Tag Archives: parents

Low Contact Or No Contact?

While I write in the hopes of helping those who are still in a relationship with their narcissistic parent(s), this doesn’t mean I am for staying in that relationship no matter what.  I firmly believe everyone has the right to make their own individual choice on whether or not to stay in that relationship, & should not be pressured on what to do.  People are different in what they can & can’t handle, plus narcissists are on a spectrum- some are downright dangerous while others are much lower on the spectrum, therefore easier to deal with.  Each situation is very unique, so there are no one size fits all answers.

 

That being said…

 

Ending relationships is very difficult, but especially when the relationship is with your parent(s).  It shouldn’t be done in the heat of the moment, such as during an argument.  It should be done after a great deal of prayer & thought on the matter.

 

If you believe your physical & mental health is in danger, you are certainly well within your rights to sever ties with your parents.

 

Sometimes, people don’t feel ready to go no contact although they want to.  Until they do feel strong enough, going low contact may be a very good option.  You don’t have to spend a lot of time visiting or on the phone with your narcissistic parents.  You have the right to limit your time with them.  You may even learn that low contact works well enough for you.

 

Low contact is also a good solution when no contact is impossible for various reasons.

 

If you are unsure what to do, pray.  God may ultimately leave the choice up to you, or He may tell you what is best to do in your situation.  Either way, it is a very good idea to talk to Him about this important decision.

 

God also can help you to find creative ways to handle the relationship with your parents if you stay low contact or help you end it if you go no contact.  And, He can enable you to be stronger than you are when you need to deal with them.  You simply can’t lose with God helping you in this situation.

 

 

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

Honoring Abusive Parents

Many people have a very skewed view of what it truly means to honor someone, especially their parents.  They’ll throw around “honor thy mother & father” while conveniently forgetting the Scriptures directed at parents (Ephesians 6:4, Colossians 3:21).  They falsely believe that honoring parents means you have to sacrifice yourself or your principles.  You must do what they want, no matter what it costs you, or else you aren’t honoring your parents.

 

Honor isn’t always what people think it is. http://www.merriam-webster.com defines honor as follows:  “a showing of usually merited respect : recognition <pay honor to our founder>”  I interpret this to mean basic things like treating a person with basic respect.  Using manners, being considerate of them, disagreeing respectfully rather than cussing them out, & the like.  Nowhere in this definition does it sound to me like honoring someone means you must cater to their every whim.

 

Spoiling someone by giving them everything they want or doing everything for them isn’t honorable.  It teaches the person nothing at all.  It doesn’t help them to learn & grow, which is NOT good for a person.  In fact, many people believe some narcissistic adults were once spoiled children.  They became entitled, selfish adults by having all of their whims catered to.

 

Allowing someone to control you isn’t honorable either.  All that does is teach a person how to be manipulative, entitled & bossy.  There is no honor in that!

 

Tolerating abuse is certainly not honorable.  It encourages awful behavior while hurting you.  How could that possibly be an honorable thing?

 

People need to have boundaries & consequences for their actions.  Such things are honorable, especially when done in a respectful way.  There are ways to state things in a respectful manner, such as stating in a calm but firm tone, “I’m not going to discuss this with you.  If you keep talking about it, I’ll hang up this phone.  Is there anything else you’d like to talk about?  No?  OK, good bye.” *hangs up phone*  That is just one example of being respectful while setting boundaries & giving consequences.

 

In 2002, I stopped speaking to my mother for several years.  Coming to that decision wasn’t easy at all for me.  I knew I needed to do it to heal, but I believed it wasn’t honorable.  I struggled with this decision & prayed a lot.  One day, I told God how conflicted I felt.  He spoke to my heart so clearly & said, “Where is the honor in the fact your very presence stirs up strife with your mother?”  It made sense to me.  Being with my mother meant she acted up.  She verbally abused me.  She insulted every tiny thing about me & those I cared about.  She bossed me around like I was the hired help & not her daughter.  There was NO honor in that.  Going no contact at that time was the most honorable thing I could do.  It enabled me to have time to myself to heal, & it put an end to much of her horrible behavior since she doesn’t treat anyone else like she does me.  It also showed her that I was done tolerating her abuse.  If she chose to abuse me she would have consequences for doing so, like me leaving her life.  In situations like this, even going no contact with an abusive parent can be the most honorable thing you can do.

 

If you struggle with honoring your abusive parent, I would encourage you to pray, Dear Reader.  Ask God to show you the truth on this matter.  He will, as He has done for me.  You will rest much easier when you know the real truth about what it means to honor your parent.

