Tag Archives: NPD

Don’t Carry Another’s Shame

Toxic shame is often caused by abusive, parentalizing parents.  They ignore their child’s needs, feelings & wants to make their child believe she is only alive to take care of her parents’ emotional needs or provide that precious narcissistic supply.  She believes she has no right to wants, needs or emotions, & because she does have them, she often grows up with toxic shame that affects all areas of her life.

 

However, this is not the only way a person can have a root of toxic shame.  One way is when a dysfunctional person puts their shame on you.

 

This happens by projection.  Projection is when someone knows they are a certain way, yet blame you for being exactly that way while denying they are that way.  Narcissists are notorious projectionists.  They love to put their insecurities & flaws onto others, so they can get angry about them without accepting any personal responsibility.  As an example, one of my sisters in-law once told my husband I look down on their family.  She screamed at my husband about that during a phone call one day in I think it was 2002.  He was baffled as was I, since the thought of being better than them never occurred to me.  In fact, my husband & I agreed that it was the other way around- they look down on me.  That is projection.

 

Shame can be projected as well.  Narcissists are full of shame.  (Although they act extremely confident, it is just a show.  They are extremely insecure inside, which is why they act so confident.  They are trying to convince themselves & other people that they are as good, talented, beautiful, etc. as they claim to be.)  Projection is among their favorite coping skills.  To deal with this shame they feel, they will do their best to put it on their victim, so they don’t have to deal with it.

 

My mother did this a great deal.  When her abuse was at its peak when I was 17-19, she would scream at me, & tell me I made her act that way.  If I would just act right, she wouldn’t have to practice “tough love” on me.  All my life, if I was angry or even simply frustrated, she would accuse me of having “that Bailey temper” & shame me for having such a bad temper when the truth is she was the one with the wicked temper, not me.  Sometimes to this day, she still tries to shame me, even things beyond my control, such as if I get sick or injured.

 

Actions like that were her trying to put the shame she felt inside on me.

 

Can you relate, Dear Reader?  Did you experience your narcissistic mother trying to make you carry her shame?

 

If so, refuse to carry her shame any longer!  It’s not your place to carry her shame, to feel ashamed because of things that were beyond your control.

 

Make a decision that you will NOT carry her shame a moment longer.  If it helps, imagine taking a sack of some sort to your mother & laying it at her feet then walking away.  Sometimes visuals like that can help.

 

Ask God to show you ways you’re carrying her shame & how to stop it.  With me, I noticed that when I discussed things with my mother, I always phrased things from my perspective.  “I felt she was abusive when she…”  “I got thrown into a wall by my mother.”  God showed me that I was carrying the blame & all of the responsibility  for her actions, including her shame when it all belonged squarely on her shoulders.

 

I hope this helps you to be free of carrying around that toxic shame that isn’t yours to carry!  You deserve so much better than that!

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Book Sale Again!!

My publisher is having another sale.  Been plenty of them lately!

 

This sale is for 20% off of all print books until April 3, 2016.  Use code SHOWER20 at checkout (all caps- codes are case sensitive).

 

You can see my author’s spotlight at: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

 

 

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Stalking & Harassment

Have you experienced a stalker?  Someone harassing you for months or even years on end?  If so, you’re not alone.

 

It’s estimated that 3.4 million people report being victims of stalking each year (according to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics.), & that is only the reported cases.  Chances are the real number of stalking victims is much higher as many victims either don’t want to report it or are told they don’t have a case, which means a report is never made.  Personally, I’ve experienced stalking twice.  The first time, the policeman actually laughed at me when I tried to report it.  The second time, the policeman was much kinder, but said that there was nothing that could be done from a legal standpoint as this person’s behavior stayed just barely legal.

 

Although the laws have improved, they still haven’t entirely caught up with reality, which means there isn’t usually much that can be done to protect ourselves from a legal perspective.  We’re forced to seek other means of self-protection, as frustrating as that can be.

 

What can a victim do to protect himself or herself?

 

One thing I’ve realized is these people tend to be narcissists.  They think their wants & needs rise above anything & everything else.  They also think they’re above the law- they are so smart, they can harass you & stay legal.   They also seem to think if they just push hard enough, you’ll cave, & see that you should be in a relationship with them.  You’ll see how much they care about you by them harassing you!  I think some stalkers who have been romantically involved with their victims even think it’s romantic.  See how much they love you?  They just can’t let you go!  They can’t live without you!   Amazingly dysfunctional,  I know, but this is often their mindset.

 

Keeping in mind stalkers are often narcissists, you need to remember- narcissists are constantly in search of their precious narcissistic supply, which basically means any attention is good attention as far as they’re concerned.  Good or bad attention, love them or hate them, they’ll take any attention or emotion they can get.

 

The best way to counteract a narcissistic stalker is to ignore them.  They can handle any positive or negative emotion you feel, but they simply cannot handle apathy.

 

Show a narcissist they don’t mean anything to you, act like they don’t even exist, & that you aren’t afraid of them, & they will be completely frazzled.  They won’t know what to do!  I know this can be very frustrating to do.  When someone is stalking & harassing you, you can’t help but want to tell them to get lost (putting that nicely) at some point.  However, doing so will only make things worse.  Ignore them no matter what!  Even if you see them in a public place,  ignore them!  Yes it’s hard, but at some point, most narcissists will quit bothering you & find another target.

 

Another thing you can do is document everything.  Take pictures.  Save emails & texts.  Take screen shots (hit that “prt scr” button on your keyboard, open Microsoft Paint or any picture editor & paste into a document.  Instructions for android & iphones are available online.).  Save every electronic document somewhere that can’t be destroyed.  External hard drives die.  CD’s break or become corrupt.  Flash drives can be lost.  An online cloud service is an excellent alternative.

 

Block your stalker electronically every way possible.  Block them on social media, block their email, block their phone number.  Granted, if they want to reach you badly enough, they can create other social media profiles, email addresses or spoof their phone number, but at least you can make reaching you a real challenge.  Then block the new profile, email or phone number.  Keep blocking!

 

Share your story with close friends or family who believe what you are going through.  It certainly can’t hurt to have others know what is happening.

 

Stay on your toes.  If you can, don’t go out alone.  Stalkers are often nothing but bullies which means they’re cowards.  Having others around you lessens your chances of them bothering you.

 

Put “no trespassing” signs on your property where they can be seen very clearly.  Here in Maryland, if someone trespasses in spite of your sign, you can call the police to escort this person off your property.  Having a police record of this person’s actions will work in your favor.  I would guess this works in other states as well- it’s best to check into your own local laws however.

 

Lastly, if this stalker knows your friends & family, you need to be prepared- they are often quite capable of turning people against you.  As ridiculous as it sounds, many stalkers are great actors (typical narcissistic behavior), & convince others that you are the one with the problem.  The stalker probably says that he or she loves you & is just trying to win you back or be your friend.  The stalker is the innocent victim- you’re the one with the problem.  She/he has no idea why you’re being so mean & unreasonable- all the stalker wants to do is talk or apologize.  And sadly, many people naively believe such nonsense because the stalker is just that good of an actor.  I can’t tell you how many people I’ve lost in my life because of my two stalkers.

 

I truly hope that you did not need to read this post, Dear Reader.  Being stalked & harassed is such a nuisance at best & depending on the person, can be very scary at worst.  I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.  If you are in this situation, then I hope my post can help you to manage this situation.  My prayer is that anyone reading this article will be kept safe & their stalker will leave them alone permanently.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About Flying Monkeys

Recently I was talking with some members of an online group I’m in about flying monkeys.  It never fails to amaze me how narcissists have so many who blindly obey the narcissist, & are devoted to protecting them, furthering their agenda & hurting their victims.  In fact, my mother’s flying monkeys are so devoted, even people who don’t like her will fight for her & be cruel to me.

 

I asked the other members of the group if this made any sense to them.  It doesn’t me.  One member said something that I think described this situation.  She believes that people like that are dysfunctional, but like to give the appearance of normalcy.  If you are honest about the dysfunction in your life, it may upset the apple cart for them, so to speak.  It may put cracks in the veneer of their normal appearance.

