Tag Archives: narcissist

If You’re Struggling With Setting Boundaries Or Going No Contact With Your Narcissistic Parent

Many people have issues with setting boundaries or even severing ties with a narcissistic parent.  They say you are being mean, unreasonable, selfish.  In religious people, they may also throw in that you aren’t honoring your parent, & they quote Exodus 20:12 that tells us to honor our parents.  Or, in Asian cultures, they mention filial piety, which is respecting & caring for one’s parents being the highest of virtues.

People who say this sort of gibberish are either completely clueless or they’re narcissistic enablers.  Yet, in spite of that, sometimes victims are convinced that these imbeciles are right.  They stop using their boundaries, continue to tolerate the abuse, & are completely miserable.

If you are reading this & in this place of either wanting to set boundaries or go no contact with your narcissistic parent, but feel you are being selfish, mean, etc., you need to know that you are wrong!  I promise you that, & will show you why.

Although I don’t know much about religions other than Christianity, I do know that many of them seem to share one common belief, which basically boils down to, “you reap what you sow.”  Just look at what the Bible has to say about that…

 

  • Proverbs 11:25 “The generous man [is a source of blessing and] shall be prosperous and enriched, And he who waters will himself be watered [reaping the generosity he has sown].” (AMP)
  • Proverbs 19:19 “A man of great anger will bear the penalty [for his quick temper and lack of self-control];
    For if you rescue him [and do not let him learn from the consequences of his action], you will only have to rescue him over and over again.” (AMP)
  • Proverbs 22:8 “He who sows injustice will reap [a harvest of] trouble,
    And the rod of his wrath [with which he oppresses others] will fail.” (AMP)
  • Obadiah 15 “The day of the Lord is near for all nations.
    As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head.” (NIV)
  • 2 Corinthians 9:6 “Now [remember] this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows generously [that blessings may come to others] will also reap generously [and be blessed].” (AMP)
  • Galatians 6:7-8 “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked [He will not allow Himself to be ridiculed, nor treated with contempt nor allow His precepts to be scornfully set aside]; for whatever a man sows, this and this only is what he will reap.
    8 For the one who sows to his flesh [his sinful capacity, his worldliness, his disgraceful impulses] will reap from the flesh ruin and destruction, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” (AMP)

 

These Scriptures prove that whatever a person does, good or bad, there are consequences.  It’s a natural part of life.

I realize as the child of a narcissistic parent or two, this feels so foreign.  After all, the child never should upset the parent, burden them with “trivial” things like their needs or let the parent face consequences of their terrible behavior.  However, this is so wrong!  God has made sure this reaping & sowing wisdom is mentioned repeatedly in His Word.  This has to be important to be mentioned many times, wouldn’t you agree?

If you think about this, I’m sure it’ll help you to realize that your boundaries or no contact aren’t you being an awful person, but simply the natural course of events.  That is what happened with me.  I felt bad for setting boundaries with my parents & going low contact. God reminded me of Galatians 6:7-8.  I thought about it & realized it made sense.  Every time I so much as started to feel guilty, I remembered that Scripture.  It was very encouraging!  So much so that I was finally able to go no contact with my parents.  I felt mostly sadness because this wasn’t how things should be, which I think is totally normal, but very little guilt.  Without realizing the principle of sowing & reaping, I don’t know if I could have gone no contact.  If I had, no doubt the guilt would have been about crippling!

Please consider this post if you are struggling with setting boundaries or going no contact with your narcissistic parent, Dear Reader.  You aren’t wrong, selfish, unreasonable, mean or anything else.  You have every right to do these things!

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Some Lessons Learned From Relationships With Narcissists

Being in a relationship in any capacity with a narcissist is a learning experience.  In order to survive with your sanity in tact, naturally you need to learn about Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  It helps you to understand what was really happening & that contrary to what the narcissist in your life told you, the problems in the relationship weren’t your fault.  It also helps you to spot the early signs of a narcissist, so you won’t end up in a similar relationship again.

That being said though, there are other valuable lessons you can learn from a narcissistic relationship.

Responding instead of reacting is a very valuable skill!  Not only in relating with narcissists, but even with healthy people, responding is a good relationship skill.  Reacting is done in the heat of the moment & without thought. while responding is done after some consideration.  Narcissists love reacting because people will do or things when they react that they wouldn’t normally do if they had taken the time to consider their predicament.  This can prove to the narcissist that their victim is crazy, abusive or anything else they want to claim.  Healthy people don’t act this way of course, but even so, reacting can cause problems in even the healthiest of relationships.  It’s a good idea to stop for a second to take a deep breath, then release it slowly when you’re tempted to react.  This action calms anxiety & anger, & gives you a second to consider your response.

Boundaries are a very good thing.  Narcissists respect no one’s boundaries.  They feel they have every right to say & do anything they please.  Once a victim is away from this sort of behavior, they learn that boundaries really are a wonderful thing.  They also learn to appreciate people who have no problems with boundaries.

“No” can be an excellent way to figure out if a person is functional or not.  Narcissists can take the simple word no as a victim being rebellious, difficult, disrespectful & even abusive.  A functional person takes no as a boundary & they respect it.  If you want to see if the new relationship in your life is a healthy one, say no & see how the other person reacts.

People believe what they want to believe.  Human beings like things to be as we think they should be, & we can get upset when that perception is threatened.  A healthy, functional person will consider the evidence & even if it’s uncomfortable, go along with the change.  Dysfunctional people aren’t this wise.  They may refuse to face change.  This is never more evident than when there is evidence showing them that a narcissist isn’t the great person they think he or she is.  This is when they become especially vicious to the narcissist’s victim.  Many of these people don’t want to believe that person isn’t the great person they thought they were, possibly out of fear of looking foolish.  It’s more comfortable for them to believe the narcissist’s smear campaign of the victim rather than the victim sharing the truth about the narcissist.  Or, they could be gaining something from the narcissist- money, favor, etc.  Sometimes, they are victims of abuse by someone else, & when the victim speaks out against the narcissist, it triggers their own pain.  These people will do anything to shut down the victim so they can continue denying their own pain.  For victims in this situation, it’s best to avoid such people at all costs.

Let people think what they want.  Closely related to the last paragraph, one valuable lesson I’ve learned from relationships with narcissists is to let people think what they want.  Narcissists create their own version of victims that they believe is accurate.  Their flying monkeys & those close to them will believe whatever the narcissists tell them to believe about their victims.  No amount of work on the part of a victim can make any of these people believe anything they don’t want to believe.  In fact, trying to convince them of the truth most likely will make them think the victim is crazy & treat the victim even worse.  Why go through that?  Let them think whatever they want, & live your life however works for you.

