Tag Archives: personality disorder

Narcissists Miss Out On So Much

For years, one thing that has bothered me about the relationship with not only my narcissistic mother, but also narcissistic grandmother & narcissistic mother in-law is the waste of it all.  I was pretty much nothing but a bother to my narcissistic mother.  When I was one of the caregivers for my narcissistic grandmother, she ordered me around like the hired help & was constantly hateful & cruel to me.  We should’ve been close since I spent so much time with her, but instead I was nothing but a servant to her.  As for the mother in-law, she hated me since we met, never giving me a chance.  I’m just the woman who stole her son.

This is so sad to me.  It seems like nothing but waste. Narcissism stole any chance at me having a decent, at the very least civil, relationship with any one of these women.  On top of the damage it causes, such as stealing joy & destroying self-esteem, narcissism also steals relationships.

It’s also sad to me to think about what these narcissists in my life missed out on.  Admittedly, I still have issues with self-esteem, but even so, I realize I’m not a bad person.  I have a good (albeit warped) sense of humor.  I like to help people.  These people have missed out on that, & it’s a shame for them.

Have you ever thought about that?  About what your narcissistic mother has missed out on by treating you the way she has?

It’s common I think to be so focused on what we, the victims, missed out on, but I think contemplating what they, the abusers, missed out on too can be helpful.  It helps you to realize you aren’t unworthy, as you were made to believe.

If you really think about it, your narcissistic mother missed out on a lot.  You have many great qualities, & it is her loss not to be able to enjoy those.  What good qualities do you have?  Are you loyal?  Compassionate?  Fun?  Helpful?  She also missed out on so many of those lovely mother/daughter moments, such as picking out a prom dress, planning your wedding, or helping you pick out paint colors for your first home.  So many mothers & daughters are very close friends- she missed out on your lovely friendship.  You aren’t the only one who missed out on those- they would’ve been a blessing to her as well.  She missed out on watching you grow & appreciating you in each phase of your life.

Your narcissistic mother has missed out on so much with you.  You are truly a gem, & it’s her loss that she’s been so involved with her narcissism that she missed out on that.  Do you know that?

If you’ve never thought like this before, I’d like to encourage you to think about it.  What has your narcissistic mother missed out on with you?  Think about the wonderful qualities you bring to a relationship.  When you do, you’ll see that your mother has lost a special gift in you.  You’ll also see that just maybe, you aren’t as terrible as she always tried to make you believe.

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“Why Didn’t You Tell Someone?”

When victims of abuse first tell their story, people often ask why they didn’t tell someone when it was happening.  They figure it couldn’t have been so bad if they didn’t even tell anyone.

 

This thinking is incredibly faulty!  Nothing could be further from the truth!

 

Abusers of all types have some things in common.  One of those things is they love secrecy.  They don’t want people to know what they are doing to their victim, so they threaten & scare their victims into silence.

 

Some abusers tell their victims things like, “If you tell anyone, I’ll kill your child/parents/sibling.”  Others beat their victims upon finding out the victim told someone what the abuser has done.  Narcissistic abusers usually aren’t so obvious with their intimidation, but they value secrecy nonetheless.  When I was growing up, my mother used to scream at me when she thought I was “airing our dirty laundry” as she called talking about her abuse.  She would shame me for needing to talk about things, like there was something incredibly wrong with me- everything she did was completely normal, I had no right to think otherwise or talk about her behind her back.  I stopped talking.  It wasn’t worth the screaming & berating.

 

Then sometimes if we tell, people either don’t believe us anyway or they think we’re exaggerating.  When I was a teen & told some people about my mother, no one believed me.  One school guidance counselor said “it didn’t sound so bad.”  When my mother threw me into a wall, I went to my friend’s parents’ home to see if I could stay with them.  Her father laughed at me.  26+ years later & I still don’t get the joke.

 

Reasons like this are why victims don’t tell someone when the abuse is happening.  We’re terrified the abuser will follow through on their threats or hurt us in some way, or afraid no one will believe us.  As painful as staying quiet about what’s happening is, it’s easier than facing the wrath of the abuser or apathy of someone we turn to for help.

