in all areas of my life & all of my relationships.

Truth also helps so much with healing from narcissistic abuse.  Learning what the problem was with my relationships helped me to realize that although I did make plenty of mistakes, I wasn’t completely to blame as others claimed I was.  For years I carried the blame around for causing other people such heartache & so many problems when the truth was they weren’t my innocent victims as they portrayed themselves to be.

Truth also helped me to have some compassion on those who were abusive to me.  Learning why they turned into narcissists or seeing that they had no desire to change their behavior in spite of being miserable gave me a degree of compassion for them which helped me to pray for them while also accepting that they were too dysfunctional to be in a relationship with.

Clearly what Jesus said about the truth will set us free is absolutely accurate! 

Sadly though, we live in a world where truth isn’t always as valued as it should be.  So many people are comfortable in their dysfunction & would rather avoid the truth if at all possible.  They are afraid of leaving their comfort zone, so they believe comfortable lies rather than facing the ugly truth.  Certainly feeling that way is understandable!  Truth is wonderful but sometimes it can be scary & painful too.  The fact however is that even if the truth is painful, it’s still so much better than lies & dysfunction!

Facing the truth means your relationships are healthy, functional & genuine.  You can trust those in relationship with you to have your best interests at heart as you have theirs.  You know they won’t lie or deliberately hurt you.  They also will value you highly because they know you too won’t lie to them or deliberately cause you pain.  They know you’re someone of integrity.

Facing truth also means that although some things in life are incredibly difficult, you know you’ll get through the pain & come out just fine on the other side. Certainly that is much better than working so hard to hide from pain your whole life.  Isn’t a season of pain better than a lifetime of it?

Please consider what I’ve said.  If you’re struggling with facing the truth, just know that it truly is worth doing in spite of the fear.  I can promise you that!

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

Valuable Knowledge For Victims Of Narcissistic Abuse

At the time I’m writing this, it is October 27, 2021.  Four years ago at this time, my father’s funeral was taking place.  I remember the day well & following is why.  I believe what I learned that day can help those of you who follow my work, so I’d like to share my story with you.

Years before my father died, he gave me a Bible I’d given him as a gift years before.  He said he wanted me to be sure it was in the casket with him when he died.  For a long time, it sat on a shelf in a closet, sadly waiting for that day.  Shortly after he died in October, 2017, I remembered that Bible.  Although we were no contact at the time of his death, I knew I had to honor my word & be sure that Bible was in his casket.  Before the funeral, my husband & I went to the funeral home & spoke to a very lovely lady who told me she’d be sure it was in the casket where no one could see it, then prayed over my husband & I.  Something else very interesting happened at that time though.

Prior to giving the Bible to the funeral home, I thought I should check inside it.  My father kept things everywhere, so maybe he had things stored in the Bible.  Turned out he did.  I found receipts, greeting cards & notes in there.  Upon removing these items, I realized the notes spoke about the abuse my mother forced upon me in my childhood.  I put everything aside because I knew I wasn’t able to handle whatever was said in those notes.  I tried not to think of them because I was so upset about not only his passing but my abusive & horrible family’s behavior at that time & knew I couldn’t handle the content of those notes just yet.

The day of my father’s funeral, I decided to read those notes & was stunned with what I learned.  I knew my father didn’t know all of the abuse from my mother, but the notes showed me he knew far more than I realized.  I became angry, because he knew quite a bit, but did nothing to help me.

A bit later that same day, I was doing some housework.  I told my Amazon Echo Dot to play music by Wham!  I thought fun 80’s music could be a distraction from the sadness of the day & anger.  Interestingly though, rather than playing what I asked her to, she said, “Here’s music by Waylon Jennings…” & immediately played “Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line.”  I was shocked because she never misunderstood me.  I love Waylon Jennings’ music, as did my father, so I figured let it go.  Oddly I didn’t know that song.  I thought I’d heard all of his music, & learned I was wrong.  I stopped what I was doing to listen to it & was stunned with what happened.

If you don’t know, “Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line” is about a man married to an awful wife, yet he stays with her in spite of being fed up.  As I listened to the song, I knew in my heart that song was basically God saying, “This is how your father felt.”  Not making excuses for his behavior or saying anything like “forgive & forget because..” or, “You can’t be mad, because….”  This was simply an explanation as to why my father failed to protect me from my mother.  While that made me angry at my father for failing to realize he could’ve protected me, it also gave me some peace.  For so long I wondered why my father let my mother treat me so badly.  I finally had an answer.

For those of you who have also been abused by a narcissist, if you have the opportunity to learn why a narcissist abused you, or why your other parent failed to protect you better from your narcissistic parent, I would encourage you to learn all you can.  Learning the reason for the abuse or the failure to protect you obviously doesn’t make everything ok.  It probably is going to make you angry.  But, it also may help you to realize that the abuse truly had nothing to do with you.  Yes, you were the victim of some very unfair & horrible treatment, but that doesn’t mean that you deserved it!  It means that your abuser was pretty messed up to think it’s ok to treat you that way.  It also means anyone who thinks that treatment of you is ok or failed to help or protect you is just as messed up as the narcissist.  This knowledge is priceless!  It’s also so freeing!  The truth really does set you free!  It may not miraculously deliver you from all damage done, but it sure will help you if you’re struggling with thoughts like what you did to deserve the abuse or make the narcissist treat you so badly. No one who has been abused should have to deal with such thoughts.

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Slipping Up As You Heal From Narcissistic Abuse

Healing after narcissistic abuse is messy.   There is nothing easy about it!  It’s not like walking on a nice, level, freshly paved sidewalk.  It’s more like walking on a rocky, narrow path up a steep hill.  Lots of ups & downs & struggles.

There are going to be times on your healing journey when you struggle & even fail.  You’ll slip back into old, dysfunctional patterns.  You’ll apologize for something that isn’t your fault or over explain yourself.  You’ll feel guilty for setting boundaries & maybe even give up on those boundaries since it seems easier not to have them.  You may even resume a relationship with the narcissist you had kicked out of your life.

Times like this are incredibly frustrating, but they also are incredibly NORMAL.  Everyone has had setbacks like these as they heal.  Yes, they’re awful but they happen.  Narcissistic abuse is extremely damaging, so this happens to everyone.

Rather than beat yourself up for being stupid, a failure or whatever other terrible things you’re telling yourself, stop it right now.  Beating yourself up does no good.  Besides, didn’t the narcissist in your life do enough of that for you to last a lifetime?  Why add to it?

Instead, try to relax.  Fix the things you can.  Reestablish those shaky or removed boundaries.  Remind yourself that you owe no one any explanations & stop offering them.  If you resumed a relationship with the narcissist in your life, then end it again & this time, stick to it.  Block their phone numbers, emails, social media accounts.  Avoid going places they go to as much as humanly possible.

