Tag Archives: narcissist

Why Narcissists Are Quick To Judge Their Victims’ Mental Health

A very common tactic of narcissists is to make their victim look mentally or emotionally damaged somehow.  Doing this works out very well for narcissists, & equally badly for their victims.

If a narcissist can make the victim believe that they are damaged, the victim naturally will look elsewhere for information like what they should feel in situations, what they should do, & even just how to live.  Naturally they look to the person closest to them, which usually is the narcissist.  A victim who believes they are inferior to the narcissist will trust that narcissist to help them navigate life, & become a very well controlled victim. 

A victim who has been humiliated in this manner & doesn’t understand what is happening also will be anxious to do anything to prove this isn’t true, which also gives the narcissist control over him or her.  Since the narcissist is the one who started this lie, the victim may think they can get the narcissist to change his or her mind.  The victim may try to get the narcissist to see they aren’t crazy or whatever the narcissist claims they are by behaving however the narcissist wants them to behave as an attempt to regain their favor.  I felt this way growing up when my mother told me that I “needed help” as she often did.  I failed to realize at the time if she was so convinced I was mentally ill, she should have taken me to a doctor.

Convincing victims that they are seriously flawed damages their self-esteem at best, & destroys it at worst.  Either way works for the narcissist, because he or she will feel superior to their horribly flawed victim.  Feeling superior adds to the illusion that the narcissist is a wonderful person, which is tremendous narcissistic supply.

If a narcissist can get other people to see the victim as clearly inferior, those people won’t believe the victim if the victim speaks up about the narcissist’s abusive behavior.  They will chalk these stories up to the victim being unstable, over sensitive, neurotic, crazy or whatever the narcissist has said the victim is.  This means people won’t help the victim escape the narcissist.  In fact, they may even encourage that victim to change their behavior & listen to the narcissist, & maintain the relationship.  Victims in this situation are left without support, & may resign to maintaining this abusive relationship.

If a victim does escape the narcissist, their reputation that the narcissist created will do them plenty of harm.  People who believe the narcissist’s lies will flock to the narcissist’s side to offer comfort & support, while (often very cruelly) rejecting the victim.  They assume the victim really is as bad as the narcissist has said because he or she left the narcissist.  Victims in this situation are often left with little or even no support at the time they need it most.

There is another reason narcissists behave this way.  Doing so convinces them that their victim is the problem, not them or their abusive ways.  Claiming the victim is mentally or emotionally unbalanced makes that victim the narcissist’s scapegoat.  Having a scapegoat opens the door for narcissists to blame the scapegoat for anything & everything they want.  This means they can justify their abusive ways in their mind.  Narcissists with scapegoats can function without worry that there is anything wrong with them, because they have convinced themselves that the scapegoats are to blame for every single problem they have. 

If you are faced with a narcissist claiming that you are deeply flawed mentally or emotionally, remember, this isn’t about your mental health.  This is about the narcissist having an ulterior motive, & that motive is going to hurt you!  Protect yourself & don’t believe the lies!  Remember, narcissists attack what they feel threatened by.  They tell beautiful people they’re ugly, they tell smart people they’re stupid, & they tell sane people they’re crazy. 

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

Using The Term “Narcissist” Appropriately

Seeing the term Narcissistic Personality Disorder or narcissist happens all the time.  Flip through magazines or social media, & you’ll come across articles with titles like, “Is Your Partner A Narcissist?”  You also may notice people who talk about someone selfish, & they describe that person as a narcissist.  Unfortunately, the terms get used quite easily, & that can do a lot of damage. 

Experiences of victims of narcissistic abuse are minimized when a person who can be selfish is labeled as a narcissist.  When someone has suffered some of the most mind altering & damaging abuse possible at the hands of a narcissist hears someone call another person who had a selfish moment a narcissist, it diminishes the severity of narcissistic abuse.  It makes narcissism sound like it’s nothing more than simple thoughtless behavior.  This can make a victim feel like they’re oversensitive, exaggerating the severity of their experiences, are weak or foolish for developing C-PTSD after the abuse & more.  This mirrors what narcissists do to their victims.  One very common tactic they use is making their victims feel like something is very wrong with them for being traumatized by the abuse.  If they can accomplish this, it creates shame in the victims, which means they are more willing to tolerate more abuse which means they will be easier to manipulate & control.  Even if this is not the goal of someone calling the average selfish person narcissistic, shame is still the result.  Shame was already there, & this person is adding to it.  It’s a cruel thing to do to victims!

When the word narcissist is used too easily, it also minimizes narcissistic abuse in general.  If someone claims a narcissist hurt them by some basic selfish act such as standing them up on a date, this basically compares that experience to soul destroying narcissistic abuse.  Someone’s thoughtless or selfish behavior that isn’t their norm (as it is for narcissists) isn’t soul destroying.  Narcissistic abuse is.  Narcissists rarely act out of sheer thoughtlessness.  Yes, they do sometimes because they are so self centered they simply don’t deem others as worthy of their consideration.  However, the majority of the behavior of narcissists isn’t thoughtless.  They plan out everything they do for the purpose of using others to benefit themselves, manipulating or controlling others, & inflicting as much pain as they can possibly cause.  There is no comparison between someone who is selfish sometimes & a narcissist.  The damage they inflict is entirely different.

Using the term narcissist too loosely also minimizes just how bad narcissists truly are.  These people are evil.  They can use & abuse anyone without one iota of shame or remorse.  They can watch someone crying because of things they have done, & not feel one smidgen of concern or regret for hurting someone.  Things like this show they are NOT simply a person having a fleeting moment of being selfish or even the average selfish person.  These behaviors are evil!

I strongly recommend not using the term narcissist lightly.  It does so much disservice to their victims & the understanding of Narcissistic Personality Disorder that most people have.  The term needs to be used appropriately & when someone has displayed more than simple selfish or thoughtless behavior.  Consistently showing selfishness, constantly looking for praise either by bragging openly or slyly about themselves, lacking empathy, being manipulative, envious, entitled & unwilling to change their behavior in spite of knowing how much pain it causes others are some of the hallmark signs true narcissists show.  People who exhibit these behaviors are the true narcissists, & they need to be called out for what they are, not the average thoughtless person.

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Filed under Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

Those Who Appear One Way But Are Truly Another

Jesus had plenty to say to people that didn’t behave in a Godly way.  One such time appears in Matthew 23:27-28.  The Amplified translation says, “Woe to you, [self-righteous] scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which look beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. 28 So you, also, outwardly seem to be just and upright to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”

These verses are especially interesting to me, because they point to an all too familiar behavior that people have done pretty much forever – appear one way yet they are truly another. 

A variation on this behavior can be somewhat normal.  We all put our best face forward on job interviews or when dating someone new that we really like.  We also may act somewhat differently than normal depending on the people with whom we are spending time.  I realize I am quite different with my best friend that I have been close to since 1988 than I am with other people I have known for only a short time.

The difference is that behaving in those ways in those situations isn’t presenting an entirely different version of who we really are.  It’s simply calling attention to good qualities that are already there, or being more comfortable with one person over another.  It doesn’t make you a hypocrite to behave like this.  You are simply adapting to each situation.

A person who presents themselves as good or even holy yet is quick to gossip, steal, cheat, judge, avoid helping those truly in need unless they can get recognition for doing so, use or manipulate other people is the type of person Jesus was speaking to in the afore mentioned Scriptures.  People like this clearly have impure motives & are acting out of their own best interests.  They are the “whitewashed tombs full of dead men’s bones.”

Narcissists have this behavior down pat, especially covert narcissists.  They want people to think only good of them, & will do whatever necessary to make that happen.  Narcissists seem to know exactly how to act to make whoever they are with at that moment think the absolute best of them.  Yet, their victims have seen the monster living behind the mask.  I remember shortly after my husband & I got married.  We had dinner with his parents one night, & his mother told me how terribly disappointed she & his father were that he married me instead of an ex girlfriend.  I think it was the next time we saw my in-laws at a party they hosted, where this same mother in-law introduced me to her sister as, “my beautiful daughter in-law.” 

When you are in a close relationship with the monster, seeing them acting in full evil character, & you see other people foolishly, blindly buying their act, it is shocking.  It’s shocking that the person who treats you so cruelly can be the same person who appears so charismatic, generous, funny, fun loving or whatever this person is pretending to be.  It’s also shocking that so many people blindly believe this act & will defend the narcissist fiercely.  How can they not see that this is clearly an act?!

The one good thing about having experienced this behavior is that you learn how to spot it in other people when the average person may miss it entirely.  While I wouldn’t suggest you be glad you experienced what you did to learn this lesson, I would at least suggest that you use that knowledge to protect yourself from people like this in the future.  Avoid those whitewashed tombs full of dead men’s bones & instead focus on relationships with genuine & good people.  Your life will be much better for it!

