Tag Archives: NPD

Creative Ways Narcissists Get Narcissistic Supply

My overtly narcissistic mother always likes to look pitiful in front of my husband.  She has turned on the tears in front of him,  complained about how hard life is now that she & my father are older & other such things to look pitiful.  As a result, he has offered to help her in various ways.  When he does, she always hugs him tight, thanks him profusely & sometimes gives him money.

 

When my mother asked my husband about his parents, & he told her how they were doing & things he’s done for or with them, she responded by giving my husband a big bear hug & kiss on the cheek.  Granted, she always hugs him before leaving, but it’s different after he’s discussed his parents with her.

 

These two things have bothered me for a long time, but I didn’t know why.  It felt wrong somehow but I couldn’t put my finger on it.  God showed me exactly what was wrong with these scenarios a few minutes ago…

 

My mother has it in her head that my husband takes complete care of me.  She thinks he works, takes care of the yard, repairs our vehicles, does all the housework while I do absolutely nothing but spend his money (don’t even ask- I have no idea why she thinks this, but she also thought the same thing of my ex husband.).  She also knows he’s helped out his parents a lot over the years, especially once they started getting older.  Keeping these things in mind, it’s natural she assumes he takes care  of anyone in need.  She pretends to be pitiful to get his attention.  She wants his attention because she is impressed by my husband & his family (my husband is a very attractive guy, & his family gives the appearance of being a big, close, happy family).  Having the attention of someone who is a part of that AND good looking AND if she can get him ignoring me for her?!  Talk about narcissistic supply!

 

Regarding my mother basically “rewarding” my husband when he mentions doing for his parents, God showed me that my mother is trying to accomplish two things with that conversation with my husband.  1- she is trying to hurt me.  My mother knows my mother in-law has hated me since we first met & I stopped speaking to her in 2002.  Showing she cares about her hurts me, especially knowing she does this on purpose.  She also knows that if I confronted her on it, I would look mean, unreasonable & possibly even crazy since she was just being polite (or whatever excuse she would use).  2- by “rewarding” my husband & praising him for helping his parents, my mother is showing me what can happen.  If I would just do more for them, I could get this reward too.  The sad fact is though, that when I have done for my parents, it really wasn’t ever enough.  Sure, my parents thanked me & sometimes even gave me money I didn’t ask for, but my mother in particular made me feel like I was the hired help, just doing the job I get paid for.  Or, like I was disappointing her by not doing enough.  Sometimes, I wasn’t doing a task good enough.

 

Isn’t this incredible?!  But, thinking about it, it makes perfect sense to me.

 

Narcissistic supply is a precious thing to narcissists.  Everything they do boils down to getting their supply.  They will do anything to get it, period, no matter who it hurts or what they need to do.  Sometimes, they have to get creative, & they definitely can be creative when it benefits them.  Just look at the above examples- my mother got her supply in extremely creative ways!  She hurt me, she put me in a place where I couldn’t confront her without looking bad, she tried to control me, & sometimes, she even got my husband’s focus off of me & onto her.  It’s like she hit the narcissistic supply jackpot!

 

My point in sharing all of this with you, Dear Reader, is because you need to be aware that whatever narcissists do is about supply.  Even seemingly innocuous things like I described in the above examples are about procuring narcissistic supply.  Never forget that!  Even things that appear innocent but give you a bad feeling can be about supply.  If you have a bad or strange feeling about something the narcissist is doing, even if it looks totally innocent, listen to that feeling!  Go to God, & ask Him about it.  (I wish I would’ve done it years ago in those situations I mentioned- it could’ve saved me a lot of frustration & wondering what she was up to!)  And, ask Him what you should do about it.  Narcissists may be very creative, but God is much more so!  He can show you effective & creative ways to deal with the narcissist in your life!

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Don’t Beat Yourself Up Over Your Mistakes

I’ve always had a knack for remembering dates.  Even after the TBI I got in 2015, I still remember many dates that have been important to me at some time in my life.  For example,  I got my first car on July 6, 1989.  I moved out of my parents’ home on June 9, 1990.  I met my husband on March 14, 1992 & our first date was November 4, 1994.

 

Don’t get me started on my furbabies- I remember who I adopted when or when who was born, & when who passed away.

 

Remembering dates can be convenient sometimes, but it also can trigger some very unpleasant memories.  For years, I beat myself up from August 23 until November 24 because that was the short time I was involved with a man who I thought was a good guy, but I was unhappy dating.  When I told him I wanted to break up, he did his best to make me feel stupid & like a failure, which sunk in with me.  I believed I ruined his life & was a terrible person for it.  Many years later, I read that he shot & killed his boyfriend & then himself in their home.  It finally clicked that maybe he wasn’t the good guy he portrayed himself as.  I started remembering our short time together & realized that he was a very disturbed man.  I didn’t have clues then to just how disturbed, though.

 

In a way, learning this information was a good thing.  I finally was set free from the guilt of leaving this man.  It was as if I finally had permission to accept that leaving him was for my own safety.  It also helped me to think about something…

 

I have spent my life beating myself up for way too many things!

 

The disturbed man I mentioned?  I was only 19, he was 28 when we dated.  He was very controlling & I was so accustomed to being controlled, although it bothered me, I didn’t realize it was wrong.  It was so bad, in fact, that I didn’t want to date him.  I only did because he was pushy & my friend at the time said I should.  After growing up with narcissistic parents, this behavior of allowing others to control me is pretty normal.  I see that now, but for years, I told myself how stupid I was for this.  I should’ve known better.  HOW?!  How could I have known better?!

 

I’ve also beat myself up for not standing up to my parents more often, for tolerating way more than I should have.  This also doesn’t make sense- they’re my parents!  Aside from the dysfunctional teaching I grew up with that said I deserve whatever is done to me, being parents puts them in a unique position in my life no one else shares.  Most people are like me in that they are more willing to tolerate things from their parents than other people.

 

Does this describe you as well?  Have you spent way too much time chastising yourself for things that really aren’t your fault?  If so, please stop it right now!

 

Everyone makes mistakes!  Those of us raised in abusive, dysfunctional environments tend to make even more than most people because we simply do not know any better.  Frankly, it sucks, but it happens!

 

Have you learned from your mistakes?  Good!  That shows you don’t want to continue being dysfunctional!  That is something to be proud of!!

 

Do you realize that sharing stories of things you did & what you learned can encourage other people?  It really can!  I’m hardly proud of sharing the things I have in this blog, but the good part is they encourage other people.  I have the emails & comments to prove it.  In a way, my mess has become my ministry.  Not only the mess of my dysfunctional upbringing, but the mess of the dumb things I did as a result.  That encourages me too, because I know it means my pain has a purpose.  It wasn’t for nothing!

 

Your pain has a purpose too, Dear Reader!  If you don’t feel that way, then talk to God about it.  He will reveal the purpose to you, & comfort you!

 

 

 

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Last Straw Moments

Lately, I’ve noticed many people in a relationship with a narcissist often have something that shuts them down with the narcissist.  The narcissist says or does something that makes their victim feel like enough is finally enough.  They reach the point of being completely fed up with the games, the gaslighting & the abuse.  This one thing was the straw that broke the camel’s back.  The victim is now done.  One of my readers calls this the last straw moment.

 

A while back, I had a big fight with my parents that I have mentioned in this blog before.  Long story short, they wanted to attend my late mother in-law’s funeral, & seemed annoyed I didn’t tell them she died- they found out about her death when they saw her obituary in the local paper.  In spite of knowing how badly she treated me, both of my parents said they wanted to “pay their respects” to her & “didn’t want to disappoint my father in-law” by not going (my parents & in-laws have seen each other twice in the 20+ years my husband & I have been together).  I felt betrayed that they cared more about “paying respects” to her than me, & neither of my parents understood that.

 

As of the time I’m writing this post, neither of my parents have spoken to me in quite a while.  The evening of the fight was the last time I spoke with my mother.  That was in May.  My father only spoke to me a handful of times after that,  but I haven’t heard from him since July.  I guess now he’s not speaking to me either.  That’s fine- it’s his choice.  I realized this situation was my last straw moment with my parents.  Granted, this was not the first time they have cared more about someone else than me, even someone who has hurt me.  The reason it is my last straw moment is because my parents have the unadulterated gall to be angry at me for defending myself to their complete lack of concern over my feelings.  If they had responded by saying something like, “I never thought of it that way.  I’m sorry,” I could have lived with them wanting to pay their respects, probably without even being angry since they just tend to be so inconsiderate of me.   I accept that about them & don’t expect otherwise from them.  But, they didn’t.  They acted like something was extremely wrong with me for being upset with them.  My father quickly changed the subject after defending himself briefly.  My mother even acted bored when I was angry & crying.  Bored!  Her own daughter is upset to the point of yelling, crying & even using some profanity which are all out of character to me in her presence, yet she was bored.  My parents were offended that I defended myself & they couldn’t comprehend why I felt they betrayed me.  Wouldn’t even try to comprehend it, for that matter.  Those facts are what triggered my last straw moment.