Never forget that this was only a stumbling block on your healing path.  Just because you may have fallen into a ditch doesn’t mean you have to stay there.  Pick up where you left off.  If you’re really struggling, ask God to help you.  In fact, even if you aren’t struggling much, ask Him to help you!  We all need His help to survive this incredibly difficult journey, & He is more than happy to help His children however possible.

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“You Never Said That Before!”

Many times, victims are accused of changing their story when they discuss the traumatic abusive episodes of their past.  It can be understandable to a degree that people are concerned with that, because many people lie.  How many false rape accusations have you heard of, for example?  I would bet quite a few.  Or, how many times have you heard of someone being arrested & changing their story either before the trial or while they were in court? 

The problem is that with many victims of abuse, the story can change some but that doesn’t mean the accusations are false or that the victim is lying.  There are several reasons for this.

Many victims have repressed serious trauma.  One way the mind copes to serious trauma is to hide the memory until such a time as one can cope with it.  When you are in an abusive relationship, you endure trauma after trauma, with no time to cope with the first trauma when the second comes along.  Then the third.  Then then fourth & so on.  The mind can handle only so much.  Rather than try to juggle coping with the barrage of constant trauma, it hides some.   Basically, it’s as if the mind puts some events in a box on a shelf.  Later, when in a safer environment, the mind can relax & not function in survival mode.  Those times are often when it decides to take those boxes off the shelf as it is able to cope with them.  This is why immediately after a trauma, sometimes a person can forget key aspects of the situation then days, weeks or even years later, suddenly remember them.  To someone unfamiliar with the mechanics of repressed memories, they can look as if the victim is changing their story even though it is nothing of the sort.

Some details are too embarrassing to share, so they prefer to censor some of the story.  Being involved with an abusive person in any capacity is embarrassing, but it seems to me that being involved with them romantically is especially embarrassing.  It’s embarrassing to admit you fell in love with someone so awful, because it makes you feel stupid & incredibly flawed.  I never was in love with my ex husband, although I thought I was & said I was.  I tried to be.  Even so, for a long time I felt ashamed of myself for wasting my time with someone like him.  As if that isn’t enough though, a lot of narcissistic spouses are very demeaning sexually.  They have no problem raping their spouse through violence or guilt/shaming tactics.  They also seem to get a thrill from degrading them by expecting them to perform acts that cause them either physical or emotional pain or both.  Most people aren’t overly comfortable discussing details of their sex life even when they have a normal one, but discussing the details of the degrading things your narcissistic spouse has done to you or made you do is even worse.  No one wants to admit to having done or been subjected to such awful things!

Most victims also realize that not everyone is capable of emotionally handling the gory details of abuse, so they edit their story for some people while sharing more with others.  This doesn’t mean a victim is trying to get attention from certain people.  It means we’re all pretty aware that there are some folks who can handle our story better than others, & we feel more comfortable sharing details with them. 

As you heal, you become more comfortable discussing your story.  The more you heal, the more comfortable you are with your story.  You realize you aren’t the awful person the narcissist convinced you that you were.  You realize the abuse wasn’t your fault.  You also realize the shame of the abuse isn’t yours to carry, but your abuser’s.  The things you are willing to discuss today may not be things you were willing to share last year.  It’s simply part of the healing process to be more comfortable with being open about your story than you once were. 

If someone jumps you for never saying that before or some similar comment, remember these points.  There is nothing wrong with divulging more or less during certain times or to certain people as long as you’re telling the truth.

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Print Book Sale!!

From now until October 22, 2021, my publisher is offering a sale on all print books. Simply use code SPOOKY15 at checkout & get 15% off your purchase.

Visit the link below to see my print books:

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The Body & Mind Hold Onto Trauma

At the time of this post, it’s October.  October 3, 2017, I got the call that my father was on a ventilator without much time left to live.  He died twenty days later.

During that time, as I’ve shared before, I was subjected to cruel attacks, multiple times a day, from my family because I didn’t break no contact to say goodbye to my father.  My home & cell phones rang constantly, & often when they rang, they would ring for five to ten minutes straight.  I got tons of text messages & social media messages. I dodged all calls & messages as best I could, but there was no escaping reading the first part of some messages due to how texts, emails & social media messages are designed. The hatred & venom coming from even that little bit I read was simply astounding!  And, one of the social media messages was from the account of my aunt who had been dead for three years at that point!  I’d blocked her daughter some time before & she used her mother’s account to try to bully me.  Ain’t family grand?

As a result of that horrid time, every October, I struggle.  It’s like a month long emotional flashback.  I can count on depression, anxiety & nightmares plaguing me even more than usual on top of the natural sadness connected to my father’s death.  The fact this happens during my favorite time of year makes this even more frustrating. I just want to enjoy the beautiful leaves changing & cooler temperatures in October!

The reason I’m sharing this is in the hopes of helping anyone reading this who experiences something similar. 

Sometimes we go through things that are so traumatizing, that even well after the trauma is done, we can’t help but suffer effects.  Even if we try not to think about it, it’s still lodged in the back of the mind, not going anywhere.  We might get anxious or depressed around the anniversary of the event without even realizing the date.  Or, we experience the same emotions we did at the time of the trauma.  This is known as an emotional flashback.

The body remembers too, & as a result, we may feel ill, have some unusual aches or other odd symptoms without medical cause suddenly appear for a brief time.  If you were physically injured at the time of the trauma, you also may feel the pain of that injury again.  This is what is known as a somatic flashback.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a magic wand to wave & make these symptoms stop.  If only it was that easy!  Instead, if you want to survive this with some semblance of sanity, you are going to have to do some work.  Not all of it will be bad, but some will be pretty unpleasant.

You are going to need to face your feelings about what happened & feel those emotions.  You can’t ignore feelings or they will manifest in some pretty unhealthy ways such as in the form of addictions, self harm or self destructive tendencies.  My best friend says, “you have to feel your feels” & it’s true.  To do this, you need to find healthy outlets that help you.  For me, that means prayer & writing in a journal.  For you, it could be speaking to a counselor, pastor or trusted friend.  Whatever works is what matters. 

“Feeling your feels” is hard work, & you will need to take breaks when you start feeling that it’s just too much.  What helps you to relax?  Creative outlets are wonderful for relaxing & healing your soul.  If you don’t have one, it might be time to find one.  If you are out of ideas, notice what your friends are doing.  One of their hobbies might appeal to you.  Or, consider what you enjoyed doing as a child & start doing that again.  Get some finger paints, doodle, or buy a coloring book & crayons. 

Take care of your physical needs as well.  Make sure to allow extra time for you to rest since emotional work requires a lot of energy.  If you like exercising, go for walks, swim, ride a horse… whatever you enjoy that helps you to feel good physically.