Of course, there are more things I’ve learned.  What about you?  What have you learned from your relationship with a narcissist?

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Help For When Places Or Items Trigger Painful Memories Or Flashbacks

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Ways To Cope With Triggers

Anyone who has suffered trauma knows about triggers.  They are something that reminds you of past trauma & can leave you feeling very shaken up.

Triggers can be such a miserable thing to experience!  They feel like there is no reason for them when you’re going through them, but I believe they actually have a purpose.

When you are healed in a specific area, you can experience a trigger, & although it certainly isn’t pleasant, it isn’t devastating either.  It reminds me of what it feels like when you remember a nightmare.  Unpleasant but not terribly upsetting.

When you aren’t healed in some area however, that is when triggers can be helpful.  They show you the areas where you need some healing.   Paying attention to exactly what emotions you feel can be an excellent start to heal in this area.

When you’re triggered, I firmly believe it’s wise to consider exactly what you felt & why you felt it in order to heal.  For example, were you angered because you felt invalidated, powerless, ignored, or disrespected?  Did you feel shame because you felt judged, unimportant, or mocked?  Were you hurting because you felt excluded, unloved or as if no one cared at all about you?

Once you realize the root of your feelings, you can heal.  What helps me if I’m unsure why I feel what I do is to ask God to show me the root of this feeling.  Where did this start?  Usually then I remember some incident from a long time ago that shows me where the problem began.  Once I remember that, I try to remember everything possible about that incident, even seemingly unimportant details like what clothes I was wearing.  I also try to feel all the feelings associated with it, as difficult as that may be.  The more thoroughly an incident can be remembered, I believe the more healing takes place.  The more healing that happens, the less you will experience triggers like this in the future.

One important thing to remember is when you do this, take breaks.  Emotional healing is very difficult & painful work.  It also doesn’t happen quickly.  Because of these factors, it can get to be too much sometimes, especially when the trauma is extremely bad.  When those times happen, it’s best to take a break.  Stop focusing on your healing & focus on something else that has absolutely nothing to do with the trauma for a little while.  You need to put your emotions in a box on a shelf for a time, & take some time to do something fun.  Watch a movie, read, work on a craft, snuggle your furkids, spend time with a good friend sharing some laughs… whatever you do, make sure it is lighthearted & fun.  If it can make you laugh, all the better.  After you have relaxed & feel less overwhelmed, when you get back to working on your healing, you will be in a better frame of mind to do so.

Triggers can be difficult to deal with, I know.  Frankly, they just stink.  However, they can be a very helpful tool in your mental & emotional healing.  Why not use them that way & make the pain they cause count for something?

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Another Sale On My Ebooks!

From March 20-April 20, 2020, all my ebooks are 30% off.  They can be found at this link:

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

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About Narcissistic Friends

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Rarely Discussed Abusive Behaviors Of Narcissistic Spouses

Some time back, I was watching an episode of a true crime show on tv.  The show is called “Evil Lives Here” & is about people who lived with someone who did terrible things, like being serial killers.  This particular episode was about the Truck Stop Killer, Robert Rhoades.  His ex wife was interviewed.  She told the story of how they first met & about what it was like to be married to him.

Normally stories like these are disturbing yet fascinating, but I found this one especially disturbing.  So many of Mr. Rhoades’ behaviors reminded me of my ex husband.  The way he manipulated & shamed her was exactly the same as what my ex did.  Even the words he said to her were the same as my ex said to me.  Their behaviors were so similar that it really shook me up for quite some time.  I didn’t even tell anyone for a while, because I was trying to process it all.

I didn’t plan on blogging about it, but recently I thought it might be a good idea.  If these two abusive men used the same behavior, no doubt others do as well.  These behaviors are also not really discussed openly.  Most people know of the obvious abusive behaviors like hitting.

One behavior my ex & Mr. Rhoades shared was having extremely definite opinions on how they wanted their wives to look.  I would guess most married folks like to see their spouses looking a certain way more than others, but both of these men took it to an extreme.  My ex would make me feel as if what he wanted was the only thing looked good on me.  What I liked didn’t matter.  Mr. Rhoades took the behavior further.  He did that plus laid out clothing for his wife to wear.  I remember his ex wife saying he would lay out clothing on the bed & tell her to wear that specific outfit because they were going out.  He wouldn’t tell her where they were going.  While that could be a nice surprise, his wasn’t.  One evening, his “surprise” was he took her to a swinger’s club.

That brings me to the main similarity these two men shared.  Sexual preferences.  Deviant sexual behavior like they shared is a red flag in a romantic relationship, but that red flag turns into more of a giant flashing neon billboard when they demand it from their spouse even knowing she objects strongly to it.  Both my ex & Mr. Rhoades used the same tactic in order to get what they wanted – shaming.  Both said comments like, “Any other woman would be glad to do this for me.”  “Every other woman in the world does this!”   “You’re so immature/prudish/boring in bed!”  “You should be glad I want to involve you in this instead of just going behind your back to do it!”

When someone wants something so badly that they will shame someone else for not being willing to participate, that is abuse.  Someone is putting their selfish desires ahead of their spouse’s, even though they know what they want will cause the person great physical or emotional pain.  This shows a total lack of empathy, because no one who truly loves their spouse would want to hurt them or not even care that they are hurting them.

If someone you are romantically involved with behaves in these manners, they are definite warning signs of narcissism.  If at all possible, get away from this person as soon as humanly possible!  You need to protect yourself!

If you are unable to get away, start quietly planning to do so.  If people like this change, it almost never is for the better.  I’m sure Robert Rhoades’ ex wife would agree.  So take care of yourself.  Protect yourself from further abuse.  You don’t deserve to be treated this way!  xoxo

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About Guilt After The Death Of A Narcissistic Parent

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Thoughtless But Abusive Comments

Not everybody thinks about their words before speaking.  They just blurt things out.  Those thoughtless comments can do a surprising amount of damage.