 

I’m learning from my own experiences & from those of others I’ve spoken with that last straw moments with narcissistic parents are a plethora of conflicting emotions.

 

When things first happen, there can be a sense of being in shock.  Whatever they did may not have been the worst thing they’ve done to you, but you can’t believe it at first.  You may think things like, “They did it AGAIN?!”  or, “They really don’t care at all how I feel!”  While you know they’re capable of such things obviously, you can’t believe it happened, even when it feels like the millionth time.  You are amazed anyone can be capable of such cruelty, let alone extending that cruelty to their own child.

 

Anger kicks in too.  You may feel totally fed up.  This was the straw that broke the camel’s back.  Enough is enough!  You are done putting up with their abuse!

 

Sadness kicks in after the anger.  Sadness because what they did hurt you & because you realize there is truly no hope for your relationship.  Even understanding narcissism, there is usually a tiny part of the adult child of narcissistic parents that clings to the hope that maybe somehow, some day, things will change.  Whatever they did to you this time erased that tiny glimmer of hope completely.

 

Sadness morphs into grief.  Grief isn’t only for losing a loved one.  Grief happens when you experience loss, & a last straw moment with your narcissistic parent is definitely a loss.  Not only have you lost the hope I mentioned in the previous paragraph, but much more.  It often hits people in last straw moments how much the narcissist has stolen from them- their childhood, their self-esteem, their ability to be mentally healthy, their joy… Such losses can be very hard to deal with, & trigger grief.  That is the stage I’m at with my parents now.

 

You can bounce back & forth between grief & anger quite often.  I certainly have.

 

Yet, among the negative emotions are some very positive ones as well.  For me, once my parents stopped speaking to me, I finally felt free enough to be myself, the person God made me to be, not the person my parents wanted me to be.  I’d been getting further from what they wanted me to be for quite some time, but without them in my life, I was able to be completely myself, 100% of the time, for the first time ever.  It’s pretty cool!  I love feeling so free!

 

Caring over what my parents think has disappeared as well.  I know if I must deal with them at some point, the usual snarky, cruel, hateful criticisms won’t be as hurtful because I really don’t care what they think of me or my life.  It’s really not my business anyway, what they think of me.   I’m living as I believe God wants me to, & that’s all that matters to me anymore.

 

It’s also common to feel like a weight has been lifted.  Which is natural since it has been.  Whether you stopped speaking to your narcissistic parents or they stopped speaking to you, that burden is now gone from your life.  Or, if you’re still in a relationship with them, you still may feel the lifted burden feeling.  That is because you no longer care about pleasing them or gaining their approval.  You may have accepted them as they are- cruel, devious, hate-filled & abusive people- & no longer have any expectations of them to be anything but what they are.

 

Last straw moments can be difficult & confusing, but oddly, they also can be a blessing in disguise.  To deal with all of the conflicting feelings, I recommend a lot of prayer, as well as talking to a trusted, safe friend.  Journalling helps too.  Anything that helps   Writing things out helps you to see things clearly, which really can help you to heal.  Anything that helps you to get your feelings out without fear of judgment is a good thing.

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My New Book Is Available!!

After a conversation with a dear friend in early July, she inspired me to write a new book.  It is designed for a slightly different audience than usual.  Normally I write for those of us who know at least some about Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  This book, however, is written for those who know something is wrong with a person in their life who is extremely selfish & manipulative, but they just aren’t sure what it is yet.

 

“It’s Not You, It’s Them: When People Are More Than Selfish” helps these people to understand Narcissistic Personality Disorder, deal with the behaviors if they opt to stay in a relationship with the narcissist, & ways they can help themselves heal.

 

I’ve learned so much about NPD in recent months & have felt such a strong desire to help victims of narcissistic abuse & raise awareness, I believe this book had to be written.  Admittedly, I’ve never written a book so quickly before, but I believe it must be for a reason.  I pray God is going to use it mightily.

 

If you’d like to check out the new book, the timing is good- my publisher is offering a sale on all print books.  15% off with free mail shipping until August 14.  Simply use code AUGSHIP16 at checkout

Links are below..

 

Ebook:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/656668

 

Print book: http://www.lulu.com/shop/cynthia-bailey-rug/its-not-you-its-them-when-people-are-more-than-selfish/paperback/product-22817234.html

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Another Control Tactic Of Narcissists- Interrupting

As anyone subjected to a narcissist for any length of time knows, narcissists love to control other people.  It gives them a sense of power, which gives them narcissistic supply, in other words, feeds their ego.

 

One tool they use that seems innocuous is interrupting others.

 

Interrupting seems like simple bad manners, but with narcissists, it is much more.

 

Narcissists only care about themselves & procuring narcissistic supply, & interrupting gives them a couple of ways to gain that supply.

 

For one thing, interrupting is often done if the other person in the conversation is not discussing the narcissist or anything about the narcissist’s life.  The narcissist will interrupt & turn the conversation back to what she wants to talk about- herself, her accomplishments, how talented she is, etc.  Most people who have been interrupted allow the conversation to take the new turn, seldom returning to the original topic.

 

Another reason narcissists interrupt is that taking over a conversation gives them a sense of power.  They were able to redirect the conversation, which makes them feel powerful, & provides narcissistic supply.

 

Interrupting may seem not worth fighting over, but anything that provides a narcissist supply can make them want to use you more & more.  That is why it is vital if you’re in any relationship with a narcissist to provide as little supply as possible.  The more supply you provide, the more they will use & abuse you.

 

Interrupting is pretty simple to deal with. My narcissistic mother uses this tactic constantly, & I have learned from her the best way to deal with it is not to deal with it.  I ignore her as much as possible & show no reaction to her.   If I’m talking with someone else & she interrupts, I ignore whatever she is talking about, then when she is finished talking, resume the conversation she interrupted.

 

Sometimes, she uses more unusual methods of interrupting.  Once in a restaurant, my father & I were talking about a topic she wasn’t interested in.  As we spoke, she picked up a napkin, held it to her nose & acted like she was blowing her nose, making loud, gross noises with her mouth.  My father & I stopped talking, & she took the napkin away, & began laughing a very creepy, unsettling laugh.  It was painfully obvious she did this to get attention, & it worked.  Not only were my father & I looking at her, several others in the restaurant were as well.  Thank God, He showed me immediately she just wanted attention, so I quickly resumed the conversation with my father, as if nothing happened.  When ridiculous antics are her interruption tool of choice, I ignore them too.

 

The same goes for nasty comments to interrupt.  When she says something hateful, it’s obvious it’s just to gain attention/supply.  Another example was during dinner with my parents & grandmother once many years ago.  My mother told my father what to order.  He said he wanted a change, & asked what I was going to get.  I said the taco salad, & he decided to try one.  When dinner arrived, he & I were talking.  My mother looked at our plates & loudly said, “It looks like someone threw up on your plates.”  I acted as if she hadn’t said a thing, & continued talking to my father. It annoyed her- my father reacted to her by giving her a shocked expression, but I ignored her.  I’m sure the goal was to get an equal reaction out of me.

 

Ignoring is pretty easy, but sometimes having no reaction can be difficult.  If you remember exactly why this is happening, & how you do NOT want to provide narcissistic supply, that helps you to stay calm.

 

Prayer also helps.  Ask God to help you before you answer that phone or visit your narcissistic mother.  He truly will not disappoint you!

 

Once your visit is done, you’re going to be angry &/or hurt.  Don’t hold it in!  Get it out by praying, talking with a safe person, or journalling.  Maybe a combination of all of them.  Whatever works for you.

 

By staying calm & ignoring your narcissistic mother’s petty interruptions, you are taking back control.  It also will frustrate her, & she will use this tactic less & less frequently.

 

 

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Sometimes Out Of Your Biggest Problem Can Come Your Biggest Blessing

Recently, a friend pointed something out to me & she was absolutely right.  Since the fight with my parents in May, I’ve changed.  I’m much freer & enjoying life more.