 

This made so much sense to me!  I thought about two people who have been my mother’s most devoted flying monkeys.  Both have had some rough times, such as bad (even abusive) marriages.  Eventually they got away from their abusers & made their own lives.  They’ve become mothers, later grandmothers, they celebrate all holidays & birthdays with their families.  They give all appearances of happy, normal people with happy, normal families.  If something bad or dysfunctional happens, they cover things up or deny those things happened.  If you don’t know about the bad things, you’d think they have the perfect lives.

 

If I said anything negative about my mother to either of them, I was told I need to work things out with my mother- after all she’s my mother, get over it, stop living in the past & other invalidating, vicious things.  Truly neither one of my so-called “friends” wanted to hear what I was going through.  In fact, if I mentioned any problem I had to them, I was rudely brushed off.  (Example: I mentioned to one my blood pressure had been elevated recently due to stress- her response?  “You need to lose all that weight, then it’ll be fine!”  I’m about 20lbs overweight- that’s not so bad!).

 

I can’t help but wonder if the reason they behave this way is they are deathly afraid of any problem possibly calling attention to the fact their normalcy is merely an act, upsetting their apple cart of dysfunction, if you will.  Maybe somehow they think if I talk about my bad experiences, those close to them will start to see similarities between her life & mine, & think badly of her.  Or, maybe they think others will question these folks, wondering why they never tried to help me.  After all, they’ve known me since I was a child.  How could these wonderful people stand idly by knowing I was being abused?  Certainly that would make them look bad, which they can’t bear.  So, it’s best to try to silence me.  If I don’t talk to them about certain things, they can maintain their facade & pretend nothing happened.

 

If this is happening to you, too, please keep this information in mind.  It may help you to understand why people behave this way.  Also, please know it’s not your fault.  There is nothing wrong with you for expecting support & compassion from those close to you.  It’s completely normal!  People who act this way, brushing you off or invalidating your pain, are the ones who are not completely normal.  For normal, healthy people, compassion to others is very important!  More so than what others think of them.  Normal people side with the victim, not the abuser.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Book Sale!

Save $5 on every $25 or more print book order from my publisher.  Use code SAVE5 at checkout.  Sale ends March 25.

Visit my online store at: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

 

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My Books Are On Sale- Today Only!

My print book & sometimes ebook publisher is offering a really good sale but it’s today only.  All print books are 25% off, ebooks 5% off!  Use code AMAZING16 at checkout!

 

You can see my books for sale & free ebooks at this link: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

 

 

 

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Do You Avoid Depending On & Trusting People?

Something else I recently learned was about counter dependency- another common issue in victims of abuse.

 

Counter dependency is where a person has issues trusting other people.  They avoid depending on, opening up to or trusting others.  They appear extremely independent, even pushing other people away.  Often they have a deep fear of intimacy & fear asking for any help.  When you consider what the typical childhood experiences of a child of a narcissistic parent are, this behavior makes sense.  Narcissistic parents don’t care about their child’s feelings & needs, basically forcing their child to be independent of them.  For a child, being pushed away by a parent is devastating.  She learns early in life not to trust other people.

 

After reading about counter dependency, I realized this describes me very well.  As an example, if my husband & I have a disagreement, I shut down with him.  If he later asks how I am, my answer is always fine.  What did I do today?  Not much.  I let him talk about his day at work or anything else he wants to, but I divulge little to no information about myself.  It happens so automatically, I didn’t even realize I was doing it until the last couple of weeks. It took some more time for me to learn this behavior has a name.

 

As of now, I’m not entirely sure how to change this dysfunctional behavior.  I am only guessing, but I think talking about my experiences would help.  Mostly with God of course- He is always the best place to start- but also with safe people or writing about it in my journal.  Talking, praying or writing about things can bring a clarity to you, & enable you to understand why you are behaving in a dysfunctional way.  And of course, once you understand the root of your behavior, you can understand the truth which is you don’t need to behave that way.  You can behave in a healthier way.

 

As I learn about counter dependency, I’ll share what I learn.  We can learn & grow together!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s Not All Your Fault

Like many survivors of any type of abuse, one thing I have struggled with my entire life is thinking that everything is my fault.  It’s very easy to see why this has happened…

  • My mother blamed me for making her abuse me.  She claimed she was “saving me from myself”, if I wasn’t so bad she wouldn’t have to do the “tough love” thing on me, & I was too upset to drive after a fight with her when I was 19 so her solution was to throw me into a wall & hurt my back.
  • On our third anniversary, my ex-husband started a big fight.  I needed time to calm down & think, so I left.  When I came back, his mother (we lived with his parents) chewed me out for making him punch her wall after I left, & told me how I needed to fix this.  I needed to apologize to him & never leave during an argument again.  She also wanted me to apologize to her husband for making my husband so angry.
  • My current in-laws blame me for stealing my husband from them & keeping him from his family, according to my husband’s sister.  They also don’t understand why I have a problem with how my mother in-law has treated me (she’s a very devious  covert narcissist).
  • When talking about problems with my parents, I have been told that I need to make things work with them.  It’s my job to fix things, period.

You simply can’t survive things like this without learning that everything is your fault, and you deserve whatever you get.  It’s your fault for making people act that way.  You need to try harder.  If the relationship is going to work, then you have to be the one who makes it work.

This type of behavior is extremely common among adult children of narcissistic parents.

Can you relate?  If so, read on..

I want to tell you today, Dear Reader, that there is no way that everything is your fault.

It is simply impossible for one person to do every single thing wrong in a relationship while the other does every single thing right.  Even people with the best intentions & good relationship skills will make mistakes sometimes.

It’s also not one person’s responsibility to make a relationship work.  Relationships are not a one way street- they are a two way street.  Both people need to be willing to work on the relationship, no matter what kind of relationship we are talking about.  Whether the relationship is husband & wife,  friends, relatives, co-workers or parent/child, both parties need to work on the relationship if it is to be a successful.  One person simply cannot make it work, no matter how hard they try.  Sure, one person can make the relationship work briefly, but it won’t last long.  The one with all of the responsibility will become resentful quickly at best, or feel like a complete failure when it falls apart.

You need to know today, Dear Reader, that not everything is your fault or your responsibility!  You have your own voice, your own feelings, & your own needs.  Never let anyone convince you otherwise!  You have your own worth & value, no matter what anyone else says.

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Something New

As you may remember, last year, I created The Butterfly Project.  I would send people a small butterfly to remind them that they are much like the butterfly- they’ve been through a dark place (narcissistic abuse) yet emerged into a beautiful new creation in spite of the pain, like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis.

 

I decided to make some changes to The Butterfly Project.  You can see the new website for it here: TheButterflyProject.tripod.com   And, you can check out the new facebook page for it here: The Butterfly Project  (Please feel free to like the page & share it as well as my site!  Thank you!)

 

To summarize, I decided not only to send people butterflies if requested, but also to make them, pray over the recipients of each one, attach a tag to the butterflies to bring people to the above mentioned website & leave these little critters around town in public places where they can be found easily.  My hope is that I won’t be the only one doing so- I’m hoping other people in various areas will do the same.  Information on how to participate can be found here: http://thebutterflyproject.tripod.com/want-to-help.html

 

Please consider joining me in The Butterfly Project.  I think it’s a fun way not only to help offer some inspiration & comfort to victims of narcissistic abuse, but also to help raise awareness.

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Just Because A Narcissist Says You Don’t Matter Doesn’t Mean You Don’t

 

Last week, my husband came down with the flu.  A few days ago, I caught it too.  Yippie..

 

Last night, my mother called.  She said she wanted to know how hubby was feeling, but I could tell the real reason she called was that she was angry with me.  I told her he’s doing better, just not quite over it yet.  A few minutes later, before hanging up, she said, “Glad he’s feeling better.  You didn’t catch it, did you?”  (She had to know I was sick- I sound horrible!)  I admitted I did.  Her response?  “Oh.  I remember the last time I had the flu.  Do you remember that?  You took me to the doctor..”  Not a surprising response, but still hurtful that she cares so little.