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

Damage Caused By Chronic Invalidation

Have you been in a relationship with someone who constantly mocks & judges you?  Has this person told you often how wrong, stupid or even crazy you are?  As a result, do you struggle with relationships & mental health?  If so, you are a victim of chronic invalidation.

Invalidation is an utterly sinister form of mental abuse.  It’s when people reject, mock or judge another person’s feelings.  Invalidation implies or sometimes says outright that the person being invalidated is wrong, stupid, abnormal or even crazy for feeling the way they do.

Invalidation is a common tool of abusers, in particular narcissists.  Chronic invalidation destroys a person’s ability to trust themselves, & victims turn to their abusers for information.  This makes the invalidated person easy to control, which of course is the goal for abusers.

Toxic shame is another natural result of chronic invalidation.  Constantly feeling that there is something deeply wrong with you normally makes you feel ashamed of yourself.  After all, if you believe you are wrong about everything, stupid, abnormal or crazy, why would you feel anything other than toxic shame!?

Another natural result of chronic invalidation is secrecy.  You are reminded often of how awful you are, you learn that your thoughts, feelings & experiences aren’t worth sharing with anyone, not only the person who made you feel this way.  Why would you talk about anything when clearly, at least in your mind, nothing about you is worth discussing?

Some mental health problems can be a direct result to chronic invalidation too.  Being angry is certainly natural & understandable.  No one likes the feeling of being put down constantly, no matter how much they may believe they deserve it.  Many victims turn their anger inward & become self harming or even go as far as to having suicidal thoughts.  Others turn that anger outward & become as abusive as their own abusers were.

Depression is another natural result of chronic invalidation.  Not only does it make a person angry but also sad.  Believing you are too awful, stupid, etc. for words is extremely depressing!  Plus depression sometimes can be anger turned inward & ignored rather than dealt with, so depression in these situations is completely normal.

Relationships are affected drastically when someone experiences chronic invalidation.  Victims may continually end up in abusive relationships, either romantic or friendships.  This is because it can impossible for a victim of chronic invalidation to feel worthy of healthy relationships over toxic ones. 

Victims also tolerate way too much because they believe abuse is normal.  Or, if their abuser throws them the occasional bread crumb of love among the abuse, they believe the relationship is good, because they feel like wanting more is asking too much or being demanding.

Along these lines, victims also may sabotage or end healthy relationships because they feel so foreign, & too good to be true. 

Victims also often find themselves taking on too much responsibility in relationships.  If their partner isn’t happy, they assume it’s their fault & they must make this person happy.  If the partner is happy, that is a form of validation to victims, so they try to make this happen at about any cost to themselves.

If you recognize yourself, please know there is hope!  You can heal!  Learn about boundaries & start setting them.  Start small if you need to, because that will help you gain confidence which helps you to set bigger ones then bigger & bigger until you have healthy boundaries. 

Question things.  If someone makes you feel invalidated, ask yourself are they right or wrong?  If it helps, imagine this scenario happened with someone else who feels as you do.  Would you feel comfortable telling them the same things said to you?  If not, why not?

And always ask God for help!  Ask Him to show you the truth, to help you to heal & anything else you can think of that you need.  With His help, you can heal & have healthier, loving relationships!

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

When Romantic Relationships Suddenly Turn Bad

The early days in a romantic relationship are so exciting.  You’re starting to get to know each other, & everything is new.  There is so much to learn too, which means you’re never bored.  You often have that butterflies feeling when you see your new partner.  You feel a deep loss when you aren’t together & count the moments until you’re together again.  These are totally normal.  What isn’t normal is when you start to feel that the relationship is extremely intense & it is moving much faster than you expected.  Intense & fast moving are potentially signs of something known as love bombing.

Love bombing is a technique used by abusers to lure their victims into a relationship.  It makes victims feel swept off their feet, & bonds them to an abuser quickly & powerfully.

Love bombers do much as the name suggests.  They use loving gestures to constantly shower extreme praise, attention & affection on their victims.  They tell victims things like they believe they are soul mates, no one has ever made the victim feel like this before, they have waited for someone like this victim their whole life or they never thought they would meet someone like the victim.  They often mention marriage shortly after meeting the victim, making them feel like this person is madly in love with them to consider such a serious commitment so early on.  Victims in this situation feel flattered, secure & even obligated to the love bomber because of this behavior.

In time however, the love bombing stops & the abuse begins.  Practically overnight, the love bomber goes from lavishing excessive praise & love on their victim to being manipulative, controlling & demanding.  They become upset when the victim sets boundaries or the victim is not available to them for even a sure period of time.  They may become disproportionately jealous, accusing their victim of being unfaithful even if the victim simply spoke someone of the opposite gender in passing.  They also insist on being in control of who their victim spends time with & how their victim spends their time.  In fact, these abusive people also limit who they allow in their victims’ lives.  They often isolate their victims from their friends & family members.  The fewer supportive, caring people in a person’s life, the easier that person is to control, which is why abusers are so quick to isolate victims.  They may even sabotage their partners’ job & render them unable to work.  This works well for abusers because not only are they eliminating their victims’ potential friends who might point out the abuser’s actions are wrong, they are creating a scenario where the victims must depend on them financially.  This leaves them unable to escape the abuse.  Abuses in these situations also are excessively critical to the point of being cruel to their victims as a way to make them feel badly about themselves.  The lower a person’s self esteem, the less likely that person is to protest the abuse & the more likely they are to tolerate anything done to them.  Abusers are also excessively volatile & unpredictable when relating to their victims while presenting an entirely different & better image to anyone outside the home.

If you are in this type of relationship, you can escape!  First of all, pray & ask God to show you what to do.  Follow what He suggests. 

You also can discuss your feelings with your partner.  Not everyone who love bombs is toxic.  Sometimes they are merely very dysfunctional.  Someone like this may be open to changing their behavior.  If they are, this is a very good sign!  However, if they aren’t & respond to what you say with anger or excuses, this is a huge red flag that you are dealing with a toxic person.  If at all possible, ending the relationship quickly is your best move!  Protect yourself!  You have every right to do so!

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Why Narcissists Keep Victims Focused On Fixing Relationships

Narcissists simply must be in control of their victims at all times.  That power gives them a tremendous amount of narcissistic supply, basically a “high” to them.  That “high” is so addictive, they will do anything to attain it.  One of the ways they accomplish this is by making their victims focus on fixing the relationship.

A very effective way to do this is to blame their victims for everything that is wrong in the relationship to keep their victims focused on trying to fix the problems in this relationship.  In typical narcissist style, they are allowed to do anything they want, say anything they want, spend all the money in the relationship including money they didn’t earn, ruin outside relationships to the point of isolating victims & anything else they can possible conceive.  Yet they say victims are completely unreasonable if such things bother them.  They often deny doing anything wrong, but on the off chance they do, they quickly will spin the situation around to where the victim appears to be the problem.  If only the victim hadn’t said or done that thing, then the narcissist wouldn’t have needed to do what they did.  It’s all the victim’s fault for making the narcissist so upset that they acted that way. 

I remember my mother saying what she did to me in my teen years was for my own good.  It wasn’t abuse, she was “trying to save me from myself by using tough love.”   Sometimes she would give me the silent treatment.  I’d beg her to tell me what’s wrong & she either wouldn’t answer or say, “If you don’t know, I’m not going to tell you.”  My first marriage was much the same way.  If only I would’ve agreed to the long laundry list of unreasonable things my ex husband wanted from me, our marriage would’ve been just fine, according to him.  I’ve had so called “friends” who were the same way.  If I didn’t do what they wanted, when they wanted it & how they wanted it done, I was to blame for their anger.  Like typical narcissists, their bad behavior was all my fault according to them.  I was the one to blame for problems in these relationships & I needed to fix the relationships.  They didn’t see the need to make any changes whatsoever.  As a result of them saying such things, I honestly believed that I was the problem in these relationships for a long time. 

I hope none of you reading this are in this relationship right now.  If you are, my heart truly goes out to you.  It’s such a dreadful place to be!  You can survive it though & without doing whatever unreasonable things the narcissist wants from you. 

Prayer is always the best place to start in any situation, but I think in particular when it comes to dealing with narcissists.  Ask God to give you wisdom, discernment, creative ways to deal with them, courage, strength & anything else you can think of.

When they tell you what’s is “wrong” with you, don’t blindly take that as truth.  Stop for a moment & consider what they say.  Ask yourself, does it make sense?  Is this truly something wrong with me or is it something the narcissist wants from me & is trying to manipulate me into doing?  It can be a challenge at first to lose that knee jerk reaction to accept anything they have to say without question, but the more you do it, the easier it gets.  Keep doing this & don’t beat yourself up when you slip up sometimes. 

Get to know yourself.  This is a great thing to do for so many reasons.  One being the more you know yourself, the easier it’ll be to identify truth from the narcissist’s accusations & manipulations.  Pay attention to what you really believe & how you really feel about everything.  It’ll help you get to know the real you, not who the narcissist says you are.