 

I have to wonder why this is.  I think it may be because I finally realized my own value.  I don’t deserve the things that my parents do to me.  Logically I knew this but the extreme insensitivity of their actions really drove that point home for me during that fight.

 

It’s funny how things can work out.  This very painful, bad event turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  I’m shocked, because I was extremely hurt & angry for quite a while after it happened, even wondering if I’d ever come to terms with it.  But, God helped me to do that.  Since I have dealt with my feelings about it though, I have become much happier than I’ve been in a very long time.  I’ve even started being myself for the first time.  Some time back, God told me to research the personality of a wolf, as I share many of their traits.  For the first time, I see those traits in myself.  I’ve also been having a lot of fun & being silly.  I crocheted a small Pennywise (the evil clown from Stephen King’s “IT”) for hubby & have been putting him in strange places around the house to surprise him. Hubby has since started doing the same thing to me.  We’re having fun just playing, & it feels good!  I’ve also almost finished a new book in record time.  I’ve been able to focus more on my writing & have a new fire in me to help those who have been affected by narcissistic abuse & to raise awareness.

 

Romans 8:28 states, “And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.”  (AMP)  This Scripture is absolutely true!!  The situation I mentioned above is evidence of that.

 

Please be encouraged, Dear Reader.  Whatever you are going through, something good can come from it.  God wastes nothing.  He can bring you blessings even out of your worst hurts.

 

 

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20% Off Two Or More Print Books!

My publisher is having another great sale on print books.  20% off if you buy two or more.  Simply use code 2FORYOU at checkout.  Sale ends August 7, 2016.

 

Find my books at:

 

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

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Another Book Sale!

My publisher is offering another sale.  15% off all print books with free mail shipping until July 31!  Enter code “SHIPSAVE16” at checkout.  The code is case sensitive, so enter it exactly as it appears between the quotes.

 

My books can be found at:

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

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30% Off My Print Books! Now Until July 24th

My publisher is having a really good sale right now until the 24th.  Use code “LULU30” at checkout to receive 30% off on all print books.  My books can be found at:  http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

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Ways To Respond To Someone Who Doesn’t Understand Mental Illness

Not many people have a good grasp on how to treat people with mental illness.  Depression, anxiety, PTSD & C-PTSD in particular seem to be targets for those with little to no  compassion.

 

Following are some examples of bad things people often say to people suffering with mental illness.  One thing that seems to diffuse people from further insensitive, invalidating comments is a calm, logical response.  Some examples of ways to use that logic follow the examples.

 

“It’s all in your mind.”  This one tells me the person saying it thinks you’re crazy & has no patience for you.  Not exactly something to make you feel all warm & fuzzy, is it?  A good response could be, “Well, yes it is.  It’s a mental illness after all.  Where else would it be?”

 

“Think happy thoughts.”  Well, gee, why didn’t I think of that?!  *facepalm* Depression, anxiety, PTSD & C-PTSD can come with intrusive thoughts that may be impossible to control.  Depression steals your hope, anxiety fills you with often irrational fears, PTSD & C-PTSD steal your hope, fill you with fear in addition to reminding you of all of the horrible, traumatic things you’ve been through.  A possible response could be, “You seem to forget- my brain doesn’t work like yours.  It’s physically broken.  It’s not that easy for me to just think happy thoughts.”

 

“You should just…”  Unasked for advice is never fun.  It’s even worse when the person giving it has absolutely no idea what they are talking about. This one really gets under my skin, especially when it’s wrapped in fake concern.  “I mean this in love, but you need to get over that…” for example.  I’ve responded with, “Thank you but I didn’t ask for your advice on this subject.”  The person who did this with me stopped speaking to me for months after saying that, but I don’t know if that is a typical response or not.  She’s the only one I said that to so far.

 

“I know how you feel.”  No.  No you don’t.  You aren’t me.  You don’t live with the mental illness that I do.  We are two very different people.  So no, you don’t know how I feel.  <– I believe that is a good response.  I admit, I get snarky when told this.  My responses aren’t usually this nice.  Mine have been “You spent most of your life suicidal too?  You have C-PTSD too?  Aren’t those flashbacks terrible?  Oh, you don’t have them.. then I guess you really don’t know how I feel.”  Not nice, but it tends to get people’s attention when nicer comments don’t.

 

“That doesn’t sound so bad.”  I think people forget that we are all different.  What doesn’t sound so bad to one person can devastate another.  My high school guidance counselor told me this phrase after telling her my mother would scream at me & tell me how horrible I was.  It made me feel wrong for being traumatized.  I was young & didn’t know about narcissism then, so I didn’t respond.  Now?  I think I would say something like, “Maybe it doesn’t sound so bad to you, but you weren’t there.  You weren’t the one going through the trauma.”

 

“You can’t have PTSD.  You weren’t in the military.”  Unfortunately, because there has been attention on PTSD in soldiers, the rest of us with it resulting from non-military trauma have been disregarded.  It reminds me of when AIDS was first coming into the public eye in the 80’s, & people thought it was a “gay disease.”  AIDS isn’t a “gay disease”  & PTSD isn’t a “military problem”.  It’s a trauma problem.  And, reminding someone who says you can’t have it because you weren’t in the military is a very good response.

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Old Anger Coming To The Surface

The other night out of the blue, I thought about the fight with my parents in May.  As if that didn’t anger me quite enough, then I thought about when a year or two ago, when my mother called me & said my father told her my ex husband hit me.  She asked if that really happened & said if she would’ve known, she would’ve called a lawyer. (a lawyer, not the cops?! Trying to profit off it?)  Both my parents saw me all bruised & battered right after it happened, & didn’t give a damn.  My mother blamed me, in fact, for “making” him do that.

 

So many other times my parents haven’t cared about me popped into my head.  (gotta love intrusive thoughts..gggrrr!)  The hateful comments when I’ve lost a furkid, such as, “they’re better off dead than with me as their mom.”  Or, “Oh, you still upset that cat died?”  a week after losing a furbaby.  Snide comments when my back was injured, thanks to my mother, about being lazy.  Or, criticizing my writing- it’s trash, a waste of time, no one wants to read it, etc.

 

This morning I’m still very angry.  It sickens me how anyone can be so cold & cruel to another human being, but especially their child that they are supposed to love.  I can’t fathom treating anyone that way.

 
I felt embarrassed about being so angry.  After all, part of being a Christian is forgiving others easily.  Preachers speak about it constantly.  “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger!”  “Forgive so your Father may forgive you!”  It’s embarrassing to be an angry Christian, no matter how valid the reasons for your anger.  I tend to feel guilty & ashamed if I’m angry partly because there isn’t good, Biblical preaching out there on anger (at least that I have found).

 

Also, I honestly thought I’d forgiven my parents for everything, other than the fight in May.  I’m seeing now that I have a lot of anger for how selfish they are.  They can’t see beyond their own noses.  If it doesn’t directly affect them, it doesn’t matter (typical narcissists), which makes me angry.

 

However, I’m seeing this anger isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  This anger is helping me to maintain my healthy boundaries & distance.  It’s giving me courage that I may not have otherwise to keep a distance from my parents.

 

The anger also helps me to focus on the truth that they are dysfunctional, cruel & abusive, & I have every right to protect myself & my little family from that.

 

It also isn’t bad in the sense that I’m not planning to hurt my parents or get them back somehow.  I truly wish no bad on them, I just know I need to keep my distance.  Hardly a bad thing.

 

Another good thing is the anger is giving me the courage to speak out against narcissistic abuse more openly than ever.

 

God’s also showed me this anger is normal in my situation. I’ve had too many years of stuffing my anger. It has to come out!  Let it out & deal with it appropriately.  He has not told me my anger is wrong, & after 20 years in a relationship with Him, I’m quite in tune with His voice.

 

I do know that in time, I truly will forgive my parents.  But, I doubt I’ll ever lose the righteous anger about narcissistic abuse & the devastation it causes.  There is nothing wrong with that either- even God gets angry about injustice & when people are mistreated.

 

Hoping this maybe helps some of you that read my work, which is why I’m sharing.  I can’t be the only one who has experienced this.  If you are too, you’re not alone!  Please don’t be ashamed for how you feel or beat yourself up for it.  xoxo

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“You’re Too Negative!”

One thing many victims of narcissistic abuse have told me is people have told them they are too negative if they discuss their experiences.   I’ve heard it too.  “You’re too negative.”  “Your problem is you don’t think positive” (I guess thinking positive will fix my C-PTSD.. if it was only that easy!)