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New Book Idea- Elderly Narcissists

Recently I was involved in a discussion about how little information there is available for those with elderly narcissistic parents, including caring for them.  It gave me an idea- write a book on the topic.

 

I have already started writing an outline & have some ideas.  But, I’d like to hear from you, Dear Reader.  I don’t want to miss anything on this topic.  If there is any topic you’d like explored or if you have stories to include, please let me know.  I won’t divulge your name to protect your privacy.  You can comment on this post or email me privately at CynthiaBaileyRug@aol.com

 

Thank you!  I look forward to hearing from you!  x0xo

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Abandonment & Invalidation For Adult Children Of Narcissists

One thing I have learned in the past few years is that people do NOT like unpleasant subject matters, & will go to great lengths to avoid them.  Many people with terrible health problems know this all too well- they lose friends & even family after receiving a diagnosis of a dreadful disease.  The people who once were closest to them suddenly have no time for them any longer.

This also happens with adult children of narcissistic parents.

It’s happened in my own life.  Once I started learning that my mother was abusive when I was seventeen, & talking to a few people about it, my circle of friends became smaller.  I talked less about it until many years later, once I started learning about narcissism.  Then, I began to talk more & also to write about it.  While my writing career suddenly began to take off, my personal relationships changed, especially when I also admitted to having C-PTSD.  Some of my relationships became closer, especially with those who also survived a narcissistic upbringing, but many did not.  Some people suddenly became very judgmental, telling me how I needed to just get over it, let it go, forgive & forget, stop living in the past, I use having C-PTSD for attention & even how I needed to be the one to fix things in my relationship with my parents.

This hurt & made me so angry!  It’s not fair & it’s not right! I began to feel like I did as a child- everything wrong with my parents’ & my relationship was all my fault, I should fix it & if I didn’t, I was a failure.  Not a nice way to feel at all!

If you too have experienced similar losses & invalidation in your relationships, you are not alone!  I understand your pain & frustration!

Unfortunately, I don’t think there is any way to completely avoid such situations.  The fact is, like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, people don’t like unpleasant subject matters.  They prefer light, fluffy, happy things, as the unpleasant things make them uncomfortable.  Many people also cannot handle discussing unpleasant things about the parent/child relationship.  They may come from a good home, & can’t comprehend that a parent would abuse a child, or they came from a dysfunctional home, & you discussing your own painful experiences trigger feelings they aren’t ready to deal with yet.  Others may feel that you talk too much about your experiences.  (Please see my post on taking breaks– not to make others more comfortable, but for your own mental health!)  Whatever the reason, no one has the right to invalidate your pain!

To deal with the pain when this happens, please try to keep the last paragraph in mind.  Most people aren’t trying to hurt you by what they say or do- they simply have their own issues or are even convinced they’re trying to help you.  In any case, them treating you poorly isn’t about you doing something wrong, it’s about them.

Also, acknowledge your feelings.  Yes, you’re hurt &/or angry, & it’s OK.  Cry, talk to someone safe, journal or pray, but get your feelings out.  Feelings are a natural part of life- respect them, don’t ignore them.  Ignoring them never leads to anything good, only bad things like depression & health problems.

Be aware that part of the reason that what was said upsets you so much is it triggers old feelings that you experienced at the hand of your narcissistic mother.  Narcissists demand their abuse be kept secret, so when someone else wants to silence you years later, that guilt for “telling” may show up.  Or, invalidating your pain makes you feel as you did when your mother did it to you as a child- like you’re not allowed to have feelings because they’re only a nuisance to others.  I’m not saying that these triggers mean you’re overreacting to being invalidated, of course.  I’m simply saying that those triggers may make you less able to realize at first that you aren’t wrong for discussing this topic.

Be good to yourself afterwards.  Once you get a firm grasp on your feelings & triggers, do something nice for yourself.  A bubble bath, read a good book or some other little thing that makes you feel good.

And, ask God to help you let go of the hurt & anger you feel.  You deserve better than to carry around those negative feelings.  Besides, you have too much already to deal with considering you’re recovering from growing up with a narcissistic mother.  That needs your attention much more.

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Aging Narcissistic In-laws

Aging narcissistic parents are a very disturbing group of people. While most people mellow out as they age, narcissists often get more vicious.  Not easy to deal with for their adult children!

As I write this, I’m waiting for my husband to come home.  He’s at the hospital visiting his mother who was admitted today.

Out of respect for his privacy, I won’t go into much detail, so please bear with me a bit.  Both my mother in-law & father in-law are narcissistic, her covert & him overt.  As they are getting older & their health is failing them, they are making more demands on my husband.  Also, he is facing the truth about them & how he’s been abused by them for the first time.  It’s not an easy time for him.  I’m very concerned how this situation is going to play out for him, & how he is going to deal with his own feelings.