Learn about boundaries.  Figure out what you are willing & not willing to tolerate.  Then start small when you set them.  That will build your confidence to set bigger & bigger boundaries.

Never ever forget – it takes TWO people to make a relationship work, not ONE.  No matter how wonderful you may be, you alone are incapable of fixing any relationship.  Two people must work together to fix it, or it’ll never be fixed.

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

When Narcissists Push Victims Beyond Their Limits

Everyone has their limits, even the kindest, most laid back person.  This is never more evident than when a person is dealing with a narcissist. 

One of the favorite weapons of narcissists is to push their victim so hard that the victim snaps while the narcissist remains calm, then they claim this is evidence that the victim is the real problem in the relationship, over reacting, over sensitive, mentally unstable or even abusive.  A bonus is to quietly push their victim to this point in front of people so they see the victim as the narcissist says they are. 

The aim of a narcissist in such a scenario is to make the victim look bad to others, to gain favor, support &/or pity for the narcissist & to make the victim easier to control by proving to them that they are everything the narcissist claims they are.  It’s quite effective too, unless a victim is aware of this tactic.  After all, when you are the extremely emotional one while the narcissist remains calm, on the surface, it does look like you are the problem.  However, victims in this situation are NOT the problem!  They are victims of something known as reactive abuse.

If you have been in this situation, please know that you are not alone, neither are you crazy, unstable, abusive or anything else the narcissist claimed that you were.  Narcissists only say those things to you to make you think they are true, because someone who feels that way about themselves is easier to control than someone who recognizes the real problem at hand isn’t their reaction, but the behavior leading up to that reaction.  I firmly believe narcissists say the things they do like that because they know they are the exact opposite of being true.  In my experience, if a narcissist has said I was stupid, ugly, crazy, etc. I realized later that they believed exactly the opposite.  In truth, they thought I was very smart, pretty, mentally stable, etc.  That goes for you too!  Whatever the narcissist says you are, there is an excellent chance that he or she thinks exactly the opposite is true about you.

And, if you are ashamed of how you acted when in this position, please try not to be.  Easier said than done, I know, but please try!  You were under extreme duress by someone who was trying to make you act the way you did.  You acted as you did because you’re only human!  As I said at the beginning, everyone has their limits.  There is no shame in that.  I realize many people say that no one can make you feel a specific way, don’t give anyone that kind of power, but sometimes, you have no control.  When pushed hard enough to feel a certain way, you’re going to feel that way.  There is no avoiding that entirely. 

If anyone tells you that your behavior is abusive towards the narcissist, remember, it’s not.  You are the true victim in this situation because you were pushed beyond your mental & emotional limits to react this way.  That doesn’t make you abusive, it makes you a victim of abuse.

Lastly, whatever the narcissist told you about yourself to trigger this reaction from you is a lie.  I know I don’t know you or the narcissist personally, but I do know narcissists enough to know that whenever they say something bad about someone, it’s a lie.  It’s only said to cause pain, to make themselves look better, to manipulate or control another person.  They don’t say these things as a form of constructive criticism to encourage another person to learn & grow.  If that was their motive, they would be kinder about how they said things.  People who truly want to help others are much gentler with their words when they must be critical.  People who want to cause pain & control however are very cruel.

If you still have doubts, then I would encourage you to pray.  Ask God to show you the truth.  Ask Him if you are whatever the narcissist said you are, & let Him tell you what He thinks.  His truth is the only real truth, & you can trust that. 

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About People Who Act Like They Know Everything Versus The Truly Intelligent.

One of my biggest pet peeves stems from my narcissistic ex husband.  He acted as if he was highly intelligent, intellectually superior to most other people, but me in particular.  I believe this behavior was partly to let me know he believed that I was stupid so I wouldn’t make him look so smart, as well as a way he could try to convince himself that he was as brilliant as he acted. 

This type of behavior is pretty typical of narcissists who are insecure about their intelligence.  Sadly it also can happen with people who aren’t narcissists, yet are insecure about their intelligence.  One person I know is very intelligent, but comes across as a know it all.  It stems from insecurity.  He grew up with a mother who treated him for years as if he was special, then suddenly treated him like dirt.  Going from one extreme to the other in his formative years obviously did some damage, which is only natural.

Thankfully, I have known many more people who truly are intelligent & were humble about it.  I’ve also known ones who weren’t exceptionally intelligent yet felt no need to portray themselves in any other light or make other people feel badly about themselves.  All of these people were secure in who they were. 

I firmly believe that security is one of the hallmarks of truly intelligent people, no matter their IQ.  People like this know that everyone is different, & no one is better or worse than other people.  They also know that a person’s IQ or education isn’t everything.  They know that person can be highly intelligent yet not have graduated high school or have an IQ of 160.  A truly intelligent person has common sense, not simply book knowledge or the ability to learn things at record speed.

Another hallmark of someone who is genuinely intelligent is they don’t feel the need to brag or show off.  There’s an old saying… you never see advertisements for Rolls Royce cars.  They know their worth & value, so they don’t have to advertise it.  That goes for people as well.  A person who knows their true worth won’t try to convince other people of it.  And, a person who is intelligent won’t brag about their intelligence.

They also don’t feel the need to put other people down, making those people look stupid & making themselves look smarter.  They have the sense to realize that type of behavior is not going to make them good, & it’s going to hurt the other person.

A really subtle but wonderful sign of intelligence is when an intelligent person explains something to others, they don’t make those people feel badly or stupid for asking questions.  Instead, they have a way of making the person asking feel that their question is important, valuable & yes, even smart. 

If you are faced with someone who acts as if they are much more intelligent than you, I hope you remember what I have said today.  It can be easy to fall victim to feeling stupid around someone who appears obviously smarter than you, especially if you’re insecure or have been a victim of narcissistic abuse.  But, if you pay attention to the person’s behavior, it shouldn’t take you long to realize what this person is all about.  A person who makes you feel inferior most likely feels that they are the inferior one to you instead of you being inferior to them.

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Encouragement For Those Still Married To A Narcissist

On my father’s first birthday after his death, I was thinking about him. God spoke to my heart & said my father asked Him to give me a message. “Encourage the weak, like me.” Immediately I knew what this meant. I learned after he died he stayed with my mother because he felt too weak to leave. (He & my mother were both narcissists, & they were each other’s victim as well as each other’s abuser.) When God said to encourage the weak, I knew I needed to encourage people who feel that same way my father did, who felt too weak to leave their narcissistic spouse.

I decided to make an annual tradition of this, so each January around my father’s birthday, I write a blog post on this topic.

For those of you reading who are in this situation, please know you really aren’t weak. I know you feel that way, but that doesn’t mean you truly are. It takes a lot of strength & courage to deal with a narcissist in any capacity, in particular when you live together.

It takes incredible tenacity to be able to maintain your sanity in the midst of narcissistic abuse. The intense gaslighting is so horrible. It can be nearly impossible to keep track of what is truth & what is the narcissist’s lies. Doing so speaks well of you! You have guts & strength! You aren’t even close to weak!

You also are strong because you haven’t committed suicide. Many victims of narcissistic abuse do this, & it certainly is understandable. It takes such an intense physical & mental toll on a person. But here you are, surviving! There’s that strength & tenacity again!

If you feel weak because you are still with the narcissist, don’t. I understand feeling that way, but it’s not a sign of weakness. Escaping a narcissist takes an incredible amount of work. They often destroy their victims’ finances by creating vast amounts of debt in their names. They prevent them from finding or holding down jobs. They keep them from reliable transportation so even if they can hold a job, they can’t get to & from that job. They destroy their victims’ self esteem to the point they don’t feel they can hold down any job, no matter how simple it is. They also isolate victims to remove their support system, & without that, they often lack the encouragement needed to get away. Not to mention it takes time to build up the inner strength to leave them. Often a lot of time. So many things can stop a person from escaping a narcissist, & not one of them makes the person weak.

If you feel weak for falling in love with the narcissist in the first place, don’t. They can be excessively charming & hard to resist. That’s how they lure their victims in. Anyone can fall for this! Narcissists are great actors & can fool even the most intelligent people. They also can convince their victims that they are exactly what the victim wants in a mate. That is no bad reflection on you at all! It only shows what a talented actor the narcissist can be.

I hope you realize by now that even if you’re still with your narcissistic spouse, you’re not weak. You’re human. Be proud of who you are, & don’t accept anything the narcissist says in an attempt to make you feel that you are anything less than the wonderful person you are!

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When Narcissists Instill Fear In Their Victims

One way narcissists abuse their victims is by invoking fear in their victims.  Some narcissists may threaten their victim openly by threatening physical violence if they disobey the narcissist or something similar.  More commonly though, narcissists don’t threaten so openly.  They prefer stealthy type threats.