 

What people fail to realize is telling the truth about narcissistic abuse isn’t being negative.  It’s telling facts.  It’s telling your story.  It’s raising awareness of this awful epidemic.  It also helps us to heal, discussing things.  (The constant gaslighting/crazy making made us doubt ourselves so much, & talking about things helps us to keep a healthy perspective & remember the narcissist was the real problem.)

 

There is nothing negative or critical or even dishonorable about discussing your experiences with narcissistic abuse!  Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!  Talk about it as you are comfortable.  Help raise awareness!  Help yourself heal!

 

One important thing to remember though- if you’re seeking validation by discussing your story, you may not get it.  Many people don’t understand narcissistic abuse, nor do they want to.  Even those close to you may invalidate your pain.  You have to accept that not everyone will provide the support & understanding you crave.

 

If you’re worried about the narcissist finding out you’re talking about what she did to you, I understand.  It’s scary.  Narcissists, in particular narcissistic parents, can be scary, especially during a narcissistic rage.  But, keep in mind- there is really nothing they can do to you anymore!  Scream at you?  Call you names?  Talk badly about you to other people?  Chances are, after years of it, you’re so used to these things they barely phase you anymore.  I understand!  As a grown woman, I sometimes get afraid someone will tell my parents what I write about.  I remember my mother screaming & raging at me as a kid.  When that happens, I remind myself that I’ve experienced her rages so many times, that I’ve become pretty numb to them.  I also remind myself that this isn’t just her story- it is mine too.  I have every right to discuss it with whoever & however I want to.

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Please Read- Changes Are Coming & I’d Appreciate Your Prayers

Over the years, some of my readers have told me that they believe I’m a warrior for those who have endured narcissistic abuse.  That has always stuck in the back of my mind because I knew it was important.

 

Just recently, their words came to the forefront of my mind & wouldn’t leave.  I knew it was important but didn’t know why.  Every time I got onto Facebook the other day, I got a hint.  I kept finding memes that said things about how victims of abuse need a voice when they can’t speak up, don’t be afraid to speak up against abuse, & other similar topics.  I think it was 7 memes I found that spoke such messages to me.  I realized what the purpose of all of this was.

 

I need to be more outspoken against narcissistic abuse, & to help educate people about its devastating effects.  People don’t know much, if anything, about such topics unless they have been a victim, & that needs to change.  I realize that I alone can’t change the world, but hopefully I can make a difference.

 

How I need to make a difference, I’m not entirely sure!  So far, I think I need to focus on promoting & encouraging people to participate in The Butterfly Project with me, & share what I learn no only here in my blog, but also in my Facebook group & personal page.

 

I’d like to ask for prayer on this topic from you, Dear Readers.  I need to know what to do & how to do it.  I also need wisdom & courage to do God’s will.

 

While I feel peace about this, a part of me is also somewhat nervous.

 

I feel that God will want me to make some of the posts on my personal Facebook page public, which is something I never do. This also allows people I’m not friends with to see those posts, which makes me uncomfortable.  I don’t want strangers peek into my life.  This also could include people my parents know who are on Facebook.  While I know the things I write about regarding my parents are true & never said in a hateful way, they would be furious if they knew what I write about.  I really don’t want to deal with that.

 

Sharing on my personal Facebook also makes me nervous because when I’ve shared things about narcissism, C-PTSD & (rarely) my own experiences, some people I know have been less than supportive.  I’ve been told to get over it, I’m using C-PTSD for attention, I need to figure out how to work things out with my parents, they won’t be around forever & other invalidating, cruel things.  While I can handle their ignorance or spitefulness,  it’s just not something I care to deal with.  I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m simply tired of people who think I’m stupid, unreasonable, etc. or who project their own issues onto me.  I try to avoid that as much as possible, & putting things on my personal Facebook page, even just attempting to educate people, could potentially open the door for such people

 

So as I mentioned, I really could use some prayer to help me do whatever it is God would have me do.  Thank you so much, Dear Readers!  And, you’re in my prayers as well!  xoxo

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Cemented Beliefs

When a belief becomes an irrefutable fact in your mind, I think of it as being cemented in place.  When something is set in cement, it can later be moved, but it’s not easy to move it.  It takes a great deal of work to break down cement.

 

Beliefs are much the same way.  And, recently, I learned that while most beliefs are formed in childhood, some can be cemented while others are not.

 

Growing up, I learned that I didn’t matter other than what I could do for my parents.  Part of that meant if I was sick or injured, it wasn’t important- I needed to keep going rather than rest.  Even if it was really bad, it wasn’t particularly important.  In fact, when I had the chicken pox when I was in the fifth grade, I had a very nasty case.  It lasted for about two weeks.  My mother was so tired of staying home, & complained because my parents & I hadn’t gone out to dinner in so long.  She, my father & I went out to  dinner one night, even though I was still covered in sores.  As she drove out of the neighborhood, she told me to duck down in the backseat & hide since some neighborhood kids were playing outside.  She didn’t want them to see me.  She said if anyone at school mentioned seeing me, to tell them she was taking me to the doctor.

 

Things like this showed me I didn’t matter & that if I was sick or injured, I should keep on going rather than take care of myself, no matter what, & not bother anyone with my “petty” problems.  Thankfully I did start fighting against that belief once I became an adult, although it was a struggle.

 

Then, I married my husband.  He is of almost pure German decent.  As a result, he’s a hard worker & pretty tough. Very little gets him down, & he expects the same of me.

 

After getting extremely sick last year from carbon monoxide poisoning, I was unable to do my usual housework.  It wasn’t long before my husband was upset about having to do all of the chores.  I ended up resuming housework & cooking well before I felt able to do it (recovery from carbon monoxide poisoning can take months, even years, if recovery even happens, that is.).  I honestly believed I should stop being so lazy & get back to work.

 

Recently, I had a nasty flashback.  After the worst was over, I pushed myself to do things I needed to do around the house, in spite of feeling physically & emotionally drained.  I asked God why do I do this?  I know better!  I have C-PTSD & have had carbon monoxide poisoning along with a traumatic brain injury- I can’t just keep on going!  I need rest & lots of it, especially when something like a flashback happens.

 

God showed me the answer immediately.  My husband’s belief that I shouldn’t “let things get me down” cemented in me the belief that my parents tried to instill in me- I shouldn’t take time to rest/heal, no matter how much I need it, & don’t bother people with my problems.  Yes, I had fought against that belief, & even had made some strides in that area.  However, loving my husband & caring what he thinks of me puts him in a unique position in my life.  I don’t want to disappoint him.  Plus, feeling I should keep on going no matter what is such a habit.  I slid back into that dysfunctional pattern without thinking about it.

 

Has this happened to you too?  Are you living out dysfunctional patterns that you feel unable to break because they are cemented in your mind?

 

Dear Reader, don’t lose hope if your answer is yes.  God wants to help you as He is helping me.  He reminds me that it’s OK to take breaks, to sleep in, & take care of myself as needed.  He will do the same for you no matter what the stronghold is!  Simply ask Him,  “Why am I like this?  Please, Father, show me why!  Heal me & show me what I need to do on my end to stop this dysfunction in my life.”  I know, it sounds simple, but it really makes a huge difference!  Once you see the root cause of the bad behavior, you can heal.  It’s kind of like gardening.  If you want to rid your garden of weeds, you can pluck them, but they’ll come back soon.  If you dig them out by the root though, the weeds won’t come back.  Seeing the root of your bad behavior is much like digging that weed out.  You can see how wrong it was to have the bad belief put on you & let God fill your brain with good beliefs, with the truth.

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Only You Can Decide Whether Or Not No Contact Is Right For You

After recently being told yet again that I “should just cut ties” with my parents, I felt the need to write this post to remind everyone that only you can decide whether or not no contact is right for you.  I know, I’ve written several posts like this, but sometimes information bears repeating!

 

So many people who write about narcissistic abuse preach the value of no contact for the victim.  In fact, many say it is the only solution & you’re wrong to think otherwise.

 

The simple fact is though, that not every situation is the same.  Yes, no contact is a very good solution in many situations.  Often, it is the only solution.  That being said though, it isn’t the only option.

 

There are many people who are unable or unwilling to go no contact, especially when it comes to a narcissistic parent.  Some are forced to live with this parent due to financial reasons, & have no means to move.  Others want to go no contact, but don’t feel they are strong enough to do so just yet.  They’re working towards that goal.  Still others are fine with low contact, which is what I have chosen.  I deal with my parents as I feel able to do so.