I’m also a bit nervous about how I’m going to deal with my own feelings as well.  You see, there were countless times I considered divorcing him earlier in our marriage because of the abuse his mother put me through & his failure to acknowledge it at the time.  Honestly, sometimes I still get angry when I remember those dark days.

I’m sure there are others in similar situations, as many of us with narcissistic parents marry someone who also has at least one narcissistic parent.  I’m writing about this to share what God has been showing me about how to cope.

Pray.  About what?  Whatever comes to mind regarding the situation.  Personally, I’ve been praying for my mother in-law’s salvation (I’m unsure if she’s a Christian- I don’t believe she is), asking God to give my husband strength, wisdom & anything else he needs right now, & asking God to help me release my old anger at him.  Prayers like this can truly help you as well as the recipients of your prayers!  I admit, it isn’t easy to pray for my mother in-law, so sometimes I ask close friends to pray for her.  It helps me know she’s getting prayer, plus I don’t have to do it at that time- I can do it later when I feel able to do so.

Distractions.  I’m hoping to distract hubby when he gets home with a funny video that we love.  We’re big fans of the old TV show, “Mystery Science Theater 3000” with its fun, warped humor, & since it always makes us laugh, I think watching an old episode could do us both some good.  After all, it’s unhealthy to focus on the more serious issues in life 24/7.  The brain needs a break sometimes!

Nice gestures.  A little sweet, thoughtful gesture can go a long way when someone is going through hard times.  Hubby will be greeted with raspberry herbal tea (we both love it) when he gets home.  I’ll come up with other gestures once I gauge the kind of mood he’s in.  Sometimes, he isn’t in the mood for interaction- he just wants to be left alone.

Listening.  Before I start the movie, I’ll see if he wants to talk.  Often when his mother is in the hospital, he comes home very frazzled.  The hospital staff at this particular hospital isn’t the best (as I learned when my father was there last December), his parents are demanding & his sisters want constant updates until they come into town.  It can be a lot for him to deal with.

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Changing My Website.. Any Input??

I just thought I’d let you know that I am making some changes to my website.  I’m finally stepping out of the stone ages & no longer using Microsoft Frontpage to make my site (please stop laughing, computer people.. I’m just not good with site creation!  lol).  As I was working on it today, I thought that it would be a good idea not simply to change the appearance of my site a little, but to ask you, Dear Readers, if there is any other information you’d like me to include on my website.  I have quite a bit on there now about narcissistic & abusive mothers, mental health, Christian living & animals (you gotta get off the heavy topics sometimes!), but is there anything else you’d like me to include on my site?  Or, any area I mentioned above that you’d like me to expand on?

I welcome your feedback!  You can either leave a comment on this post or you can email me at CynthiaBaileyRug@aol.com

Have a wonderful evening!  xoxo

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Honoring A Narcissistic Parent

I often get emails from adult daughters of narcissistic mothers who ask the same question: “The Bible says to honor my mother & father.  How do I do this?”  This is a very good question & on the minds of many people.  My free ebook “How To Honor A Difficult Parent” is my most popular.

 

To start with, I believe people need to know both sides of what the Bible says about the parent/child relationship.  Here are some Scriptures for your consideration..

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)

Ephesians 6:4, “Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to resentment], but rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord.” (AMP)

Colossians 3:21, “Fathers, do not provoke or irritate or fret your children [do not be hard on them or harass them], lest they become discouraged and sullen and morose and feel inferior and frustrated. [Do not break their spirit.]” (AMP)

 

While yes, children should honor their parents, parents also need to be aware that they are being disobedient to God if they abuse their children.  I find it quite interesting that so many parents who are quick to tell their child Exodus 20:12 never seem to remember Ephesians 6:4 & Colossians 3:21…

 

Also, we need to consider what the word “honor” truly means.  Merriam-webster.com defines honor this way: “1  b: a showing of usually merited respect : recognition <pay honor to our founder> ”  I take this to mean that to honor your parents means you speak respectfully to them (you don’t cuss them out if you’re angry with them for example), & you respect the fact that they are your parents.

 

Nowhere in this definition does honor mean that one should be a doormat or a punching bag for another.  Tolerating abuse is not honorable.  Having no boundaries is not honorable.  Catering to your parents’ every whim is most definitely not honorable nor is it loving the way God loves.  God’s kind of love wants what is best for people, & sometimes what is best isn’t necessarily what they might like to have at the moment.  Giving into people’s whims creates spoiled, ungrateful people, not good, compassionate, generous people.