Think about it. How many times has a narcissist given you a look that struck deep fear into your heart?  Or, maybe they made a certain disapproving sigh or groan that told you that you were in trouble.  Sometimes, they use certain phrases, too.  They may say things like,

  • Just keep it up!
  • You really need to…
  • If things don’t change, I don’t know what I’ll do.
  • You make me so mad!  You’re lucky all I did was…

The goal of narcissists in these situations is to rule the lives of their victims by striking intense fear in them.  The more terrified a victim, the less likely that victim will tell other people about the narcissist’s actions, confront the narcissist or even leave the narcissist.

When this happens it can be very easy to feel blind terror, not knowing exactly what the narcissist has in mind to do to you.  Narcissists clearly are capable of evil, but they seem to make victims wonder exactly what kind of evil?  If I disobey, will this person hurt or even kill me? 

Rather than give into that blind terror, I want to encourage you to consider the situation objectively.

Chances are, you’ll realize that the narcissist is nothing more than a bully, trying to scare you with words rather than physically hurt you.  But, don’t assume that is all that is happening.  Many narcissists escalate their behavior slowly over time & they can turn physically abusive.  The escalation can happen so slowly that the victim doesn’t even realize it is escalation.  When you are caught up in simply surviving such a toxic, awful relationship, it can be very easy to miss the warning signs of the relationship becoming even more toxic.

You can know if your situation is escalating by considering this person’s behavior.  If this person has started yelling more or using some physically intimidating behaviors such as punching walls or standing over you as you sit, these could be warning signs that he or she will turn physically violent at some point.  If the narcissist in your life begins behaving in this way, things are clearly escalating.  You need to separate yourself from this person if at all possible & protect yourself!

Whether or not the relationship turns physically violent, it is still abusive & you don’t deserve to be treated this way.  If you want to get away but are unable to do so, try contacting your local domestic violence shelter or a hotline.  Talk to safe friends or family who might be able to help.  Contact a church for assistance & resources.  There are ways to escape abusive relationships even when it looks like there is no way out! 

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When Healing, Question Everything

Recently I’ve been struggling quite a bit.  The holiday season is always a big challenge for me thanks to so many awful holidays during my adult life, but 2022, it was worse than usual.  I was really depressed & couldn’t figure out why.  I tried to ignore it since I couldn’t figure it out, & just chalked it up to this happens sometimes. 

Just after the first of the year though, I remembered something.  Many years ago, I read that in some people, repressed anger is at the root of their depression.  I’m all about getting to the root of things so I thought about this.  Suddenly things started to click in my mind.  I have been abused so much & have plenty of reasons to be angry.  Yet, expressing anger always has been an issue for me.  I learned early from my parents that my anger wasn’t acceptable, even though they were allowed to express theirs at any time.  There have been so many other people in my life who continued this treatment of me.  As a result, I learned it was easier to ignore my anger.  But, apparently now is the time to deal with it, so I’ve been learning how to do that.

I started by asking God what to do.  He brought to mind many things done to me that made me angry, yet I didn’t express that anger.  I identified the anger, then thought about specifically why I was angry.  If you have seen the Wheel Of Emotions, you’ll know what I mean.  Emotions funnel down to a precise facet.  In my case, I felt angry because I was mad for being betrayed, disrespected, violated &/or treated as if I didn’t matter as much as other people.  Then, I thought of questions about my situations that made me look at the situations differently.

One example that came to mind was when my mother threw me into a wall when I was 19.  She was upset that although she picked a fight with me that night, I not only fought back, but then I wanted to get away, as any normal human would. That is why she threw me into the wall, to prevent me from leaving.  My father was upset that when he walked out a few minutes before this happened, she “locked him out”, even though his keys were in his pocket.   My ex husband/then fiancée was upset because, according to him, it was hard on him when Mom abused me.  I stayed with a friend’s parents that night & they were upset I didn’t come straight to their house immediately after it happened.  For the first time, I recently realized how horrible this was.  I was the one assaulted, yet no one cared how I felt!  I wondered why didn’t it matter to anyone that I was physically hurt & in a state of shock?  All that mattered is how THEY felt, not me, & I was the victim!  How does this make sense?  How can they honestly be ok with being so selfish?

By asking these questions, it got me madder than I was, which turned out to be a very good thing.  It enabled me to get rid of so much anger inside by finally feeling it.  It also made me realize I deserved to be treated so much better, which helped me realize I never would tolerate this again.

For a long time now, I’ve realized using logic helps when dealing with narcissists.  Calmly asking them logical questions like, “Why should I tolerate you treating me like that?  How does this benefit either of us?” often makes them back off, even if only temporarily.  Until this happened though, I had no idea how useful this could be in emotional healing after abuse.  It really is helpful though, & I hope you will try this as well!

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Subtle Signs Of Disrespect

There are many ways a person can be disrespectful.  Many of those ways are obvious, such as telling another person they’re stupid.  Not all disrespectful ways are so noticeable however.  They are much more subtle, & sadly they happen all the time.  Everyone needs to be aware of them, & that’s the topic of today’s post.

Disrespectful people are selfish.  They may or may not be a narcissist, but even if they aren’t, they are selfish.  They think more of themselves, what they want, think, feel, & need than anyone else to the point they don’t have a lot of room left in their minds for thinking of other people.

A disrespectful person is inconsiderate of others in many ways, but in particular towards those that are romantically involved with them.  If they have a decision to make that affects both parties, they don’t consider how their decision will affect their partner.  They make their decision based on evidence that affects them only.  They also do what they want without consideration of how their actions & behaviors affect the other person in a relationship with them.  They make plans to do things without their partner, without seeing if their partner already had plans or would like to come along.  They change jobs that are far away or have different hours without asking their partner what they think of this arrangement.  They may even move a distance away without discussing it with their significant other first.

Disrespectful people do things that upset other people even when they know their behavior will upset them.  It’s usually not that they deliberately do things to upset other people.  It’s that they simply don’t think about how their behavior affects others.  Or, if they do think of that, they don’t understand why this particular behavior is upsetting to someone.  If they don’t fully understand why this behavior is upsetting to someone, the chances of them repeating the behavior is excellent.  As an example, if someone knows that you are very upset about lateness, yet they continually are let when they meet up with you, that is clearly disrespectful behavior.

A disrespectful person can be controlling.  Let’s say you’re a woman on your first date or one of your first dates with a man.  You go out to dinner together.  If he places your order for you, without asking what you want, that may seem harmless but it’s a subtle sign of control.  Or, if you place your order & he tells the waiter you don’t want that, you want something else instead, that’s another sign of a controlling person. 

Disrespectful people have no respect for the time of others.  If you tell someone you’re on the phone with or visiting that you must go, & they act as if you said nothing, that is disrespectful.

While everyone behaves disrespectfully periodically, it shouldn’t be anyone’s normal behavior.  If someone you know acts this way, they are being very disrespectful & you don’t deserve this kind of treatment! 

You are well within your rights to speak to this person about their behavior.  Hopefully this person isn’t a narcissist, & they will be open to correction.  If you speak to them & they deny doing anything wrong or even turn the behavior back on you somehow, then chances are good you’re dealing with a narcissist.  Confronting narcissists, no matter how calmly or respectfully, rarely ends well for the person doing the confronting.  Pray often, learn all you can about Narcissistic Personality Disorder & figure out how best to handle this relationship.

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The Victim Act

Both overt & covert narcissists share a fondness for portraying themselves as victims, although often covert narcissists are much quicker to use this tactic.  Overt narcissists prefer other people to see them as superior, but in a pinch, they will pull this victim act if necessary.

Narcissists use the victim act as a way to convince people that their victim is the real problem in the relationship.  It takes the focus off of the narcissist & places it on the victim.  This scenario is especially common when an overt narcissist marries a covert narcissist.  The covert calls attention to the overt narcissist’s behavior, which allows the covert narcissist to continue being abusive in the background.  The victim act also can be used when a narcissist is losing control of their victim as a way to manipulate other people into telling the victim they need to treat the narcissist better or to abandon the victim so he or she has no support.  Portraying themselves as a victim also can be a way for a narcissist to manipulate their victim.  The goal is to convince the victim that he or she is being cruel & needs to change their behavior to whatever the narcissist wants.  If the narcissist is convincing enough & the victim lacks knowledge of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, the victim may believe that they are being unreasonable for wanting the narcissist to treat them with respect or that having boundaries with the narcissist are cruel. 

The victim act also gets narcissists plenty of attention, which is something they all crave.  They are seen in a good way, certainly much better than the person that they claim is their abuser.  They also have control over how other people see them by lying & creating a story to show them in their best possible light, the victim in the worst..  People who are unaware of the victim act often fall for it, & blindly support the narcissist while shunning whoever they claim to be their abuser.