Most of all, don’t forget to lean on God.  He will show you what you need to do, & help you to get through this trying time.  All you have to do is ask for His help.

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Perspective On Personal Problems After Narcissistic Abuse

When you have been subjected to abuse at the hands of a narcissist, whether that person was a parent or romantic partner, obviously it does a lot of damage.  Most everyone knows about the depression, anxiety, C-PTSD, low or non existent self esteem, inability to make decisions & difficulty trusting other people.  One thing that is almost never mentioned though is how greatly your perspective about your problems is damaged.

What I mean is this.  I mentioned a problem in passing to a friend recently & didn’t really think anything of it.  Her reaction was shock that this had happened.  I had offered no clues anything was wrong, let alone I was going through something so difficult. 

Later I thought about this & realized I’m pretty messed up!!  First, the problem was serious & I didn’t take it as seriously as I should have.  I brushed off my feelings about it as not important, & me overreacting rather than recognizing there is a problem that needs attention.  Second, in coping with said problem, talking about it never crossed my mind.  I’ve always been the one to talk to, not one who talks about my problems.  Not to mention the bad experiences I’ve had when I finally do open up.  Often when you aren’t one to talk about problems, people assume you’re stronger than you are.  When you finally do open up, some people invalidate & minimize because they think you should just handle things & leave them out of it.  That is a topic for another post though.

In contemplating all of this, I realized that the reason I am messed up in this area is due to narcissistic abuse.

Narcissists constantly make sure their victims feel unimportant & are all too aware that the narcissist is the only person in the relationship that matters at all.  Naturally, if they are the only important person, then their problems are important too.  By default, this means their “unimportant” victim’s problems are also unimportant.  After being exposed to this treatment, over time, it affects a person.  Eventually, you too believe that your problems are unimportant. 

Narcissists also convince their victims that they are oversensitive or overreacting, which also gets inside a person over time.  I haven’t been around a narcissist in years, but my automatic reaction was still to assume I was overreacting to my problem.

Narcissists also value secrecy.  They forbid their victims to discuss the abuse.  If they do, the victim will pay dearly.  This secrecy becomes a way of life in time.  Discussing things like personal problems isn’t something a victim may consider an option.  For me, it’s such a deeply ingrained habit not to discuss them, it seldom crosses my mind that I have people in my life I can talk to.

If you are like me in this area, I would like to let you know what I am telling myself.  It is perfectly OK to question things.  If something bad is happening, don’t automatically minimize your feelings.  They are valid!  Consider the situation & ask yourself why do you feel this way?  Maybe you are being overly sensitive, but that is fine!  That simply shows an area where you need more healing.  Or, maybe you aren’t.  Maybe you have been wronged & are upset for a very good reason.  If you need to deal with this challenging situation, your emotions can help motivate you to do that.

If you are unsure, then one thing that can help is stepping out of your comfort zone & talking to someone.  You are allowed to do that!  No one can tell you what you can & can’t discuss.  Talk to someone safe & non judgmental.  That person’s reaction will tell you plenty.  Remember my friend being shocked at my situation?  I honestly didn’t realize my circumstances were so bad until she reacted that way.  That was very eye opening to not only that particular situation but my incredibly dysfunctional way of handling problems. 


While God created people to rely first on Him, there is nothing bad about looking to friends for help sometimes.  Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 in the Amplified Bible has this to say about friends, “Two are better than one because they have a more satisfying return for their labor; 10 for if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and does not have another to lift him up. 11 Again, if two lie down together, then they keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? 12 And though one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

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Red Flags That Don’t Seem So Bad At First

Everyone knows some basic red flags in relationships that people can show, such as lying, cheating, stealing money or possessions.  There are other ones though that don’t seem terrible at first but they actually are bad.  Many of these relate to romantic relationships, but in some cases, even abusive friends can behave in similar ways.

When someone is jealous of time that you spend with friends or family, that is a red flag.  It really isn’t normal for someone to be jealous of time spent with the other people in your life unless you are obviously out of balance. (Such as ignoring your spouse to spend time with your family on a regular basis.)  This could be a sign of the jealous person wanting to isolate you, so they can abuse you without interference from other people.

Along those same lines is the person who does their best to discourage you from spending time with your friends & family.  Naturally if someone is toxic, anyone who loves you will want you to stay away from that toxic person.  If that is not the case though, someone who behaves this way is trying to isolate a person from people who love them.

Constantly calling &/or texting can be another red flag.  We all have people we’re especially close to.  They are the ones we call & text often possibly even a couple of times a day.  Even so, these people know when we are going to be busy & don’t call or text at that time.  Abusive people will call & text constantly even during those times.  They have no problem interrupting your time spent with that friend you haven’t seen in years or while you’re busy studying for a test.  They do this in order to keep tabs on what you are doing to be sure you aren’t doing something they disapprove of & also to annoy the person you’re with enough that they will end the time spent together early so you will return to them.

Money can be another red flag.  If someone constantly asks to borrow money from you that they never pay back, even with what sounds like good excuses, that is someone irresponsible with money who will take advantage of you.  Or, if you’re married to someone who controls all the money & won’t discuss what they do with it, that is another huge red flag.  That is a controlling person who probably also has something to hide. 

Similarly, the husband who wants you to stay home so he can “take care of you” isn’t necessarily as loving as he may sound.  Many abusive husbands start their financial abuse of their wives by gently suggesting they quit their job & let him take care of her.  Over time, he renders her unable to find or keep a job if she opts to return to the work force.  He can refuse to repair her car or give her money for the train to go to work, or if she does get a job, he may frequently call her or demand she leave early so her boss fires her.

Wanting you to look as they want to is another red flag.  People who love you may have opinions on your clothes, hair & makeup but they won’t tell you how they think you should look.  A controlling person may come across nicely by saying they think you look good when you look a certain way, but eventually that gives way to demanding you look the way they want you to.

There are some red flags where sex is concerned, too.  Violently raping someone isn’t the only way a person can abuse sexually.  Trying to coerce someone who doesn’t want to have sex by using guilt, shaming someone for not wanting to do certain activities or trying to get someone drunk or high in order to have sex with them or get them to do something they are against are also abusive behaviors.

If someone you know behaves in any of these ways, know that this is just the tip of the abusive iceberg.  It is going to get so much worse!  Please protect yourself & abandon this relationship as soon as possible!

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10% Off All My Print Books Until October 1, 2021

My publisher is having another sale. 10% off ALL print products, which naturally includes my books. Simply use code BUY10 at checkout. You can see my books at the link below:

lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

If you’re interested in checking out the other great selection of print products my publisher sells, simply visit lulu.com & use code BUY10 at checkout

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When Adult Children Of Narcissists Marry Each Other

When children grow up with narcissistic parents marry, it can be incredibly challenging.  Usually, either one person is a narcissist & the other isn’t, or one is trying to heal & the other prefers staying in their dysfunction.  The last scenario seems to be the most common. There isn’t a lot of information available on the topic, which is why I opted to discuss it today.  It happens pretty often & people in this situation know how to handle it!