 

When writing about the incident in my journal a little while ago, I realized something.  My mother makes comments along these lines often.  If I mention a problem, she changes the subject, tells me about someone who has it way worse than me (at least in her mind) or tells me how she thinks I need to fix it.  She also employs another tactic- she blatantly ignores me, a while later mentions someone with the exact same problem, & how sorry she feels for that person.

 

Do any of these scenarios sound familiar to you?

 

I believe comments & actions like this are made to make me feel like I don’t matter.  She is the only important one, in her eyes.

 

Narcissists love to make their victims feel as if they don’t matter.  One reason is the lower the self esteem, the easier the victim is to manipulate.  The victim can see herself as too stupid to know better than the narcissist, or not strong enough to stand up to the narcissist.  Another reason is narcissists feel powerful when they can tear their victims down.  Having such control over someone gives them the illusion that they have power.

 

As much as the narcissist benefits from making the victim believe she doesn’t matter, the victim is hurt.  Feeling this way can contribute to a root of toxic shame, which affects every area of a person’s life.

 

The next time this happens to you, I would like to encourage you to do as I just did a while ago when writing about this incident in my journal.  Not only did I get my feelings out, but I also told myself my narcissistic mother is wrong.  I told myself that I *do* matter.  Just because she thinks I don’t doesn’t mean it’s true.  My mother thinking I don’t matter is only her opinion, not a fact.

 

The same is true for you, too, Dear Reader!  Just because someone treats you as if you don’t matter, even if that someone is your mother, doesn’t mean it’s true!  You matter!  You matter to God, you matter to your significant other, you matter to your kids (furry or human or both) & you matter to everyone in your life who loves you.  Don’t let the sick manipulations of a narcissist convince you otherwise!  You deserve better than that!  Trust that you do matter & if you’re having trouble doing that, ask God to help you.  Ask Him to show you if you matter to Him.  He will do so & gladly!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Being Too Responsible

One thing that is very common among those who have experienced narcissistic abuse at the hands of a parent is an extremely overdeveloped sense of responsibility.

Narcissistic parents are extremely demanding of their children.  They expect their child to please them, no matter what. The child must take care of the narcissistic mother emotionally (emotional  incest).  The child must anticipate her narcissistic mother’s every whim, preferably even before she knows she has the whim, & meet it perfectly.  If she doesn’t, the mother believes she has every right to rage at her child.  This scenario makes the child extremely responsible.  Not only for her narcissistic mother, but for anyone in her life.

Thank God for helping me, because I was absolutely terrible in this area.  If someone was upset & I knew it, I thought it was my responsibility to make that person happy.  If the person  had a need or want, it was my responsibility to meet it, even if they could take care of it themselves.  This was an awful way to live.  So much pressure!  I thank God for getting me away from that.

Learning about boundaries is what helped me the most.  Drs. Henry Cloud & John Townsend’s book “Boundaries” literally changed my life.  Boundaries show you where you end & others begin, which helps you to know what you are & are not responsible for.  Once you know that information, you realize it is truly NOT your responsibility to do certain things.  It takes a great deal of the burden off of you.

Leaning on God is a tremendous help too.  Ask Him to show you what to do, then wait for the knowledge that you should or should not help that person & how to go about it.  He truly will guide you & enable you not to feel guilty if He doesn’t want you to help someone for whatever reason.  God does not want you to suffer with feeling you have to fix everyone.

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Narcissists Are Predators

Like true predators, narcissists are very good at knowing when & how to attack their prey in the most efficient way possible.

One of their tactics is waiting until their victim is tired or sick.

If you’re tired or sick, you are less likely to be able to defend yourself properly.  You don’t think as clearly, so your boundaries may be more lax. Unclear thinking also means you may not know how to handle the situation, so you automatically slip back into old, dysfunctional habits.  You may tolerate a lot more than you normally would since you don’t have the physical or mental energy to argue.

When I was sick in bed with the flu a couple of days after losing my cat, Vincent, my mother called.  Knowing that Vincent had been my granddad’s cat before he died, she mentioned this.  She said she heard Vincent died (my father must’ve told her), & he’s better off.  He was so much happier with Granddad than he ever was with me.  He never was happy with me.  Normally, saying such incredibly cruel things would’ve caused me to completely lose my temper & say bad things I would need to repent for later.  Instead, since I was exhausted, feeling horrible & grieving, I just cried.  I couldn’t even speak.  Not only had I lost my beautiful baby, but it was kinda like losing my Granddad again since Vincent not only was his cat, but was a lot like him.  It was devastating, & her words made it more so.  I gave my mother just what she wanted with my reaction- proof she hurt me.

Another time several years ago, my parents came by for a visit.  My anxiety levels were so bad, I kept vomiting.  My mother didn’t care, even when I told her I was sick & needed to rest.  Instead, she treated me like dirt & insulted my furbabies while refusing to leave my home.

These are just two of many, many examples I have.  I bet if you think about it, you can think of several times your narcissistic mother treated you the same way.

So how do you deal with this obnoxious problem?

The best way I’ve found is to avoid your narcissistic mother when you are sick or tired.  Also, don’t forget to prepare- if you know you’re going to see your mother tomorrow, rest up today.  Rest & pamper yourself however you like.

When that is impossible, do your best to set a time limit on your visit or call with your mother.  If you’re having trouble with that, have a friend call you at a prearranged time telling you she needs you now.  Admittedly, this isn’t the best solution, but so you aren’t lying, tell your friend you would like to hang out for a little while or grab some lunch or whatever you feel up to.  Also, have a code word.  For example, if she calls & you say, “My mother is here” she knows it’s time to tell you she needs to see you immediately.  If you say “My mom is here” she knows you’re ok & she doesn’t need to intervene.   It’s a good “in case of emergency” solution if nothing else works.

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Do Narcissists Really Know Right From Wrong?

I’ve found many people wonder if narcissists truly know right from wrong, since they do so many cruel, evil acts without regard for how they affect other people.  This often means narcissists get a free ride since many people assume no one could be capable of knowingly causing so much pain & suffering.  Besides, Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a disorder after all- they can’t help themselves for acting this way, right?

I believe that is very wrong.

Personality disorders are different from other mental disorders.  PTSD, for example, is actual physical damage to one’s brain that causes the flashbacks, anxiety, memory problems, etc. Schizophrenia also is brain damage that causes a person to experience hallucinations & delusions.  Personality disordered individuals have no physical brain damage.  Instead, their disorder describes a means of behavior rather than an illness.  Physically, the brain of a narcissist is just fine unless they have sustained an injury.  Narcissistic Personality Disorder only describes their behavior.

Another argument that I believe proves narcissists know right from wrong is their behavior.  They save the worst of it for behind closed doors.  Narcissists rarely abuse in front of other people.  In fact, my mother rarely abused me in front of my father.  He only saw her abuse me a few times when the fact is, she abused me many more times than I can remember.  She also warned me many times not to “air our dirty laundry” which meant I was not to tell others what she did to me in private.  My narcissistic mother in-law was much the same way- she would treat me like absolute dirt when we were alone, yet as soon as someone came into the room, she was sweet as could be.  I guess it’s no wonder so few people believed me about how horribly these two treated me- they put on quite the show in front of others.

Those who know right from wrong hide their actions.  Consider the following Scripture:

John 3:20-21   “20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”  (NIV)

I firmly believe that yes, narcissists do know right from wrong.  They choose to do wrong because their thinking is so skewed.  Sadly, they don’t want to improve themselves like most people do.  Maybe they are too afraid of what they would find if they did some soul searching.  After all, their low self esteem is at the root of narcissism.  They may be afraid that what they would find inside is too hideous for them to deal with.

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Healing From Narcissistic Abuse

One thing I learned in the relationship with the narcissists in my life, in particular my mother, is that I am nothing but a screw up.  My writing was never taken seriously.  In fact, my mother told me once it’s “nothing but a waste of time.”  She told my father that “no one wants to read that trash I write.”  I’ve also heard comments like all I do is play on the computer all day, & even been laughed at when I mention working (as if being an author isn’t a job).  I always heard, too, how I never did enough for anyone, & am too selfish.  My mother used to tell me that to have a friend, I had to be one, & by that she meant do anything for others & let them use me.  I had so-called friends who would get very angry with me if I wasn’t available when they wanted me to be or do whatever they wanted me to do.  These narcissists also always made sure I knew that I was wrong because my personality was very different than theirs, I liked things they didn’t like or I disliked things they liked.  They liked to either say outright or imply that I was crazy for such things.  My mother’s favorite phrase was, “You need help” (implying I was in need of psychiatric help) accompanied by a pitying look.  She even threatened to have me committed many times.  (Interestingly, she never once sought counseling for me, so started counseling on  my own at 17).