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What It’s Like Being The Adult Child Of A Narcissistic Parent

Children of narcissistic parents often experience similar types of abuse when growing up.  So many of us have spoken to others & said things like, “Yea!!  My mother did that exact same thing!” Many of my readers have told me their stories & they sound oddly similar to my own.  Their mothers told them they were crazy, fat, stupid, ugly, worthless, etc.  They used similar gaslighting phrases to my mother’s, such as “I don’t remember it that way.”  “You’re crazy!”  “What is wrong with you?”  The similarities are uncanny!  In fact, I’ve often wondered if they all have some sort of secret narcissistic instruction manual since so many narcissists act very similar.

 

The abuse isn’t the only thing that’s similar about being raised by narcissistic parents.  The damage done is oddly similar.

 

  • Adult children of narcissists don’t know ourselves.  At best, we know who our narcissistic parent told us we were.
  • We have incredibly low self-esteem, often even believing we have no right to exist & take up space in this world.
  • The low self-esteem makes us incredibly anxious, often terrified of asking people for something,
  • We feel incredible amounts of toxic shame about every single thing about us.
  • Many adult children of narcissistic parents struggle with issues with their weight.  We were told constantly how fat or skinny we were growing up, so we began early in life to see our bodies through our narcissistic parent’s eyes rather than our own.  This often leads to eating disorders or other issues with food.
  • Boundaries?  What are those?  They must be for other people, certainly not for children of narcissistic parents!
  • We’re exhausted constantly.  A lifetime of narcissistic abuse makes people function in survival mode, always trying to put out the next fire as soon as it starts or, better yet, try to make sure the fire doesn’t start in the first place.
  • PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) or C-PTSD (Complex PTSD) is common.  Being raised by at least one narcissistic parent is traumatic in so many ways, so many adult children are diagnosed with PTSD or C-PTSD.
  • Physical problems such as high blood pressure, arthritis, aches & pains with no physical cause, & more.

 

Dear Reader, chances are you have experienced symptoms like this, probably more.  Maybe it’s even what brought you to my blog today.  If you are experiencing such things, then please know you aren’t crazy!  You’re far from it in fact.  You’re a normal person who has experienced extremely abnormal things, & had a normal reaction to them.

 

I can’t tell you today that the symptoms will all go away quickly, because they won’t.  Prayer, love & support from those around you, counseling will help you get healthier.  Prayer in particular is the most important thing you can do to help yourself.  Remember, the Bible referred to Jesus as “The Great Physician” & “Wonderful Counselor”- who better to help you get through this?  Also, the more you learn about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, the more it will help you to see that you were not the real problem, contrary to what you were told.  You may need to go no contact for your healing to progress, or at the least go low contact.  The more distance between you & your abusive parent, the better it is for your mental & physical health.  You’ll gain clarity you can’t have when in their presence often.  You also will stop functioning in survival mode, which will allow you to think of yourself for once rather than your parents.

 

The symptoms resulting from narcissistic abuse are nothing to take lightly.  Take care of yourself.  You deserve to be happy & healthy! xoxo

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What Is Respect?

Growing up with narcissistic parents, you learn early on that to show respect means that you tolerate abuse, blindly obey & never talk back or confront your parents about the abuse they inflicted on you.  Since you are ignored & invalidated, you also knew that you are unworthy of this so-called respect.

 

The fact is though that none of this is real respect!  It is some mock version of respect narcissists teach their kids so they can justify their abuse.

 

If you too grew up with such a skewed view of respect, then it’s time to get a healthier perspective.

 

Respect should be mutual in a healthy relationship.  Both parties should care about each other & each other’s needs & feelings.

 

Respect is earned, not demanded.  My mother used to tell me that she demanded respect, which is entirely wrong!  A person can command respect with their actions, but demanding respect never works out well.  When a person is ordered to give someone respect, that person is immediately turned off to the demanding one.

 

There is absolutely nothing respectful about tolerating abuse.  Standing up for yourself shows that you have self-respect, that you care enough about yourself to want better & to know that you deserve better treatment.

 

Saying “no” can be a very respectful thing.  Allowing someone to have their way at all times shows that you have no self-respect.  Enforcing healthy boundaries however, shows you respect yourself.  It also shows that you care enough about the other person to want them to do better, because boundaries encourage good behavior.