 

Below are some ways to honorably treat your abusive parents..

 

Set & enforce healthy boundaries.  Boundaries are not only for your protection, but they encourage others to either accept your boundaries & change their hurtful behavior, or to leave you alone.

 

Say no.  No is a complete sentence sometimes, & often a very beneficial one.  You needn’t explain your no if you don’t want to.

 

Always remember the truth.  Narcissistic mothers love to reinvent things to make them more palatable.  They cannot handle the guilt or shame of what they have done to their children, & many create stories about their adventures as a wonderful mother to cover up the fact they were NOT good mothers.  My mother does this on a constant basis.  This is a natural coping skill for many narcissists, as sad as that fact is.  While it is her right to use that skill, you do NOT have to reinforce your narcissistic mother’s delusions.  When this happens to me with my mother, I listen to her stories, but never say anything that says I agree with her version of events.  If she asks if I remember something, I truthfully tell her I don’t.  I also don’t tell her the truth about what really happened.  As dysfunctional as this behavior is, it’s her choice to employ it.  I don’t feel it’s my right to shatter her delusion.  I came about this decision through prayer.  If you pray about your similar situation, God may tell you to handle it differently, but in any case, I strongly urge you to pray about how to handle it!

 

Distance is your friend.  While I’m not necessarily saying sever all ties with your narcissistic mother (only you can decide if that is the right step for you to take or not), I am saying sometimes distance can be good for both of you.  If your mother has said or done something especially hurtful, you may not want to be around her for a while, & there is nothing wrong with that.  Take a little time off for yourself before you deal with her again.  Besides, believe it or not, the narcissistic mother will think about it, & she is aware of what she’s done to upset you so.  I wrote about this in more detail in the following post: Do Narcissists Really Know What They’re Doing?

 

Don’t always be available.  Narcissistic parents seem to think their adult children are sitting by the phone with baited breath, waiting for the parents to call.  Obviously, this makes no sense.  Unfortunately, in this age of cell phones, most people can be reached at any time of day.  If you are available 24/7 though, your narcissistic parents will expect you to be available 24/7 no matter what, & there will be hell to pay if you suddenly aren’t available.  If you normally always answer your parents’ calls, stop right now!  Skip answering the phone sometimes.  If you feel unable to handle their drama, then don’t take the call.  Later, your narcissistic mother may attempt to make you feel guilty, but don’t let her!  You are an adult.  You pay for your phone.  It’s up to you when & for whom you answer your own phone!  And, don’t offer any explainations as to why you didn’t pick up the phone.  “I was busy” is a sufficient answer.  Your parents aren’t entitled to know every detail of your life.

 

Keep conversations superficial.  Narcissists are extremely judgmental, so make your life easier on yourself by keeping the topics of conversation superficial.  Don’t discuss personal details of your life with your narcissistic mother because that just gives her ammunition for her criticisms of you later.  If she asks “How are you?”  say “Fine.”  “How is work going?”  “Fine.”  “What have you been up to lately?”  “Nothing much.”  See the pattern?  In fact, to make your life easier yet, turn the conversation back to her & off of you.  She’ll be more than happy to talk about herself instead of you anyway!  You can discuss your life with people who genuinely care how you’re doing instead.

 

Putting these skills into practice can be very helpful for you not only to cope with your narcissistic mother, but also to honor her God’s way.  And honoring her I believe is very important.  Not because your narcissistic mother deserves honor, because frankly, she doesn’t.  No narcissist does.  It’s important because God wants us to honor our parents, & doing it shows Him how much you love Him.

 

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Ranting & Raving.. (revised)

Good morning, Dear Readers!

Well, it isn’t really a good morning for me.  I really do want to keep my posts as encouraging & as positive as I can, but I also promised you readers that I would also be real.  That means some posts won’t be all happy & positive.  This post is going to be one of those.  In fact, I was going to write it only in my journal, but I felt I should write it in here.  Maybe someone needs to read this today.  It’ll probably be pretty long, longer than normal at least, so get yourself comfortable if you want to read this.. lol

The last few days have been really rough, & the C-PTSD is flaring up badly as of yesterday.  My head is simply swimming.  To start with, our little American Eskimo dog, Dixie, has been sick.  Thankfully, she is well on her way to recovery now, but not recognizing her symptoms at first terrified me.  My pets are like my children, so  when they are sick, I get extremely concerned.  Then my husband’s mother went into the hospital a couple of days ago.  I’m not sure she didn’t put herself there for attention, to be completely honest about it.  It wouldn’t be the first time she’s done that.  I think it was last year just before Christmas my husband told me she said that she quit taking her meds for a few days prior to going into the hospital.  Yep, I love narcissists.. NOT.  *sigh*

And, as the icing on this crappy cake, my husband & I saw my parents yesterday.