When you learn about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, it can be so incredibly freeing!  That’s how it is when you learn truth, though.  Not everyone sees it that way, however.  The truth isn’t always pleasant or easy, so many folks prefer to avoid the ugly truth in favor of pretty lies.  The pretty lies are easier & preferable to some people because they’re what is familiar.  Familiarity doesn’t always breed contempt.  Sometimes it breeds cognitive dissonance in the adult children of narcissistic parents. 

That cognitive dissonance can be incredibly difficult to live with for someone married to a person who prefers to avoid it whenever possible.  When you see the truth so clearly & someone you love avoids it like the plague, it is so frustrating!!  You just want them to wake up & see the truth, but they won’t.  Instead they continue to tolerate their toxic parents abusing them & even you & your children if you have them.  They also will fight you on this topic, even if they aren’t normally disagreeable.  If you complain about their parents, they will tell you things like it’s your problem & to leave them out of it.  If this kind of thing doesn’t make you want to scream, nothing will!

I prayed about this behavior recently when it came to mind & God showed me some things.

While this behavior feels intensely personal, it isn’t.  It’s about them, their dysfunction & self preservation.

When a person has a spouse that loves them & a narcissistic parent, the spouse is the safer of the two people.  In this situation, the adult child knows someone is going to be angry & they will suffer for it.  In their minds, the spouse is the safer one.  They’ve had a lifetime of knowing just how incredibly cruel their narcissistic parent can be, so they do their level best to avoid their anger & cruelty.  It’s safer to deal with the anger of a loving spouse than a narcissistic parent, so they choose (albeit unconsciously) the safer of the two people to anger.

Unfortunately for the spouse, this means that their dysfunctional mate is going to put them in some pretty awful positions.  They’ll expect their healing spouse to tolerate whatever the narcissistic parents dish out, & when the healing spouse doesn’t, arguments are going to happen.  Even if the narcissistic parent in question is the healing spouse’s parent, the dysfunctional spouse most likely will be upset if the healing spouse is setting boundaries or even severs ties with their parent.  The dysfunctional spouse is going to minimize, excuse or even deny abusive behaviors.  This can be so difficult because the healing spouse wants to heal but also wants to have a good relationship with their dysfunctional partner.  Sadly, the relationship can only be so good while one is dysfunctional & the other is trying to heal.


If you’re in this position, you will need God’s guidance on how to navigate this situation.  He knows so much more than you could possibly know so let Him help you!  And, pray for your spouse to see the truth & be able to handle it, too.  That is what someone in that position truly needs!

Also always remember that your spouse’s reactions aren’t personal.  They’re about that person’s dysfunction.  Keeping that in mind will help you to be less hurt & angered by their behavior, which will in turn help you to deal with the situation more effectively.

Don’t be afraid to set your boundaries!  Just because your spouse is fine with being abused doesn’t mean you have to tolerate it.  Protect yourself & if your spouse is angry about it, that is that person’s problem.  There is nothing wrong, bad or even un-Christian about protecting yourself!

When you must discuss your spouse’s or your narcissistic parent with your spouse, try to keep your emotions under control.  Any anger shown on your part could make your spouse become very protective of the parent in question, which will start a fight between you.  Avoid it as much as possible by remaining calm when discussing parents!

Lastly, don’t give your partner an ultimatum to choose either you or their parent if you want to stay married.  Those who do that usually lose their spouse.  The one given the ultimatum feels their spouse is being manipulative, which naturally pushes them away & towards the parent.  Don’t put your spouse or yourself in that position.  If you end up wanting to go your separate ways, find another way to discuss it. Ultimatums end in anger & make the situation worse.

I wish you the best!

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Ways To Handle Flying Monkeys

In scrolling through my memories on Facebook recently, a picture came up.  The picture is one taken of my parents on their wedding day while they stood by my father’s car.  I originally shared it on Facebook in 2014 because I thought the picture was nice & my family might enjoy seeing it.  The car in the picture was special to my father, too, & I thought they also might remember it.  One of my cousins said something about how my father & I both love cars.  I responded that was true, it was one of the few things we had in common.  Out of nowhere, one of my aunts verbally attacked me for not trying harder to find things in common with my father.

Does this sound at all familiar to you?  If so, welcome to life with narcissistic parents & their awful flying monkeys!

Flying monkeys absolutely love to tell the victims of narcissistic abuse what we need to do, how we need to work harder for the narcissist, how we should ignore our own needs in favor of the narcissist & so much more.  The pressure can be unbearable sometimes.  It also can trigger a lot of anger, as my situation with my aunt did.  I hope to help you to find ways to help you deal with these awful people in this post.

The very first thing you should do when trying to learn ways to deal with flying monkeys is to pray.  Ask God for wisdom, clarity, strength not to cave into their unrealistic expectations & creative ways to help you to cope.  He absolutely will grant you those things!

Some flying monkeys are people who were genuinely duped by narcissist, but not many are.  Many flying monkeys are truly horrible, evil & narcissistic people that enjoy causing others pain while simultaneously acting as if they are only trying to help so no one can be angry with them.   The way to tell the difference is by listening to what these people say.  The genuinely duped are open to hearing your side & admitting that the narcissist might just be wrong.  The evil flying monkeys however have no interest in hearing your side of the story.  They are convinced you are wrong, the narcissist is right & that is the end of the story.  They have zero interest in truth, & their minds are completely closed to anything that disagrees with their views, no matter how slightly.  People like this are toxic, & need to be removed from your life.  It’s not likely that those who are genuinely duped need to be removed from your life.  They may see the error of their ways & aren’t so toxic.  Use your best judgment with them regarding whether or not to remove them from your life.

If you’re unable to remove the toxic flying monkeys from your life, it’s best to interact with them as little as possible.  If you must interact with them, share as little personal information as possible.  Telling them anything personal means that most likely, they will run to your narcissistic parent to share that information as quickly as possible.

Refuse to discuss your narcissistic parent with the flying monkeys.  Remember, the toxic ones are online interested in what supports their perspective.  As a result of that, they WILL hurt you by invalidating or shaming you.  They will attempt to force you to do what they believe you should do, such as resume contact with your narcissistic parent no matter how toxic your parent is.  Change the subject, even if it means doing it repeatedly or being rude.  Only discuss neutral topics with flying monkeys such as the weather.  Or, ask them about things in their lives.  There’s not a narcissist around that will pass up the opportunity to discuss themselves, so why not use this to your advantage?