Some thoughtless comments are listed below…

  • “You’re just like *insert disliked person here*”  Often a person tells you how crazy, bad, stupid, etc. that person is prior to telling you that you’re just like him or her.  Even if you love that person, the person telling you that you’re just like someone they think is crazy, bad, stupid, etc. hurts!
  • On the opposite side of the same coin… “Why can’t you be more like *insert person’s name here*?”  This can make you feel not good enough.
  • “*insert someone’s name here* has it worse than you do.”  This can make you feel guilty, ashamed or just plain wrong for being upset in the first place.
  • “You’ve always had it so easy!”  “You’re spoiled!”  “You’ve never had to work hard for anything!”  Really?  I seriously don’t think there is one person who has ever lived that hasn’t struggled in some way, shape or form.  This can make you feel like you should be ashamed of yourself if you’re struggling with something or if you’re given something.
  • “You’re depressed?  What do you have to be depressed about?!”  (or anxious or have PTSD) or, “Think happy thoughts.”  So many people think mental disorders are only about a person not thinking positively enough, not appreciating what they have or some other simple solution.  While yes, you can think wrong thoughts & make yourself depressed or anxious, many people have actual physical problems with their brain causing depression, anxiety & even PTSD.  No amount of “thinking positive” can fix those problems!
  • “It’s all in your head!” regarding mental illness.  Well, technically it is!  It’s in the name- mental illness.  People that say this often mean you’re imagining the symptoms & need just to get over whatever is causing those symptoms.
  • “Don’t be so selfish!”  Narcissists in particular love this one.  Thinking of your needs & having boundaries isn’t selfish.  Neither is prioritizing yourself over demanding self centered people.  “Don’t be selfish” coming from a narcissist is nothing more than projection.  If someone you don’t think is a narcissist says it, it could be a red flag.  Pay attention to what this person says & does to determine if the person is a narcissist or if they’re actually right & you are being selfish somehow.
  • “You’re so shy/quiet!”  This shaming statement can make you feel wrong or broken for being an introvert.  People fail to realize the world needs talkers & listeners.  If everyone talked a lot, who would listen?!  Everyone would be too busy talking to listen to each other!
  • “But that’s your MOTHER!” (or father or whichever random relative you’ve gone no contact with)  People say this like we’ll respond by saying, “OH!  I hadn’t thought about that!  You’re right!  I’ll go fix everything right now!”  We *know* this is our mother or whoever.  In fact that reason is precisely why they have hurt us to the point they have.  Obviously we care more about those close to us than total strangers.  No contact was a very painful decision to come to, & this comment can make us feel ashamed & wrong for choosing that option.
  • “Are you sure you want to do that?  I mean, it’s a lot of work..”  This could be about anything- painting your home, going back to college, changing careers or starting a family.  In any case, it comes across as if the person saying it doesn’t think you’re capable of doing that task.  Hopefully it’s said without malicious intent & only with concern for you.  Sometimes though, it’s said with malice in order to instill doubts in you & make you feel incapable.
  • After someone has died.. “You should be glad she’s not in pain anymore.”  Really?  Ok, we’re all glad that someone’s suffering has ended when they died.  If we’re both Christians, we’re also glad we’ll see them again one day in Heaven.  However, how about letting us have some time of grieving because we miss that special person?  Grief is normal when you lose someone you love & no one should shame you for it!

Of course there are plenty more thoughtless statements but these are just some examples.

When people say such nonsense, I find it useful to remind yourself that not everyone is compassionate.  Some people are also simply thoughtless.  No, they aren’t deliberately mean spirited- they just don’t think that much about how their words affect other people.  Others may be having a bad day & were too preoccupied to consider what they were saying at that specific time.  And, some people are narcissists.  They simply enjoy hurting you as much as possible or they’re so self-absorbed, they don’t even think of how what they say will affect you.

In any case, what people say isn’t your fault or a reflection on you.  Also, you can’t count on people to be validating at all times.  You have to learn to validate yourself.  It’s one of the best gifts you can give yourself!

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One Way To Stump Narcissists

Over the course of my life, I have dealt with quite a few narcissists.  They taught me many ways to deal with this personality.

One way I learned to deal with narcissists pretty successfully is to stump them.  How do you stump such a highly illogical person whose thinking makes no sense?  With cold, hard logic.

Narcissists feed off of the emotions of their victims.  It gives them such a feeling of power to control another person’s emotions!  That is why the Gray Rock method is so successful, it deprives the narcissist of feeding off the emotions of their victims because the victim keeps all emotions hidden from the narcissist.  This is what cold, hard logic does as well.

A person who is very logical doesn’t reveal what they feel.  They deal instead with nothing but the facts.  This can be very useful with narcissists.

As an example, let’s say the narcissist in your life wants you to do something that will create a financial burden for you yet not benefit you in any way.  The narcissist insists you need to do this & hand over your bank card right now.  But, what if rather than saying “no” outright you said something else?  What do you think would happen if you said, “I don’t understand something… how is this supposed to be a good thing?  Clearly, I’ll end up with a debt I’ll have trouble repaying.  Yet, I don’t see how this debt will benefit me.  Am I missing something here?  Please tell me how doing this will be a good thing.”  How would the narcissist in your life respond to this?  I would guess like many narcissists, he or she would be baffled.

Doing this can make a narcissist angry, naturally.  Going against their wishes always carries that risk.  That being said though, even the most malignant narcissist doesn’t want to look foolish.  They realize that raging against someone who is making sense can make them look foolish, so usually they won’t rage extremely.  They may throw out a few nasty comments, but that is all.  The good part is, their behavior  can change, & it often does.

If you wish to try using logic against the narcissist in your life, I would encourage you to give it a try!  Some folks are very emotional & not as logical by nature.  This may be a bit tricky for you, but you still can do it.  If it helps, think of your situation as if it wasn’t you involved, but instead was a friend who came to you complaining of this problem & looking for a solution.  What would you tell that friend?

Here are some phrases that can help you to get started being logical with the narcissist:

  • I get that if I do that it helps you, but I don’t see how it helps me.  Not trying to be selfish here, but I don’t think it’s a good idea for me to do that.
  • So you just said/did that thing that you know bothers me & you’re mad that I’m upset about it.  I don’t see why you have the right to be mad at me but I don’t have the right to be mad at you for doing something you know bothers me.  Would you explain that to me?
  • I’m really confused.  I don’t see how that is a good thing. Can you explain it to me again in a different way so I can see things from your perspective?

These suggestions are simple, but they can be surprisingly helpful.  And with time & practice, no doubt you’ll figure out even more phrases that will be beneficial.

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How Feeling Your Feelings Helps Your Mental Health

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What No Contact Is & Is Not

Many people I have dealt with seem to misunderstand what no contact really is.  Since others have experienced this too, I decided I would share some thoughts today on what no contact is & is not.

First of all, & yes, this is directed specifically at those who have said this nonsense to me.. no contact is NOT un-Christian.  Enabling bad & abusive behavior is un-Christian.  Tolerating abuse silently is un-Christian.  Never confronting someone about their abusive behavior is un-Christian.  If you don’t believe me, open a Bible.  As Christians, we are to love people.  Part of loving people is wanting what is best for them & helping them to be their best.  When someone doesn’t listen to another’s complaints, they need consequences to make them want to improve their behavior.  When normal consequences don’t work, no contact is a very viable option, even for those closest to a victim such as their own family & yes, even parents.