Recently, my parents bought a new chair.  Once it was delivered, my mother decided she didn’t like it, & wanted to exchange it for another one.  She called to ask if my husband would mind picking it up with his truck, as she didn’t want to pay another $80 delivery charge.  He said he’d be fine with doing it Saturday (yesterday).  So Friday, I said I should call her to be sure of what time to meet my parents at the furniture store.  He volunteered to make the call instead, which was fine with me at the time.  Now, I’m not happy he did this at all & that will not be happening again as I have learned a painful lesson.  Although I have told him many times, do NOT say anything about our furkids or his parents to my parents other than everyone is “fine”, he told my mother Dixie was sick & probably needed to see the vet in the morning, & also that his mother was in the hospital so we couldn’t make it a long visit.  If my mother hears anything other than FINE about any of them, I will end up very angry with either her nasty comments about my furkids, or fake concern over my in-laws.  The fake concern hurts me very badly, because she knows perfectly well I haven’t spoken to my in-laws since 2002 because of how cruelly my narcissistic mother in-law has treated me.  And a side note here- I asked God once why my mother does this.  He showed me that my mother thinks my in-laws have a perfect life- been married 60+ years, financially comfortable, nice home in a nice area, their children, grandchildren & great-grandchildren visit them often.  She fails to see the mountains of dysfunction in their family, only what looks good on the outside.  My mother, being a narcissist & naturally overly concerned with appearances, wants to impress them. By me refusing to tolerate my mother in-law’s abusive ways, I’ve embarrassed my mother.  In return, she wants to hurt me as much as possible by showing concern for them, as well as showing them even though I’m a “terrible person,” at least she isn’t bad like me.  She is good enough to care about them even if I don’t.  This is also why she has sent them Christmas cards since I first told her how cruel the mother in-law is.  Amazing what goes on  in the mind of a narcissist..

Back to the original topic..

The visit started at the furniture store.  My mother sat in the car, & my father approached us in hubby’s truck.  He handed hubby a booklet about county services for seniors I’d given my parents a couple of months ago.  He said it was because hubby’s parents probably needed it.  Really?  Hubby told my father no, they’re fine- my parents need it.  My father said my mother thought they needed it more, so they should have it. Hubby grabbed the booklet & spoke to my mother, telling her SHE needs this, his parents are taken care of.  I heard snippets of their conversation- she kept changing the subject, showing concern for his mother being in the hospital.  ARGH!  So while this happened, my father & I walked into the customer service area & gave them the receipt.  We waited a few minutes for him to bring the chair outside for us, & chatted.  Finally we were loaded up & ready to go.  I moved the truck over to beside my mother’s car to get it out of the way.  My mother said hi to me, I ignored her & waited for hubby.

At my parents’ house, my mother asked me how Dixie was.  i said fine.  She said “Oh?  Your dad said she was really sick.”  I said nothing further.  (I feel somewhat bad about that, because knowing her, she’ll jump on my father for lying to her even though he wasn’t lying.  But, not trying to be vengeful here, he has no problems throwing me under the bus with my mother.  Why should I feel bad that I inadvertently did the same to him once, yanno?)  So she then talked to hubby about his mother.  I continued ignoring her, but was stewing inside.  How dare she?!  Plus i was also angry hubby told her about Dixie when I have said many times mention NOTHING about her or the cats to my mother.

My husband, father & I assembled the chair.  While working on it, my mother brought out a plate of cookies & demanded we all eat one.  I refused.  All my life, my mother has insulted what I eat, how much I do or don’t eat, demanded I eat what she wants when she wants me to & ridiculed me for being fat no matter how little I may weigh.  When she tells me to eat something now, I refuse in order to set a boundary.  Plus, the emotional flashbacks I get make me feel like I did at around 10 years old when her abuse regarding food was so bad that I became anorexic then later bulimic: terrified of her anger if I didn’t do as was told or take her criticisms with a smile, angry, like I am too hideous & disgusting to live.  This feels HORRIBLE & it makes me angry that at 43 years old, I quickly can revert to feeling like I did as a child.