Covertly narcissistic parents also portray themselves as victims to their children.  Often, they are able to convince their child that they need protection & coddling, so this draws the child into a sick emotionally incestuous relationship.  The child’s focus is so much on taking care of their parent, that often even as adults, they don’t recognize or acknowledge that this behavior is sick & abusive.

Victimized narcissists also have extreme double standards.  They are allowed to say & do anything to you, no matter how hurtful.  Yet, if you say or do the same thing to them, they claim you are abusive, bad, & the real problem in the relationship.

There are ways to differentiate someone who is playing the victim compared to someone who is a true victim.  True victims don’t talk badly about other people non stop.  They talk some about their abuser & what they did, but primarily they focus on their healing.  They also are guarded, not talking very openly with just anyone about their experience.  Narcissistic victims will tell anyone who will listen all about their pain.  And, narcissistic victims don’t take any responsibility in their situation.  A true victim will admit anything they did wrong, sometimes even accepting blame for the abuser’s behavior, especially in the early days of their healing.

If you have been on the receiving end of a narcissist’s victim act, my heart goes out to you.  I have many times & I know it’s not an easy place to be.  I learned from the experiences though.  I learned there always will be people who believe the narcissist’s outrageous lies over the truth, & nothing will convince them otherwise.  Let them go.  Their dysfunction is way more important to them than the truth, & nothing you can say or do will change their mind.  In fact, the more you try to change their minds, the more convinced they become that the narcissist is right about you.  Leave them & the narcissist to their toxicity & get away from it as fast as you can.  What people like that think about you isn’t important.  Your sanity is.

I also learned that this experience is great for teaching you who is safe & who isn’t.  Unsafe people blindly believe the lies.  Safe people don’t, they defend you & they abandon anyone who speaks or believes the lies.  Unsafe people will abandon you over the lies, & this is a good thing even when it hurts at first. 

I also learned just how much God loves His children.  During such times in my life, He comforted me, helped me to heal & let me know He would deal with these toxic people on my behalf.  These painful times brought me closer to Him, & that made it all worth it.

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Parental Alienation

The term parental alienation describes a situation in which one parent drives a wedge in between the other parent & their child.  This happens often in cases of divorce, when one parent refuses to allow the other to see their child.  That parent tells the child terrible things about the other parent, such as that parent doesn’t really love the child.  The child naturally gravitates towards the alienating parent as a result. 

This type of scenario also can happen in intact narcissistic families. Narcissistic parents often similar tactics to cult leaders such as gaslighting, making love very conditional, isolating the children, rejecting the children if they question the alienating parent’s accusations & creating an unhealthy dependency on them in their children.  Children are also parentalized when the alienating parent claims the other parent is abusive, because not only do they tell the child details of the relationship that the child doesn’t necessarily need to hear, but they also expect the child to protect them from the other parent while creating a deep wedge in between the child & the alienated parent.

Parental alienation sets children up to experience painful cognitive dissonance.  A great deal of time & effort on the part of the alienating parent went into instilling certain beliefs in their child, & those beliefs become a big part of a child’s mind.  One day, probably in adulthood, they will see or hear something that contradicts those beliefs, & that will be incredibly hard & painful for the child.  That child may face the truth about what their alienating parent has done, & will be devastated because of their parent’s lies.  Or, that child may reject facing the truth & continue to live in the dysfunction because the cognitive dissonance is too painful to face.

Many people who have been subjected to parental alienation experience life long problems as a result.  Substance abuse, depression & the inability to trust other people are extremely common.  Many of these people also go on to struggle to have healthy relationships with their own children.

If you are in the position of being the alienated parent of your child, one great way you can handle the situation is avoid saying anything negative about the alienating parent.  Doing so only makes a child, no matter their age, become protective of the alienating parent.  Rather than say something like, “Your mother wants to take you away from me,” work to create an environment where your child feels safe & loved.  Tell your child often that you love him or her no matter what, & reassure that child often that you always will be there for him or her.

If you’re an adult & wonder if this describes your relationship with your parents, then seriously consider your situation.  Parents who try to alienate the other parent often also try to come between their children’s other relationships such as with siblings, other family members & even their spouses.  Also ask God to show you the truth.  Pay attention to what your parent says, & look for evidence that proves what they say or disproves it.  Ask people questions too, so you can form your own opinions.  You will figure out what is happening in time, & if you find that your parent is one who employs alienation tactics, God will help you to handle your situation.

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“You Should Just Leave”

Being in a relationship with an abusive person is incredibly hard.  The routine changes daily, so what was good yesterday is suddenly bad today.  There is also constant belittling, invalidating, crazy-making, & so much more.  Seeing someone suffering like this, many people’s first thought is, “you should just leave.”  When someone doesn’t “just leave” in a timely manner or doesn’t want to leave at all, people often become disgusted with this person.  They either lose patience with the person & end the relationship or they think this is a sign the abuse isn’t so bad.  They may even doubt the person really is being abused at all, since they won’t leave. 

What these people fail to realize is that there are many very valid reasons a person stays in an abusive relationship for too long.  Today we are going to discuss some of them.

Victims are often terrified of their abusers & for good reasons.  Their abuser may be physically violent, or has threatened violence.  Or, he or she may not have threatened violence specifically, but instead has done things like punch walls, break things or hurt the victim’s pets.  Such behaviors show that this person is capable of violence, & no threats need to be spoken to instill fear in someone witnessing these behaviors.

Abusers annihilate their victims’ self esteem, which convinces them they need their abuser.  A person with no self esteem doesn’t believe in themselves in any capacity, which means they don’t know that they don’t need to depend on another person.  In fact, the thought of living without their abuser telling them what to do, think & feel often instills blind panic in a victim.

Abusers convince their victims that can change, & this won’t happen again.  Everyone has heard a story of a woman whose husband beats her, she leaves, he promises it’ll never happen again & she goes back to him over & over.  This is a common scenario.  Abusers panic when their victims leave.  They shower their victims with love & affection, & they make all kinds of promises to lure their victims back, including the promise to treat them better.  Abusers can appear very believable at this point, which is partly why their victims give them another chance.

Victims rarely have any real support to help them leave.  Abusers isolate their victims from friends & family so they can abuse their victims without interference.  Victims are often completely alone by the time they are ready to leave.  Leaving is hard enough with support, but without?  It’s so much harder.

Victims also rarely have any money.  Abusers take their victims’ paychecks or make sure they can’t work so they are financially dependent on the abuser.  It takes money to move out so without it, they are stuck.

Victims stay to protect their children.  Many victims will tolerate the abuse as a way to protect their children.  Their abuser won’t hurt the children as long as he has the victim to hurt.  Or, maybe the abuser said if the victim leaves, he or she will hurt or kill the children.  Staying seems like the safer alternative.

Victims are shamed & chastised by so called “religious” people.  So many people twist Scripture around to make the victim look like the problem for ending an abusive marriage.  These people also refuse to acknowledge the seriousness of abuse, help the victim in any way & abandon the victim in their time of need.

The law isn’t always on the side of victims, & is no help.  If you have proof of physical abuse, your chances of help are pretty good.  However, not all abusers abuse physically.  Other types of abuse are either legal or hard to prove.  Emotional, sexual, financial & spiritual abuse all fall into those categories.

As you can see, leaving an abusive person isn’t easy.  If you ever think of saying, “You should just leave” to someone in an abusive relationship, I hope you will consider these reasons why it’s not so easy to “just leave.”  Or, if you are the one in an abusive relationship & someone tells you that you should just leave, I hope you will fill them in on why that is not possible at the moment.

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25% Off All Ebooks Sale Is Still In Progress!

My publisher is offering 25% off all of my ebooks from December 15, 2022 – January 1, 2023. No coupon code is needed! Just shop & the sale price magically appears in your shopping cart.

My ebooks are available at the link below…

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The Day After Christmas

Even if I didn’t look at the calender, I still would know when Christmas & Mother’s Day are. The days surrounding both holidays are when my blog & site are the busiest. This year has been no different.

I am no exception to struggling this time of year. You can count on less than two hands how many decent Christmases I’ve had in my entire adult life. Making matters worse is the judgmental things people have said to me because I’m not happy about Christmas like most people. They say things like I just need to get over it & be happy, I need to celebrate the birth of Jesus since I’m supposed to be a Christian & more. <sigh> Got a bit of that nonsense this Christmas too, which is what made me think of writing to those of you who also have been on the receiving end of such treatment simply because of your lack of Christmas spirit.

When a person who has survived narcissistic abuse gets to this point of not wanting to celebrate Christmas, there is almost always a plethora of valid reasons for it. Narcissists love ruining things for their victims, & holidays are no exception. After all, the focus MUST be on them, & if it isn’t, they will make their victims’ life a living hell.