Show no emotions whatsoever to the flying monkeys.  Narcissists feed off emotions, & their flying monkeys do too.  In fact, they use any emotions you show as proof that the narcissist is right about you, & you’re crazy, angry, unreasonable & more.  No matter how justifiable emotions are, flying monkeys still take them as proof of a victim’s mental incompetence.  Once they are convinced of your mental instability, they will use that to hurt you, so it’s best to refuse to show them any emotions that you feel.

Flying monkeys are miserable, awful people who thrive on hurting others.  Not dealing with them is the best solution, but if you must deal with them, I hope the tips in this post will help you to do so.

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About Emotional Intelligence Shaming

The definition of emotional intelligence is the ability to be aware of, express, & control one’s emotions.  It also includes the ability to handle relationships with empathy & fairness.  People with a high degree of emotional intelligence are often kind, fair, understanding & tolerant of the mistakes of others while not tolerant of abuse.

Narcissists hate emotionally intelligent people.  There are many various reasons they can feel this way.  Possibly the main reason is because narcissists are very emotionally unintelligent, & therefore can’t understand the emotionally intelligent so they hate them. Narcissists understanding the emotionally intelligent would be like the average person trying to understand how geniuses like Einstein thought.  It would be impossible… although the average person at least wouldn’t hate him for his intelligence.

Another & even more likely scenario is because emotionally intelligent people aren’t easily fooled or manipulated.  Narcissists want to fool & manipulate their victims so they can get whatever they like from them.  Emotionally intelligent people have good boundaries & they understand people.  This makes it nearly impossible to fool & manipulate them.  It may happen briefly, but it won’t happen long.  This makes them very unnerving for narcissists.

For the emotionally intelligent person in this situation, the narcissist & their flying monkeys will be incredibly shaming.  They come up with all kinds of ridiculous things to say to the victim in order to shame them into compliance.  In Christian circles, often the Bible is twisted around for the purpose of shaming the victim: “If you remember, the Bible says to honor your parents!”, “Wives should submit to their husbands!” & “Love covers a multitude of sins!” are some examples of Scriptures being used to shame victims into tolerating abuse.  When Scripture isn’t used, the ridiculousness doesn’t get any better.  People try to shame the victim by saying equally stupid comments such as, “You need to forgive & forget!” “That’s in the past…”,“That’s just how she is.”, “You need to understand her better.” & “But he was abused by his parents!!”

Comments like these can create a great deal of conflict & confusion in someone victimized by a narcissist.  A person who is emotionally intelligent however, isn’t conflicted & confused.  They recognize the bad behavior for what it is, & have no problem calling out the people who say these things.  

If this happens to you, a very helpful thing you can do is remember what type of person is saying these things.  You aren’t dealing with another emotionally intelligent person.  They don’t say such stupid, heartless comments.  You also can ask God to tell you the truth about this situation, & ask if they were right in what they said.

It also helps to look objectively at your situation & ask yourself does what this person said to you make any sense?  If you can’t seem to look at the situation objectively, I know a trick that can help.  Pretend a friend has told you of this same situation happening to them.  Doing this can help you feel disconnected enough to look more objectively at your situation.  

Please remember to be proud of being the emotionally intelligent person you are.  Narcissists & their flying monkeys only criticize it because it means you see through their abuse.  Don’t accept their shame! The shame belongs to them & you have no reason to carry it!

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

How To Enjoy Life With C-PTSD

Electronics are a huge part of daily life.  If we aren’t scrolling through social media or responding to emails, we’re often streaming music or movies to entertain us.  None of these activities are bad by any means.  However, it can be easy to get caught up in them. 

For those of us who have experienced trauma such as narcissistic abuse, electronics can be both a blessing & a curse.

A blessing because they help us manage the C-PTSD.  Calendars & other reminders help so much when we forget things way too easily.  Mostly though, the access to information about the trauma we have experienced, ways to cope with it & meeting others with similar experiences are huge blessings.

Electronics also can be a curse.  They offer a means of escape by mindlessly playing games, scrolling through social media or surfing the net.  While there is nothing wrong with distractions, after trauma, it can be too easy to get caught up in them & avoid dealing with the damage from past trauma.  A common sign of C-PTSD is doing mindless activities like getting lost in social media or tv shows.

Today I want to offer some suggestions to get you started stepping away from electronics while adding some substance & joy in your life.

First, consider what you are doing with your time. Is your electronics time valuable or necessary?  If you are unsure, pray about it.  God will help you to see things clearer. 

If you can cut back on that electronics time, such as not needing it for your job, cut back.  There are other things you can do with your time that are much more mentally healthy & productive. 

Also consider what you are doing online.  Are you wasting time playing games or scrolling mindlessly through social media?  Are you obsessively looking for information about Narcissistic Personality Disorder?  Neither are bad activities but they can be when done too much.  Why are you doing what you are doing?  Are you avoiding something?  Again, pray if you need insight.    

If you feel you have been spending too much time staring at your phone, computer or television, there are so many other good things you can do that can add more joy to your life.

Ban electronics for a set time each day.  Don’t stare mindlessly at the television or your phone while eating.  Instead, have your meal with another person & talk with them.  If you’re eating alone, go out to eat & watch the other people in the restaurant.  Or do some of the following suggestions during your anti-electronics time.

Spend time in nature.  If you enjoy camping, go camping.  If not, wander around a local park.  Sit on your porch & listen to the birds while watching wildlife in your yard.  Sit outside at night & admire the beauty of the stars & planets.

Play.  Play board or card games with your friends & family.  Go bowling.  Play pool or ping pong.  Try crossword puzzles or word find puzzles.  Put a jigsaw puzzle together.  Purchase nice colored pencils & a coloring book that strikes your fancy.

Don’t neglect your hobbies.  What have you been neglecting?  Painting?  Drawing?  Woodworking?  Playing a musical instrument?  Cross stitch?  Crochet or knitting?  Get back in the habit of making time for your hobbies.  If you don’t have any, then it’s time to find a hobby that appeals to you.  A good place to start is by asking yourself what did you enjoy doing when you were a child?  Wandering around a craft store is also a good idea.  There is plenty of inspiration to be had in such stores for both men & women.

As useful & wonderful as electronics can be, it’s important to have balance in your life & not be too dependent on them.

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Why Complements Are So Hard For Victims Of Narcissistic Abuse

When you grow up with a narcissistic parent, you can’t help but to have a root of shame.  This is because shame is a very powerful weapon to help a person control another, & narcissists are incredibly talented at using it to their best advantage.

One of the many problems that shame causes is the lack of ability to accept a complement in a normal, healthy way.  I admit to struggling with this to this day, although much less than I have in years prior.  In my younger years both as a child & younger adult, if someone paid me a complement, I would tell them why what they said was wrong.  Anyone could have done that thing I did, so it’s nothing special & I’m not smart.  Or, I’m not pretty because I’m fat & ugly.  You get the picture.  I’m guessing that if you’re reading this, you have behaved in much the same way.