All of these things were devastating to my self-esteem.  I’ve wasted so much time thinking I was a complete & utter failure in every possible way- a terrible friend. awful girlfriend then wife, lousy pet mom, & even a lousy author.  Depressing doesn’t describe how this felt.  But, I’m sure I needn’t tell you this if you too have been subjected to narcissistic abuse.  You know all too well how this feels.

There is good news though!  You can be healed from this pain & dysfunctional way of thinking!  Philippians 1:6 says, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”  And, 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (KJV)

God’s word is very true!  I gave my life to Jesus in February, 1996, & from that moment, I began to change & heal.  God has been healing me from all the abuse in my life since then, & definitely has made me a new person.  The wounded old me who was convinced she was crazy, worthless, stupid, & more is long gone.  Thanks to God, I am healing daily, & have no doubt I’ll never return to that miserable, dysfunctional mess I once was.  I may not be totally free of low self-esteem, but it is now much better than it once was & continues to improve.

God can do the same for you.  All you have to do is trust Him to take care of you, & He will.  He loves you so much & wants to bless you.  He wants you happy & peaceful.  He wants to heal you from the devastating effects of narcissistic abuse.  He certainly has done so for me.  Sure, I still have a long way to go, but I also was extremely damaged.   God, being the gentle, loving Father He is, heals me little by little, as I am able to handle it.  He’ll do that for you as well- only give you what you can handle, as you can handle it.

Are you willing today to claim God’s promises for your healing?

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Can Narcissists Change?

One thing I’ve  been asked repeatedly is can a narcissist ever change?  I believe they can, if only briefly, contrary to popular belief, & I’ll tell you why.

Narcissists are the ultimate in selfish.  Everything comes back to them & getting their precious narcissistic supply.   If it will benefit a narcissist, if it will make her look good or gain her that supply, she definitely can change.

If you don’t believe me, then watch a narcissist in action.  When she is around someone she doesn’t care to impress, such as her spouse or child, they will be treated like dirt.  But, let someone “special” enter the room & she changes her entire demeanor.  I  remember  a couple of times in my late teens, my mother & I were home alone & she was screaming at me, telling me what a terrible person I was.  Then, the phone rang.  Once she answered it, she was a nice, normal person.  The person on the other end never would’ve suspected that the moment before she answered, she was a raging lunatic.  My mother in-law was much the same way.  If we were alone, she would insult everything about me, my furbabies & my family, even tell me how disappointed she was my husband married me instead of someone else.   When someone came back into the room though, sweet as pie.  In fact, after telling me that she was disappointed he married me, the next time I saw her, she introduced me to her sister as “my beautiful daughter in-law.”

My mother also changed several times in the last couple of years.  There have been times we got along just fine.  She didn’t play the usual head games or verbally tear me apart.  I don’t know why they started or ended, but they were nice while they lasted.  The first time it happened, it lasted for several months.  I thought maybe things were finally going to be normal between us.  Suddenly, she went right back to her narcissistic ways.

I don’t know if a narcissist can ever change permanently, but I do know this much.  For a narcissist to change, even for a moment, the change has to benefit the narcissist in some way.  That is the only thing that will make a narcissist change.  If you hope that she will change because she doesn’t want to hurt you any longer, then you will be disappointed.

I also learned something else.  When my mother changes for the better, I have come to accept that those times don’t usually last long.  I pray they will, but prepare myself for them ending quickly.  Hope for the best, prepare for the worst, as the saying goes.  I’ve found it to be a good idea to determine to enjoy them for however long they last.  If it’s an hour or a month, I don’t want to waste the time dreading the change back.  I try to stay in the moment & enjoy the good times as much as possible.  And, by knowing it’ll probably end soon, when it does end, I’m not devastated.  I strongly advise you to think this same way, Dear Reader, if you have to deal with a similar situation with your narcissistic mother.  It’s much healthier for you to do than getting your hopes up that this time, it’s really going to be different, then having them destroyed.

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The Silent Treatment- One Of The Narcissist’s Favorite Weapons

Narcissists have a large variety of weapons in their arsenal, but possibly the most favorite weapon is the silent treatment.

The silent treatment usually plays out in a similar scenario:  You say or do something that offends the narcissist.  Chances are, you’re unaware of it, but she certainly isn’t.  She suddenly refuses to speak to you.  You ask what’s wrong, & she ignores you, sends one of her flying monkeys to “talk some sense into you” in an effort to make you feel guilty, or she says some ridiculous comments to you such as, “you know what you did!”  or (my personal favorite- my mother used this one in my teen years) “If you don’t know, I’m not going to tell you,”  You are tormented wondering what you did that was so wrong.  You are baffled.   Then eventually, she graciously allows you to apologize.  And, you may never know what your crime was.

I went through this many times with my narcissistic mother when I was growing up.  It used to upset me terribly.  It’s very unsettling. I’m a sensitive person & not knowing what I did that was so bad, it made my mother stop speaking to me was very hard.  it was confusing, & made me feel like a bad person.

As time went on, though, I began to see that this silent treatment was less about what I did, & more about my mother trying to manipulate me into doing what she wanted.  This knowledge was very freeing to me.  Once I realized this, I stopped worrying when my mother would give me the silent treatment & stopped trying to fix it.  I knew that in time, if I left her alone, she would start speaking to me again, & act like nothing ever happened.  This has become her routine.  In fact, I’m getting the silent treatment as I write this.  My mother’s barely spoken to me in months.  Why?  I have no idea.  The last I heard from my father, she was mad because I don’t come to her house to visit.  Interestingly, I haven’t been invited to come over since my father had problems last December & January, so I really don’t understand the logic.

If you deal with a narcissistic mother who gives you the silent treatment, I encourage you to do as I have done.  Stop asking her what is wrong when she gives you the silent treatment!  Let her pout & act like a spoiled child since that is what she wants to do. Instead of asking her what is wrong, ignore her & go on about your life.  Enjoy the break from the drama.

If your narcissistic mother’s flying monkeys come to talk to you (triangulation is another weapon of narcissists), refuse to discuss the topic with them.  Nothing good can come of it, so simply refuse to discuss that topic.  Tell them you won’t discuss this topic & change the subject.  Repeatedly if need be, but stick to your guns.

Your life can be much more peaceful if you do these two things when you’re given the silent treatment.

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You Don’t Have To Explain Yourself To Anyone

One thing many people, in particular survivors of narcissistic abuse, seem to have a problem with is over explaining.

If someone asks you to do something that you are unable or unwilling to do, most people will explain in great detail exactly why they can’t or won’t do what is asked of them, even if they have to lie.  The truth however, is that is unnecessary.  And, sometimes it can cause disagreements between both parties involved, especially if the one doing the explaining feels compelled to lie which is often the case.

Did you know that no can be a complete sentence?

Matthew 5:37 states, “Let your Yes be simply Yes, and your No be simply No; anything more than that comes from the evil one.” (AMP)

While you may be thinking that you wouldn’t lie, think about how many times you were free yet told someone you had previous plans to avoid doing what they wanted you to do?  I think all of us are guilty of doing this at some point.

Instead of that, why not just say no?  You owe no explanations- a simple no should suffice with most people.

Granted, with narcissists, they feel entitled to a detailed explanation of your “terrible” refusal to serve them, so no doesn’t always work.  Instead, there are some slightly more elaborate answers you can give without offering a long explanation.

“No, I can’t.”

“No, I don’t have time.”

“No, I won’t.”

“No.  It goes against my personal beliefs.”

Whatever you opt to say, remember not to give many details or much personal information.  Narcissists love to use what you say against you or to hurt you, so it’s best to keep details to yourself whenever possible.

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Should You Be In A Relationship With Your Narcissistic Mother?