I think my situation was quite normal like this. My narcissistic mother in-law had to have Christmas her way. There was no excuse not to do things her way. Only her traditions were allowed & they had to be done only on Christmas day. Not Christmas eve, not the day after. Christmas day, period. This meant those of us who married into this family weren’t to consider spending the day any other way. Even mentioning the possibility was met with anger, disdain & comments like, “You will be here, right?”. This left me with two yukky options. Spend a miserable day with people who hated me or spend it alone while my husband spent it with them. As a result, I stopped celebrating Christmas many years ago. I did try to find ways to celebrate that I enjoyed or do things for my husband the few times he stayed home, but nothing made me like Christmas as I once did. People criticizing me for not being happy about Christmas just added insult to injury.

If you can relate, I just want to let you know it’s not just you! There are plenty of us out there who have lost interest in Christmas thanks to the narcissists in our lives. If you’re beating yourself up for your feelings, please just stop. Feelings show us when something is wrong, but the feelings themselves aren’t wrong. They just are. Honor your feelings. Feel them & process them how you need to.

Also remember, how you feel doesn’t mean you aren’t a “good Christian.” People created negative feelings in you because of their behavior. That has nothing to do with your faith. Your faith is there, whether or not you have or participate in a huge, fancy Christmas celebration. In fact, something I’ve noticed is many people who do have those huge & fancy Christmas celebrations have no real faith in God. They have the celebrations to keep up appearances or simply because that’s what they’ve always done.

It may help you to create new traditions, even ones that don’t celebrate Christmas per se, like going to dinner or watching your favorite movies. Sometimes those new traditions can help break the bad feelings. Sometimes, they don’t though, & you know something? That’s ok too. Not pleasant of course, but it’s ok. You can’t always help how you feel. Sometimes there was too much damage done, & you can’t fix it. Don’t beat yourself up for that & don’t let anyone else do it either! They aren’t you, & they have no right to criticize you for how you feel! Just take good care of yourself! ❤️

If you have read this & disagree with what I have said, please keep your opinions to yourself. Criticizing the feelings & views of those of us in this situation won’t fill us with Christmas spirit. In fact, it only adds to the negative feelings. I’d just as soon spare my readers from that. Also, I’d like to suggest you take a moment to realize how very blessed you are that you weren’t made to feel this way. That truly is a wonderful thing, & I sincerely hope you appreciate that!

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Romantic Relationships With A Covert Narcissist

Relationships with covert narcissists aren’t always easy to recognize.  That is why today we are going to address signs that you are in a relationship with a covert narcissist.

Unlike their loud, boorish overt counterparts, covert narcissists come across as quiet & unassuming, often times even a bit naïve in the early days of a relationship.  They tend to be the type of person that can blend into the background, & doesn’t need to be the center of everyone’s attention.  They may not share much about their feelings early on, & they tend to mirror back to their victim by claiming they like similar things or share similar feelings.  It can seem a bit insincere, but that easily can be attributed to timidity, inexperience with dating or maybe social awkwardness.  In any case, it gets overlooked because they obviously want to know everything about their partner.  Being the focus of this undivided attention makes a person feel very special, so many flaws will go unnoticed.

Covert narcissists also want the relationship to move quickly.  They claim their new partner is their soul mate, they never met anyone so wonderful or they have looked for someone just like their partner for their entire life.  They quietly make their victim feel swept off their feet.  Even if this person is not the usual type the partner is interested in, they quickly ignore any doubts.  After all, the narcissist seems so sincere.

Once the victim is in this place, they begin to notice small changes in the narcissist.  Maybe he no longer calls his victim during his lunch break at work every day, or maybe she answers his texts hours later instead of only minutes.  In any case, something feels a bit off which makes the victim try harder to please the narcissist.  The relationship becomes consuming, & the victim’s other relationships may disappear.  The covert narcissist often says this is proof that those people really didn’t care about the victim, not like the narcissist does. 

The criticisms often start at this point.  Suddenly the victim is no longer the most beautiful woman the male narcissist has ever seen but instead could stand to lose a few pounds.  Or maybe the female narcissist stops complementing her victim’s handsomeness & makes comments about co workers or celebrities she finds handsome.  The criticisms always will be subtle & indirect.  He won’t say she’s fat, but imply she might feel better about herself if she lost some weight, for example.


The narcissist does other things that are off putting to their victim as well.  They may suddenly not be affected by the victim’s complaints or flustered state.  They may opt to watch television, scroll through their phone or continue to eat dinner as their victim pours out their heart.  If the victim says the narcissist isn’t listening, he or she gets offended, claiming that isn’t true, sometimes without even looking away from the distraction.  Even worse, they say this in such a way that the victim feels guilty for being critical. 

This type of behavior only gets worse.  They respond to victims by claiming they only have their victim’s best interests at heart, & don’t understand how their victim could think otherwise.  Victims in these relationships explain things that should not need explaining about the narcissist’s cruel behavior, yet always seem to end up apologizing to the narcissist for what the narcissist did to them. 

Sex is loveless.  They have no desire to make love with their partner.  They often either want boring sex that doesn’t please their victim, they prefer time alone with pornography or they want their partner to act out things they have seen in porn.  Either way, their victim is left feeling rejected, undesirable or even repulsive to the narcissist.

Somehow in spite of all of this, the victim ends up feeling as if they owe the narcissist.  If the victim broke up with the narcissist then later returned, the narcissist won’t have a problem bringing this up as a way to make the victim feel guilty & as if they owe that narcissist to make his or her life better from now on.  If the narcissist pays the bills or at least the majority of them, he or she never hesitates to remind the victim of this. 

If this sounds like someone you are romantically involved with, please do yourself a favor & get away from this person immediately!  You deserve so much better!  Stop making excuses or denying this behavior is abusive.  It is inexcusable & very abusive!   I can tell you this from experience because I was once married to someone like this.  No one has any right or reason to treat you this way, no matter what you may have done or didn’t do.  Get away from this person.  Heal.  Find someone who truly loves you & appreciates you for the wonderful person that you are!

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When Scapegoats Are Abused

The entire psychology around scapegoats fascinates me.  Having been one myself, I found it so hard to understand at first why it seems so many people have thought it perfectly acceptable to treat me badly, in particular those I’m related to.  Over the years, God has shown me quite a bit about that.

Scapegoats are often easy going & gentle people.  It takes a lot to get the average scapegoat to fight back against being abused.  That is partly why many scapegoats are targeted- they will tolerate more than the average person.  Narcissists love how much they are willing to tolerate.  It provides them a great deal of narcissistic supply, being able to abuse someone for long periods of time.

When scapegoats do fight back, they are often beyond furious.  Narcissists love this too.  They use their victims’ righteous anger to prove just how crazy & unreasonable they are.  Bonus for narcissists – they get the joy of calling the scapegoat mentally unstable for reacting to the abuse.

Narcissists also love making their flying monkeys abuse the scapegoat.  Not only does this mean that their scapegoat is being abused, but it also means that they have enough power over their flying monkeys to make them do their bidding.  That’s a pretty big power trip!

When my father was dying & our family attacking me for not breaking no contact to say good bye to him, God showed me some of their motivations.  I think they fit with those who abuse scapegoats in many situations, not only when a narcissistic parent is dying.

When scapegoats get healthy & are loyal to their new boundaries & beliefs, it upsets the dysfunctional people by proving that there is a problem with the family system.  Many dysfunctional people are too cowardly to face truth, & prefer to utilize denial.  The scapegoat’s actions showing there is a problem threatens that denial.  People in denial can’t tolerate that, so rather than deal with the threats, they do their best to shut down the person who faces the truth. 

Many flying monkeys are also narcissists, so they enjoy abusing just for the sake of abusing. 

Many of those narcissistic flying monkeys are covert narcissists, so in addition to abusing an innocent person, they also enjoy the whole image of looking like they’re just trying to help when they try to convince the scapegoat to tolerate further abuse by the original narcissist.

By abusing the scapegoat, they somehow prove to themselves that it’s ok to abuse that person.  If they can just get that scapegoat to accept the abuse without complaint, all will be right in their world.  The reason being, if abusing this person is normalized, then there is no need to be upset that they did nothing to stop the narcissist from abusing the scapegoat.  It proves to them that this person deserves whatever they have coming to them.  There would be no need to try to stop the abuse if the person deserves it.

If you are a scapegoat & either have been or are currently in such situations, please know that whatever the narcissist & their flying monkeys do or say to you is not about you.  You are not whatever they say you are!  You are simply on the receiving end of their dysfunction.  They are treating you badly because of their own issues, not because of anything you have done or anything you are.  I know that can be hard to remember sometimes, but please try to do so!  It truly can help you when these awful people attack!

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Is It Really The Most Wonderful Time Of Year?

The Christmas season is a very difficult time of year for many people with narcissistic families & in-laws.  They make it an over the top, incredibly stressful time with their unrealistic demands & expectations, so it’s no wonder so many people dread this supposed “most wonderful time of year.”  I plan to offer some survival tips today to help you survive a dysfunctional family gathering if you can’t get out of it.

