Tag Archives: narcissists

Nit Picking & Changing Goals- Abuse Tactics Used By Narcissists

Narcissists all love to control their victims.  Many use two tactics simultaneously to get what they want.  Those tactics are nit picking & changing goals.

These evil tactics work very well together to make a victim feel not good enough, & willing to work harder & harder to please the narcissist.  As an example, at the time my ex husband & I were together, I felt I was morbidly obese & disgusting.  Looking back though at old pictures now, I see I was a normal weight.  Not skinny, not fat.. normal.  However, he constantly hinted that I needed to lose weight so I could look better.  Our marriage was a nightmare, & I thought that if I just could lose weight, I could fix it.  I know, this was very naive on my part but I was young & unaware of the kind of person I was dealing with at that time.

Anyway I lost weight.. 23 pounds to be precise.  I fit into a size 6 comfortably & some size 4’s as well.  Considering my frame & height, I was too thin, I think, but it still wasn’t good enough for my ex.

During my weight loss journey, my ex did not complement me or encourage me.  The closest thing he said to a complement was, “Well your butt finally looks better.”  He also made me feel like I needed to lose more & more weight in order to please him.  As thin as I was at that time, I still felt that I was disgustingly fat & like if I didn’t lose some more weight, my marriage would fail because of it.

My ex husband’s nitpicking & changing the goals in that area gave me a very skewed view of not only my appearance which damaged my already fragile self esteem, but also my responsibility in our failing marriage.  I felt as if I was completely to blame for the problems in our marriage, even though now I know I was not.  This is basically the goal of a narcissist who employs nitpicking & changing the rules.  If the narcissist can make their victim feel badly about themselves, they are easy to control, which of course is a great thing to a narcissist.  And, if the narcissist can convince the victim that something is their fault, they will work hard to please the narcissist.  The victim also will be so focused on trying to please the narcissist, they won’t realize that the narcissist is to blame, so the narcissist gets away with their abusive tactics.  And, this builds up a tolerance to abuse in a victim, so a narcissist can do more awful things & get away with them.

No matter the relationship, all narcissists seem to use nitpicking & changing the goals as a way to abuse their victims.  Parents use this tactic on their children even into adulthood, spouses use it, co workers & friends use it as well.  It is wise to learn to recognize this abusive tactic, understand it & find ways to cope with it.

Recognizing it is pretty easy.  When someone is excessively critical, even when said with feigned concern, & if the person also changes what they want from you often, these are big red flags.

You also need to keep in mind that this is not about you, it’s about the narcissist’s need to abuse & control you.  The things they criticize aren’t necessarily flaws.  Probably they are things you’re insecure about, so the narcissist uses your insecurities as a means to abuse you.

As for ways to cope, recognizing what is happening & remembering what the reasoning behind it is will help you tremendously.  Stick to your boundaries, too.  If you give a narcissist an inch, they’ll take 100 miles, so don’t give them what they want.  Also, I firmly believe in praying, asking God to give you creative ideas to deal with a narcissist is always a very good move.  He will give you effective ideas that you never would’ve thought of on your own.  Let Him help you!

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When The Narcissist Learns You’re Telling Others About The Abuse

When you first start to open up about the abusive behavior the narcissist in your life has inflicted on you, it can be very hard.  You were told to keep everything a secret.  My mother used to tell me, “Don’t air our dirty laundry!” as a way to keep me quiet.  It didn’t work though.  At that time I was only 17, living through sheer hell due to her abuse & didn’t know what to do.  I told others in the hopes of finding someone who could give me advice on how to cope or make my mother treat me better.  Obviously that didn’t work.  I did learn about what happens when a victim starts to open up about narcissistic abuse though.

When you begin to divulge what the narcissist has done to you, the narcissist will be horrified.  After all, you’re not supposed to tell anyone anything!  The abuse is supposed to remain a secret between the two of you, no one else.  Naturally, the narcissist is going to be angry with you, because that is what they think.  They don’t think about the fact that you are a human being with feelings & needs & even the right to discuss your own life with whoever you wish.

The narcissist also is going to be very angry at you for making him or her look bad when you talk about the abuse.  Narcissists clearly don’t think like normal people, so they won’t consider their actions are what make them look bad.  Instead, they’ll lump all the blame on you for making them look bad.

Narcissists feel betrayed when victims tell others about their abhorrent behavior.  They all seem to think victims will tolerate their abuse indefinitely, never protesting it, & are shocked & horrified when that isn’t the case.  This so called betrayal can trigger their rage.

It also can trigger a myriad of unhealthy coping skills.  One of which is reinventing the past.  Many narcissists convince themselves that they are awesome people, & never would abuse anyone.  After my mother’s death, I learned she knew what I write about in spite of my efforts to prevent that from happening.  I also learned she must have convinced herself that I was lying & she didn’t do anything I said she did.

When the narcissist becomes enraged & acts in this way, it can be scary.  Some scream.  Some harass or stalk.  All engage in a smear campaign & are often successful at turning those you love against you or at least damaging some of your relationships.  This is a terribly painful place to be, I know.  It may even make you think you’re wrong for opening up.  Life seemed easier when no one knew what the narcissist did to you.  I can tell you something though.. although it may seem easier, it isn’t.