God doesn’t want you to be a martyr & stay in relationship with your narcissistic parent if you feel you can’t do it.  It’s not His will you be miserable, but to be happy.  However, that doesn’t mean going no contact is the only option.

No contact is a very drastic move, & one that should be made only after a great deal of prayer & thought on the matter.  It is also not one that you should let other people tell you to make.  You need to decide on your own whether or not it is the right decision for you, & have absolute certainty in your decision.

In 2001 I went no contact with my mother.  She contacted me in 2007, & I decided to allow her back into my life at that point.  I figured I had learned & grown enough that things would be better.  They are, although sometimes they are still extremely hard & painful.  Those times often make me think about going no contact again.  I have prayed about it many times, but I haven’t done it.  In 2001, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt it was what I had to do.  Now, I have yet to feel that certainty.  I firmly believe that our instincts are given to us by God, so if my instincts aren’t clearly telling me it’s time, then I won’t do it.

If you too feel no contact is not your answer just now, you are not alone!  I talk to many women who are either unwilling or unable to go no contact with their narcissistic mothers.  There are several things you can to do help you manage this painful relationship.

  • First & foremost, lean on God.  Ask Him to help you to know what you need to do, when you need to do it, & how you need to do it.
  • Keep your expectations of your narcissistic mother realistic.  She’ll never be the caring, loving mother you wish she was.  Accept her where she is.  Don’t try to change her. At the same time, refuse to tolerate her abuse.  Accepting her does NOT mean you need to tolerate being abused!
  • Enjoy whatever positive comes out of the relationship.  My mother has times where she is super pleasant & we get along well.  It started in 2013, lasted for I think two months, & shocked me.  It’s happened a few more times since then, & usually doesn’t last more than a couple of days.  Even so, I decided to enjoy them when they happen, & accept the fact they will end soon or that she may never be so nice ever again.  Acceptance means I am not devastated when the niceness is over.
  • Keep conversations as superficial as possible.  Telling your narcissistic mother about your problems, feelings or opinions is like giving her permission to crush you with her words, so keep conversations light.  If she asks what’s new in your life, you say nothing.  How are you- fine.  Brief, uninformative answers are your friend!
  • Show her NO emotion.  Keep all emotions, good bad or indifferent, in check around her, because if you don’t, she will feed off of them.  She will know what buttons to push to hurt you, & repeatedly push said buttons.  Don’t give her the satisfaction.  Then, once you’re away from her, tell God how you feel, write about it in your journal, or talk to a supportive friend.  Holding in emotions isn’t healthy, unfortunately doing so temporarily is a wise thing to do with any narcissist rather than let them see how you feel.
  • Have time limits.  If you only feel strong enough to deal with your mother for an hour visit once a week, that is fine.  Respect it.  Don’t push yourself to stop by her home every other day or talk to her on the phone daily.  It WILL hurt you physically & emotionally.  You’ll be very depressed & sick as the stress compromises your immune system.
  • Remember to pat yourself on the back when you enforce your boundaries & handle dealing with your narcissistic mother well.  Dealing with a narcissist is never easy, so be proud of your successes!
  • Learn from your mistakes.  There will be times you slip up.  You fall for your narcissistic mother’s manipulation or you show her you are angry when she insulted you.  Those things are inevitable, unfortunately.  Rather than beat yourself up for them, learn from them.  How could you have handled the situation better?  Do that the next time.  And you know there WILL be a next time.  Since she saw it upset you this time, she will do it again & again unless you let her know it doesn’t upset you anymore.
  • Take care of your emotional & physical health.  Dealing with any narcissist can take a toll on you, but perhaps none more than your own mother.  If you know you have to see her on Monday, take time on Sunday to relax, to pray, to strengthen yourself in preparation for the visit the following day.
  • Check your motives for staying in this relationship on a regular basis.  Are you doing so because it feels right in your heart, after much prayer?  Or, are you doing so because you’re afraid she’ll tell people you’re a bad daughter or she’ll start some kind of trouble for you?  If your motives are good for you, then you know you’re doing the right thing, even if it is painful sometimes.

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Why Don’t People Care About The Feelings, Needs & Wants Of Children Of Narcissistic Parents?

I’ve realized just recently that all my life, many people have acted like my happiness means absolutely nothing.  It’s like they think I am here to serve, & do so without any feelings or needs of my own.

When I broke up with my ex husband before marrying him a few months later, many people told me I should go back with him because he was miserable without me.  Not one person cared how miserable I was with him, however.

When my father was in the hospital a few years ago, & my mother wouldn’t tell his family or friends, I did via facebook.  (I also provided my parents’ phone number & asked people to tell other relatives what was happening.)  There are a lot of us Baileys, & I don’t have many people’s phone numbers or emails, so facebook was simply the easiest way for me to reach the most people.  One person called my father in the hospital & told him I was a “spoiled little brat” for not calling her personally about this matter.  Other people got upset & chewed me out for using facebook instead of calling them personally.  No one got mad at my mother for failing to tell them anything, even though it was her responsibility to do so.  No one took into consideration the anxiety I was under daily or how exhausted (mentally & physically) I was.

There have been countless times over the years I was going to spend time with a friend & that friend either stood me up or ran very late, without letting me know what was happening, causing me to wait & worry about them.  When I finally did contact them (mind you they didn’t contact me!), no apology was given or any sign that they felt guilty at all for wasting my time or disappointing me.

Do any of these situations sound somewhat familiar to you?

I am reasonably sure that these kinds of situations happen quite a bit to those of us who grew up with narcissistic parents.  The only reason I can come up with is because we are groomed from day one to be subservient.   Our narcissistic parents firmly believe (& instill the belief in us) that we are put on this earth to take care of & please our narcissistic parent with absolutely no regard to our own feelings, wants or needs.  As we grow up, naturally that relationship stays this way, but we extend this dysfunctional role to include others.  Because we believe this is what we are supposed to do, we show others that we believe we deserve to be used & ignore ourselves.  Often even good people will treat us the way we believe we deserve to be treated simply because it’s natural to treat people how you see they expect to be treated, good or bad.

By saying this, please don’t think I’m saying we get what we deserve when people mistreat or use us!  Not by any stretch.  It’s still on an individual to control his/her behavior.  Ultimately, it is the other person’s fault if they are abusive, period.

To deal with this super annoying problem, I have found that getting healthier & increasing my self esteem has done wonders.  I think because I no longer give off that “It’s ok to abuse me” energy.  As I’ve gotten healthier & my self esteem improved, I no longer have any patience for being abused, & I think people pick up on that.

Prayer is extremely helpful as well.  Asking God how to deal appropriately with people who want to abuse me & how to set & enforce healthy boundaries has helped to give me wisdom & strength in bad situations.

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It’s Hubby’s Birthday!

Today is Eric’s birthday!!  Like many other adult children of narcissists, it’s a day he’s just as soon forget.  But, I’m hoping we can do something to make it a special day.  He certainly deserves to enjoy his birthday!  Feel free to wish him a happy birthday in the comments if you like- I’ll be sure to share with him.  🙂

Keeping along with the birthday theme, I thought I’d take a moment to remind you, Dear Reader, to remember something.  Your birthday is just that- YOURS.  When it comes up, you need to celebrate it however you see fit.  Please don’t treat the day as your narcissistic mother did.  So many made their child’s birthday miserable in some way, & if you experienced that, don’t continue that pattern!  It’s your day- enjoy it however you see fit!

If you can, do something special for yourself on your birthday.  Even if it’s just grabbing a bouquet of flowers for yourself or taking a bubble bath.  It doesn’t have to be on the exact day either- if you can’t take off work, then do something special the following day or over the weekend.

If you’re like my husband & I & prefer to forget your birthday, please know you’re not alone.  I tried for a while to enjoy it, but it didn’t last long.  My birthday last April was awful.  It was just one of many bad ones, & now I’d just as soon forget my birthday completely.  While I’d like to encourage you to at least try to enjoy your day somehow, I understand sometimes that just isn’t going to happen.  Rather than feeling bad about that, try to keep in mind that at least your birthday is still done on your terms.  Ok, admittedly it’d be a lot more fun to do something special for your birthday, but if you don’t feel you can, at least you still are doing your birthday your way.  After all, it is your day, so you are allowed to treat it however you like.  Nothing says you have to have a big celebration for your birthday or even acknowledge it if you aren’t inclined to do so.  You are free to do whatever you want, & that includes doing nothing.