 

 

 

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Two Types Of Narcissists, Part 2 Covert Narcissists

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Handling People Who Don’t Believe You

So many people I talk to that have survived narcissistic abuse tell the same story about how people in their lives responded to them discussing the abuse.  They were met with invalidation (“It couldn’t have been that bad!”  “Other people had it way worse than you did.”), scolding (“How can you say those things about your own mother?!”), disbelief or being accused of being unforgiving or needing to “get over it”.

 

Especially in the early days of awareness of narcissism & learning what you went through really is abuse- you aren’t crazy or to blame like you were told- this sort of behavior is devastating.  The more you heal, the better you can handle it, but I don’t think it ever stops hurting at least some to be met with such indifference to your pain.  It can leave you bitter & angry if you allow it to.

 

In all fairness, you certainly have a right to be angry at people who say such things!  It’s heartless & hurtful!  So get angry!  Get it out of you so you can forgive.  You don’t deserve to live with that anger inside of you, stealing your joy!  Whether the other person deserves your forgiveness or asks for it is irrelevant.  You deserve better than carrying around anger inside of you!

 

That being said, there are other ways to cope.

 

Journalling is a wonderful thing. It is a completely safe way to get your feelings out, especially if you use a password protected journalling website.  This will help you to let go of all the negative feelings.

 

Focus on the positive.  Just because one person mistreated you doesn’t mean everyone will.  Appreciate your good friends & let them know you appreciate them!  What other good things are in your life?  Maybe start a gratitude journal- daily, write down at least 2 things you’re grateful for.

 

Accept the fact that not everyone will understand what you’ve been through.  In all honesty, narcissistic abuse can be hard to wrap your mind around, especially if you’ve never been exposed to it.  (Even if you’ve been through it, it’s hard to grasp!)  And sadly, some people have no desire to even try.  With people like this, it’s just smart not to discuss the topic of narcissism.  They won’t be convinced of anything you say because they lack the desire to understand.  When that wall is up, it stays up, & nothing you say can make a difference.  Stick to more neutral topics with this person, & if you need to discuss something you’ve been through, then seek out someone who understands.

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Some Thoughts About No Contact

Once upon a time, no contact was a rare thing.  It only happened rarely, when the victim of an abuser was at the end of her rope after trying every possible solution she could think of.  This is no longer the case.

 

Today, relationships are much more disposable.  No contact is often preached as the only reasonable solution, no matter the situation.  Many victims are shamed if they are unwilling or unable to go no contact with their abusive parents or other family members.  Often, many who have opted to go no contact no longer see any alternative, especially when an abuser is a narcissist.

 

Unfortunately, what many people fail to realize is there are no “one size fits all” solutions especially when dealing with narcissists.  No contact is not always possible or the desired solution.  Some wish to get to that point but do not feel able to at the current time.  It depends a great deal on the individuals involved & their specific situation.  While I certainly believe no contact is a viable solution in many (well, most) situations, I have spoken with many who are unwilling or unable to go no contact.  They have shown me there is a great need for compassion & understanding for them.  I hope to help to create that with this post.

 

Narcissism is a spectrum disorder.  Some narcissists aren’t very high on the spectrum, exhibiting few narcissistic behaviors.  If someone is firm with their boundaries with those narcissists, chances are the narcissist will respect those boundaries, albeit grudgingly.  If someone acts the exact same way with a malignant narcissist instead, someone very high on the spectrum, chances are their results won’t be so good.  If a victim feels they can be firm & handle the lower on the spectrum narcissist, is it really necessary for that person to be shamed for maintaining a relationship if that is what they want to do?

 

Relationships shouldn’t be easily disposable.  To tell someone who recently learned about narcissism that she should “just go no contact”, especially if the narcissist in question is a parent, is ridiculous!  The victim needs to learn about narcissism & ways to cope with a narcissist, then try some possible ways to cope before deciding if no contact is the right solution.  Ending any relationship is an extreme move, & it shouldn’t be taken lightly.