In some ways, not discussing the abuse is easier because the narcissist is appeased.  When they’re appeased, they aren’t ruining your relationships or at least your reputation.  No one is telling you what a terrible person you are.  But, you are unhappy.  You’re trying to do everything perfectly so as not to upset the narcissist, which means you’re under intense stress & utterly miserable.  Everyone is happy except you, & the people who are happy clearly have no concern for your mental health.

Tell your story.  John 8:32 says the truth will set you free.  Let it!  The more you discuss the abuse, the more you’ll heal.  If the narcissist doesn’t approve, that isn’t your problem.  Besides, think about this: if what he or she did was truly ok, if it was all your fault & their abusive actions were totally justified, why are they so determined to keep it a secret?

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Sexual Narcissists

The term sexual narcissist describes a narcissist who thinks they are incredibly gifted in the area of sex.  This attitude makes them feel entitled  to anything they want in that area, no matter the pain & suffering it may cause their partner.  So long as the sexual narcissist gets what he or she wants, that is all that matters.

There are some signs that show you if you’re involved with such a person.  Some people are guilty of such behaviors from time to time, but when the behaviors are a constant, that is a big red flag that your partner is a sexual narcissist.

In the beginning, the narcissist is extremely attentive, flirtatious, & complementary.  Granted, this is sort of the norm in any relationship.  However, narcissists take it to an extreme, leaving a victim swept off their feet.  They also stop this behavior suddenly & with no explanation, leaving their victim confused & willing to do anything to regain the narcissist’s attention.  This makes the victim easier to control, which is why they behave in such a manner.

Once the newness wears off, the victim’s sole purpose is to please the narcissist.  As a narcissist becomes comfortable in the relationship, their focus changes from being this perfect partner to “What can I get from my victim?”  Any degrading or deviant fantasy the narcissist has is demanded of the victim.  Nothing is off limits, even if it causes the victim physical or emotional suffering.  When the victim protests, the narcissist shames the victim for being a prude, immature or not loving the narcissist.  Sometimes they get violent & force their victim into doing what they want, & other times they use manipulation & shaming to get it.

The victim is not allowed to have needs or wants.  At this point, the narcissist’s mask is off.  The victim knows that he or she is there to please the narcissist.  The victim also is learning that his or her own needs & wants mean nothing to the narcissist.  In fact, victims are often ridiculed for having their own wants & needs.  Sexual narcissists think of their victims as inhuman, without needs or wants.  How can a thing, an inanimate object have needs or wants?  It’s ridiculous.  All that matters is the narcissist’s needs & wants.  The victim’s are at best shrugged off, at worst mocked.

Narcissists are more focused on their performance than their partner.  Since narcissists are so deathly afraid of criticism, they focus on avoiding it at all costs.  This behavior extends to the bedroom.  They often even focus more on how they’re performing than their partner.

Many sexual narcissists engage in extremely unhealthy sexual behavior, such as pornography or infidelity.  Your average person realizes there are unhealthy sexual activities, & avoids doing them.  They also realize they can enjoy sex with their mate in many ways without going near any of those unhealthy boundaries.  Narcissists however are different.  Nothing they want is wrong or unhealthy in their minds.  If someone is hurt or offended by their actions, clearly that person has a problem, not the narcissist.

If you’re involved with a sexual narcissist, the best advice I can give you is RUN!  They’re dangerous to your emotional health.  If you do as they want, your self esteem will be obliterated because of the degrading things the narcissist forced you to do.  If you refuse, they will destroy your self esteem by making you feel like the most awful, unreasonable & ugly person in the world for not being a willing victim to their depraved ways.  They’re also dangerous to your physical health.  They frequently get sexually transmitted diseases from their cheating ways & infect their partners.

Rather than deal with such dreadful outcomes, if at all possible get away from this person!  Protect your physical & emotional health!

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“Super Powers” In Victims Of Narcissistic Abuse

I recently saw the most interesting conversation on television!  In this particular scene, a younger lady was talking with an older lady.  The younger lady was deaf, & discussing how things went when she began to lose her hearing in her teens.  She said she was afraid & angry, naturally, but her older sister told her being deaf was her super power.  She learned how to adapt to this new life which obviously wasn’t easy.  She also mentioned how people in their community were learning sign language, & that it was all because of her.

Immediately I began to think of those of us who have survived narcissistic abuse.  We have super powers too!

We survived some pretty horrific stuff!  Simply surviving narcissistic abuse definitely fits into the super power category!  Many people don’t.  They end up committing suicide, & quite honestly, who can blame them?  Like many others, I sure considered it plenty when I was going through it.

We also not only survived, but we did so with our sanity & humanity in tact.  Narcissists pull out all the stops when they abuse their victims in an attempt to utterly destroy them.  Surviving that without becoming angry or bitter or continuing their abuse is really impressive!  Many people who survive narcissistic parents simply don’t have the strength or courage to break the cycle of abuse, & they abuse their children.

Many of us go on to talk openly about our painful experiences, & by doing so, help other people.  We create awareness of narcissistic abuse, which is desperately needed.  And, we help other victims to learn what is happening with them when we discuss our experiences.  I’m sure you remember how it was prior to learning about narcissistic abuse.  You felt like you were going crazy, maybe the narcissist was right & you were causing all of the problems in the relationship & more.  Learning about Narcissistic Personality Disorder is incredibly freeing because you learn the narcissist is the problem, not you like the narcissist said.  By discussing your experiences openly, you’re helping other people obtain that freedom!  Also, by discussing narcissistic abuse, we are able to show others what does & doesn’t work with not only dealing with narcissists but the healing process as well.