However you wish to handle your birthday, I would like to encourage you to do one thing- refuse to take any phone call or see your narcissistic mother.  Make sure you take this one day for yourself, minus drama, minus snide criticisms, minus guilt trips about how being pregnant with you made her incredibly sick for nine months… give yourself that one day a year without all of that nonsense.  You truly deserve that.

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The Narcissistic Apology

Narcissists rarely apologize for anything, but when they do, you can be certain it isn’t a genuine apology.

A genuine apology doesn’t include excuses. Someone who is genuinely sorry for their actions won’t say you made them act that way. That person also will try to change their ways as they don’t want to hurt you like that again.

All of these are foreign concepts to the narcissist.

Narcissists hate to admit they are wrong, & will go to great lengths to avoid it. They will offer excuses as to why what they did was not their fault, or even blame you for making them do what they did. They love to offer the passive/aggressive type of apology- “I’m sorry you feel that way.” “I’m sorry you think what I did was wrong/unfair/hurtful.” All of these actions show that the narcissist is not genuinely sorry for what she did. Most likely, she doesn’t care that she hurt you & only cares that she accomplished whatever it was she wanted to accomplish.

I also realized recently another trick of the narcissistic apology. My father has done this one many times & it wasn’t until recently I caught onto it. He recently apologized to me for not being there enough for me in my life. I was touched- there was no blame or excuses so I assumed it was a genuine apology.  He apologized for missing my fifth birthday because he had to travel for work. I told him it’s fine- not a big deal, it was just a birthday. He went on to say how terrible it was of him, he shouldn’t have gone on that trip. Again I said it was no big deal. I pointed out how many other birthdays he was there for. It was only one birthday. Plus he did other things for me. By the end of the conversation, he was happy.

While there are times I am more than willing to reassure someone who hurt me, this was not one of those times that was a good option. If someone accidentally hurt me once, fine. Bad things happen sometimes. But this was different. My reassurance would have been providing narcissistic supply.  Unfortunately, I realized this after the conversation, & then I felt conned into telling him he was a good father.

Whenever you hear a narcissist apologize to you, remember- it is NOT a genuine apology! Don’t get your hopes up thinking they might finally see the error of their ways & change. The narcissist’s apology is like every other thing they do- it’s only about narcissistic supply.

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Narcissists Love To Determine Who You Are- Don’t Let That Happen!

Abusive, narcissistic people somehow believe they have the right to tell you who you are, what you like or don’t like & to determine your worth & value in this world.  When this happens, you can lose yourself if you are not aware of what they are doing.

This happened to me. I really had no idea who I am my entire life.  I was only aware of a very few things that I genuinely felt strongly about.  Everything else was a result of being told that I felt a certain way.  I realized this was happening when I was in my early 30’s, & tried halfheartedly to learn who I really was, who God wanted me to be for a while after that.  Once I hit 40 though, I decided I had to get to know the real me, & I am very glad I did.

I’ve come to learn that the real me is a much more interesting person than the dysfunctional, mousy person that the narcissists in my life tried to make me into.  I have no tolerance for abuse & nastiness, & will call people out on it now.  I have more varied interests now that others are not telling me what I like & don’t like.   I also have learned to trust God, to listen to what He says I am, rather than listen to the warped views of dysfunctional, evil people.

You can find these things & more out about yourself too!

Stop listening to what dysfunctional, selfish people have to say about you.  You have a great deal of value!  You are a unique, special person created by God Himself to do great things!  Start listening to what God says about you & reject what others say.  The motives of any narcissist are always self serving, & not for your best interest at all, so why would you allow someone so dysfunctional to determine anything about you?  Instead, listen to God & listen to your heart.  You’ll discover you are an amazing individual!

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Validate Yourself

Being a victim of narcissistic abuse is not an easy thing.  You go through the abuse & somehow survive, only to be victimized further by people who invalidate what you have gone through.

I have heard comments such as…

  • “That doesn’t sound so bad…”(from my high school guidance counselor, referring to my mother screaming at me for hours in my teen years)
  • “You just need to understand her better.”
  • “Nobody’s perfect!”
  • “You need to fix things with your parents.  Get into counseling!”
  • “You need to work things out with your parents.  They won’t be around forever yanno!”
  • (from a different counselor after meeting my mother) “I can’t see you anymore- you’re a terrible daughter!”
  • “You need to find things you have in common with your parents!”
  • “You’re too negative!”
  • “I can’t believe they are that bad!”
  • “Are you even sure that happened?  That’s a pretty serious accusation.”
  • Various excuses as to why my narcissistic parents or mother in-law treated me so poorly such as she isn’t intelligent (she isn’t educated- big difference), her mother in-law didn’t like her, etc.
  • Laughing at my story of being abused.

After hearing such things, I felt victimized all over again.

Victim blaming is very common in today’s society, so it’s not surprising these cruel words & more are said to victims of narcissistic abuse daily.

Unfortunately I don’t believe there is any way to avoid them entirely.  All you can do is use wisdom on who you share your story with.  Even when you do this, sometimes people may hurt you by invalidating your pain.

The fact is though that you can validate yourself.  You can heal from narcissistic abuse even if there is no one to support you but God.

To do this, you need to lean on God.  Talk to Him about how you feel.  He can handle it all & wants to be there for you!  Let Him be!

As for you.. you need to trust that what happened was bad.  Admit it to yourself.  No more excuses, no more telling yourself you’re oversensitive or weak.  Narcissistic abuse permeates every part of a person’s being.  It can destroy one’s self-esteem, perception of reality or even sanity.  It is nothing to take lightly!   If you’re having trouble with this, write your story out.  When I wrote my autobiography “Emerging from the Chrysalis” a few years ago, it was hard.  Very hard.  For the first time, I realized just how bad the abuse I have survived really was.  Yet, as hard as it was to see things in black & white, it was very freeing too.  It gave me a new perspective.  I realized I’m a very strong person.  I also realized God must love me a great deal to have gotten me through all of that.  It also helped me to see my parents as they truly are, instead of making excuses for their behavior or thinking I was the one with the problems- I really wasn’t oversensitive, overreacting, reading too much into things, etc.  They have some serious problems & one of those problems is NOT me!

Once you are able to accept the truth about what you have gone through, healing will come.  You will grieve, you will be angry, but these are necessary steps to freedom from narcissistic abuse.  And, the more you validate yourself & heal, the less other people’s invalidation will bother you.  I’m not saying it won’t hurt sometimes- it’s only human to be hurt when your pain is trivialized- but it won’t devastate you as it once did.

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Inner Faultfinder

Everyone has an inner voice.  That sense of pride when you do a job well is a part of it, as is that other voice that criticizes you when you make a mistake.  For most of us who suffered narcissistic abuse, that inner voice turns into the harshest, cruelest critic you can imagine.

Have you ever done something simple, like spill your drink, & then tell yourself how clumsy you are for doing so?  Or, did you show up late due to circumstances beyond your control such as a flat tire then berate yourself for being so unreliable?  Did your company let you go due to cutbacks, no fault of your own, yet you still told yourself you were a failure?  That is your inner voice turned inner faultfinder.

That voice isn’t naturally cruel.  It turns cruel because of your narcissistic mother.  Her constant put downs & judgments eventually turn inward, & you began to tell yourself the same things she did.  Maybe you use her words, or maybe not, but you become as abusive towards yourself as she is towards you.

Unfortunately, this seems to be a natural event for children of narcissistic mothers.  I wonder if it is because that inner voice stays stuck as a child.  It doesn’t grow up, but instead stays an abused child, wanting to please the impossible to please narcissistic mother.  When you fail  to please her (by making a mistake, spilling something, doing something she wouldn’t approve of, etc.), that inner voice simply repeats what your mother has said (or implied).  I’ve heard that some people who experience trauma at an early age never emotionally grow past that point.  They get stuck at the age of their traumatic experience.  Maybe for some of us who didn’t do that, our inner voice did instead.  It just got stuck in an abusive childhood, & wants so desperately to please the narcissistic mother, it will imitate her actions in an attempt to make it happen.