 

There are no “one size fits all” solutions for victims of narcissistic parents.  Everyone is different & everyone copes with things differently.  Just because eliminating your narcissistic parent(s) from your life worked out great for you doesn’t mean it will work as great for someone else.  And, if you’re still in a relationship with your narcissistic parent, that doesn’t mean that solution works for everyone.  Never tell someone in similar circumstances to yours that they should just do what you did & if they do it, expect them to have the same results as you.  That won’t happen.

 

 

It also isn’t right to assume you know best what someone else needs to do with their life.  It’s judgmental & makes people feel stupid, as if they aren’t smart enough to figure out solutions on their own.  Being raised by a narcissistic parent, chances are the person already feels stupid, no matter how smart they are, especially if their mother was the engulfing type.  Telling that person what they need to do with their life reinforces that wrong belief.  Obviously you wouldn’t tell them what to do if you thought they were smart enough to figure this out on their own.  This is exactly how I feel when someone tells me what to do, especially when I didn’t ask for their input.  No matter how well meaning their words, I still have to battle feeling stupid.  On some level, it takes me back to my mother constantly telling me what to do or just doing things for me because according to her, I wasn’t doing it right or didn’t know what I was doing.  It’s not a nice feeling!  Would you really want to make someone feel that way?!

 

Instead of telling someone they should “just go no contact,” tell them you’re sorry for their pain.  Listen without judgment or trying to fix their problems.  If they ask for advice, rather than say, “If I were you, I would….”, phrase your advice gentler.  Ask, “Have you ever thought about doing…?”  “What about doing…do you think that would help?”  “Have you tried…?”

 

Offer to pray for & with that person.

 

Offer to take the person to lunch, to a movie or do something that person enjoys as a distraction.  Sometimes a little time away from problems can be very helpful.

 

There are ways you can help without telling a person what to do or hurting them any more than they’re already hurting.

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The Butterfly Project

As many of you remember, I created The Butterfly Project a few months ago in a simple attempt to help offer inspiration & comfort to victims of narcissistic abuse, while also raising awareness of the horrors of narcissistic abuse.  I hope you have visited the website or follow the Facebook page, & have decided to participate!

 

I also created a twitter page.  You can visit it at: https://twitter.com/ButterfliesProj  Everything that posts to the Facebook page will publish on twitter now, so if you are one of those who doesn’t like Facebook, then I hope twitter will give you a new option for following the page!

 

If you haven’t visited The Butterfly Project, please take a few minutes to check out the website.  It explains in detail what the project is about.

 

Thank you for your time!  I hope you will consider joining me in this project!  It won’t cost you much money or take up much of your time, but the potential to help others is great!

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Don’t Ignore Your Breakthroughs

Many of us who are healing from narcissistic abuse are more focused on how far we have to go instead of how far we have come in our healing journey.  I think this is because when raised by a narcissistic parent (or two), we learned early on to focus on our flaws.  Being harshly criticized constantly will do that to a person.

 

This is a bad habit though & needs to end!

 

I realized how guilty I am of this behavior just recently.

 

My father called one evening to let me know one of my favorite movies was coming on TV, “Christine.”  He’s never done this before, which struck me odd.  My mother has always been the one to do that.  After only a few moments of conversation, he said “Did you hear that?  The call waiting beeped.  I have to go.”  We said our good byes & hung up.  I realized that he lied about his call waiting- I know because when it’s beeped before when we were on the phone, I always heard a second or two of silence each time it beeped.  This time?  Nothing.

 

I thought about this call after hanging up.  Obviously he’s angry with me.  He’ll never say that since he wants to look like the good parent at all times.  He avoids me instead.  Not a full fledged silent treatment, but when we speak, it’s less frequently & the conversations are much shorter.   That’s why he lied about the call waiting- to get rid of me without blatantly stating he wanted to get rid of me.

 

As for him calling about the movie, that was a first.  Usually my mother calls to let me  know when it’s coming on.  She loves to tell me how “crazy”, “weird” or other nasty things I am for liking it & other Stephen King movies.  “Christine” is a bonus for her because Christine is a ’58 Plymouth Fury.  Since I drive a ’69 Fury, this opens the door for her to insult my car.  They’re too big, ugly, destroy the roads, no one needs a car that big, etc.  For her to pass up all that nastiness, she must still be very angry with me due to our argument on May 5.

 

Rather than being upset like I once would’ve been with my revelations, I found this situation funny (probably inappropriately so).  My parents would rather be wrong, pretend to be right, & act like I’m messed up for not tolerating them being hateful with me than admit they were cruel to me.  And, they’re so passive/aggressive, they won’t try to work things out.  Instead they use immature, silly ways to punish me.  The ridiculousness of the situation struck me funny.

 

God also used this situation to show me something very valuable.  Not so long ago, I would’ve been upset.  I would’ve been enjoying the silent treatment, yet wondering if I should do something.  Should I apologize?  Should I “be the bigger person” & try to work things out?  This time though, those thoughts never even crossed my mind!  Realizing that as well as that I could laugh at the ridiculousness of it all made me see just how far I’ve come.  I’m quite proud  of myself!  I’ve come a long way!

 

I also saw clearly how little I usually celebrate such victories.  Instead, I tend to focus way more on how far I have to go, which is depressing.  That isn’t happening anymore.  I realized the value of having balance, & am working on doing that.

 

Looking at how far you have to go is necessary.  It shows you what you need to work on, & when you get frustrated with being a certain way, you get motivated to change.  However, looking at how far you’ve come is equally valuable.  It helps to encourage you.  You realize that if you could improve that much, then you can continue to improve.  Only looking at how far you have to go discourages you, & only looking at how far you’ve come can make you stagnant.  Maintaining a balance & looking at both is vital to your healing journey being successful, I believe.

 

I want to encourage you today, Dear Reader, to start focusing just as much on how far you’ve come as you do on how far you have to go.  Try to maintain that healthy balance.  It will bring you more peace & joy, & you deserve that!!  xoxo

 

 

 

 

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Does Your Narcissistic Mother Make You Sick?

I’ve been living with a sinus infection for longer than I care to admit.  Finally it seemed to be improving some.  It was wonderful not having a fever or sneezing & coughing every three seconds!

 

Then my narcissistic mother called.

 

As we were on the phone, I started coughing & sniffling more than I had in a while.  Not that she noticed, mind you.  By the time we hung up, I was feeling yukky.  I checked, & I had a slight fever for the first time in a while.

 

Later in the day I mentioned this to my husband.  He said “I’m not surprised.  Her calls often leave you feeling bad.”  I thought about it & he’s right.  I often hang up from her calls with a bad headache, a backache or if I’m already sick, my symptoms get worse.  It’s not a guarantee that every time I’ll feel bad, but it happens often enough.

 

Have you ever noticed if this happens to you too?

 

If it does, I would hazard a guess to say it’s normal.  Years ago, I read somewhere that many people who have experienced trauma or have PTSD have lower back pain with no physical cause.  In fact, 51% of people with PTSD fall into this category.  If dealing with people who have caused you trauma can cause back pain, why couldn’t it also cause you headaches or exacerbating symptoms of an illness you already have?

 

Honestly, I haven’t found a way to avoid this from happening.  Instead, I have decided that I have every right to avoid talking to her if I am not up to the possible physical problems it may cause me.  It is my right to protect my physical & mental health.

 

The same goes for you too, Dear Reader.  If your narcissistic mother makes you feel bad, either physically or mentally, you do NOT need to answer her calls or texts, or visit her if you don’t feel up to it.  I’m not saying cut all ties- certainly that’s an option & often a good one for narcissists, but that decision is entirely yours.  I won’t advocate going no contact or staying in contact,because no one should influence you on such an important & individual matter.  That being said though, limited contact is a good alternative if you are unable to go no contact or unsure if it’s the right solution for you.

 

Limited contact simply means what it sounds like- limiting the time you spend with your narcissistic mother.  Not answering her call every time she calls, not responding to her texts or emails right away & not spending a great deal of time with her- instead only doing so as you feel able to do so.  This is the option I’ve chosen with my mother & although it’s not a perfect solution (no such thing exists, especially with narcissists), it works pretty well for the most part.

 

I urge you to pray about it, Dear Reader.  If dealing with your narcissistic mother affects your physical & mental health, you certainly have every right to go limited contact with no guilt.  As I said earlier, you have the right to protect your physical & mental health.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There Are No One Size Fits All Solutions

When people discover that what they have experienced is narcissistic abuse, they look for answers.  Some make the mistake of thinking there are obvious answers, but unfortunately, there isn’t any such thing.