No contact isn’t about being unforgiving.  A person can no longer speak to someone & have forgiven them for their abusive ways at the same time.  Protecting one’s mental health has nothing to do with unforgiveness.

No contact isn’t taking the easy way out.  Far from it!  Anyone who has gone no contact with someone they love has suffered a great deal not only due to the abuse, but also making the decision to go no contact & living without that person.  If you disagree, consider my story.  I went no contact with my parents several months before my father died & almost three years to the day before my mother died.  Doing that & not being there for them when they needed me at the end of their lives was horrible.  If you think that was easy, you are very sadly mistaken!

No contact isn’t about trying to change someone.  Yes, you are giving that person consequences for their actions, but that doesn’t mean you are trying to manipulate them into behaving better.  You set that stage & it’s up to them to do with it as they want.

No contact also isn’t about not accepting someone.  It’s about accepting that person as they are, yet knowing you can’t have a healthy relationship with that person.

No contact has nothing to do with being disrespectful.  Rather it has everything to do with self respect, with respecting one’s self enough to detach from an abusive relationship.

No contact isn’t about hate.  Just because you have ended a relationship doesn’t mean you hate the other person.  You can love someone a great deal yet not be able to be in a relationship with that person.  Some people I’ve spoken with assumed I hated my parents because of being no contact with them.  Far from it!  I loved my parents a great deal.  It was how they treated me that I hated.

No contact isn’t about creating conflict or being dramatic.  Every single person I’ve spoken with who ended an abusive relationship, no matter who that relationship was with, wanted the exact same things I did: no further abuse, peace & a conflict & drama free existence.  When a narcissist’s flying monkeys go after someone who has gone no contact, fewer things can be more stressful & upsetting.  We try to avoid that at all costs!

I doubt there is anyone who truly wants to end a relationship with someone they love, even when that person is abusive.  That being said though, there are times when it’s necessary.  Some people are so toxic there is no other solution other than no contact.  Sadly, this even happens in families.  As I said, I ended the relationship with my parents.  They were simply that cruel & toxic.  It happens, unfortunately, so if it has happened to you as well, know you’re not alone.  Many of us understand!

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Sale On My Ebooks!

My publisher is offering a 25% off sale on my ebooks from March 1-7.  Find them at the link below:

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

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Busyness: An Unhealthy Trauma Based Way To Cope

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When Someone Opens Up To You About Abuse In Their Life

There are many people in the world who only want to talk about pleasant things.  If someone mentions a topic that is less than happy, these people are offended.  This includes the topic of abuse.  They tell the person that brought up the topic to stop being so negative, it could’ve been worse, look on the bright side  which is that the abuse made this person strong & other such nonsense.

Well, you know something?  Life isn’t all unicorns & rainbows.  Sometimes it has some very dark, evil aspects to it.  Not talking about such things won’t change that fact.  Being open about such things isn’t rude, unkind, bad, negative, wallowing in the past, being bitter or “un-Christian”.   It’s being human.  It’s also helping to raise awareness of narcissistic abuse so others hopefully recognize it before they are subjected to it.  And, if the abusive person knows both the victim & the person the victim tells of the abuse, the other person would be wise to take what the victim says seriously.  If they don’t, they may be the next victim!

Not allowing people to discuss their experiences only invalidates victims, & helps abusers to continue their trail of destruction. In my opinion, behaving this way is just as bad a behavior as the victim’s original abuser by enabling their abusive ways.

People need to be able to discuss all parts of their lives, even the less happy ones, without fear of criticism & judgment.  This includes their tales of abuse & suffering.  If someone comes to you & opens up about abuse in their past, let the person talk.  Don’t make jokes or try to change the subject.  Don’t compare their story to yours or that of someone else you know.  Just let the person talk.  A listening ear can go a long way to helping someone who is suffering.

If you can’t listen for whatever reason, then you can still be nice.  Just tell the person it’s not that you aren’t interested, but now isn’t a good time.  Find another time where you two can talk, & make that time in the near future.

Just remember, if someone trusts you enough to open up to you about something so personal as having suffered abuse in their life, don’t abuse that person further by trying to get them not to discuss the topic.  Be kind & show you care.

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Being Supportive Of Other Victims Of Narcissistic Abuse

James 4:17 in the Amplified Bible states, “So any person who knows what is right to do but does not do it, to him it is sin.”  These are pretty powerful words, don’t you think?  They made me think….

People sin every day in all kinds of ways, no matter how hard we try not to.  Some by doing something extreme, such as killing another person, but most of the time it’s smaller things.  How many times have you felt in your heart that God wanted you to do something, even just something small, for another person, yet you ignored it?  I don’t even want to think about how many times I have been guilty of this.  I don’t always let that car into my lane when I feel I should or leave a good tip to a waitress as I know in my heart God would like me to do.

There are bigger issues though & yes, they relate to narcissistic abuse.  There are also times I don’t want to listen to another victim of narcissistic abuse tell me their story.  I’m not proud of that but it’s true.  There are times I just can’t because I’m burned out on the topic, & in dire need of a break.  But there are other times when I’m not burned out that I just don’t want to offer support or even just a listening ear for whatever reason.  That is being really selfish & I’m not proud of it.  I also believe it’s a sin, because I know God put this person in my path for a reason.

Unfortunately I think many people are guilty of this same behavior.  We need to use balance & wisdom when someone approaches us, wanting to discuss their experiences with narcissistic abuse.  There are times we need to protect our mental health, such as when burning out on the topic or if the C-PTSD is flaring up.  At those times we can gently explain this isn’t a good time for us to discuss the topic.  Let’s talk later.  Or even suggest they email you.. that way they can get it out now, but you don’t have to deal with it immediately.  It’s a really good solution.

Other times, however, maybe someone needs your support & you just aren’t in the mood to discuss narcissism.  I truly get that.  I am so tired of this topic it’s pitiful!  That being said though, if someone is suffering, it isn’t fair to brush them off just because I don’t feel like talking about a topic they need to discuss.  It’s unkind, & there is already a lack of kindness in the world today.

I’ve found if I know I should be there for someone when I’m not really feeling my most supportive, there are ways I can motivate myself.  Knowing I’m helping someone is wonderful of course, but there are times I need a little extra motivation  I think of a little reward for myself I can do or get later.  Maybe it’s a new bottle of nail polish or time alone with a good movie & some knitting.  The rewards are nothing really extravagant, just little things I like.  It’s amazing how silly little things like that can be so motivating.  It’s a good thing though, because it helps you to do the right thing when you just don’t want to.  You also get a little something you really like

When in these situations, how can you think to help to motivate yourself?  Like I said, it doesn’t even have to be extravagant.  Some small little thing can be surprisingly motivating.  And never forget the best part of all.. you’re helping someone else who has suffered as you have.