 

There is also such a thing as filial piety in Asian cultures.  This means that the children care for their aging parents no matter the personal cost.  Not doing this can result in a ruined reputation or being ostracized, for daughters in particular.  It is unfair to shame those in this culture simply because you disagree with it.  Agree or not, it is a fact of life, & they need to handle the situation however they see fit.  They may need to implement low contact indefinitely to avoid the fallout of going complete no contact.  This means they need support, understanding & love to help them in this difficult situation.

 

While no contact is often the only solution when dealing with a narcissistic personality, it shouldn’t be the first solution that comes to mind.  It should be a last resort after other methods have been tried with no success.

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Understanding Anger After Abuse

Growing up with narcissistic parents, you learn many things early in life that most people don’t, such as you aren’t allowed to have feelings.  Often if you are happy, a narcissistic parent will ask you what you have to be so happy about, shaming you into hiding your joy.  If you are sad, you’re told you don’t have anything to be sad about because other people have it way worse than you.  If you’re angry, you’re told you have a bad temper & are crazy.

 

Because of such things, you learn early on to ignore your emotions.  Stuff them down deep inside & pretend they aren’t there.  Eventually though, after years of doing this, enough is enough.  You can’t physically or mentally handle this stress any longer, & you have to start learning to express yourself.  It feels so strange at first.  Sometimes, I still feel like I’m waiting for some sort of backlash for sharing my emotions, because I’m doing something I learned as a child was absolutely wrong.  It has improved over time, but is still there to a degree.

 

I think though that anger is the hardest emotion to handle when you learn to share your emotions.  Aside from the messages of shame for feeling anger that you must get rid of, anger seems to have a mind of its own.

 

When first getting in touch with your anger, it may feel as if there is an infinite pit of it inside you, which is pretty scary.  You must realize that if you’ve been stuffing it inside you for your entire life, there is going to be a lot of anger in there to deal with.  There is an end to it all, but it’s going to take a while to deal with it all.

 

Also, when you’re not allowed to express anger, it comes up later, even years later.  I get angry with my parents for things that happened 30 years ago sometimes.  It makes me feel like I’m living too much in the past. It can be so frustrating!  Unfortunately it’s also very normal.  You can’t simply expel all of the anger you feel inside at once.  You mentally couldn’t handle that.  Instead, it comes out in manageable doses.  This means you’ll probably have to deal with an incident at a time.  Since narcissistic parents dole out such a great deal of abuse to their children over the course of their lives, there are obviously going to be many, many incidents to deal with, even going back to your very early life.  It’s an unfortunate & frustrating fact of being raised by narcissistic parents.

 

Sometimes the anger comes up later because you were so busy trying to survive the abuse that you didn’t have time to cope with it at the time.  I had a terrible relationship with my husband’s mother.  Then, my husband defended her to me which caused many problems in our marriage.  I had to fight with him as well as her, & didn’t really have time to process what was happening, because I was trying to survive both of them with my sanity in tact.  It wasn’t until I cut her out of my life that I could finally deal with the things she had done to me as well as the anger at my husband for taking her side no matter what she did.

 

You need to realize that all of these feelings are normal.

 

You also need to realize that you have a right to your anger.  Being abused isn’t fair.  No one deserves it!  You have every right to feel anger about that.

 

You have every right to learn to deal with your anger in a healthy way.  It’s well overdue.

 

There is nothing wrong with anger in & of itself, so please don’t buy into the lies you heard about that.  Anger is simply an emotion & emotions aren’t bad.  It’s what we do with that anger that can be bad.  Trying to get revenge on someone out of anger is bad, but feeling anger is not.  Anger is a good thing since it lets you know something is wrong.

 

I know anger is a very scary thing when you never learned how to handle it in healthy ways.  However, you can learn healthy ways to deal with it.  Prayer is the absolute best place to start, I believe. Ask God to show you what to do, how to handle it.  He certainly will answer that prayer!

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Are You Oversensitive?

Something I’ve noticed about survivors of narcissistic abuse is many become very sensitive.  The smallest thing can hurt or devastate them.  It’s quite understandable, really.  After being verbally abused so much, they probably have reached their limit, & just can’t tolerate any more insults, invalidation, etc.

 

Unfortunately, they are often also very sad people, feeling abused or mistreated when no such thing was intended.

 

Does this describe you?  If so, then I urge you to consider making a change!