If you have C-PTSD as a result of the narcissistic abuse, you aren’t exempt from having the super powers.  I know many who have it consider themselves weak or seriously flawed, but that isn’t the case at all!  You simply have a scar that shows yourself & others you survived some pretty horrific stuff.  I know C-PTSD is horrible, I live with it too.  But living with something so painful & challenging is a super power!

And you know something else?  By being open & honest about your struggles with C-PTSD, you’re helping others.  You may help some people who may not yet realize they too have the disorder.  They may hear of your struggles & realize this is what’s been happening with them.  While naturally no one wants to be diagnosed with any illness, mental or physical, if you’re suffering with symptoms & have no clue why, learning what is happening is incredibly helpful!  Having answers means you know what you’re dealing with & can find the proper treatment.

Also, by discussing your symptoms openly & how you cope with those symptoms, you help others find ways to manage their symptoms.  It can be so hard to come up with ideas to help yourself, especially when symptoms are flaring up, which means learning what works & doesn’t work for others can be extremely helpful!

Please never forget, Dear Reader, that you have super powers.  You survived some of the cruelest abuse a human can survive & are going on to help others.  Those are some impressive super powers!  That is amazing & you should be very proud of yourself!

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Some Thoughts About No Contact With Narcissistic Parents

As I write this post, it’s May 5.  To many people it’s no special day.  To others, it’s Cinco De Mayo.  To me, it’s a reminder of a very strange day.

In 2016, my mother in-law died on April 30.  Two days later, our oldest kitty died suddenly.  Three days after that was our dog, Dixie’s birthday & we really did try to celebrate her special day as usual.  Not easy with the sadness we both felt, but we tried & I think Dixie was ok with that since she was a very sweet, sensitive & smart little pup.

Then “it” happened.  May 5, 2016, I had a huge fight with my parents.  It wasn’t entirely unexpected, as you can tell if you read the original post in the link above.

Today, as I was driving home, the date hit me.  I had thought of it earlier remembering my sweet Dixie on her birthday (she passed in 2017), but I hadn’t thought about it relating to the argument with my parents.  I also realized I hadn’t thought of it last year, either, but in all fairness, my mother had just passed & I was still in shock at that time.  I wasn’t functioning very well.

Anyway, when I thought of the date relating to the argument with my parents, guilt about overwhelmed me.  I am so NOT proud of my behavior that evening.  That argument also was what led to me being no contact with my parents, & that led to them dying without me in their lives in any capacity.  It was my final straw.  Yet, I know what I did was the right thing.  It seems so unfair to be wracked with guilt even knowing I did the right thing, yet, it also makes sense in a strange way.

Going no contact with your family, in particular your parents, is incredibly hard.  Many people have no idea just how hard, but those of us who have done it or are contemplating doing it know.  It’s brutal.  It goes against nature, stepping away from your own blood!  Yet sadly, it also is necessary sometimes.

If you’re contemplating going no contact with your narcissistic parent or parents, my heart goes out to you.  It’s incredibly difficult!  Having been in your position, I can give you some advice though…

Seriously consider your choice.  No contact needs to be permanent, not permanent until you need your parent or miss them.  Only do it when you are certain you can make it permanent, no matter what.

Don’t do it on a whim or because you’re angry.  My story may sound like I did that but it’s not the case.  I’d been considering no contact for a while at that time, yet felt the timing wasn’t right until that argument with my parents.  It felt as if God said, “Now”.   Timing is important.  Trust His timing & ask Him to help you figure out when the time is right.

Know that going no contact can lead to tremendous guilt, even when you know there was no other choice.  I know, it seems wrong but it’s a simple fact.  As I type this, I still feel guilty about going no contact with my parents even knowing it was God’s will for me to do it.  The one thing that helps the guilt is leaning on God for reassurance.  At first, it was constant.. especially when my father was dying in 2017.  It has lightened up a great deal, but even now, sometimes guilt still kicks in.. like today.

Never, ever stop praying for your parent.  I know many people say narcissists aren’t worth praying for, they’re a lost cause, nothing can save them, etc. but you never know.  Both of my parents are in Heaven!!  When my mother died, a stranger, the funeral director who took care of her, told me that he felt God wanted him to tell me she was in Heaven.  In 2017, a former friend told me that God spoke to her about my father being in Heaven.  I realize not everyone wants to be saved & God honors the choices of each person.  That being said though… never stop praying for your narcissistic parents!  The worst case scenario is that parent doesn’t accept Jesus, which of course is terrible, but there is at least some comfort in knowing you did all you can do.  God heard your prayers.  He won’t forget you praying for your parents.  He knows you did all you could do.  Your conscience is clear, & that is a good thing.

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What I Learned From No Contact

So many websites & authors make no contact sound like an easy decision & once you go no contact, all will be right in your world.  Nothing could be further from the truth!!  While no contact is often the best & even the only solution, that doesn’t mean it’s an easy one.

If you’re considering no contact with a narcissist in your life, in particular one in your family, you need to be aware of some things.  I am not writing these to make you change your mind about no contact, only to help you prepare for the potential aftermath.