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How People Revictimize Survivors Of Narcissistic Abuse

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When People Tell You Not To Discuss Narcissistic Abuse

So many people tell victims of abuse that they should forgive & forget, never mentioning the abuse again, in particular when the abusers in question were the victim’s parents.  They love to quote Matthew 5:38-39 to prove their point.  Those verses say, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:  39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” (KJV) 

The problem is though that when you pull out a random Scripture from the Bible, you can prove almost any point.  Other Scriptures on the topic need to be considered as well.

Psalm 82:4 “Rescue the weak and needy;
Rescue them from the hand of the wicked.” (AMP)

John 18: 22-23 “But when He said this, one of the officers who was standing nearby [a]struck Jesus [in the face], saying, “Is that how You answer the high priest?” 23 Jesus replied, “If I have said anything wrong, make a formal statement about the wrong; but if [I spoke] properly, why did you strike Me?” (AMP)

Acts 16:36-37 “36 And the jailer repeated the words to Paul, saying, “The chief magistrates have sent word to release you; so come out now and go in peace.” 37 But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us in public without a trial, men who are Romans, and have thrown us into prison; and now they are sending us out secretly? No! Let them come here themselves and bring us out!” (AMP) 

These verses clearly show that there is nothing wrong with speaking out about abusive behavior!  People need to learn & grow.  They can’t do that if the never are told their actions are wrong & people hide abusive behaviors.

Granted narcissists are not exactly the easiest people in the world to confront or even simply talk about.  They violently rage, create vicious smear campaigns to stop people from doing such things, & almost never learn when dealt consequences for their actions.  However, even so, it’s still your job to give them consequences & to be open about their abusive ways.  You give them chances to make healthy changes by doing such things, & that is the best thing you can do for them.  What they do with those things from there is on them, but you can rest easy knowing you have done the right thing.

You also need to be open about what they have done to you, because you may be helping someone in a similar situation.  Your story may open their eyes to just how bad narcissistic abuse is or inspire them to walk away.

Being open about the abuse inflicted on you also may cause some people to leave your life, but you know something?  It will show you exactly who truly loves you.  They will be the ones standing by your side & supporting you through your healing.  Realizing how special these people are makes losing the others hurt a whole lot less  🙂

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Some Thoughts About When People Don’t Believe Victims About Narcissistic Abuse

Many of you who know me personally know that my husband has been wanting to move into his late parents’ home for some time now.  It caused a great deal of arguing between us.  Although his reasons are smart & valid, I also had smart & valid reasons for not wanting to move.  Thankfully, we were able to reach compromises about the situation, so the arguing is over.

I noticed something interesting about this when first telling people that my husband wanted to move.  The vast majority of people encouraged me to move, & disregarded my misgivings.

To be honest, I felt like none of these people cared about my feelings.  I felt betrayed, hurt, angry & most of all shocked.  It made no sense to me at all that people I cared about would act this way.

Eventually though I realized some things.

They saw things differently than I did since they weren’t as involved in the situation as I was.  Not everyone knew the ugly story of the problems with my in-laws.  They couldn’t make an informed opinion because they didn’t know all of the facts.

There is also the fact that people see things through the lens of their own experience.  Maybe they would like to move & don’t have the opportunity.  They could think moving is a great thing, period, simply because of their situation.  Or, maybe they have a good relationship with their in-laws, & can’t comprehend mine.  If it was them, their in-laws wouldn’t cause them any problems, so they assume mine are the same.

Plus, people are often narrow minded, not looking at the big picture.  In this case, they knew I dislike my current neighbors & have a chance to get away from them.  What could be bad about that?!  They simply didn’t think that the house could be run down or in a bad neighborhood, only that I have a means of getting away from my awful neighbors.  (For the record, the house is in great condition & in a good neighborhood).

Thinking about all of this made me realize how similar this is to when someone opens up about being abused by a narcissist & isn’t believed.

People don’t know the whole story.  They haven’t seen the rages or horrific abuse.  They probably see the narcissist at their most civil, or they don’t know the narcissist at all.

People also see things through the lens of their unique experiences, as I said.  If someone hasn’t encountered a narcissist, they often struggle with believing the bizarre stories of narcissistic abuse.  Having been through it, I still have a hard time believing some of the things that have happened to me!  How could someone who hasn’t witnessed it not struggle to believe a person could behave in such a manner?

Also as I said, people are narrow minded.  Some people come from a normal family, & assume everyone has a normal family like they do.  I experienced this with someone I knew years ago.  When I explained some of what I’d gone through with my mother, he said something to the effect of, “You’re a teenage girl.  All teenage girls have problems with their mothers.”  He was a very nice person who came from a normal family.  I believe because of that, he had no idea that so much dysfunction could exist in the world.

The next time you discuss the narcissistic abuse you’ve experienced & someone brushes you off, please keep this in mind.  Although it’s true, many people have malignant reasons for not believing you or trying to stop you from talking about it, not everyone does.  Consider the person with whom you’re dealing.  You’ll know if the person is good just ill informed or is being malicious.  If the person is good, I hope remembering what I said can help you not to be so hurt or angry by their behavior.  If not, I hope you can get away from the person as quickly as possible!

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Narcissists Don’t Believe When Others Are Sick Or Injured

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About Helping People

When you grow up with narcissistic parents, you’re trained from birth to do for them.  Do what?  Whatever they want.  It’s your job to please them in every way, to listen to them, to serve them… naturally this isn’t reciprocated because you aren’t important- only they are!

Once you’re an adult, this “you’re here to do for others” mentality sticks with you.  And, other people pick up on it.  Users & abusers can sniff this mentality out a mile away.  Other Christians can even pick up on it & use Scripture to back up why you should do for them or other people.

The truth is that no one can help everyone who crosses their path.  It’s too much!  You could ruin your physical & mental health, & even ruin yourself financially if you helped every single person who claims to have a need.  You truly need discernment & wisdom to know who God wants you to help, who He doesn’t, & who he simply wants you to pray for.

When you come across someone in need, the smartest thing you can do is pray.  Ask God for guidance, & to show you what this person’s position in your life is going to be.  Maybe it is to help that person in some way, but maybe it isn’t.  Maybe your position is simply to pray for that person or to guide them to someone who can help them.  Maybe you need to lead that person to Jesus.  Or, maybe you need to set boundaries & refuse to help this person because he or she tends to use people & needs a lesson in the fact not everyone is here to do for them.  Until & unless you ask God, you won’t know for sure.  So ask!  He will guide & help you!