I have been this way my entire life- extremely critical of myself.  If I forget something, I tell myself how stupid I am.  If I’m feeling under the weather & my husband helps me with or worse yet, does all of the housework, I’m useless & a burden.  If I stub my toe, I’m stupid, clumsy & should’ve known better.  It’s not a pretty inner dialog.  Frankly, it’s gotten old.  I’ve heard enough unfair criticisms in my life to last ten lifetimes, & not only from the narcissists- from myself as well.  I’ve decided it’s time to change.  God has shown me some ways to change this, & I’ll share with you in the hopes they help you as well..

  • Ask for God’s help on the matter.  He will show you creative ways to handle it as He has me.
  • Tell that critic to shut up.  I’m going to say “shut up!” to that awful faultfinding, hyper-critical voice inside every time it says something hateful, then switch my thinking to something else.  Anything to take my mind off what it said.
  • Remind yourself the critic is only an echo of your narcissistic mother, & it’s wrong.  Just like your narcissistic mother, this voice has her best interests at heart, not yours.  Its opinions won’t benefit you.  Ignore it as you do your narcissistic mother’s useless opinions on your life.
  • Years ago, I saw Robb Thompson, a preacher on TV, give a wonderful visual for controlling bad thoughts.  He said they were from the devil, so when bad thoughts came to you, imagine taking the devil by the hand, walking him over to God & saying to the devil, “Ok, now tell Him what you just told me.”  Naturally the devil would be too afraid to say anything so cruel to one of His children in front of God & would back down.

I believe it will take time to make that cruel inner voice less cruel but I think it can be done.  After all, it was trained to be so negative- why can’t it be retrained to be less abusive?

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The Truth About Forgiveness

Forgiveness is an odd thing.  When I first became a Christian in 1996, I heard a great deal about forgiveness.  God wants us to forgive so we must do it. It’s easy.  Just ask Him to take it away & all will be right in your world.  Upon asking someone once to pray for me to help forgive, she said “I don’t know what your problem is.  God says to forgive & I just do it.”  That made me feel like God was disappointed in me & I was an awful person because I couldn’t “just do it.”

Nineteen years later,  I realize what rubbish all of that was.

While I most certainly agree God wants us to forgive since it says so in the Bible (Matthew 6:14, Colossians 3:13, Ephesians 4:31-2, etc), no one ever explained any other motivations to forgive.  Pleasing God certainly is a good one, naturally, but is that the only reason He wants us to forgive?  Some holy whim?

It took me years of being in relationship with Him & learning from Him to realize that forgiveness not only pleases God, but is good for the person doing the forgiving.  Carrying around anger & bitterness creates a plethora of health problems such as high blood pressure, kidney disease, heart disease & more.  It also can lead to a negative attitude (example- a wife’s husband cheats so she assumes all men are untrustworthy jerks) & depression.  The sooner you’re truly able to forgive, the better it is for your physical & mental health.

I had to learn too that forgiveness has nothing to do with the offender & everything to do with the one doing the forgiving.  It is very possible to completely forgive someone who is unrepentant.  To forgive someone requires you to want to do so.  It requires no actions on the other person’s part.  Certainly a repentant heart would make it much easier, but it’s not a necessity.

I also thought forgiveness meant to forget as well.  Forgive & forget as they say.  I disagree completely.  Sure, on small things such as your husband snapping at you after a bad day at work when normally he doesn’t do that, forgiving & forgetting is fine.  However, doing so with someone who is abusive?  Not smart.  That only sets you up for further abuse because you aren’t protecting yourself & also because you gave that person a free pass to abuse you by coming back for more.

No one ever told me that forgiveness takes time.  Ephesians 4:26 was quoted to me over & over in those early days of my walk with God.. “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down on your wrath,” (KJV)  I believed that I had to forgive my abusive mother & ex husband NOW or else I was not pleasing God.  It took many more years for me to learn that some things can be forgiven quickly & easily while others, such as suffering years of abuse, takes more time.  I believe that so long as you at least decide quickly that you will forgive, that is the most important thing.  It’s the first step towards forgiveness.

I didn’t know that to fully forgive, I needed to get angry, to feel that anger & get it out of me.  No one ever mentioned that tidbit!  I had to learn it from God.  Thankfully God helps me to do this.  He’s taught me different ways to get the anger out.  Journaling, writing it all out, works very well for me as does telling Him exactly how I feel & why.

Lastly, I learned that forgiveness doesn’t always mean you forgive everything someone has done to you- sometimes it means you may have to forgive them for some things individually.  For example, I thought I’d forgiven my ex husband for everything & was done with him.  Not necessarily so.. when someone wrecked her motorcycle in front of my house last June, it triggered a memory, something about my ex I’d totally forgotten.  I had my motorcycle learner’s permit when we were married.  After I had a small accident in 1994, which wasn’t my fault, he didn’t want me to go through with getting my license.  I was angry how manipulative he was about it, but had forgotten that until this lady wrecked her bike.  So although I was sure I’d forgiven him for everything, here I was, having to forgive him for yet one more thing…twenty one years later!

If you’re struggling with forgiveness & anger, Dear Reader, I pray this post helps you.  There isn’t a lot of really good, balanced teaching on the topic available, but if you ask God, He will teach you whatever you need to help you.  That is how I learned what I wrote here- God showed me all of these things.  🙂

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The Garment Of Shame

Psalm 132:18 says, “His enemies will I clothe with shame: but upon himself shall his crown flourish.” (KJV)

I noticed something about this Scripture.  See how it says “will I CLOTHE with shame”??  That really is how it is when you live with shame- it’s like a garment you just can’t take off.  The only way to remove that garment of shame is with God’s help & the truth.

When you’re a victim of narcissistic abuse, you know shame all too well.  You have been made to feel ashamed of everything about you- your thoughts, feelings, likes/dislikes are all wrong, according to the narcissist.  Even things beyond your control are wrong, such as your eye color or weight.  You know that you are a terrible person, wasting space on this planet, & the world would be better off if you hadn’t been born.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?  It surely does with me.

Dear Reader, today I want to encourage you to tear off that garment of shame!  You deserve so much better than to feel this way!

It’s not your shame that you are carrying anyway!  You are carrying the shame that the narcissist who abuses you feels inside.  Remember, narcissists are extremely insecure people, ashamed of themselves.  That is why they act so confident, constantly trying to impress others- to convince others (& themselves) that they are in fact good, talented & beautiful/handsome.  They don’t want to feel the shame that they feel, so they try to get rid of it in any way possible.  They try to convince everyone of their awesomeness or they project it onto a target, usually someone that they admire or feel is a good person.  This means they try to make someone else feel as bad about themselves as the narcissist feels about herself.

Putting their shame on someone else means that the narcissist doesn’t have to feel it.  The other person feels that shame, carrying it with them constantly.  This also gives the narcissist a feeling of power since she can have such an effect on another person.

Why would you carry that narcissist’s shame for another moment?  You don’t need to!  The shame is NOT yours to carry, so refuse to do it a moment longer!

How do you go about doing this?  One thing that has helped me tremendously is constantly asking God questions.  “Am I bad for liking *fill in the blank*?”  “Am I ugly because of *fill in the blank*?”  “Please tell me the truth, Father- my mother said I am *fill in the blank*.  Is that true?  Am I really so bad?”  Then, I listen for the answer.  Usually it comes as a knowing feeling inside.  Doing this taught me that I’m really not the awful person I was always ashamed of myself for being.  Instead, I was carrying my narcissistic mother’s shame.

I also talked to other daughters of narcissistic mothers & wives of those married to narcissistic men (usually ex wives, by the way).  I learned their experiences were often quite similar to mine with my mother & my ex husband.  It was very eye opening!  So many narcissists use similar tactics!  That helped me to see that it’s abusive people who say such things, not normal people.

Once you realize the truth of what has happened, that you are carrying around your narcissistic mother’s shame, it is very freeing!  You begin to accept yourself & even love yourself.  You also stop taking her cruel words to heart, because you know that is how she feels about herself- it doesn’t mean that it’s true for you.  In fact, it can be educational too, because you learn just what she feels about herself deep down.  This can benefit you by helping you to learn how to deal with your narcissistic mother.