Finally, the chair was done, & we were ready to leave.  As I said goodbye to my father, my mother spoke to my husband about his parents again, feigning such great concern for their well-being.  I could feel the anger inside me bubbling by this point.  Then, as I moved to say goodbye to her before my head exploded, she said “Wait a minute.”  My mother went into another room & came back with a plate of cookies & a get well card for my mother in-law!!  She handed them to hubby.  I was in shock at this point.  She then hugged us both & told me she loved me as we left.  I practically ran to the truck.  I also realized when she has been especially cruel to me recently, she always says she loves me.  No other times.  In fact, I could probably count on one hand how many times she has said that in the last 30 years until this behavior began recently.

I cannot put into words how hurt I am by this whole episode.  I know my mother is extremely angry with me because I set boundaries with her early last month.  (See this blog entry)  I’ve been expecting a narcissistic rage because of that as I mentioned in that post, which meant I was expecting her to say excessively cruel, hurtful things to me in a public place.  But this betrayal & flaunting it?  And to top it off, my husband basically handed her the weapon on a  silver platter & doesn’t understand why I’m upset?

I am just depressed, hurt & angry today.  I feel so alone in this situation, & am so tired of feeling that way. I can’t talk to my husband about it since he doesn’t really understand.  I can’t talk to my father- he’s got his own concerns with how cruel she is to him, & those concerns are very valid.  He also won’t speak on my behalf to my mother.  I also feel like I don’t matter.  Again. I am so tired of this feeling!  My mother made me feel this way growing up.  Being a typical malignant narcissist, I was only there to be an extension of her, meet her needs & please her.  I wasn’t to “bother” her with having needs or feelings. Growing up, things haven’t really improved with her in that area.  My husband’s invalidating “I wouldn’t give it any credence” comment about my mother’s actions yesterday have made me feel the same “I don’t matter” feeling.  I’m so tired of it!!!

I’m also incredibly frustrated.  Something must be done with my mother, but I am too frazzled at this moment to figure out what.  If I speak up about her “Caring” about my mother in-law, it’ll feed her- she will be sure to show more concern for her just because she knows exactly how much it hurts me.  If I remain quiet, she will show more concern to be sure she is getting to me.  Damned if I do, damned if I don’t… So, I need to pray about how to handle this after I feel better.

Right now, I’m wallowing in the self-pity place.  I know  this all too well, & I don’t like it at all.  But, I have learned some things since I’ve been here so many times in my life: this place is necessary, & it doesn’t last forever.

So many people will tell you things like “pick yourself up by your bootstraps” but sometimes you need to wallow for a bit, to feel sorry for yourself because you have been through something very painful.  I think of it as feeling compassion for yourself.  If someone told me what I just told you, my heart would break for them.  I would want to tell them everything will be fine & somehow make it better if I could.  So why not have that same compassion for myself?

I also think that the self-pity times allow us to process painful things, & we need to process painful things!  Sweeping things under the rug or ignoring the pain they cause do no good at all!  In fact, ignoring things can cause a great deal of harm.  I never really dealt with the abuse I endured until I was around 30 years old.  By the time I was 41, I developed full blown C-PTSD after living with many of the symptoms my whole life.  I wonder if I had been able to deal with things earlier, if I would have C-PTSD now.  Not dealing with things also can cause physical problems such as arthritis, heart problems, ulcers, high blood pressure, & much more.

If you made it this far, God bless you!  Thank you for listening to me rant & rave.  I hope somehow you were able to glean something helpful from this post.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

I’m revising  this post only slightly…..

 

I saw yesterday that the card my mother gave my husband for his mother wasn’t in a sealed envelope- the flap was just pushed in.  Seemed odd to me, but I figured that meant my mother wanted me to read it.  Knowing her, that just made sense in her dysfunctional little world.  So, I finally gave in a few minutes ago.  This is the card- nothing has been altered at all. This shows just how hell bent my mother is to hurt me- she is sending a nicer card to someone she can’t stand than she has ever sent to me.  I honestly don’t even know if she’s ever given me a get well card…

 

This is the outside of the card...

This is the outside of the card…

& here is the inside... lovely wording, isn't it?

& here is the inside… lovely wording, isn’t it?

 

 

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

Continued Adventures In Caregiving

Good afternoon, Dear Readers!

Sunday was only my second day helping my parents, but it was a really rough one both mentally & physically. So rough in fact, I realized that I can’t keep doing this. I can offer some help, sure, but on a very limited basis. Mentally I’m not very strong anymore. Then physically, I have bad knees so a lot of things are just too painful for me to do. I’ve been doing my parents’ laundry, as my father is now unstable on his feet after his stroke, & my mother claims her back pain is too bad to go up & down those steps. She has been wanting to have the washer & dryer moved upstairs from the basement, but has been dragging her feet on the issue. The next time I see my parents on this coming Sunday, I am going to tell her it needs to be done soon, & if not, then I will arrange to have help come into their home that they can pay for.