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Ghosting, aka The INFJ Door Slam

Removing someone from your life is a very challenging thing to do even under the best of circumstances.  What makes it even harder is when others criticize not only that you did it but even how you ended a relationship.  It is so frustrating when you took this big step & people with no vested interest in the relationship feel the need to tell you how wrong you were.  It can make you seriously doubt your decision.

One aspect of this I have experienced is being told how wrong I was for simply backing out of someone’s life rather than explaining how I feel or trying to work things out.  Those familiar with the Myers Briggs personality test recognize this as the infamous INFJ door slam, even though all personalities may use it.  Others call it ghosting.  Whatever you choose to call it, many people call it childish, petty & even cruel when it often is nothing of the sort.

While the door slam isn’t appropriate in every relationship that ends, in many cases is it a very good option to take no matter what others may think.

With narcissists, trying to work out relationship problem is a waste of time.  In fact, telling them that you are hurt when they do or say something usually just makes them do or say that thing more often.

They also have no desire to change their hurtful behavior.  If something they do hurts someone, that is either inconsequential to them or it brings them joy.  Trying to talk things out with someone like this is not only impossible, but it will cause a lot more pain & frustration.

Not to mention, narcissists will try to convince a victim to maintain the relationship’s status quo & can be very good at doing so sometimes.  This can cause a couple of unpleasant outcomes.  The victim may become confused & stay in the toxic relationship.  Or, the victim may leave but carry a great deal of shame for leaving the “poor abuser” or “ruining his or her life” by ending the relationship.  Another scenario can happen if the abuser & victim live together.  Talking to the abuser before ending the relationship & moving out can give the abuser time to come up with especially creative & effective tactics to keep the victim in the relationship

In cases like this, it is much better for someone to leave a relationship unannounced & silently for their own mental health’s sake.

Not all relationships are abusive, though, & sometimes a person wants to end it simply because of personality differences, moral differences or even religious beliefs.  In cases like that, sometimes leaving a relationship silently still may be a viable option.

If someone repeatedly hurts you, you tell them they’re hurting you & they continue to hurt you, they have to know why you’re ending the relationship.  They don’t need you to explain yourself yet again.  There is no point.

No one should have to explain to someone how to be a decent human being, especially repeatedly.  Some people seem to have no clue how to be civil, let alone polite, & are content with their behavior.  They say things like, “This is just how I am.”  Explaining why you want to end a relationship with someone like this is most likely going to be a waste of your time.

Obviously, people are very different so you need to consider your options seriously when ending a relationship someone.  If the person is reasonable, explaining why you’re ending it is a good option.  That person may learn that they need to behave in a healthier way.  And, who knows, they may teach you something about your own behavior as well.  If the person in question isn’t reasonable though, quietly walking away probably is your best option.

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Narcissists Think Fear + Obedience = Respect

Recently, God told me something fascinating.  “To narcissists, fear plus obedience equals respect.”  I thought this was fascinating & it made a lot of sense!  Narcissists clearly have no grasp of what true respect really is.  They also have no grasp of how to get respect.  What they do to get their so called respect is nothing like what most people do.

Most people realize you can’t demand someone respect you, you have to earn their respect.  Narcissists don’t think that way.  My mother used to tell me, “I demand respect!”  Didn’t work… I had very little respect for her.

Also, most people don’t try to force someone to do anything.  They go on about their lives not trying to force someone to respect them.  They instead do things that earn people’s respect such as helping the underprivileged or homeless.  Narcissists don’t care about doing good deeds to earn respect.  They believe that they’re entitled to it no matter what.

I also thought at first that this pertained only to overt narcissists.  They have no problem yelling, cursing, demeaning, invalidating, intimidating & using physical force on a victim to get whatever they want.  It can be easy for people to become intimidated by such things & become obedient to the narcissist.

As I thought about this, God said it goes for covert narcissists too.  They may not be so obviously intimidating, but they truly can instill fear in their victims which makes them obedient.  Their weapons are quieter, such as using guilt, shame, acting disappointed & the silent treatment, but they are effective nonetheless.  That also made sense.  A victim may not be afraid of a covert narcissist screaming at them or hitting them, but they do still fear the covert narcissist’s quiet wrath & will do about anything to avoid it.  Fear & obedience.

I also wondered how narcissists know to do what they do.  I mean, they’re not exactly insightful.  Yet somehow they also know what to do to each unique victim to get what they want.  How do they all know that fear & obedience will get them their so called respect?  God answered that question too.  He said the devil tells them things.  Apparently he & his demons basically whisper things to them, & the messages are kind of like a subliminal message.  These messages are spoken quietly & subtly, so narcissists think they are their own ideas.  They’re also simple, along the lines of “If you scream at her, she will do what you want” rather than explaining more complicated details, such as fear & obedience equal respect.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not saying that narcissists are helpless against the devil’s will.  They aren’t, but they choose not to ignore him.  Repeatedly doing the devil’s work has shut down their natural empathy & their willingness to listen to God.  2 Timothy 2:26 in the English Standard Version, it says, “and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.”  Clearly, people can choose to reject doing the devil’s work.

I’m telling you this in order that you may understand what you’re dealing with regarding narcissists.  You aren’t dealing merely with an obnoxious person when you deal with a narcissist.  You’re dealing with an evil spirit wanting to hurt you.  Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” 

Remember what exactly you are dealing with, Dear Reader.  Learn about spiritual warfare, & most importantly, stay close to your Heavenly Father.  All you have to do is ask Him & He will gladly help you in any situation, including this one.

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More Than Just Fight Or Flight

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What NOT To Say To Someone With C-PTSD

Many people tell those of us with C-PTSD some pretty stupid, insensitive & even invalidating comments about our disorder.  It’s utterly frustrating how people can say things like these & think it’s ok or even that they’re being supportive.  It’s also frustrating how sometimes when these things are said to us, thanks to our disorder, we can’t think of what to tell these people about why this is a bad thing to say.

Below are some frequently used comments & retorts to them.  Feel free to share this post with anyone who you think can benefit from reading this.

“I know how you feel!”  I don’t think so.  C-PTSD is a very weird & painful disorder.  You can feel like you’re going crazy when symptoms flare up.  You also can be suicidal.  Even two people with C-PTSD can experience their symptoms differently.

“I think a lot too.”  Really?  You think that’s what C-PTSD is?  No.  There is a big difference between the average person thinking a lot & C-PTSD.  When a person is “always thinking”, they can control it at least to some degree.  Good luck doing that with the thoughts that come with C-PTSD.  There are ruminating thoughts which are thoughts that play over & over again.  There are also intrusive thoughts, which come to mind at any time, no matter where you are or what you’re doing.  We also can’t forget hyper-vigilance, which is being completely focused on one’s surroundings in an attempt to spot any hint of danger to our physical or mental health.  These things are awful & often impossible to control.