 

Try to remember to respond rather than react.  What I mean is stop for a moment before feeling or saying anything.  Think- did this person say something hurtful to you just after losing a loved one?  Being fired?  Stubbing their toe on the coffee table?  Then they aren’t trying to hurt you out of maliciousness- they’re in a bad mood.  It’s nothing personal!  Remind yourself it’s nothing personal- the person is just in a bad mood & you just happened to be there.  If you aren’t sure, then ask God to tell you the truth.  Is it you or is the other person having a bad day?

 

On the other hand, if the person is deliberately trying to hurt you & you know this, then you know what?  It’s also not personal.  This person has issues & for whatever reason, finds you a good victim.  You haven’t done anything to deserve this- the other person simply has problems.  I’ve reminded myself of this with my narcissistic mother repeatedly.  She got mad at me when a friend of hers complemented me once, & spent the rest of our time together making me miserable.  It hurt, but I reminded myself this is how she is!  She is so insecure, she can’t handle anyone in her presence getting any positive attention from anyone, so she will do her best to ruin the positive attention by being demeaning & hateful.

 

I know this can be hard to do with narcissists, but it does get easier in time.  The more you learn about NPD, the more you understand that they have big problems, & you are NOT one of them!  I’m speaking from experience- this really is true!  I feel like thanks to realizing my mother has problems, I’m a narcissistic abuse navy seal by now.  It takes quite a bit to phase me anymore.  After my mother spending hours & hours screaming at me, telling me what a horrible person I am, really, what else is there?!  A stranger flipping me off in traffic isn’t going to upset me for more than a moment.  Someone obviously hating me & trying to bully me?  Yea, whatever…. I’ve dealt with bigger & badder & survived.

 

Most of all, keep a good relationship with God as your top priority.  Know you can go to Him anytime, asking for help.  In fact, ask Him other ways to help you not to take things so personally.

 

If you’re over sensitive, then there isn’t something wrong with you.  It’s just proof you’ve been through way too much pain.  But, you deserve better than going through life hurt all of the time just because someone acted insensitively to you!  Please, for your own sake, Dear Reader, try to put into practice what I’ve mentioned here.  Your life can be much happier for it!

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Why Are Victims Supposed To Fix The Abusive Relationship?

Why is it when someone has either set boundaries in or ended an abusive relationship, people try to convince that person to “forgive & forget” or “be the bigger person” & fix the relationship?  Have you noticed how commonplace this is?  Think about it…

 

If a daughter in-law is constantly belittled by her mother in-law, she is told to be the bigger person.  Let it go.  She is only trying to help by criticizing everything about you!

 

If your abusive parents have been out of your life for some time, then they become ill or worse are dying, chances are someone is going to tell you that you need to make things right with your parents.  You need to be there for them & take care of them!  You owe your parents that much!

 

A wife whose husband has beaten or raped her is told to forgive him since he was drunk.  He didn’t know what he was doing.  Stop making a mountain out of a molehill!

 

This is a major pet peeve of mine.  It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to expect an innocent victim to repair an abusive relationship.  Why don’t people tell abusers to fix the relationship instead?  Why not tell them to stop abusing?!

 

I think some people simply don’t want to face the fact that there is a lot of ugliness in the world.  They prefer to think everything is unicorns & rainbows, when nothing could be further from the truth.  Anything that interrupts their ignorance is met with denial or even hostility.

 

Some people, flying monkeys in particular, don’t want to believe that a person could be so bad.  Maybe they know the abuser & have seen the “good person” show that he or she puts on.  They would prefer to believe that facade is the real person, not the vicious, devious, abusive monster who has hurt you.

 

When this happens to you (& sadly it will at some point), it’s going to hurt.  It’s going to make you angry.  This is only natural since this type of thing is triggering & painful.  You can cope, however.

 

If you see the conversation you’re in is taking this turn, then end it.  Change the subject.  Say you won’t discuss this topic with this person.  Walk away if you must or hang up the phone.

 

Don’t buy into that “you need to be the bigger person” nonsense.  You didn’t cause the damage, you don’t need to fix the damage.  Fix only what you broke & apologize if you hurt people.  Take responsibility for things you have done wrong only.