  • No one has the right to abuse you, not even your family.
  • You are under no obligation whatsoever to tolerate abuse from anyone & yes, that includes family.
  • Cutting toxic people out of your life doesn’t make you a bad person.  It makes you someone who cares enough about yourself not to tolerate abuse.
  • Just because you severed contact with someone doesn’t mean you hate them.  You can love someone but still not be able to be in a relationship with them because they’re abusive.
  • No one can fully prepare for what may happen after no contact because all people are different.  When I went no contact with my mother, she ignored me & kept her distance.  When I went no contact with my father, he continually tried to force me to talk to him, including getting his family to try to force me to talk to him.  It’s hard to predict how the person on the receiving end of no contact will handle it.
  • You will be depressed for some time after going no contact.  No matter how sure you are that you did the right thing or how much you know you had no choice but to do this, ending a relationship especially one with a family member is TOUGH!  It hurts!
  • You’ll also feel very guilty for a while, even though there isn’t a valid reason to feel that way.  This is simply because that is how this person trained you.  Their feelings are more important than yours & how dare you put your feelings ahead of theirs, at least that is what they want you to believe.  Remember, this person is the reason the relationship fell apart.  Yes, you walked away but only after you were pushed into doing so to protect your mental health.  There is no reason to feel guilty about this!
  • You’re going to have doubts.  It’s only normal.  Remind yourself of how much thought & prayer went into your decision when this happens.  Also remember what led you to make this incredibly difficult decision.  Doing so helps a great deal.
  • Not everyone is going to understand.  Some people are going to judge you very harshly.  Those people can be incredibly hurtful & cruel.  No matter how convicted they are in their beliefs, it doesn’t mean they are right.  Don’t let them make you doubt your decision or tolerate their abusive words.
  • Of those who judge you, you will be surprised by who is doing it.  Some folks you were convinced were on your side will turn on you, & it is going to hurt badly!  You also may be surprised by acquaintances & even strangers who attack you for going no contact.  It’s shocking when someone you barely know or don’t even know at all thinks they have the right to tell you what they think you should do with your life.
  • Those who don’t understand also will try to guilt or shame you into reconnecting.  Don’t let that happen!!  Again, remind yourself of what led you to making this decision.  Also remind yourself that these people don’t know the whole story, so their input is useless to you.
  • Often, these people who attack you are going to be your own family.  Family is often the most abusive in these situations.  Mine certainly has been.  Various members have attacked me like they were starving lions & I was vulnerable prey.  Sadly this is pretty normal in narcissistic families.  Family members often delude themselves into thinking they’re a happy, normal, functional family.  They will do anything to protect their delusions, including attack someone who tells the truth.  If they can quiet the truth teller, then their delusions can remain in tact.  To them, attacking their own kin is worth it if it protects their delusions.
  • You may think if you just did something they wanted you to do or loved them enough, the abuse would have stopped.  That is not true!  A person changes because they want to.  To make an abuser want to change is nearly impossible.  They get what they want from being abusive & they lack empathy.  This means they see no reason at all to change.
  • You also may have days where you miss this person.  You may be tempted on those days to rekindle the relationship.  You may even want to apologize for going no contact.  DON’T DO IT!!  Once someone has gone no contact then later returns to the relationship, it gets much worse than it originally was.  It may start out good, but it won’t take long before the mask comes off again.  When that happens, the person underneath is even uglier than they were before.
  • You won’t be functioning in survivor mode anymore, so you may feel much different.  You may feel very vulnerable & over sensitive.  Little things can make you cry or make you angry that never bothered you before.  You may have more nightmares than usual.  You may experience changes in anxiety levels by either becoming more anxious in general or less anxious but when you do get anxious those times are harder than they used to be.
  • You may feel oddly lost, too, like you don’t know what to do with your life.  When in a relationship with a narcissist, they seem to take up all the room in the relationship, even down to including all the room in your brain.  Without them, what is there to think about?!  It can take some time to feel less lost after survival mode is over.
  • At some point, you are going to feel so much better!  You’ll experience freedom & enjoy that feeling immensely.  If the narcissist in your life was a relative, guilt will come attached to enjoying your new freedom, but in time it will get less & less, until it disappears.
  • You’ll also experience peace, possibly for the first time in your life!  No more unnecessary drama.  No more narcissistic rages.  The peace is glorious!!
  • You won’t feel on edge all the time, worried about what to say or do to appease the narcissist so he or she won’t rage at you.  You finally can relax & not focus all of your energy on this person.  It’ll feel like a giant weight is lifted off your shoulders.
  • You also will start to enjoy little things more than you used to.  When you’re life is totally focused on a narcissist, it’s hard to enjoy subtle things like a bird singing, a beautiful full moon or even a great song on the radio.  It can feel almost like you’re reborn, I think is the best way to describe it.

In time, you’ll learn that no contact was absolutely worth it.  In spite of all the pain, the tears, the doubts & the attacks from horrible people, it truly was worth it.  You will survive it, & be better & stronger for it!

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Never, Ever Underestimate Narcissists Or Flying Monkeys!

I was thinking of something & thought I’d pass it along to those of you who read my work & follow my YouTube channel.