“Everyone has nightmares!”  True.  Everyone does have nightmares.  Not everyone has nightmares nightly or almost nightly, often even multiple times in a night.  Not everyone wakes up in a blind panic from a nightmare, either.  Not everyone has nightmares about utterly bizarre things that stir up similar emotions to the traumatic events they have survived.

“You need to stop thinking about the past.”  Well, thank you for that insight.  I never thought about that!  *sigh*  Those of us with C-PTSD want to stop thinking about the past, but our brains won’t let us!

“Everyone has flashes of bad memories.”  Flashbacks are so much more than that.  They’re bad memories that feel like they’re happening all over again.  They can make it very hard to discern between the memory & reality.

“Think happy thoughts!”  “Be more positive!”  C-PTSD isn’t about thinking too negatively.  It’s an actual mental disorder.  Our brains were broken due to the traumas we survived.  The damage means we can’t control our thoughts like someone without C-PTSD can.

“You need to see a counselor!”  It’s not that easy!  Not all counselors understand C-PTSD.  Also, not all counselors understand the best ways to treat people who have suffered through trauma, period, let alone multiple traumas.  There is also the fact that many of us have tried counseling, only to find some counselors are as toxic as the people who abused us in the first place, so we have a strong lack of trust in those in the mental health field.

“You just need to take a pill.”  Also not that easy.  Do you have any idea how many anti-anxiety & anti-depressants there are available?!  I don’t but I do know that it’s a lot!  There are also varying classes & strengths of these medications.  Most also take at least about two weeks to start working, so you may take something for a long time before seeing any changes, good or bad.  Finding the right dose of the right medication can be a very long, frustrating task.

“It’s all in your head!”  Well, C-PTSD is a mental disorder.  Where else would it be?

“You can’t have C-PTSD!  You weren’t in the military!”  Maybe not, but C-PTSD doesn’t discriminate.  It can happen to anyone exposed to any traumas for an extended period of time.  While it happens to many prisoners of war, it also happens to those who survived child abuse or domestic violence.

I hope this post helps you to have a good response the next time someone invalidates your experiences with C-PTSD.  xoxo

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A Little About “Just Go No Contact”

When you first learn about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, one of the first things you will see is many people preaching the value of no contact.  It’s true, no contact is often the best solution when dealing with narcissists, no matter what role the narcissist has in your life.  They accept no responsibility for their abusive ways, they have no empathy so they don’t care about the pain they cause, & they are more than happy to use & abuse anyone in order to get whatever they want.  In other words, they aren’t the kind of people with whom you can work things out.

No contact is a very serious issue, & should NOT be taken lightly.  Yet, there are people out there who treat it as if it’s no big deal.  You can recognize them easily.  They’re the people saying, “Just go no contact” if you mention your narcissist’s abusive behavior.  They act like there is no excuse whatsoever to remain in that relationship, & something is very wrong with you for staying.

People like this are not good if you’re in the place of considering going no contact.  The reason being people who say this can make a victim feel shame for not wanting to end that relationship or not having the strength to do it just yet.  That shame may make them feel horrible & muddy their thinking.  It is NOT helpful!  This is NOT what anyone considering no contact needs!  People in this position need support, love, understanding & even objectivity in the people surrounding them to help them come to whatever decision is right for them.

There is another brand of the “no contact” crowd out there that is even more dangerous.  These are the people who say your family is toxic as soon as you say anything about them that is less than 1000% positive, & you don’t need them in your life.  People like this are either highly sensitive due to their own abusive pasts or they’re manipulative.  One example is someone I knew who sold her home & gave the money to a fortune teller.  This fortune teller told her that her parents were toxic, & she needed to get away from them.  She should sell her house & give the rest of the money to this fortune teller.  The lady’s parents were about as un-toxic as you can get, but she listened anyway.  The fortune teller ran off with this lady’s money as soon as the house was sold.

My point of all of this is that you, Dear Reader, need to be wise with people who say, “Just go no contact”.  Think about it for yourself before you decide to do it.  Is the person telling you this someone who knows you & the other person?  Does this person have experience in similar relationships?  Does this person have anything to gain if you sever ties with the person in question?  Remember, abusive people isolate their victims, so there is a distinct possibility that this person could be abusive & trying to get you away from someone who isn’t abusive (like the fortune teller in my story).

I’m not trying to talk you out of no contact, far from it.  Like I said, in many abusive relationships, it’s the only option.  What I am trying to convince you to do is to pray & consider it seriously for yourself while not blindly listening to the advice of other people.  People who give advice on this subject may not have your best interest at heart, or know enough about your situation to give good advice.  Consider what they have to say, but if it doesn’t feel right, trust that feeling.

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About Disproportionate Anger In Victims Of Narcissistic Abuse

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Encouragement For Scapegoats

Growing up a scapegoat is a nightmare.  You can do absolutely nothing right.  Any & all family problems are blamed on you, whether or not you actually had any responsibility in them.  Doing this allows the abusive family members to maintain their illusion of normalcy because in their eyes, clearly you are the problem.  Your family lies to & about you constantly, causing you to have no decent relationships, especially within your own family.  You’re on the receiving end of all of your family’s scorn & abuse, yet if you say anything about this, it only gets worse for you.

You hope that once you turn 18 or move out, things will get better.  You aren’t living under the same roof as your dysfunctional family or at least you’re able to escape home which is helpful in minimizing exposure to these awful people.  That is all it does though, minimize exposure.  They still abuse you.

Being a scapegoat can feel like you are in the worst position in the world with no hope of ever experiencing freedom, but believe it or not, there is some good that comes with a scapegoat.

Scapegoats are known for being the black sheep of their family.  They’re different in that they want to learn & grow.  They don’t want to continue the pattern of dysfunction that runs in their family.  Standing out from this crowd is a good thing!

Scapegoats are also known as truth tellers.  They are usually the only ones in dysfunctional families who aren’t concerned with their family’s reputation.  They are more concerned with the truth.  They are incredibly brave, because telling the truth about your dysfunctional family is so hard.  Dysfunctional families can’t handle people knowing the truth about them, so if one of them divulges it, that one must be punished.  They will attack this person & smear their good name.  They will treat the person as if they’re crazy, & none of what they claim happened actually happened.  They will abandon the truth teller when they need love & support the most.  They do all of this because protecting their family’s reputation & their delusions of having a big, happy family are more important than the scapegoat’s mental health.

Interestingly, the rejection of the scapegoat by his or her family can make the scapegoat intensely appreciative of good relationships.  They highly value their friends & romantic partners who aren’t abusive, & don’t hesitate to let them know how loved & appreciated they are.  This makes them fantastic friends & spouses.