 

Every narcissist is different.  Every victim is different.  There are also many gray areas when it comes to dealing with narcissists- very little is black & white.   As a result, what works for someone else may not work for you & vice versa.  You aren’t going to find anything that maps out your perfect way to healing yourself of ways to cope with a narcissists.  You have to try different things to figure out what works best in your situation.

 

An online friend & I were discussing this topic recently.  For her, understanding that her narcissistic mother was abused as a child didn’t help her in the least.  In fact, it seemed to make her angrier that her mother would take her issues out on her daughter.  While I get that, for me, learning my narcissistic mother was abused helped me to be more understanding & compassionate with her while still maintaining my healthy boundaries.  I was able to stay calmer than I once had around my mother.  I realized she was wounded & acting out of those wounds because she has no healthy coping skills.  Neither my friend nor I are wrong- we’re doing what works for us.

 

As an author who writes primarily about the topics of narcissism & narcissistic abuse, I have come to realize that as much as I want to help everyone who reads my work, I can’t.  The best I can do is explain what I have learned, talk about what works & doesn’t work for me, & discuss my experiences.  It’s up to each reader to glean from the books & articles what works for them.  Unfortunately, some will be disappointed that what I suggest doesn’t work for their situation.

 

And, ignore those who say things like, “*fill in the blank*  will work for you”.  It may work for you.  Hopefully it will.  But, it also may not work for you.  People who say they have the answers may, in fact, be narcissists themselves.  I realized that after reading a  blog about healing from narcissistic abuse some time ago.  The blogger wasn’t open to opinions other than her own.  She seemed to think what worked for her would work for everyone, & if you disagreed, you were wrong.  For example, no contact.  It was the only solution this blogger supported, & there were no excuses for not going no contact.  While that makes sense to a degree, not everyone is willing or able to go no contact.  What if the narcissist is low on the spectrum?  They may be hard to deal with but also tolerable.  Plus, going no contact is very hard, especially with your own parents.  Not everyone feels capable of going no contact.  Low contact may be a better option.  Still others live with their narcissistic parent & can’t afford to move out so again, no contact isn’t an option.

 

That is just one example.  There are other authors that are the same way- they believe they have all the answers & you need to listen to them.  Be careful whose advice you take when reading about narcissism!   If something seems off, trust that feeling.  Pray & ask God to show you who you can trust & who you can’t, & help you to get the information that will help you the most.

 

 

 

 

 

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Another Book Sale!

This time, my publisher is offering 15% off all print books & free mail shipping until June 12.  Simply use code COOKBOOK15 at checkout.

 

My books can be found at: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

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Print Book Sale!

My publisher is offering a sale on all print books: $5 off any $20 or more purchase.  Simply use code NEWMOON at checkout. (code is case sensitive, so use all caps!)  Sale ends June 5 at midnight.

 

You can find my books at this link:

 

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

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Don’t Be God In Someone’s Life

Many people are suffering these days in some way.  They want answers or help, or at the very least a shoulder to cry on.  Unfortunately, if you’re a good listener & try to bless people, these people often come to you to meet their needs.

 

There is certainly nothing wrong with listening or helping people as you can.  In fact, that’s a good thing.  However, sometimes people take it further than that.  They are so used to you helping them, that they come to expect it.  In fact, they expect you to fix whatever is wrong in their lives, & get mad if you don’t.

 

Many years ago, my ex husband & I shut the ringer off on our phone one evening.  We just wanted a quiet evening.  We heard our answering machine clicking, which meant someone was leaving a message.  This happened repeatedly.  Eventually when we listened, the messages were from a couple we were friends with.  The wife was pregnant & was having problems.  They expected me to take them to the hospital & were furious that they had to find someone else to take them.  In spite of the idea for shutting off the phone’s ringer being my ex’s idea, they were mad at me.  I shouldn’t have done that to them.

 

I’ve been in many other situations where so-called friends were mad at me for not fixing whatever their problems were.  Having narcissistic parents, I always felt that I was responsible for fixing people’s problems, so when I let them down somehow, I felt really guilty.  God showed me that this was wrong.  People need to look to Him, not other people, for their solutions.  While sometimes He may use people to help others, still, the person with the problem needs to keep their focus on God to solve it.  Not doing that means a person is making another person God in his or her life.

 

I never thought of it this way, but it made sense to me.  Being the solution to someone’s problems isn’t a good thing when it happens over & over.  It means they hold you responsible for things that aren’t your responsibility.  This puts a tremendous burden on you that you weren’t meant to carry.  It keeps the relationship unbalanced.  You are meeting their needs, as they expect you to, while there is an unspoken rule that you aren’t to ask them for anything in return.   It also takes their eyes off God when they should be on Him.  And, they praise you instead of God for fixing their problems when He should’ve been the one to fix things & get the praise for it.

 

Whether you are in the position of being the one expecting another to fix your problems or you are the fixer (like so many adult children of narcissistic parents), it’s time for you to make a change.

 

To start with, go to God first.  Ask Him if you should help this person or not.  If not, maybe you can guide this person to someone who can help him or her better than you can.  Or, if you’re the one wanting someone to fix your problems, stop running to that person & ask God what you should do in this situation.

 

You need to remind yourself that your job is NOT to fix everyone!  Growing up with narcissistic parents, I know it feels that way, but it’s just one more lie they told you.  (If you don’t believe me, ask God.  He will tell you the truth!)  They probably wanted you to believe this lie to justify them expecting so much from you.  If your job is to fix everyone’s life, then it’s OK for them to use you.

 

If you are the one expecting someone to fix your life, then before you pick up your phone, remember, it is no one’s job but yours to fix your problems!  If someone helps you, it’s a blessing, not something another person owes you.

 

Breaking old habits can be difficult but that doesn’t mean impossible.  You can make the changes you need to make, & be much happier for doing so!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Update On “Stealing Grief” Post

I recently mentioned in this post how I’d had a big argument with my parents on May 5.  I tried mentally to put the incident in a box on a shelf, so I could grieve the loss of my sweet kitty Weeble that passed away only 3 days prior to the argument.  I discussed that in this post.

 

This actually worked pretty well for a short time.  Not perfectly- I kept having dreams that I didn’t remember, which was evidence my mind was still trying to process what my parents did to me.  It also left me quite tired.  But at least while awake I was able to focus more on grieving my loss, as I needed to do.  Recently though, I felt I was unable to keep my parents in that box any longer.  I knew it was time to deal with what they had done to me.

 

I wanted to mention how it worked out because if anyone tries to do as I did, you need to know it really is NOT a perfect solution.  It definitely helped me, but it certainly wasn’t perfect.

 

It is also not a permanent solution.  Stuffing your emotions or refusing to face things is never good for your mental health.  You need to deal with what happens in your life, good, bad or indifferent if you want to remain mentally healthy!

 

Even keeping these things in mind, I still would recommend mentally putting other problems in a box if you’re feeling overwhelmed.  The time I was able to successfully do so enabled me mostly to deal with the more important & pressing matter at hand, which was grieving my loss.  By the time I felt that box had to come off the shelf, I was more able to handle dealing with it than I had been.

 

Also, for me, I knew it was time to deal with that box on the shelf because  thoughts of what happened started forcing their way into my mind even though I didn’t want them to.  I also started remembering my dreams again.  Sometimes when things are too difficult to process or you are too overwhelmed to deal with them, you don’t remember your dreams.  It’s your mind’s way of dealing with things you don’t feel able to deal with.  Remembering the dreams means you are more able to cope.  So pay attention to your dreams!  They are valuable teachers!  Not only what you dream about, but whether or not you remember them.  (Just FYI, I like using http://www.dreammoods.com for a dream dictionary.  That site plus prayer has enabled me to understand many of my dreams.)

 

And, regarding my parents… I reached a decision on what to do regarding them.  After some prayer & talking with my dear friend, I realized what I need to do.  Nothing.  I had wondered if I should go no contact or try to work things out or what, but doing nothing makes the most sense to me.  I’ve always been the one who tries to work things out, & frankly, I’m tired of that.  I quit.  They did me wrong, so they can apologize or not- it’s up to them (although I don’t expect to hear an apology since neither one grasps why I was so angry).  I had planned on taking some time away from them, but unfortunately I slipped up & answered the phone when my father called recently.  I had taken something to help me sleep & was starting to feel a bit woozy, plus it’s such a habit to just answer the phone.  UGH!!!  (I need to remember not to answer the phone after a sleeping pill..)  Turns out he thinks all is fine now.  He gave me some passive/aggressive, snarky comments so he’s happy & doesn’t seem to care that I’m not.  Life with narcissistic parents.. so much fun isn’t it?  lol

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Talking About Narcissistic Abuse

When you begin to heal from the narcissistic abuse you experienced, you begin to talk about it.  This can mean your narcissist learns about it, & that is never pretty.  All narcissists seem to think their victims should stay quiet, never telling anyone of the pain they inflict.  Victims should simply take any & all abuse with a smile, never questioning or challenging the narcissist.  After all, this scenario is best for the narcissist, & that is all the narcissist cares about.