April 25, 2019 was the day I buried my mother.  I decided not to have a funeral because those she was closest to were elderly, ill &/or lived too far away to attend her funeral.  The day of her burial, I knew I didn’t have to be there, so I was unsure if I would attend or not.  That is at least until that morning.  The cemetery called.  Apparently they made a huge blunder.  My parents bought two double decker plots, one for them & another for my husband & I.  When my father died, he was to be buried at double depth, then my mother on top at regular depth.  The problem was the day of my mother’s burial, they learned my father was buried at normal depth!  They had to exhume him, rebury him in the neighboring plot, fill in the now empty grave & then they could bury my mother.  I had to rush to the cemetery to fill out paperwork giving my permission to do this.  I did this & returned home, deciding to go back to the cemetery for her burial to be certain no more mistakes were made.

This was horrific to put it mildly, especially on top of losing my mother, learning I was to handle her estate matters, try to help her traumatized cat & continue to live my own life.  Yet, it got worse…

At the grave side with my husband & best friend, I realized someone else showed up.  The cousin who was a devoted flying monkey to my parents & the cruelest to me when my father was dying!  She approached me to tell me she was just there for my mother.  I told her to leave & she wasn’t welcome.  She smugly refused.  I called her a nasty name, which then fueled her insanity to start screaming.  Thankfully her husband dragged her off as my husband told her to get lost.  Her husband & the cemetery staff kept her away from me until I left, once my mother was safely buried.

The reason I’m sharing this story with you is this… never underestimate narcissists & their flying monkeys.  Always expect the worst out of them.  I clearly made a mistake by not expecting anyone to show up to my mother’s burial.  That day I felt I was at the edge of sanity with my trashy cousin trying to push me over the edge.  If I hadn’t underestimated narcissistic behavior, I could’ve been more mentally prepared to handle the situation or asked the cemetery not to tell anyone when my mother’s burial would be.

I’m not trying to make anyone feel paranoid, like you constantly have to look over your shoulder.  However, when these people have been in your life in any capacity, even only briefly as a flying monkey, you need to know that they may come back at any time, in particular at your worst possible times.

Narcissists are glad to cause pain.  I believe that most flying monkeys are also narcissists, which is why they see nothing wrong with encouraging people to tolerate abuse or treating people any old way they like under the guise of trying to help.  If they truly think this way then there is no low too low for them.  Never forget that!  Protect yourself as much as humanly possible from such people.  Know they are capable of anything.  If at all possible, avoid them.  Block any & all contact they have with you & don’t speak to them.  If that is not possible, then remember to Gray Rock.  Be boring.  Never give into any control measures they try to use on you.  Never show them any emotions you have.  Never provide any personal information about yourself or your life.  Remember what they find interesting about you & deny them of that.  These people deserve nothing from you, so provide them with nothing & protect yourself!

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Sale On My Ebooks Extended

My ebooks are currently on sale until May 31, 2020.  Check them out at the following link:

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

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My Newest Book Is Now Available!

I have just published my newest book, “When A Narcissistic Parent Dies: Expanded Version.”

I originally wrote this book after my father died in 2017.  When my mother died last year, I learned a lot more about what it’s like to lose a narcissistic parent.  Rather than write an entirely new book on the topic, I decided simply to expand on what I had already written.

The print version is available at this link.  The ebook is available at this link.

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Losing A Narcissistic Parent

April 19, 2019 started quite the roller coaster for me.  It was the day the police knocked on my door at 10 p.m. to tell me that my mother was found deceased in her home.  I had no idea that this event would turn my life into something barely recognizable.

A couple of days later, I found my mother’s will, which is when I learned she not only left everything to me, but I also was to be her personal representative.  I can’t express the shock I felt at learning this completely unexpected turn of events!  I never expected to get any inheritance from her, let alone be her PR.  Oddly though, it has done me a lot of good.

Personal representatives have a lot of responsibility & many details to attend to.  As someone with a brain injury & C-PTSD which has given me crippling anxiety, I didn’t think I could do any of this, even with the help of my attorney.  But you know what?  I have!  In fact, I’ve done a pretty good job at everything, including dealing with unexpected problems.

The emotional aspect has been incredibly difficult, too.  Losing a parent is terrible for anyone, but add in the narcissistic element & it’s also complicated & confusing.  I went into shock the night the police gave me the death notification, & it lasted for several months.  Most of the time, I haven’t known what I felt.  My moods would swing drastically & I had no clue why.

In spite of these very challenging things, not only have I survived, I’ve thrived.  I believe it is all because of God.

The night of the death notification, I prayed probably the shortest prayer I’ve ever prayed.  I simply asked God to help me & has He ever!

While making funeral arrangements, the funeral director mentioned he too is a Christian.  He said he felt strongly that God wanted me to know that my mother is with Him, & everything is going to be ok, just trust Him.  I know beyond any doubt that those things are true, too.

Since her passing, God has told me things that she wanted me to know.  One thing was especially interesting.  A few years before my mother’s death, she gave me a wind chime with dragonflies on it, saying she thought I would like it.  It’s very pretty so yes I do!  While visiting her grave shortly after her death, there were a lot of dragonflies buzzing around me.  I suddenly got this strong feeling that my mother wanted me to think about what dragonflies symbolize when I see them & be comforted by that.  I began to ask God if that was right, please give me a sign.  About halfway through that prayer, the biggest one yet flew right in front of me!  I researched the symbolism of dragonflies when I got home.  Common thoughts are they symbolize hope, maturity, change, love, prosperity, & peace.  Seeing them now does give me comfort, & I see them at unusual times, not only during the spring & summer months.