While this may not appear be the biggest problem shame causes or even a huge interruption in life, it can be an incredibly annoying problem.  It also can compound the shame that is already there.  When you don’t know how to do something so simple as accepting a complement, it makes you feel stupid.  Most of us have been told by the narcissists in our lives how stupid we are, so feeling stupid validates their cruel criticism & adds to the shame they have made us feel.

So why do people do this?  Is it really that hard simply to say “Thank you” & go on with your day?  Honestly?  Yes.  Yes it is that hard for some people.  The reason is that complements go against our sense of self that we learned from the abusive people in our lives.  Parents in particular have a great deal of power over their children’s sense of self because they are there during their children’s formative years.  Anyway when a complement goes against that sense of self, & it triggers shame.  It goes against that sense of self, & causes a person to feel as if they have tricked someone into believing they are much better than they really are.

This is a very difficult habit to overcome, especially after a lifetime of functioning this way.  It is possible though.

As always, pray.  Ask God to tell you the truth about yourself & listen to what He has to say.  Let Him help build up your self esteem & to help you to see that the narcissist in your life lied to you.

Remember too, when people say something genuinely complementary, they aren’t doing so from a place of selfishness.  They are saying something they truly believe, something that comes from their heart.  You can trust what they say.

Consider what the person has said too.  Why do you think what they said is wrong?  Is that something you honestly believe yourself or is it because you were told to believe it by the narcissist in your life?  If it’s because of the narcissist, ask yourself why you would continue to believe something told to you by this person.  Narcissists lie & try to destroy their victims.  They don’t do constructive criticism, so what they said was clearly NOT meant to help you!

If you’re still struggling, ask God to tell you the truth about this complement.  Is it really true or are you whatever bad thing you’re thinking you are, then listen for His answer.  You are going to be very pleasantly surprised by what He has to say to you.

I know it can be hard, but please try to remember simply to say “Thank you” the next time someone complements you.  Countering their complement makes them feel uncomfortable & adds to your shame, so why do it?  Instead, simply thank the person who was kind enough to complement you.  The more you do that, the easier it gets to do.  And, the more you argue in favor of the complement & against the criticisms of the narcissist, the more accurately you will see yourself.  You might even start to like what you see!

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Stop Comparing Your Struggles To Someone Else’s

One thing I have noticed a great deal of in the community of abuse survivors is comparisons.

Those without PTSD or C-PTSD sometimes think those with either disorder are weak, & shame them for being so weak.

Those who have siblings shame those of us who are only children, because they think we had it so easy growing up without abusive siblings.

Still others who were older children look down on their younger siblings for having it so easy as to be “spoiled” by the same parents that abused them.

The problem is that these mindsets make no sense whatsoever.

Someone who managed to escape an abusive childhood or abusive marriage without PTSD or C-PTSD should be grateful for that fact rather than judging others who live with these disorders.  Those without such disorders are in the minority.  The fact is that surviving an abusive relationship often causes either disorder, & it’s not very common to escape without them.  Rather than looking down on those of us you may deem weak, instead be grateful that you don’t live with PTSD or C-PTSD.  Be grateful you don’t have any idea what it’s like to live with crippling anxiety & depression, or have nightmares every night, or live with being so hyper-vigilant that your own spouse coming into the room where you are can make you feel blind terror for a few moments.  Living with such horrible things is an absolute nightmare.  Be glad you don’t suffer with this! 

If you think those of us who were only children had it easy, then think again.  I won’t say it’s easier for only children to survive an abusive upbringing than those with siblings, because each situation has its own unique challenges.  I will say as an only child, I can speak from experience in saying that being the sole focus of a narcissistic parent’s rage is a nightmare.  It’s just as bad of a nightmare as it is for someone who grows up with siblings who turn out like their parents, & abuse their scapegoated sibling.  One is no better or worse than the other, simply different.  Different does NOT mean one had it easy & another did not.

Rather than waste time comparing your experience to someone else’s, I would like to encourage you today to accept not only your experiences but the experiences of others to be valid.  Everyone who has survived abuse has seen some horrific things.  While yes, some experienced worse than others, that does not make the experiences of those who experienced less horrific abuse any less valid or abusive.  Abuse is abuse & it hurts.  Period.  Accept that.  Validate your experiences.  There is nothing wrong with this!  In fact, doing so can help you to heal.  Not doing so, & comparing your experiences to that of others invalidates your pain.  It makes you feel your experiences don’t matter.  They weren’t so bad, so just ignore them & pretend they never happened.  That mindset is incredibly unhealthy!  I know facing your demons is hard, but it also is healthy, brave & a strong thing to do.  It’s necessary if you wish to heal from the trauma in your life.  So why waste time comparing your experiences to those of other people when you can help yourself to heal?

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PTSD, C-PTSD Pain

I read a truly interesting article recently on TheMighty.com.  The author spoke of her life with C-PTSD.  She was in a relationship with someone who pointed out how she was able to (as he described it) swallow physical pain & continue on as if nothing happened.  Apparently she didn’t realize she did this, which lead her to research why she behaved in such an unhealthy way.

Long story short, she learned that people with PTSD tend to be very out of touch with pain or very highly in tune with it, depending on their mental state at the time.  Often in times of really bad anxiety, people with PTSD experience oversensitivity to pain.  Anxiety causes the body to tense up, which certainly could explain that.  It also explains why many people with anxiety experience chronic pain in their bodies.


Interestingly though is what the author described next.  After a serious injury, her anxiety levels were very high, which triggered other pain not related to the injury.  The man she was dating then noticed how at times she’d just “swallow” the pain after a minute & go on as if nothing happened. 

This is a survival skill that can be very useful.  If you’re in a dangerous situation & can ignore the pain long enough to get yourself to safety, clearly this is a very useful survival skill!  In daily life however, it isn’t.  In daily life, it means you will ignore your pain & not take the time to rest & recover that you need.

I have realized I do this.  After my back injury at 19 when my mother threw me into a wall, although I was in constant pain of varying degrees for 10 years, there were times I was so disconnected from the pain, I wondered if people who said I was faking the pain so I didn’t have to work were right.  Maybe it wasn’t all that bad or maybe I wasn’t even injured at all.  Hardly healthy behavior!

Another point in the article is people with PTSD who dissociate generally tend to have a much higher threshold of pain than people without the disorder.  Dissociation is known for allowing a person to disconnect from emotional pain, but it also can allow a person to disconnect from physical pain as well.  This means they naturally won’t feel pain as intensely as others who don’t dissociate.

Knowing this information was very helpful for the author of the article, because it helped her to change how she thinks about her chronic pain & treating it.  I believe it also can be extremely helpful for the rest of us whether or not we have issues with chronic pain. 