So please, Dear Reader, make a decision today to throw off that garment of shame & never put it back on again!  It’s not yours to wear, so refuse to wear it a moment longer!  xoxo

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“My” Truth vs. The Truth

Have you ever heard the phrase “my truth”?  I heard it again recently.  That phrase is said to describe what you believe.  Whether it is really true or not, however, is inconsequential.

This phrase is perfect for describing what narcissists believe.  Their truth rarely resembles the real truth.

I think it is used when someone is trying to convince themselves of something that they know is not true, which narcissists love to do frequently.  If they say something is their truth, it implies the thing is true, so it’s OK to believe.  As an example, my mother believes she was a good, loving, caring mother to me.  That is her truth.  She has convinced herself of it.  It’s how she copes with her guilty conscious.  She knows what she did to me was wrong & rather than accept responsibility for it, she reinvents the past & creates her own truth.  She has convinced others of her truth as well.

I know just how frustrating this is when you know the real truth & others insist that lies are the truth.  Never forget- their truth is just that, theirs.  It isn’t yours.  So long as you know what the real truth is, that is what matters.  Don’t let anyone sway you from what you know to be true.  If you have any doubts, ask God to help you to see what the truth really is.  He will do so!

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The Importance Of Realistic Expectations When Dealing With Narcissists

When dealing with a person who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, realistic expectations are extremely important for the sake of your mental health.  They will help you not to be constantly disappointed or hurt.  They also will help you to be prepared for whatever may come, because you understand that this is how the narcissist in your life acts.

For many adult children of narcissistic parents, adjusting their expectations to be realistic is very hard.  It’s hard not to hope that this will be the time things are different, the one time that Mom actually cares about me or doesn’t  insult my husband.  It’s also hard to grasp that normal things- such as treating your child with basic respect- are things that no narcissistic parent wants to do.

If you feel that way about your narcissistic mother, you’re perfectly normal.  However, Dear Reader, I urge you to consider taking care of your mental health, your peace & joy, & lowering your expectations of your narcissistic mother.

Realistic expectations of narcissists are very different than those of other people.  Most people, you are safe in assuming that they will have some level of empathy, think of people other than themselves & not viciously criticize anything they wish to about you.  Not so with narcissists.  Let’s look at some features of a narcissist:

  • They are constantly looking for narcissistic supply- anything that helps boost their self-esteem.
  • They are incredibly entitled- they feel as if they deserve anything they want, even if it means hurting others (yes, even their own family) to get it.
  • They have absolutely no empathy- never will a narcissist genuinely understand or care about your pain.  Never.
  • Narcissists are excellent manipulators- they read people very well to find out their vulnerabilities so they can exploit them for personal gain.
  • Narcissists don’t care how much they hurt you, destroy your self-esteem or even destroy your sanity as long as they get what they want from you.

These few qualities alone mean you cannot deal with any narcissist as you would a normal person if you wish to survive this relationship with your mental health in tact.  Keeping realistic expectations of the narcissist will help you tremendously.

So what are realistic expectations of a narcissist?  Basically, have no expectations.  Never expect to be able to run to your narcissistic mother with your problems without her criticizing or mocking you.  Never expect her to be able to genuinely celebrate your victories either.  She may try to take credit for what you have done, ignore it completely or trivialize it.

What you can expect from most narcissistic mothers-

  • She will criticize everything about you without mercy.  I don’t mean constructive criticism- I mean mocking, insulting, saying cruel things that can bring you to tears.
  • Gaslighting.  Lots & lots of gaslighting & mind games.
  • Conversations will be all about her.  If you try to mention something about yourself, she’ll find a way to bring the conversation back to her.
  • No empathy.  It doesn’t matter if you broke a nail or are getting a divorce- your narcissistic mother will treat any problem you have exactly the same way.  She won’t care.
  • Her trying to destroy any joy you have over something good that has happened to you.
  • Demands or hints rather than requests.  She thinks she deserves your complete obedience.

Of course, each narcissist is a bit different, so I’m sure you can add to this list.

The good thing though is that if you keep in mind that your narcissistic mother is going to do these things, it will help you tremendously.  You won’t be caught off guard by her outrageous behavior.  You also can plan ahead of time how you wish to handle her outrageous behavior.  You  won’t be so hurt because you know it’s coming.

And, if you know what to expect, when your narcissistic mother calls or comes by, you can decide whether or not you can handle her on that particular day before you pick up the phone or answer the door.

Lastly, having these realistic expectations of your narcissistic mother also will help you to remember what kind of person she is, which will help you to remember that she has problems.  You aren’t the terrible person she claims you are!

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The Butterfly Project

Recently I was inspired to create something to help inspire those who have suffered narcissistic abuse.  (Well, ok, I stole the idea but with full blessings of the creator of it.  lol)

I started making origami butterflies that I will be glad to give away to anyone wanting one.  The premise behind this is to remind victims of narcissistic abuse that they are like the butterfly- they may have entered a dark lonely place (narcissistic abuse) like a caterpillar entering the chrysalis, then like the butterfly, they emerged beautifully.  Just because they were once stuck in that place didn’t mean that they would stay that way forever.

My hope is that these little butterflies also will help to raise awareness of narcissistic abuse & the serious damage it causes.

For further information & to learn how to get one, please click the link below.

The Butterfly Project

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Should Narcissistic Parents Reap What They Sow?

Galatians 6:7 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

Have you ever thought about how this Scripture applies to your narcissistic parents?

It seems to me that many adult children of narcissistic parents try to interrupt this natural event.  Many refuse to discuss the abuse they endured when they should be more concerned about the damage done to them than their parents’ reputations.  Others spend their entire lives trying to please the unpleasable narcissistic parent instead of setting healthy boundaries & ignoring the personal costs to themselves.  Still others will move their elderly narcissistic parent into their home, allow her to upset every member of the household & face no consequences for her actions.

Narcissistic parents train their children very well in many ways, but possibly the most impressive area is when they train them to take care of their parents at any & all costs.  No sacrifice is too big for many children of narcissistic parents. even though the parent acts as if no sacrifice is big enough.

This is not good!  People learn from reaping what they sow, which is why God wants us to reap what we sow.  And yes, even narcissists can learn from consequences.  They need to have consequences if there is to be any hope of them changing.  Giving them consequences is also good for you, because it breaks the unhealthy, dysfunctional patterns you have lived in for so long.

I know it can be hard to unlearn the lifetime of training you received from your narcissistic parent, but it can be done.  First & foremost, ask God for help.  Ask Him to show you what you need to do & how to do it & for the courage to do this.

When situations arise, remind yourself of the truth.  For example, the truth is that it’s not your job to protect your narcissistic mother’s reputation!  If someone asks you something about your mother & the truth isn’t necessarily pretty, tell the truth.  I’m not saying be disrespectful, bashing her, or calling her names of course, but you can tell the truth in a matter of fact way, even if the truth isn’t pretty.

Another situation could be when your narcissistic mother is elderly & in need of care.  The truth is it is up to you whether or not you are her caregiver.  Many adult children of narcissists don’t help their elderly parents & have peace about their decision while others feel the same peace about caring for them full or part time.  It is a very individual choice that only you can make.  (If you opt not to do hands on care, though, I would recommend helping them to find proper help. There are many great resources out there that can offer help through your local Department of Aging.)

Also, I have noticed that feelings are no exception to this rule of reaping what you sow.  My feelings have dwindled greatly for my parents after a lifetime of narcissistic abuse.  I used to beat myself up for this, telling myself I was a terrible person & a terrible daughter.  During prayer one day though, God told me they are reaping what they have sown, & I’m not a terrible person.  They haven’t sown many good, loving seeds with me so they are reaping a harvest of indifference in some ways from me.  It  is completely normal to feel the way I do.  If you feel the same, please know that you are normal!

Dear Reader, I urge you to let your narcissistic parents reap what they sow.  They won’t like it, but if God allows certain things to happen to them, it must be for a reason.   Let Him allow what He knows is best to happen.

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