Also, I’d decided almost immediately to give my mother’s car to a friend’s son who was going to get his drivers license in a few months.  Shortly after, I began to have second thoughts.  When praying about it one day, God told me very clearly, “Your mother wants you to have & enjoy her car.”  This car is definitely not my usual taste at all, but I have come to enjoy driving it.  And, my friend’s son?  He said he didn’t want me to have to hang onto the car waiting on him, so I should keep it.

Among all these rather strange events, I am happy to report that my anxiety levels are MUCH better than they were prior to my mother’s death.  It still is there, but not in the crippling capacity it once was.

My point of sharing all of this with you, Dear Reader?  I want to encourage you.  If your narcissistic parent dies before you, it’ll be tough.  But, with God, you’ll be able to get through it.  You’ll come out so much stronger & be so much closer to God than ever.  It may be the most difficult time of your life, but it will be worth it in the end if you just stay close to the Father.  ❤

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Very Wise Words About PTSD & C-PTSD.

Recently I was speaking with a fellow blogger, Linda Lee at https://ablogabouthealingfromptsd.wordpress.com (it’s a great blog!  Check it out!).  We were talking about how we don’t believe God created people for things like surviving abuse & losing someone we love which is what makes coping with such things so incredibly hard.  During this conversation, she told me something very interesting.  Some time ago, she spent time under the care of the well known Meier Clinic.  In fact, she was blessed enough to be under the care of Dr. Meier directly!  After a lifetime of abuse & bad mental health diagnoses, this was an incredible blessing!  What he told her made so much sense in her situation, but I believe in other people’s situations as well.  It sure fit mine!  It probably will fit your situation too!

“You are NOT mentally ill.  What you have is called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Although PTSD is classified as a mental illness for insurance purposes, the reality is that having PTSD after experiencing overwhelming trauma is perfectly normal — no less normal than it is to bleed, if somebody cuts you with a knife.  You see, God did not create us for abuse.  God is love, and He made us in His spiritual image, which means that we were created for kindness and love, not for abuse and hatred.  God created us to love and be loved. But when we get hate instead of love, when we receive abuse instead of kindness, we are damaged by that.  Being damaged by abuse does not mean that you are weak or crazy.  The strongest, sanest person in the world will develop PTSD, if they go through enough trauma and abuse.  Just as the strongest man in the world will bleed, if you take a knife and cut him.  Human skin was not created to withstand the sharp blade of a knife.  In the same way, the human soul was not created to be traumatized and abused.”

I have beat myself up a LOT since learning I have C-PTSD.  I’ve told myself I’m so weak & other people had it worse & all kinds of heartless, invalidating things.  It doesn’t help when other people’s words & actions re-enforce such things.   I have found that sometimes those who have suffered abuse yet don’t have C-PTSD can be as judgmental as those who lack empathy for those who have been abused.

Anyway I find Dr. Meier’s words to my friend so comforting!!  Having C-PTSD or PTSD is a very normal response to a very abnormal situation!  These disorders aren’t a sign of weakness.  They are a sign of being normal.

Also, notice that he said. “The strongest, sanest person in the world will develop PTSD, if they go through enough trauma and abuse.”  That tells me that no one is immune to traumatic responses.  Every single person has a breaking point, a point where enough is enough, & the trauma they experience will cause their brain to develop PTSD or C-PTSD.  Everyone’s breaking point is different, so there is no point in judging others who have one of these disorders.  No one is immune!

The next time you’re feeling weak or like a failure for living with PTSD or C-PTSD,  I hope you’ll remember what Dr. Meier said.  Print them out.  Save them somewhere on your computer or phone.  Share them on Facebook.  Whatever you do, please remind yourself of them!  I certainly plan to do so & do so often!  It can get too easy to go down the rabbit hole of thinking you’re a failure for having such a problem & that isn’t right!  No one is immune!  They are natural reactions to highly abnormal circumstances, nothing more!

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When You Love Your Narcissistic Mother

Recently, I was watching an episode of “The Walking Dead.”  I’m not sure if any of you who follow my work are also fans, but if not, you still might find this interesting.

In this particular episode, Neegan was talking to the daughter of a woman he had killed.  Alpha was a horrible woman & was basically a cult leader in my opinion.  Anyway, the daughter was calm at first, realizing he killed her because it was necessary.  He kept saying she needed to get her feelings out though.  It wasn’t healthy to hold them in.  The girl insisted she was ok.  Eventually, the young woman broke down though.  When she did, she said something interesting.  “I want to hate her but I can’t!”

This really hit home with me.  I think many of us with narcissistic mothers feel the same way.  I realize not everyone does.  Some dislike or even hate their narcissistic mother.  I truly hope this post doesn’t make you feel something is wrong with you.  Everyone is different!  I’m simply writing this to help those who feel like I do.

It’s a very strange feeling when you know your mother did the most horrific & unspeakable things to you, destroyed your self esteem, destroyed your identity even, yet on some level, you still love her.  It makes no sense at all to the logical mind to feel that way.  If anyone else did these things to you, chances are excellent you wouldn’t feel any love for this person at all.  Why feel differently towards your mother?  She’s the one person in the world that never should intentionally hurt you, yet she did.  Over & over again in fact.