Recognizing that it is very unhealthy to disconnect from physical issues helps you to have a better perspective on them.  Unless you’re in a very dangerous situation, this survival skill isn’t needed.  It’s healthier to recognize what is happening & deal with the issues accordingly. 

Having this problem myself, I also realize that there are times it feels like you should be ashamed of having a physical problem which probably contributes to disconnecting from your pain.  The narcissists that have been in my life had zero tolerance for my illnesses or injuries.  In fact, I never told my parents I nearly died from carbon monoxide poisoning in 2015 because of that. 

I know health situations can be incredibly hard to handle.  Adding in this dysfunction to the health problems can make them utterly miserable.  In fact, I’m not really great at handling health issues myself.  I have found something that helps me to have a healthier perspective on health issues.  That is to remind myself constantly that there is no reason to hide the problems anymore.  My health is my responsibility, & I have every right to handle it however I see fit.  If that makes me something bad in the eyes of other people, so be it.  They don’t live in my body & don’t know how I feel.

Sometimes there will be simply dysfunctional but not narcissistic people who have no patience for others with health problems.  When dealing with them, I remind myself of the same things.  Also, when their opinion hurts because it is so negative & unexpected, I remind myself they must have some sort of dysfunction when they respond to the health problems of someone they care for in such a bad way.  Doing that helps to take much of the sting out of their thoughtless words.  It’s an excellent reminder that what they say isn’t personal.  It’s about their dysfunction, not me.

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A Suggestion To Help You Enjoy Life After Narcissistic Abuse

Some time back, I decided that rather than simply inform those who follow my work of information about Narcissistic Personality Disorder & ways to cope, I wanted to branch out a bit into ways to add more joy to their lives.  Today’s post is about that very topic.

A few years ago, I learned of hygge.  It is a Danish word used to describe a lifestyle of coziness, contentment & comfort.  I haven’t done as much as I would like to with what I have learned about this concept but I’m working on it.  I thought I’d share some of what I’ve learned with you today.

In order to create a hygge lifestyle, I think it’s wise to start by examining your life.  What activities can be cut back on, eliminated or done more efficiently to give you more free time?  It may help to give you a clearer picture to write out what you do.  Consider these things & eliminate what you can that isn’t productive or that doesn’t add joy & value to your life.  If some things can’t be eliminated then consider how you can reduce your obligation to or time spent on these things.  The more free time you have, the more time you can devote to the things that bring you the most joy in life such as your hobbies & people you love.

Another aspect of creating the comfortable hygge life is examining the relationships in your life.  Most everyone has people in their life in certain mental boxes.  There are the people closest to you such as your spouse, children, & closest friends & relatives.  Slightly further out are people you still care for but not as much as those closest to you.  There also may be people further out such as co-workers & acquaintances.  The farthest out should be the toxic people.  Consider all of these relationships.  What relationships are worth focusing your time on?  Which are the most healthy, loving & even fun?

When it comes to relationships, I’m a firm believer in quality over quantity.  Better to have three awesome people in life than seventy iffy people.  Keeping only the best relationships means you have more time & energy to focus on those wonderful people who deserve your best.  It may be awkward & even hard to do, but eliminating the bad relationships & focusing on the good relationships is a wise move that adds joy to your life.

What is your home like?  Your home should be your sanctuary.  Make your home that way!  I don’t care if your home is a studio apartment or a huge mansion, it can be made into a comfortable safe haven on any budget.  Decluttering is an excellent place to start turning your home into that haven because clutter is a known cause of anxiety.  Also the less stuff you have, the less you have to clean & maintain.  Keep only the things that are useful & that bring you joy.  Decluttering doesn’t have to be overwhelming.  Start with one drawer, then move to another, then a shelf, then a closet.  Add things to dispose of to either a trash bag, box to donate to charity or give to friends & loved ones.  Get rid of the boxes & bags as they fill up.  If you wonder what is worth keeping & what isn’t, ask yourself some questions: if you had to move tomorrow, would this item be worth moving?   Does this item add joy or usefulness to my life?

Keeping your home clean & organized will reduce anxiety.  A little work each day can maintain a clean, organized home with minimal effort.

Invest in small changes such as a new paint color or cozy sheets on your bed.  These changes won’t require much of a financial investment but can make your home feel more inviting & comfortable.  They even can make it feel like a very different place. 

If you lack ideas for changing your home, look at homes in all different styles.  Something will appeal to you, & once that happens, inspiration won’t be far behind!  I love Victorian era homes, & although my home isn’t completely Victorian, I have enough of that influence to make it into a comfortable, cozy sanctuary.

Also, be sure to place pictures that are important to you around your home.  Whether those pictures are of important people in your life, pets, pictures you have taken or artwork isn’t important.  Display those pictures to add to the cozy feel of your home.

Creating a hygge lifestyle may not be the most important step in enjoying life after narcissistic abuse, but it sure does help.  Why not give it a try?

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How Dysfunctional People Respond To Genuine People

I’ve noticed that people respond very passionately to genuine people, either positively or negatively. 

I realized something else about this phenomenon.  The healthier a person is, the more positively they will respond to genuine people.  The more dysfunctional, the more negatively they will respond to genuine people.  This makes sense when you think about it….

Healthy people are genuine.  If they’re having a bad day, they won’t deny it.  They will say, “Today hasn’t been a good one” rather than pretend all is right in their world.  Not to say they’re negative, of course, they’re just being real & admitting the truth.  They also have no trouble admitting they make mistakes or have flaws.  They don’t judge others for their mistakes or flaws either. 

Dysfunctional people are very different.  They value the appearance of good over what is real.  I learned this when my father was dying, & various relatives attacked me for not going to say goodbye to him.  Their daily influx of abuse was intense to say the least.  One day, I asked God why they acted this way.  He showed me that they were operating out of their own dysfunction.  One of the reasons behind their behavior was they didn’t want to face bad or traumatic things.  They clearly never dealt with their own traumatic experiences.  They instead created this illusion that all was right in their world & everyone in our family was good.  Me not being there for my father at the end of his life threatened this delusion by showing that things were so bad, I opted not to say good bye to my father at the end of his life.  Rather than face the fact that maybe this delusion isn’t a good thing, they tried to force me to go along with their delusion so it could be reinforced.  If I had gone, they would have had proof everything was good, & could continue in their dysfunction as they had before. 


My situation with these dysfunctional people wasn’t terribly unique.  Many of my readers have said they experienced something similar with their family.  Sometimes it was when a narcissistic relative was dying, but not always.  It also happened when some severed ties with a narcissist.  They were attacked by their own family, those who should have been there to support & love them. 

To sum it up, it seems to me dysfunctional people often treat genuine people like the scapegoat.  They act like genuine people are the ones with problems, who are lying & nothing but troublemakers.