 

Talking about your experiences can be very difficult- friends & family may invalidate or abandon you, & it just feels so strange to discuss something that was supposed to be just between you & your abuser since you can feel as if you’re betraying her.  As difficult as it can be though, it’s especially when the narcissist gets angry with you for daring to talk, but do it anyway!  The narcissist gave you no choice when she abused you, so why should you give her the power to take away your voice?  This is your story & you have the right to share it if you want to do so.  Don’t let anyone silence you, not even your narcissistic mother.

 

Other Christians may point you towards Scripture such as  Proverbs 17:9 “He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.”  (KJV), 1 Peter 4:8 “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.”  (KJV) or even Exodus 20:12  “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” (KJV)  While these Scriptures are certainly valuable, they don’t really apply in this type of situation.

 

If you are discussing what happened to you in order to heal, there is nothing wrong with that.  How could there be?!  You just want to heal!  Seems perfectly normal to me!

 

If you’re discussing your experiences to help raise awareness of narcissistic abuse, you’re trying to help others.  Again, how could there be anything wrong with that?!

 

Even if you confront your narcissistic parent in the hopes of changing their abusive ways, this isn’t dishonorable when it is done in a respectful way.  Cussing the parent out, not good of course, but saying, “It hurts me when you ..” is perfectly respectful.  Love, God’s kind of love, wants what is best for people, & improving bad behavior of a narcissist is a loving thing.

 

If you feel you need to talk about your experiences, then never let anyone silence you.  Yes, use wisdom regarding who you talk with- avoid those flying monkeys who are close to the narcissist or those who are naturally invalidating.  But, if you feel you need to discuss your situation, do it!  Whether it’s only with a close friend or therapist, or even being so bold as to write your autobiography, do it!  God will show you what to do & how to do it.  You won’t be sorry!

 

 

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Some Ways To Deal With Narcissists

Most people who know anything about Narcissistic Personality Disorder say the only way to deal with a narcissist is not to deal with a narcissist.  Cut ties with them & never look back.

 

Sometimes, though, that isn’t a possible solution, & other times, it isn’t a desired one for various reasons.  I understand this- I have opted to go limited contact with my narcissistic mother.  This comes with challenges, but even so, in my heart I believe it is the right solution for me.

 

Limited contact has forced me to get creative with ways to deal with her.  Today I thought I would share some of them for those of you who are also still in a relationship with your narcissistic mothers.

 

  • Distance.  It’s really our friend.  Limit your contact with your narcissistic mother as much as possible.  When you visit her or are on the phone with her, limit your time with her to what you’re comfortable with.
  • Keep focused.  Narcissists love to gaslight & confuse their victims.  Don’t let her distract you.  Keep the conversation on the topic at hand, not how much more successful your sister is, what a good daughter her friend has or how badly you’ve disappointed your mother by not doing what she thinks you should do with your life.
  • Always respond, never react.  Reacting happens out of emotion where responding happens after a moment of contemplation.  When your narcissistic mother angers you, stop for a second.  Take a deep breath, collect your thoughts, then speak.
  • Keep your sense of humor.  It’ll help you keep your sanity when you realize just how over the top ridiculous some of her antics really are.  It also helps her nastiness hurt you less when you can laugh.
  • Be emotionless.  While stuffing your emotions is not a good thing in general, in the presence of narcissists, it is a necessary survival tactic.  If you show your hurt or anger to a narcissist, they see they have power over you & get even more abusive.  Showing no emotions while in their presence minimizes the verbal abuse.  Then, once you leave them, find a safe outlet for your anger & frustration.  Journalling, talking to a safe & supportive friend, etc.
  • Use logic.  Want to frazzle your narcissistic mother?  Use logic. For example, if you lose your job & your narcissistic mother responds by reminding you that you have rent & a car payment, you can respond by asking (in a very matter of fact tone of voice) how is this supposed to help you?  Did she really think this hadn’t crossed your mind?  She won’t know how to respond to you.
  • Live your life on your terms.  Nothing will drive a narcissistic mother crazier than you living your life, your way.  It will bother her that she can’t make you do whatever it is she thinks you need to do with your life.  And the best part is you will enjoy your life!

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Do You Protect Your Narcissistic Parents?

I believe many of us raised by narcissistic parents are very protective of those parents.  We try never to hurt their feelings, or we don’t discuss how they abused us, keeping their dirty little secret.  While very common, this can be very damaging to do!  It angers you, which can lead to health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure or even diabetes.  Mentally, it takes a toll on you as well.  It can leave you feeling depressed, angry or damage your self esteem because putting abusive people as a priority over yourself makes you feel worthless.
While I’m not saying yell a laundry list of their sins from the rooftops or cuss them out every time they abuse you, I am saying it isn’t your job to protect your narcissistic parents.  Galatians 6:7 says, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”  (KJV)  People need to receive consequences of their actions, both good & bad, so they can learn & grow.  Consequences teach a person & help them to learn & grow.  Admittedly, narcissists aren’t exactly fans of self-improvement, but that doesn’t mean that the opportunities for such shouldn’t be there.  Interrupting the natural laws of sowing & reaping doesn’t help anyone in the long run.  It only enables their poor behavior which teaches them they can continue to mistreat you, & can cause you physical or mental health problems.
So why do it?  Why would anyone protect their abusive narcissistic parents?  I think there are a few reasons.
Narcissistic parents train their children from the moment of their birth to take care of them.  Children are supposed to be their narcissistic parents’ emotional caregiver (emotional incest).  Protect that parent from any kind of discomfort or pain at all costs.  It’s OK if the child is hurt, that is not important, but never the parent.
Part of protecting narcissistic parents is to pretend the abuse isn’t happening.  The child always knows that she is never to confront her mother about being abusive nor is she to tell anyone about it.  Secrecy becomes deeply ingrained in the child.  So much so, secrecy is second nature for her.
Narcissistic parents destroy their children’s self-esteem.  Their children grow up believing they are nothing, they don’t matter & they have absolutely no value to anyone.  This means they also believe that they have zero rights.  These children believe that the abusive parent is much more valuable than they are, so they can’t speak up.  They don’t have the right to do so.
I believe these three things work together to create a perfect storm, if you will, where the adult child of narcissistic parents grows up willing to do anything to protect her narcissistic parents in any way possible.
How do you replace this dysfunctional pattern with a healthier one?
First & foremost, as always, ask God for help.  Pray for guidance, wisdom & anything you may need to change this pattern.
Work on improving your self-esteem.  Don’t forget that you have just as much value as anyone else.  The better your self-esteem is, the more willing you are to make yourself a priority & to take care of yourself.
Remember the law of sowing & reaping.  That law is God’s law- it is NOT your place to interrupt it for anyone, not even your parents.  There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with telling your narcissistic mother you will not tolerate her abusive behavior.  There is also nothing wrong with answering someone’s questions truthfully if they ask about your relationship with your mother.
If you feel the desire to discuss the abuse you endured, that is OK.  You aren’t doing something bad or wrong.  I aim to discuss my experiences in a matter of fact way so as not to be disrespectful to my parents.  If they ever read anything I write, as angry & hurt as they may be, at least I can have a clear conscience that I was not cruel or trying to hurt them.  Talking about your experiences shouldn’t be done out of revenge or desire to cause pain, but instead to help yourself & maybe others as well.
It isn’t easy to stop protecting your parents after a lifetime of doing so.  Chances are you are going to slip up sometimes.  Don’t beat yourself up for that!  It happens.  We all make mistakes!  Just keep on trying, & the more you try, the easier it will get for you to behave in a more functional, healthy fashion.

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Book Sale!

My publisher is having a sale again.  15% off all print books & free mail shipping through May 16, 2016.  Use code MAYSHIP15 at checkout to take advantage of the sale.

 

Go to the link below to see my books:

 

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

 

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And Life Got Even More Interesting..

Last Thursday evening, I ended up in a heated discussion with my parents over the phone.  It got ugly.  Really ugly.  Honestly, I don’t remember all of the details of the conversation. I was so hurt by it all I blocked a lot out immediately.