The one year anniversary of my mother’s death is fast approaching & I’m realizing I feel the same way.  I want to hate my mother, but I can’t.  I’ve been thinking about this & this episode of “The Walking Dead” got me thinking about it more.  I thought I’d share some thoughts as to why this happens sometimes.

Many children of narcissistic parents are naturally loving & kind.  They aren’t people who hate easily & often not at all.

Many narcissistic mothers were the engulfing type.  Children grow up feeling as if she is the only safe place for them because their mothers make them feel that way.  Hating that safety net of sorts feels impossible.

Often, there were some good times, too, not only bad.  Very few abusers are abusive 100% of the time.  They are nice & loving periodically to bond their victim to them.  This trauma bond can be extremely confusing!  You want to hate the abuser, but you also know that they can be very kind & loving at the same time.  It feels impossible to hate someone kind & loving even when you know that they are capable of unimaginable cruelty.

The nature of relationship is another factor.  You only get one mother.  You shared her body with her for nine months.  This can’t be said of any other human being on the planet.  This naturally makes a child share a unique & exceptionally close bond with her mother, no matter what kind of mother she was.  Hating one’s mother is unnatural.  Of course it is possible & many people do feel that way, but not everyone is capable of hating their mother.

If you feel like there is something wrong with you because in spite of it all, you still love your narcissistic mother, please know there is nothing wrong with you.  When it comes to surviving narcissistic abuse, there are no one size fits all solutions.  Everyone is different.  Everyone processes emotions differently.  Everyone also had different experiences.  I really don’t think there is anything wrong with how anyone feels who survived a narcissistic mother.  The only wrong that I’m aware of is when someone repeats the pattern with their own children, & continues the cycle.

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How Narcissists Can Abuse Without Doing Anything

Everyone who knows much about narcissistic abuse knows their tactics.  Gaslighting, invalidation, scathing criticisms, baiting, projection… the list goes on & on.  They also have other ways to abuse their victims that are so subtle, they are often overlooked because the narcissist isn’t doing anything.

Narcissists can instill blind terror into their victims with a  look.  I remember the look from my overtly narcissistic mother when I was growing up.  I knew to stop whatever I was doing or saying right then or else the consequences would be terrible.  Naturally, I obeyed, & didn’t have to face consequences after that look.  My mother was hardly the only narcissistic parent to do this.  Many use it.

There also is a variation on the look that covert narcissists prefer.  The victim knows if they don’t do what the narcissist wants, they are going to be on the receiving end of a horrendous guilt trip.  Since covert narcissists are naturally much more subtle than overt narcissists, they wouldn’t consider scaring their victim in the same way.  Instead, they prefer to make their victim feel so guilty that they never repeat the behavior again.

Both overt & covert narcissists have yet another variation on “the look.”  It’s the look that makes a victim feel like they are the most moronic, disgusting, pathetic creature in the world.  My ex husband perfected this one.  When we argued, I was always wrong, according to him.  To drive his point home, he would look at me with a very smug look.  He never said the words, but his facial expression told me he was convinced I was utterly pathetic, stupid & lucky he was willing to put up with such a disgusting creature as me who was clearly so far beneath him & his highly superior intelligence.

Another way narcissists can abuse without lifting a finger is known as triangulation.  This is when a narcissist confides in another person about the victim.  They usually lie to this person to make the victim look bad & to make the narcissist look like an innocent victim.  When that third person believes the lies, they confront the real victim.  They tell the victim that they need to apologize to the narcissist, stop doing whatever the narcissist said they were doing, or even resume the relationship with the narcissist after going no contact.  The narcissist does nothing while this person abuses the victim on their behalf.

Clearly narcissists have abuse down to a science!

If you face any of these situations when dealing with a narcissist, chances are at some point you will think you’re reading too much into their actions.  You may even think something is mentally wrong with you to think the narcissist meant anything more than simply to look at you or was talking to a friend about your troubled relationship.  Please get such thoughts out of your mind immediately!  You aren’t reading too much into anything!  Every single thing narcissists say & do has a purpose.  You are correct in assuming those looks mean what you think they mean, & that person telling you what you are doing wrong by the narcissist is being used by the narcissist.

When these things happen, the first step I suggest you do is ask God to guide you & give you wisdom & creative ideas for handling the situation.  Also remind yourself that nothing narcissists do is innocent.  Everything has a self-serving motive.  These behaviors really have nothing to do with you.  They’re about the narcissist gaining control over you.  Don’t allow yourself to give into that control.  And, as for the person used in triangulation?  If you can’t remove this person from your life, at least refuse to discuss the narcissist with this person.  You’ll save yourself a great deal of frustration!

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Judging Victims For Tolerating Abuse

I’ve noticed so many people are quick to judge victims of abuse for tolerating abuse. The nature of the relationship doesn’t seem to matter, the same things are said to victims.  These judgmental people say things like, “Well *I* certainly wouldn’t have put up with being treated like that!”, “Just go no contact!” or, “Why didn’t you leave sooner?”

This post is for those people who are quick to judge, & need a  lesson on the reality of what it’s like to be abused.

Unless a person has been subjected to the effects of daily, intense gaslighting, they truly don’t know what they would do in that situation, & have no right to judge a situation they can’t understand.