In order to discuss this topic with my narcissistic mother, I was given some very valuable advice. Something I hadn’t thought of. Make it all about her. If I told my mother I wasn’t able to do certain things because of my knee pain, she wouldn’t care. But, if I tell her that my knees make me unable to do things, which could cause her problems, she’ll be more interested. And, this winter is supposed to be a bad one with a lot of snow here in MD. I live on a major highway, which means I get plowed in. The highway may be clear, but there is a wall of solidly packed snow created by snowplows at the end of my driveway that means I can’t get out quickly or easily. This would affect her! I’ll just leave out the part that it’s frustrating when I get plowed in. This seems like a very good way to handle discussing things of this nature with any narcissist, I think. Every child of a narcissistic parent knows their parent doesn’t care about them unless what happens affects them somehow.

I have begun researching getting some help to be prepared. I looked into their insurance to see if they have long term care coverage, which they don’t. Long term care coverage is a wonderful thing- it pays for health care workers or nurse to come into their home & help them out in various ways.

Since that didn’t work out, I then found this link which directed me to my local caregiver support network in my county.

http://www.aoa.gov/AoARoot/AoA_Programs/OAA/How_To_Find/Agencies/Find_Agencies.aspx?sc=–&cc=&#8211;

This has been a very helpful place for me to start. They told me an evaluation would need to be done (free) by a social worker before help can be hired, & provided me that phone number. They also gave me references to local home health care workers (they’re the people who do chores, laundry, & such), a directory of various services available in this state for seniors, info on a caregiver support group & much more. I learned that certain injuries or illnesses may be entitled to specific benefits. For example, my father has a traumatic brain injury, & there are special services available for him.

Here is another link with some good information as well:

http://www.ncoa.org/get-involved/i-am-older-adult-caregiver.html

My father also gave me a paper with some information on it that he got from his last hospital stay, too. Apparently many medical records can be available online & this paper had all the information I needed to access it. This is very handy as I can read exactly what the doctors have said & how they are treating him.

As for myself, I’m realizing that I need to take a day off each week to recover physically & mentally. Tuesdays work well for this for me, so I now plan to goof off each Tuesday. It gives me something to look forward to.

I hope this information helps any other caregivers who may be reading this. ❤

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Caregiving And Narcissistic Parents

Good evening, Dear Readers!

My father recently had a mild stroke, which in addition to other health problems, has made him much more frail than he was.  My mother has some health problems as well, so they need some help.  This is where I come into the picture.

Being my parents’ only child, I think it’s only right for me to help them.  Plus, I’m good at caregiving.  I think most children of narcissistic parents are- we learned early in life how to read people & detect their needs.  I’ve promised them part of the day each Sunday for this. This already makes me nervous, since both are narcissistic.  I was a caregiver for my mother’s narcissistic mother for about a year, & it was miserable!  I’m hoping & praying my parents aren’t as bad as my grandmother was.

So far, it’s been more difficult, but in different ways.

My folks are lonely, & want company as much as they want help.  They’re frustrated with losing some independence.  And, the new issues haven’t fixed the dysfunction in their marriage- they still fuss at each other & play head games.

I feel sorry for them.

In the time I spent caring for my narcissistic grandmother, this never happened.  I didn’t think it would happen with my parents.  Imagine my surprise.

This has made me have to work hard on keeping my focus on God’s will for this situation & my boundaries.

These may be my parents, but they also are dangerous to my mental health.  The C-PTSD flares up in their presence, especially the anxiety.  I also realized how quickly I slip into old, dysfunctional, unhealthy mindsets around them.  This taught me how I need to keep focused on God & what is true.  I will frequently ask God to remind me of what He says about me & what is true.

My plan to help them & keep my mental health is to pray even more than usual.  I’ll be praying prior to visiting them.  And, asking God to help me have discernment when needed, & to remember His truth about me, so any criticisms don’t hurt me.

I also realize I’ll need to get better at having a self care routine, & remembering to take things one day at a time.  Maybe one hour at a time on bad days…another thing to ask God to help me with.

I’ll be sharing some about my new “adventure” in this blog.  I pray it’ll help you if you too are the child of a narcissistic parent.  ❤

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My Newest Book- About Maternal Narcissism

Good evening, Dear Readers!  I hope this post finds you well!

I spent some time working on my new book about narcissistic mothers today.  It’s coming along slowly but surely.  🙂

I’m trying to cover every aspect of maternal narcissism- symptoms, behavior, what can happen to someone raised by a narcissistic mother & how to cope, men married to these women, ways to deal with her, & more. 