The more you heal from narcissistic abuse, the more genuine you will become.  It just seems to be a natural event.  Unfortunately, this can mean the dysfunctional people around you will be cruel to you for it. 

My hope is that you will see the situation for what it is & not change your ways!  Being genuine is a wonderful thing!  It’s so refreshing in a fake world!  Don’t try to change to please these people who are too dysfunctional to appreciate the real you.  Instead, you just do what is right.  Be genuine & if others don’t like that, remember that is not your problem.  They are functioning in their own dysfunction.  Their negativity or even abuse isn’t personal.  It’s simply a reflection of their dysfunction rather than a reflection of you.  They’re allowed to be dysfunctional if that is what they want to do.  It’s certainly not a good choice but it is their right.  And, you also have rights. You’re allowed to be functional & protect yourself from their toxicity.

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Celebrate Your Healing!

Some time ago, I shared something on Facebook someone else disagreed with. The way this person stated their opinion triggered shame in me because they sounded much like my mother & ex husband used to sound when they disagreed with me. The good part about this was I realized very quickly what was happening. This person didn’t intend to shame me. The way they stated their opinion was simply a trigger, nothing more. I also realized this person was wrong, but rather than blindly believe this person or get into some big debate (which I absolutely hate), I simply deleted my post.

Do you have any idea how very important this is?!!?

Until the last few years, when someone disagreed with me, I automatically assumed I was wrong, they were right & I should be ashamed of myself for thinking what I did. Growing up hearing how wrong you are about everything will do this. You naturally assume you’re wrong about everything, even when every fiber of your being knows otherwise. I’m sure many of you who also were raised by narcissistic parents can relate all too well to this. The behavior goes deep & is hard to change. Yet, I conquered it!!! That is worth celebrating!

Another common behavior of those of us with narcissistic parents is to minimize our accomplishments & not celebrate them. I always thought my parents expected me to do great things not because I was smart or talented, but just because they thought I should do those things. As a result, I learned not to celebrate anything I did because I figured I was just supposed to do those things. It took me writing several books before I created a celebratory ritual that I do once I publish a book. Prior to that, I just published a book & started another. No celebration was involved.

Some time back, after considering such things, I decided to celebrate more often & that includes when I recognize how much I’ve healed. The incident I mentioned at first almost went uncelebrated. Old habits die hard, after all. It took a few days for me to realize what had happened & that I should be proud of myself for healing to this point. When I did though, I gave myself a mental pat on the back for healing.

I want to encourage you, Dear Reader, to do the same.

There are going to be times when you backslide in your healing journey. We all do that. Chances are good you spend plenty of time beating yourself up for those times. I certainly do! Why not spend at least the same amount of time celebrating your successes? The more you do that, the better you’ll feel about yourself. And as an added bonus, the less the backsliding times will affect you. They’ll still annoy you of course, but they won’t be devastating.

By celebrating these times, I don’t mean you have to have a big party or anything so elaborate. If you like that, by all means, go for it! If not, that’s fine too. The celebrations can be simpler. I often reminded myself of how far I’ve come. I remember some things from my younger & much more dysfunctional days then thought of how that person is now a stranger. God has helped me heal so much, I don’t even recognize the old me. I sit with that for a while, knowing God truly has blessed me. Sure, I still have issues. I still have C-PTSD. But, I also no longer make rash or foolish decisions based on what other people want while ignoring what I want. Other people can no longer control or manipulate me. These are really important accomplishments! It took a lot of work & listening to God’s guidance to get to that point & I am proud of myself for what I have done.

You should feel the same! Be proud of everything you have accomplished in your healing. Even the baby steps count, so if you feel you’ve healed in one tiny way, be proud of yourself for that! That still took work & is something special. Congratulate yourself on a job well done!

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Lesser Known Signs Of Trauma

When you have experienced trauma in your lifetime, in particular repeated trauma, it’s going to affect you.  Some expected signs of trauma in a person are things like depression & anxiety.  There are a host of other, lesser known signs that can be extremely disruptive to a person’s life.

Hyper-vigilance may be the most common sign of trauma in a person’s life.  It happens often in a person who has lived with their abuser, such as the child or spouse of the abuser.  Living with an abusive person means you must be on your guard at all times, so you don’t do anything that upsets the abuser.  That hyper-vigilant behavior often stays with a person long after they have ended the relationship with their abuser.  It also leads to a host of other problems.

Physical pain in victims of abuse is often a sign not of an injury or illness, but of having experienced trauma.  In particular, this pain often manifests in the neck & back.  This is due to living in a hyper-vigilant state for an extended period of time.   Hyper-vigilance causes your body to be in a state of not only emotional but physical stress, & that can cause physical pain in spite of there being no injury.

An extreme startle response is also caused by having to be in a state of hyper-vigilance.  It manifests as being drastically more startled than you would expect to be in a specific situation.  This startle response often cause anger or even tears in the startled person.

Sleep disturbances is another common sign of trauma in a person’s life.  Nightmares that either relive the trauma or trigger emotions similar to those experienced during traumatic episodes happen often.  Waking up often during the night or struggling to fall asleep in spite of doing things to help even including taking sleep aids are also common.  Some people can wake up throwing punches, because they are so accustomed to protecting themselves.  This happens with those suffering from PTSD who have served in the military or those in law enforcement.

Being too busy is a trauma response that many people employ.  These people will keep themselves as busy as possible during their waking hours.  They work long shifts, participate in many activities & rarely take time to just rest, even when they’re sick.  They do this as a way to avoid facing their pain.  If they don’t have time to think, they also don’t have time to think about their pain.

Similar to being too busy is losing yourself in activities.  Staring at social media or watching tv for hours is another way to escape facing pain by focusing attention elsewhere.  While neither is bad, doing so for hours on end is unhealthy, especially if the one doing so is unable to stop.

Eating disorders can be another sign of unresolved trauma.  It is a way to regain some control when a person feels like they have no control otherwise.

Avoiding places & people that remind a victim of past trauma are more trauma responses.  No one wants to face reminders of pain, of course, but those who have been through extreme trauma will go to great lengths to avoid it.

Avoiding conflict is very common in those with traumatic pasts.  When abuse happens during conflict instead of dialog designed to work things out, it instills fear in a person about conflict with anyone, not only the abuser.

If you recognize yourself in some or even all of these symptoms, hope is not lost!   The more you deal with the trauma in your life, the more these unhealthy patterns will break.  Not overnight, but they will happen.  Keep working on your healing however works for you.  Pray, write in a journal, talk to a supportive friend or therapist… whatever you do that helps you, keep on doing it even if you don’t feel like you’re making progress.  Healing isn’t a simple thing.  Sometimes it looks like nothing is improving, then suddenly you make big progress.  Other times, you’ll slip back into old, dysfunctional habits.  It’s ok!  It’s just a part of the healing journey.  Don’t give up!

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