Abusers use gaslighting to convince their victims that they can’t make it in life without their abuser.  Abusers convince their victims that they are so stupid & incapable that they need the abuser to help them navigate through life.  Not even the most highly intelligent people are immune to this.

They also convince their victims that no one cares about them other than the abuser.  People only talk to them because they are trying to be nice, not because they really care, abusers say.  They also create doubts in victims’ minds about their loved ones by saying things like, “She isn’t really a good friend to you.”  “He doesn’t care about you yanno.”  When an abuser says such things with conviction, & a victim hears such things often enough, they believe them no matter how much evidence to the contrary they may see.

Abusers also are very good at convincing their victims that if they would try just a little harder, the abuser would threat the victim better.  Watch a young child with an abusive parent, & you will see this clearly.  The meaner the parent is, the harder the child works to please that parent.  Adults aren’t immune to this behavior though.  During my first marriage, I did this with my ex husband.  The problem with this behavior is whatever the victim does is never good enough.  Abusers are notorious for changing what they say they want, raising that bar a bit higher once the victim does what they originally said they wanted, or denying ever wanting that thing their victim just did.  A person unaware of this manipulative & abusive behavior will keep trying to please their abuser, which leads to utter frustration in the victim & satisfaction in the abuser for having such control over the victim.

There’s also the fact that most people don’t want to end relationships with those closest to them, & abusers are usually those closest to the victim.  Deciding to end a romantic relationship is a big deal, especially when abuse is involved because the victim is going to feel like a failure or stupid for falling for someone abusive.  If the abusive relationship is a parent/child relationship, that is incredibly hard to end too.  Who can feel completely comfortable telling their parents they never want to see them again?!

Lastly, many abusers prevent their victims from leaving.  They often take the victim’s money & ruin that person’s credit, making it impossible for the victim to leave.  They make the victim completely financially dependent on them.  They threaten to take the couple’s kids away so the victim never will see them again.  Some have been known to lock their victims in their home, making them a prisoner.  And, still others threaten to kill either the victim, their pets, their children, their friends or family if the victim leaves.

After considering all of this.. can you honestly still wonder why victims tolerated the abuse as long as they did?

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Why Narcissistic Abuse Can Get Worse As Children Grow Up

I’ve heard over & over that narcissists never change.  Yet, I’ve seen my narcissistic parents change a great deal in my lifetime.

 

When I was a small child, my mother controlled everything about me, & my father idealized me.  In adolescence, my mother continued to control me & added scathing criticisms & later screaming at me to her repertoire.  My father still idealized me but when I complained about my mother to him, he told me how hard it was for him, & he was helpless to do anything for me.  Once I moved out, my parents both complained to me about the other one even more often than they had when I was growing up (which was a lot when I was a kid).  My mother no longer screamed at me or could control me as much as she did, but she was also still critical.  My father said how hard it was for him when I was growing up, knowing she was hurting me & wanted my comfort.  Once my parents hit their 70’s, they changed again.  My covertly narcissistic father gets more overt by the day, & my mother’s scathing criticisms have become quietly spoken & more hurtful than ever.

 

Many narcissistic parents follow a similar path in the manners in which they abuse their children.  They adapt their behaviors to the child’s & their stages in life.  But why?  I mean, we can all understand why a physically abusive parent stops hitting their child once the child is physically able to protect herself of course.  The abuser doesn’t want to get beaten as she beats her child.  But why do narcissists change their behaviors so much?

 

Personally, I believe the reason is they are attempting to beat their adult children down so they stay childish.  Eroding their child’s self-esteem will leave that child feeling incapable, rather than like the capable adult she truly is, & will make her feel she must depend on her parents.  After all, the parents want her to believe, she isn’t smart enough to choose the right friends, work the right career, like the right things, etc.  Her parents know best, so she should depend on them.

 

If a narcissistic parent can keep their adult child in a perpetual state of childhood, this can provides an incredible amount of narcissistic supply.  The adult child will depend on the parents, which means they can give the appearance of being good parents.  This adult child also will cater to their every whim, which we all know provides tons of narcissistic supply.

 

If the adult child doesn’t submit, however, she can count on problems with her parents.  Narcissistic parents can’t deal with a child who doesn’t submit to her parents, even as an adult.  They expect blind obedience from their child, no matter her age, & if they don’t get it, they will do their level best to hurt that child. They will treat her worse than ever once they realize she is resisting submitting to them.  Or, they simply discard her like a piece of trash, refusing to have any relationship with her, & often creating a vicious smear campaign against her.

 

As the adult child, you have no obligation to submit to abusive parents.  There is no love or honor in abuse.  You have every right to protect yourself from your narcissistic parents!  It will not be an easy road, but it is worth it.  And, it is much easier than living in that perpetual childhood in an attempt to please them.

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What’s Happening In My Little Corner Of The World & A Prayer Request

Dear Readers, I may not be posting much in the next few days.  My father’s in the hospital with extremely severe muscle spasms in his lower back.  I mean screaming in pain severe,  & none of the pain killers are helping. The doctors don’t know what’s causing the pain.

If you would, please pray for my father.  Also, for me as well.  My narcissistic mother is using this situation to be all about her.  Not a surprise,  of course.  But, I need God’s wisdom on how to handle dealing with her.  Thank you! xoxo

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