First & foremost, pray.  Ask God to give you strength, wisdom, courage & anything else you can think of that you may need.  Ask Him to guide your words, too.  I can’t stress enough how important prayer is at any time but in particular regarding dealing with narcissists.

Remember you aren’t dealing with normal, functional people.  You’re dealing with people who have unrealistic expectations that no one can possibly meet.  When you let them down, & you will, remind yourself of this.  The inevitable guilt trips & shaming will follow, but if you remember that their expectations are designed so others will fail as a way to hurt & control, it helps you reject the guilt & shaming.

Also remember why this get together is so important.  It’s not about enjoying time together with loved ones & celebrating a special day.  It’s about appearances, & portraying the family as a happy, functional family.  When you see family members getting along well, remember that it’s just an illusion to create narcissistic supply.  Don’t let it suck you in.

Another important thing to remember is narcissists use gifts as one more tool to manipulate & control others.  They may give expensive, extravagant gifts as a way to make the receiver feel indebted to them or make the narcissist appear overly generous, even martyr-like to other people.  They may “forget” to give someone a gift or give an obviously thoughtless gift as a way to make receivers feel that they aren’t worthy of the narcissist’s affections.  Another popular narcissistic motivation is trying to change the receiver.  Rather than give the receiver what they truly want or need, they give that person what they think they should have.  They give clothes in their taste, not the receivers.  They give supplies for a hobby or interest that the receiver has no interest in, but they do.  This happened to me.  I foolishly told my mother in-law I hated to cook a couple of months before Christmas one year.  I knew she & her daughters loved to cook, but naively thought it wasn’t important I didn’t share this quality with them.  For Christmas, my mother in-law & both sisters in-law gave me all kinds of cooking items like food, cookbooks, dishes & utensils.  Clearly this was supposed to spark a newfound love of cooking in me.  It failed, & I threw away or gave away everything.

When a narcissist gives you a gift, you can be sure that one of the motives I just mentioned is in play.  If you can remember that, it helps make receiving their awful gifts a bit easier.  You won’t feel guilty for giving away or throwing out what they gave you when you know the motives behind that gift were bad.

If you are in the unenviable position of being forced to deal with a narcissist around Christmas, prioritize yourself.  Set boundaries & stick to them.  Only spend a couple of hours with the narcissist instead of all day.  Remember the Gray Rock Method.  Keep all conversation superficial & divulge nothing personal.  Change the subject back to the narcissist instead.  They love to talk about themselves, so use this to your advantage!  If you get a terrible gift, show no emotion.  Simply say thank you, then once you have the opportunity, get rid of the terrible gift. 

It won’t be fun but you can survive this situation with your sanity in tact! You can do it!

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Is It Really The Most Wonderful Time Of Year

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Big Sale On My Ebooks!

My publisher is offering 25% off all of my ebooks from December 15, 2022 – January 1, 2023. No coupon code is needed! Just shop & the sale price magically appears in your shopping cart.

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Signs Of Trauma Bonding

Trauma bonding, also known as Stockholm Syndrome, happens in abusive relationships.  It is when a person has an unnatural attachment to someone who abuses them.  It sounds far fetched to many people, but it can happen.  When a person suffers abuse yet that abuser periodically does acts of kindness for them, that can create a trauma bond.  An example could be someone whose narcissistic parents were abusive his entire life, yet also bought him his first car, put him through college & gave him money without question any time he asked.  Their generosity caused him to feel a bond to his parents in spite of the fact they abused him during childhood then continued to abuse not only him but also his wife & children.

Just because a person does something nice for you periodically doesn’t negate their abusive ways!  Abuse is abuse, no matter what perks may come along with it, & anyone in an abusive relationship needs to keep this in mind. 

There are some signs of trauma bonding that can help you to recognize if this is happening or has happened to you.

When in a relationship with someone you are trauma bonded to, that person comes first, period.  If the abuser is a romantic partner, you feel addicted to them.  If the abuser is a parent, they come first in your life, even above your friends, spouse, children, yourself & yes, even God.  The trauma bond keeps that person the top focus of your life.

On those rare occasions they do something good or nice for you, you doubt yourself.  You think you are just overreacting to the abuse.  After all, they did this great thing, so they’re not all bad, right?!

When the abuser hurts you, you make excuses for their behavior rather than confront them.  He had a bad day at work, or she just didn’t realize that saying that would be upsetting.

The abuser hurts you over & over, yet you continually try to please this person.  No sacrifice is too great on your part, either.  You will do anything for this person, no matter the personal cost or the cost to those who love you.

You become very self destructive.  The abuser has trained you to think you’re a failure & you don’t deserve anything good, so you sabotage yourself in every way imaginable to meet their expectations.  An example is you take jobs that you aren’t qualified for so when you get fired, the abuser can say, “I told you so.”  Or, you become romantically involved with someone the abuser doesn’t approve of, so they tell you that person is awful, unfaithful, dragging you down, after your money, or other nonsense. 

You have very damaged or even no self esteem because of this person’s abuse.  You don’t believe you deserve respect or love.  You believe you don’t have any value, & therefore will tolerate any manner of abuse & depravity this person wants to inflict on you.  You are willing to compromise your morals & standards to please them.

If you see yourself in these signs, chances are you are in a trauma bond with an abuser.  No matter who the abuser is, if at all possible, end the relationship immediately.  You don’t deserve to be treated this way by anyone.  You DO have worth & value!  You matter!  Protect yourself & end this relationship.  Break the trauma bond, focus on your healing & live the good life that you deserve!

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You Deserve Compassion & Kindness!

Once someone has been abused, often they quietly & obliviously develop the misguided belief that they are unworthy of compassion & kindness. 

Most likely this comes from their abusers constantly telling them that they are a burden, they’re stupid, do nothing but cause problems & other things that instill a deep root of toxic shame in victims.  That toxic shame tells people that their feelings, needs, wants, pains & every other thing about them aren’t valid. 

Add into this the phrase “victim mentality” & the shame society often inflicts on anyone who says they were a victim.  Clueless & often heartless people say victims should’ve just walked away, pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, they should stop living in the past & being so negative.  It makes people feel that they deserved the abuse, & are weak for being abused or even having PTSD or C-PTSD as a result of the abuse, which only adds to the toxic shame.

Even worse than the toxic shame is the fact that being on the receiving end of such treatment makes people doubt the validity of their pain over their experiences.  They may think they weren’t abused so badly since their parent didn’t beat them, or their abusive husband “only” forced her to have sex a few times.  Other people have it so much worse, so their experiences couldn’t be all that bad, right?  WRONG!  They were bad!  In fact, they were worse than bad.  They were atrocious!  Being abused is horrible, no matter how frequently one is abused or whether it was verbal, physical, sexual, spiritual or financial. 

After being on the receiving end of such treatment, is it common for people to think they’re awful people, whining about trivial matters, so they don’t deserve any compassion or kindness.  Today, I want to tell anyone who feels this way that they are ABSOLUTELY WRONG!  I don’t care what your abusers said you were or that other people maybe had it “worse” than you.  Your pain is valid.  Your experiences were terrible.  You did NOT deserve any of it.  And, you deserve compassion and kindness! 

Whether you are comfortable admitting this or not, the truth is you have been through some pretty horrific things.  Those things weren’t your fault.  You did nothing whatsoever to deserve them.  You aren’t a bad person because others said you were & treated you terribly.  Their behavior speaks much more about them than it does you.  And, it doesn’t mean you are undeserving of compassion & kindness.  You are as worthy of compassion & kindness just as much as any other person.  In fact, you are just as worthy as any other person in every possible way, period.

If you haven’t begun to focus on your healing, maybe today is the day to start.  It will benefit you so much to do so!  Admitting the abuse was wrong & painful is an excellent place to start.  Also recognizing that the way your abuser treated you truly had nothing to do with you but with your abusers is powerful for healing.  Get angry about the unfairness & cruelty of what was done to you!  That will help you to see that you didn’t deserve it, & you deserve to be treated so much better.  Pray, write in a journal, seek a counselor that specializes in trauma or whatever helps you to heal.  The more you heal, the more you’ll recognize that you are valuable.  The more you recognize your own value, the less poor treatment from other people you will tolerate.  You also will recognize what you deserve, & that includes to be loved, respected & treated compassionately & kindly. 

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Blaming Abusive Parents Versus Holding Them Accountable

Life isn’t easy for adults who were abused by their parents.  The judgment of other people, often those who don’t know much if anything about the situation can be particularly painful.

Society as a whole says things like blood is thicker than water, forgive & forget, you only get one mother or father, they tried their best, & other such drivel.  Basically, this makes victims feel like holding their abusive parents accountable for their behavior is unfairly blaming them.  This is so wrong!