Due to their experiences, scapegoats also have great empathy.  Having known intense suffering, they truly understand what it’s like to suffer, & don’t want others to feel as they have.  They want to help others too because they know what it’s like not to have help when in need.  They are often some of the kindest people you can meet.

Also due to their experiences, scapegoats often think differently than most people.  Their different perspective can be very helpful for them as well as other people.  They give unique & often very helpful advice or simply offer a perspective that someone never considered.

As adults, scapegoats also often become advocates for victims of all kinds of abuse.  They help to raise awareness, to educate & even offer comfort to other victims.

In telling you these things, I’m not saying that if you were the scapegoat in your family, you should be grateful.  I really am not sure such a perspective is healthy.  That being said, I do hope that you recognize yourself in these good qualities.  You should be proud of the person you’ve become!  All of that abuse was meant to destroy you, yet it did nothing of the sort.  Instead, you became the wonderful person you are today.  Be proud of your strength, courage & wonderfulness!

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Often “Less Wrong” Is Your Best Solution With Narcissists

When dealing with narcissists, often there is no right answer.  They are masters at creating no win situations, & even when they aren’t actively creating one, they seem to come up anyway.  For example, think about no contact.  In a sense, it’s the right solution.  It’ll protect you from further abuse & give you the space you need in order to heal from all you have endured.  While those are certainly great things, no contact also means a close relationship ended & on a bad note.  Clearly this isn’t a really good thing, even though the good outweighs the bad.  The only other alternative is to continue in an abusive relationship, so a person is limited to two choices, neither of which is particularly great.

Many things with narcissists are like that.  Setting boundaries is another example.  Yes, setting boundaries is a good thing & it is necessary, but at the same time, it starts a lot of problems with narcissists.  Since they don’t respect anyone’s boundaries, when someone tries to set them, they get angry & even more abusive.  The only choices are begin to set boundaries & deal with more abuse at least temporarily, or do nothing & suffer anyway.  Neither answer is really a right one.

Often, the best you can do with a narcissist is choose the least wrong answer.

While I know this sounds depressing & hopeless, I don’t mean it to.  Once you accept this, you can feel less stress & anxiety in your dealings with the narcissist.

Accepting that there really isn’t any right answer helps you to understand that no matter what you do, there won’t be a good, healthy or functional solution.  There is nothing you can do to make that happen.  It’s beyond your control.  This can be very freeing!  It helps you not to beat yourself up because things haven’t worked out perfectly.  You accept that sometimes a person’s best just isn’t good enough, & that’s ok.

It also helps you because you learn to keep your expectations realistic with the narcissist.  You know that the narcissist is going to be angry or upset no matter what you do.  You will have a good idea what to expect rather than thinking that this time will be better.  You also can prepare yourself for whatever is going to happen.

Accepting this truth that there are only less wrong answers with narcissist also helps you not to drive yourself crazy trying to figure out exactly what you need to do & how to do it.  You feel much less pressure to make everything right when you know that no matter what you do, you’ll be wrong anyway.

When you know that the narcissist will say you’re wrong in whatever you do, it’s also much easier to think of yourself instead of only him or her.  You develop a mindset something like, “Well, if I’m going to be wrong anyway I might as well get something out of this too.”

In all honesty, sometimes the fact there often isn’t any right answer also will make you sad.  That is totally normal.  It isn’t exactly the most cheerful fact of life, after all.  But, if you can look at it in ways that benefit you, it really can help you.

I also found that a quote from Captain Picard from the old tv show “Star Trek The Next Generation” to be comforting.  “It is possible to commit no mistakes & still lose.  That is not a weakness.  That is life.”  I know, I’m a nerd quoting this show, but the words are very wise & very comforting.  Definitely worth remembering, in particular when dealing with a narcissist.

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

What It’s Like To Go No Contact With Parents

People often don’t understand what it’s like sever ties with  parents.  It’s easy to understand how shocking it can be to some people.  I want people who don’t understand to understand, & I hope to help them to do that with this post.

Looking from the outside in, most people don’t see an abusive family scenario.  They see attentive parents & well behaved children.  They see parents who are successful at their chosen careers, kids getting good grades in school, active in sports or other after school activities & their parents supporting such things.

They don’t see what happens behind the scenes, though.  Screaming, raging, sometimes even physical assaults.  Then there are the scathing criticisms said so often that it destroys the child’s self esteem.  There also is the fact that narcissistic parents do their level best to destroy their child’s identity & recreate the child into whatever it is they want.  The child’s personality, likes, feelings & even morals mean nothing to that parent, only what the parent wants is what matters.  While this may not sound so bad to someone who hasn’t experienced it, I can tell you from my own experience & that of others I have spoken to in similar situations, a child in this situation often considers suicide as it feels like the only means of escape.

When the child in this situation grows up, often, that child who is now an adult learns that their upbringing wasn’t normal.  They witnessed other people with kind & loving parents.  They have friends whose parents bought them their first car when they got their drivers’ license instead of fighting them getting a license & car.  Their friends’ parents celebrated when they graduated from high school or college rather than ignoring the accomplishments or finding some way to trivialize them.

Things like this often make this adult child look for answers.  Frequently many abused adult children learn about Narcissistic Personality Disorder at this time.

Suddenly, so many things make sense!  The abuse, the belittling, the manipulation, the control.  Then they learn there is almost no hope whatsoever of changing a narcissist.  Explaining that their actions hurt only encourages them to do those things more.

After attempting every tactic they can to make the toxic relationship healthier yet failing, the adult child realizes no contact is the only option.  Even after the realization, it often takes a long time to work up the inner strength to go through with actually ending the relationship with the toxic parent.

Eventually, they do sever ties though.  Suddenly people they know, or barely know, come out of the woodwork to tell them how terrible they are, how they need to fix the relationship, how badly they’re hurting their parents, how selfish they are & more.  The guilt is horrific & people like this make it even worse.

There is also the devastation of betrayal, because most of these people are people you never expected to side with anyone who abused you.  Actually society in general often sides with parents in these situations rather than the children they abused.

People assume estranged children hate their parents, & treat them accordingly when nothing could be further from the truth.  People don’t realize the pain behind going no contact.  They don’t realize the intense guilt or the cognitive dissonance because of doing something so extremely abnormal either.  They don’t recognize the loneliness because not only did you lose your parents but also most of your family & even friends by choosing to protect your mental health.

This is what happens when someone goes no contact with their parents.  This was my experience as well as that of so many others I’ve talked to.  If anyone thinks no contact is easy or taking a cowardly way out, they are utterly mistaken.  It’s the hardest decision I ever made, yet also the best one.

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