 

Funzies.  Not.
My father called Thursday night.  He apologized as soon as I answered for not going to the mother in-law’s funeral.  “We would’ve gone, but we didn’t know until we read it in the paper..”   I noticed his tone was kinda shaming, like I should’ve told him, but I ignored that.  I said, “Why would you have gone?”  “We wanted to pay our respects!”  “To a woman who hated me from the day we met & treated me like dirt?”  He went on to say they wanted to pay their respects & see my father in-law.  I said she treated me like s**t for years, why give her any respect?  He started back peddling & said, “I told your mother that..”  Yea, spare me.  I don’t believe that for a moment.  Somewhere in the conversation, I forget exactly where, I also told him I felt betrayed that he cared more about her than me.  He didn’t say a word in response.  When he spoke though, he did ask if we’re still married.  Apparently since I didn’t attend her funeral, my father assumed we were separated.

 

He then brought up the cemetery plots my parents bought Eric & I so we could be buried with them probably 15 years ago by now.  (Mind you, they never asked us if we wanted that, or even if we wanted to be buried over cremated.  It was decided we would be buried with them, period.).  He asked what I wanted them to do with them.  I said get rid of them. I’m being cremated & Eric doesn’t want to be buried in Glen Burnie any more than I would.  He said he was sure Eric’s father had Eric’s plot anyway, since he’d want to be with his son.  Really?!  Also, why do we need to discuss this now?!  I told him Eric would figure out where he wants to be buried, & I can’t deal with any of this conversation right now, because I lost one of my fur babies.  He said he was sorry to hear that, & I thanked him.  Also said please don’t tell mom, because I don’t want to hear the usual “she’s better off dead than with me as her mom” comments.  He said he wouldn’t, but I’m not holding my breath.  Then my father asked if Eric was home, & I said no.  “Oh. Mom wants to talk to him.”  I said tough, he’s not here.  “I guess she’ll have to talk to you then..”  he said, sounding disappointed.  How nice.  Oh joy…
So my mother got on the phone & started the same apologizing for “disappointing my father in-law” by not being at the funeral.  Yea, like he lost sleep over this. He’s seen my parents in person twice in almost the 22 years Eric & I have been together.  Guessing they weren’t even a blip on his radar since he was busy burying his wife of 65 years!   I said “You too eh?  Nice.  Why are you two so damned worried about her?!  Why do you care at all after how badly she treated me all those years?!”  My mother said, “That’s Eric’s mother!”  I said, “But I’m your daughter!  I feel really betrayed!”  You could’ve heard crickets.  Dead silence for a few seconds.   Then my mother asked if I would’ve been mad if they went.  I said, “Yes!  She treated me like dirt!  Don’t you know anything about loyalty?!  She then said, “But she’s his MOTHER!”  I reminded her that this lovely mother in-law of mine choked me when we told her we got married.  More crickets.  SERIOUSLY?!  Not a peep?!  I sarcastically thanked my mother for caring so much more about Eric’s mother than me.  That’s really fricken awesome.  I said more but I forget what it was.  My mother kept playing deaf saying, “I can’t hear you Honey- you need to speak up!”  I was yelling!   It was a game to her to make me yell more.  I know it well- she does it often.  (in all honesty she has hearing trouble, but she also uses it when convenient to her.)  So I said “Yanno, I can’t deal with you & this topic.  I’m done talking about it.  What else do you have to talk about anyway?”  “Well my back hurts….”  “I’ve seen Dr. Silva twice since I went to the hospital…”  (went to the ER a couple of weeks ago & learned she has vertigo- nothing serious).   I said, “Of course.. whatever.”  That really ticked her off & she said, “Well I guess I should let you go then.”   She was obviously really mad I didn’t  care about her health complaints.  I said, “Yes, you really should.  Goodbye.”  We both pretty much hung up on each other at that point.

 

Sadly, I knew a fight was coming when my husband said his mother’s obituary would be in the local papers earlier in the week.  My parents get a local paper & my mother reads the obituaries first thing.  I knew my mother would want to make some fuss over this to me, rather than simply send her condolences to my husband.  I didn’t expect her to say they should’ve gone to the funeral though.  Unfortunately because of grieving after losing my precious little kitty last Monday, I’m more sensitive than usual.  That along with the surprise of attending the funeral being an option hit me harder than it normally would have.

 

Normally, I don’t flip out on my parents or cuss at them.  I’m a pretty reasonable person, & able to tolerate a lot of hurtful words & actions from them because I am so accustomed to them.  You would think they would’ve been surprised I raised my voice & used bad language, but they acted like this happens every day.  They both were completely unaffected by my reaction.  Stone cold!  Neither had one word to say when I said I felt betrayed that they cared more for someone who has hurt me than me.  Honestly, being ignored like that hurt more than when my mother has told me I’m stupid for feeling a certain way.  Being ignored is the ultimate invalidation, I think.  It says, “You’re not even worth acknowledging.  You don’t matter enough for me to use my breath to speak to you.”

 

So now, I don’t know what’s going to happen.  I really don’t.  My mother was extremely angry with me last night, so she may not want to speak to me again.  And frankly, I’m fine with that.  I’ve opted to go low contact for years now, & it’s been hard.  (No contact never really felt right which is why I stuck with low contact)  Maybe this is God’s way of ending it.  I don’t know.   Time will tell, I suppose.

 

I did get a call from my father yesterday morning.  He said he was sorry- he & my mother thought they should pay their respects to the Rug family, it wasn’t anything against me, I matter (could’ve fooled me!) & also there was no excuse for how badly my late mother in-law treated me.  My father likes to say what he thinks you expect him to say, but truthfully, he doesn’t have the empathy to understand truly what I feel.  There was more to the conversation, but it wasn’t even worth talking about.  I’m sure he thinks it means all is fine now, but it’s not fine.  In fact, I wasn’t even going to answer his call, but I know my father- if I didn’t take that call, he’d call me back constantly until I answered.  I hate that, so I figured I might as well get it over with.

 

I also wonder… I firmly believe that if you opt to confront narcissists, your best bet is to be calm & collected.  Don’t show that you’re hurt or angry because it only gives them more ammunition to hurt you.  During our argument, I was completely the opposite of that.  I wonder if that was what they needed.  Neither of my parents get consequences for their actions from anyone but me, & I have let a LOT slide.  Maybe it was time they saw all the pain that their actions have caused.  Maybe it sunk in on some level that they caused me a great deal of hurt by caring more about complete strangers than their own daughter.  I doubt it, but I sure hope so.  I hope this all wasn’t in vain, & there was a real purpose for it.  I believe God can make something good come out of anything, so He can do it with this situation too.

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Feeling Ashamed Of Being A Victim Of Narcissistic Abuse

Being a victim of narcissistic abuse is often a very shameful  feeling.  If the narcissist was our parent, we are often ashamed of the fact that our parent didn’t love us & that our childhood was so different than other kids’.  If it was a spouse, that too is embarrassing because we feel stupid- how could we not know how bad a person he was?  How could we be so stupid, we ask ourselves.

While feeling this way is understandable, that doesn’t mean it is right.

As the victim, you had absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.  You are innocent.  What was done to you was done because of someone else’s dysfunction, not because of anything you did.  Damage was done to that person long before you came along.  Nothing you did could have made that person do what was done to you.

As you are healing, rather than hiding your problems, why not discuss them?  Be open with safe people as you feel able to discuss things.  Again, you have nothing to be ashamed of.  You are damaged because someone deliberately hurt you.  Would you be ashamed of yourself for having a broken leg if someone hit your leg with a tire iron?  Then why be ashamed of having C-PTSD, anxiety, depression, etc. after surviving narcissistic abuse?  You reacted normally to a very abnormal situation.

Talking about what you have experienced helps you & it also helps others.  It puts a face to narcissistic abuse.  It shows that the victims aren’t crazy, drama queens (or kings), or overreacting like so many people think.  It also shows that narcissistic abuse can happen to anyone, no matter how intelligent or how strong they are.

I’m not saying it’s necessary to talk non stop about narcissistic abuse.  That isn’t good for anyone to focus constantly on something so negative.  I’m saying though to be more balanced.  There is nothing for you to be ashamed of.  You have nothing to hide.  Don’t carry the shame of what was done to you for another day.  That shame belongs on your abuser’s shoulders, not yours.  Let him or her carry the shame & refuse to carry it any longer!

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Shipping Sale On My Books!

My publisher is offering free mail shipping or 50% off ground shipping until Friday.  Use code APRSHIP50 at checkout.

 

My books are available at this link:  http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

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