Blaming someone & holding them accountable are very different things!

Blame assigns responsibility for something done.  It is very critical & basically, the exact opposite of praise.  Blame is accusatory, & unwilling to listen to or consider anything other than the perception of the person doing the blaming.  It also implies shame, saying someone who did something is intrinsically bad.  Consider how narcissists speak as an example.  They blame others for making them act badly, for upsetting them & pretty much anything.  It also puts the person doing the blaming in a superior position, even if only in their mind.  Suddenly they become “good” & the other person becomes “bad.”

Holding someone accountable is different.  It states responsibility without the shame factor that is implied in blame.  It also means that you are responsible for your actions & you also are liable for them.  The person being held accountable is responsible for their actions, & can give satisfactory reasons for them.  Both people in this equation are equal, no one is “good or bad,” “superior or inferior”, unlike when blame is present.

I have spoken with a LOT of victims of child abuse as well as being one myself, which has taught me a tremendous amount about how adult victims of child abuse think.  One constant I have noticed is the lack of blame most victims have for their parents.  They don’t hate them, or feel superior to them somehow.  They would like to know why their parents treated them as they did. 

They also grew up believing that they were responsible for their parents somehow.  Abusive parents, in particular narcissistic ones, often engage in parentalizing behaviors, expecting their children to care for their needs instead of them caring for their children’s needs.  Or, the abusive parents looked to their children to fix some problems in their lives, such as their failing marriage.  These abusive behaviors led these children to feel as if they were betraying their parents if they blamed them for anything.  They excused the abuse or assumed responsibility for it themselves.

Once these children grew up & recognized their parents were abusive, they often still have trouble blaming their parents.  Instead, they hold their parents accountable, which is much more rational than blame anyway. 

Holding one’s abusive parents accountable for the abuse is perfectly reasonable.  It allows someone to have empathy for the struggles the abusive parent had that fueled their abusive ways while also allows this person to realize that setting boundaries or even removing such a parent from their life is sensible & reasonable.  This is what I did with my parents.  I recognized their dysfunction & why they were as they were.  My heart went out to them but since they weren’t willing to change their toxic ways, I had to set boundaries to protect my mental health. 

Narcissists clearly don’t handle blame or even holding them accountable well, in particular when this comes from their child, but their response isn’t your responsibility.  By holding them accountable in a reasonable way rather than angrily blaming them, any emotional reaction they have is their responsibility, not yours. 

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Why Narcissists Feel They Must Know All About Their Victims After The Relationship Is Over

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Sincere vs Insincere Apologies

Many people who apologize are truly sincere.  They realize whatever they did was bad, & they want to make it up to those they have hurt.  These people aren’t always the same ones who say the words, “I’m sorry” though.  Sometimes people who apologize are insincere or have motives that are less than genuine.  I plan to explain how to spot the differences in this discussion.

Someone who is genuinely sorry for their actions addresses the person they hurt humbly, asking for forgiveness.  Even if they don’t say the words, “please forgive me”, their meek & remorseful behavior says it.  Someone who isn’t truly sorry won’t ask for forgiveness & will be irritated when expected to show some sort of remorse for their actions.

Genuine apologies don’t come with words like, “but” or, “if.”  Those words are followed by excuses & denial.  Those are called non-apologies.  Some examples are, “I’m sorry if you think I did something that hurt you.”  “I’m sorry I did that, but I wouldn’t have done it if you wouldn’t have done what you did first.”  Non-apologies are said usually to pacify the person offended while the offender takes no responsibility for their behavior, & are nothing like a sincere apology.

A person who is genuinely interested in apologizing also admits their behavior & that it was wrong.  They don’t gloss over it with phrases like, “I messed up,” or, “we both know what I did.  I shouldn’t have to say it again.”  Admitting bad behavior is embarrassing, possibly even humiliating, but it shows the willingness to do whatever it takes to make it up to the person who was wronged.  Someone who isn’t truly sorry for what they did won’t do whatever it takes to make it up to the victim, & that includes humbling themselves in this way.

Acknowledging the hurt caused is another hallmark of a genuine apology.  A sincere person will recognize the pain & suffering their behavior has caused another person.  The person who has done wrong won’t try to minimize or invalidate the pain.  They will say, “I know I hurt you when I did what I did, & I am so sorry for that.”  A person who offers a non-apology downplays their behavior & the effect it has on the person they have wronged.

Wronging someone has consequences, & someone who is genuinely remorseful for their behavior is willing to accept them as a natural course of events no matter how uncomfortable it is for them.  They understand that Galatians 6:7 is true, & people reap what they sow, good or bad.  Those who are insincere to avoid them.  They may demand their spouse trust them again immediately after they were caught being unfaithful, for example.

A person offering a sincere apology will be willing to do whatever it takes to make things right with the person they have hurt.  If that means apologizing every day for the rest of their life, they will do it.  The insincere have no interest in this.  They may try briefly & half heartedly to make things right, but it doesn’t last long. 

And lastly, the sincere person knows that some things take time.  They don’t try to force the person they wronged to forgive them quickly.  They give the person the time & space they need to work through things, while staying close enough that they are able to do whatever is required of them at a moment’s notice.  An insincere person is nothing like this.  They want the person they wronged to forgive & forget quickly, & if that person doesn’t, they can be downright shaming.  They often accuse the wronged person of being unforgiving, heartless, petty, overreacting, over sensitive, & even ungodly.

I hope this insight helps you to identify easily when someone is being sincere or insincere in their apology to you. 

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Biggest Sale EVER On My Print Books! 30% Off!

My publisher is offering 30% off all of my print books until Tuesday November 29, 2022. Simply use code JOYFUL30 at checkout.

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A Way Dysfunctional Families Try To Keep Everyone Close

Most everyone has had a few moments of feeling paranoid, feeling like other people are out to get them.  Sadly, there are those who feel this way due to mental illness.  Schizophrenia is known to make people feel this way, for example.  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can do it as well.  Some folks, however, behave in this manner while having no mental illness. 

Consider cases of couples with a child who are getting divorced.  One parent tells the child the other parent is terrible, doesn’t love them & other awful things.  This parent is vilifying the other to turn the child against him or her, which also naturally draws the child closer to the accusatory parent.  This also sets the child up to have what is known as persecutory delusions.

Another common scenario where persecutory delusions happen involves narcissistic families.  They often want their children to stay close to them forever.  One of the ways they try to accomplish this is by using persecutory delusions.  They tell each other that other people are bad, don’t really care about them, no one loves you like family & other untrue things.  This doesn’t stop in adulthood.  When children of narcissistic families marry, often their parents & siblings have no problem showing their disapproval of their new in-law.  They not only treat this person terribly, they let their feelings be known to their adult child.  These narcissists either insinuate or say clearly that this person isn’t good enough to be in their family.  They find ways to convince the adult child of their feelings, even to the point of blatantly lying about the spouse.  Their lies are often completely outrageous.  As one example from my life, one of my sisters in-law once told my husband I “stole” him & keep him from their family.  Nothing could have been further from the truth, yet she was very convicted when she told him this.  Clearly she was trying to convince my husband that her lies were the truth in an attempt to cause us problems or even get us to split up. 

When one person in a marriage has been subjected to this treatment by their family members that facilitates persecutory delusions, it can be incredibly difficult for both parties in the marriage.  One doesn’t want to believe that their family would lie to them, & may believe their family rather than face the fact they are lying.  The one being lied about is going to be hurt not only by the in-laws, but by their spouse who believes the lies.  Couples in this situation can end up divorced because of such toxic behavior.

If you are in this situation, there is hope!  The best thing I know to do is ask God to reveal the truth.  Whether you are the relative being abused or the spouse, the truth is vital to your situation.

If you are the one in this situation, question everything.  Don’t blindly believe what your family tells you.  Just because they are your family doesn’t mean they know everything or have your best interests at heart.  Often family can be the cruelest to their own.  When they say things to you that make you feel others are out to get you somehow, look for the truth & keep an open mind.  Ask yourself what evidence is there that what this person says is happening?  Look for information that either supports or disproves what they say.  If it helps, write things down.  Make two columns, one for things that prove what they say is accurate & the other for things that prove what they say is inaccurate.  Talk to someone you know who is safe, logical & can be objective.  Sometimes an objective third party can give a new perspective on your situation.  

If you are the spouse, then the best piece of advice I can offer is to love your spouse & live in such a way that they can’t help but know that what their narcissistic family says about you makes absolutely no sense.  This will make them question things their family members say, or ideally not believe them at all.  If they somehow don’t question things, ask your spouse to give examples of when you behaved as the narcissists say you did.  When they can’t come up with anything, that will plant doubt in their mind about the validity of their family’s comments.  Also when discussing this topic, remain as calm as possible.  If you show your anger, your spouse naturally will feel they must defend their family.

You can handle this situation, & you will come out of it stronger & wiser.

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