I thought I’d ask if any of you have a topic you’d like to see covered in the book.  I’m open to suggestions.  Feel free to comment on this post, or email me at:  CynthiaBaileyRug@AOL.com.  I look forward to your input.

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My First Post As A Guest Blogger

Here is the link…  🙂

http://wordpress.com/read/post/id/60403795/2710/

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism, Welcome To My Blog!, Writing

January 8, 2014

Good afternoon, Dear Readers!

I need to rant a little today.. 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard things like, “That’s your MOTHER!  She’s the only one you’ll ever have!”  or, “She won’t be around forever!” or other unasked for advice in telling me what *I* need to do to improve the abusive relationship between my mother & I.

Is it just me?  I’m going to go out on a limb here & guess it isn’t just me..

Isn’t it infuriating, feeling like all of the responsibility of a relationship is on you?!  Oh my word!!!  I flippin’ hate that!  Relationships are a two way street.  There is a lot of give & take.  It doesn’t matter if that relationship is parent/child, family, friendship or romantic.  All relationships are give & take.  There is nowhere in the Bible that says children must tolerate abuse from their parents.  The only verse I’ve found says that children should honor their parents, & no where does the word honor equal being a punching bag or doormat or recipient of abuse.  It simply means giving your parents their due respect for giving you life.  Period.  For further information on this topic, I have written some free ebooks on the topics.  Simply click this link for access to them.

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October 25, 2013

Good afternoon, Dear Readers!  I hope this post finds you well today & ready to enjoy a lovely autumn weekend!

Yesterday was a very trying day for me.  I had to run to the vet’s office & get some medicine for my kitty, Pretty Boy.  With agoraphobia, even leaving the house let alone driving 15 miles to the vet is a challenge.  Thankfully, the vet’s office is usually one place that I can handle fairly well.  For good measure, I took my dog, Dixie along for a ride- her presence helped calm me.  So I got home & was quite proud of myself!  I did this trip with no panic!  YAY ME!

I saw when I got home that my mother called while I was out.  I changed into my bumming around the house clothes & was going to call her back when she called me instead.  While I am glad to say she is still not deliberately being cruel to me, it was a rough talk.  She explained what it’s like to have back problems (as usual, not acknowledging the fact I had back pain for 10 years resulting from her throwing me into a wall when I was 19).  She also complained so much about my dad & the problems between them.  *sighs*  

After I hung up from that call, I made some chamomile tea & sat down with my computer to goof off for a bit.  As I sat here, snuggling kitties & reading email, a few minutes later I heard a sound.. I knew it was my car- I thought maybe a branch fell off a tree & landed on the car.  I got up to check & saw my dad.  He had a doctor’s appointment not far from me & stopped by on his way home.  While he was here, he spent his time complaining about my mother.  *sighs again*

This is what is called Emotional Incest or Parentalizing.  When a parent treats their child (of any age) as an equal by confiding in them about personal problems (especially romantic ones),  expects that child to take care of their emotional well being &  fix their problems, it is emotionally damaging to the child.  Some problems resulting from being parentalized are:

 

  • An over-developed sense of responsibility (if someone is upset, you feel it’s your job to fix the problem & make them feel better).
  • Guilt.
  • Putting others first, even when you have genuine needs.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Depression.
  • Anxiety.
  • Feeling “in the middle” with your parents.

I have experienced all of these things & more.  On days like yesterday, I was physically shaky for a while.  I also was achy all over, for no physical reason.  This also made the Complex PTSD flare up- I normally cry easily but yesterday was worse, & I was so anxious.  I also felt like I was a child again.  The same fear & anxieties of my parents arguing when I was a child rose up in me.  

Unfortunately I have not found a way to stop my parents from doing this entirely.  The best things I have found to do are:

  • Set & enforce boundaries to protect myself.
  • Keep a distance- only talking to them when I am able to handle it emotionally.
  • Change the subject often.  When they start complaining about each other, I bring up any other topic I can think of.  Often, they go right back to their conversation, so I have to change the subject again.  Eventually, they will go along with me.

If you too go through the pain of being your parent’s parent, please know I understand.  You are not alone in this, even if you feel like you are.  Hugs to you!!!

Also, please check out my website.. I have some information on there for adult children of abusive mothers the following link:  http://www.cynthiabaileyrug.com/Problem_Mothers.htm.  And, on my free ebooks page, I have a free ebook available on the topic of Emotional Incest.  Check it out.. 

God bless you & I’m praying for you!  ❤

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