 

And really.. how is it a good thing to stay in an abusive relationship anyway?!  Not only does that take a toll on your physical & mental health, but it encourages the abusive person to be abusive!  While no one can make an abuser become a kind, Godly person, setting boundaries sets the stage for that person to change their abusive behavior.  That is truly loving, Godly behavior!  Tolerating abuse from anyone is NOT!

 

Rather than listening to that drivel about being the bigger person, do what you know God wants you to do.  Stick to your boundaries.  Don’t be bullied or manipulated into allowing an abusive person back into your life.  Surround yourself with good, loving, Godly people who understand, love & support you.

 

 

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Sloppy Narcissists

Many narcissists are incredibly sloppy.  Their homes & cars are dirty & disorganized.  There are several possible reasons for this.

 

Often, overt narcissists feel they are above doing mundane chores such as washing their car or cleaning their home.  They expect their parent or spouse to take care of such trivial matters.  Covert narcissists will do these things in order to show their lowly status so you will pity them.  See what their overtly narcissistic spouse makes them do??  Poor covert narcissist…

 

Overt narcissists also enjoy the power trip of making someone else clean up after them.  They enjoy the feeling of power they get from making anyone do or feel anything, quite frankly, & having someone clean up after them is just a part of that.  Power in any form equals narcissistic supply.

 

Being messy means people don’t want to come into your personal space.  This can work well for the covert narcissist since they are often more introverted than their extroverted counterpart, the overt narcissist.

 

It can be a show of dominant behavior if someone is messy in another person’s space.  It shows that the narcissist is taking over someone else’s space or is exercising dominance over the space.  My ex husband was incredibly sloppy around our home & cars even knowing how much it bothered me.  He said he didn’t mind the mess, which obviously was all that mattered to him.  No amount of begging & pleading would make him stop being a slob.  Looking back, I believe it was simply a way of extending his dominance.  Also, my mother was a terrible housekeeper when I was a kid.  It bothered my father.  So much so, he once had me ask her to clean the house for my birthday gift (the result was her screaming at me & the house stayed filthy.  He never acknowledged how wrong it was to put me in this position).    I believe this was her way of dominating the home as well as her attitude of being above doing housework.

 

If you’re in a relationship with a messy, sloppy narcissist, make no mistake, it has a purpose.  Everything narcissists do has a purpose, which includes being slobs.  If you’re frustrated by this, that is supply for the narcissist.

 

Unfortunately I have yet to find any way to deal with this behavior successfully.  All I can tell you is to pray about it & ask God for wisdom & creative ways to deal with the situation.  And, remember, it’s ultimately narcissistic supply, so provide as little as possible.  Respond, don’t react.  Hide your anger or hurt in their presence.  The less supply you provide a narcissist, the greater the chance that person will get bored with attempting to upset or control you.

 

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A Bump In The Road Of Healing

When you grow up with narcissistic parents, it affects you deeply & in ways you aren’t even aware of.  The chaos, abuse & manipulations are simply normal to you.  Thank God He teaches us about Narcissistic Personality Disorder so we can get away from that dysfunction!

 

As you learn about narcissistic abuse & heal from it, naturally you change a great deal.  While becoming healthier, you see things differently.  You finally understand just how wrong so many things your parents taught you were.  It’s empowering, this learning & growing, but something comes along with it that can be difficult.  Constant reminders.

 

Some time ago, I realized that it seemed like everything reminded me of something awful about my relationship with my parents.  For example, after becoming deathly sick in 2015, seeing families rallying around a sick family member can bring me to tears.  I never told my parents what happened, because I know they would turn the situation back to them rather than care how I was, & it hurts!  Reminders that others have loving parents brings that awful thought back to the forefront of my mind, & depresses me.  Other times, I’ve seen reports on TV about a murdered person, & their grieving loved ones talk tearfully about what a wonderful person he or she was.  I know if I died, my parents wouldn’t miss me in the least, but instead would enjoy the narcissistic supply they could get by portraying themselves as the grieving parents.

 

These things began to happen after I got sick in 2015.  I chalked it up to the head injury & carbon monoxide poisoning I received at the time since both are known for changing a person’s personality.  Somehow that didn’t feel right though.  I prayed & God showed me what was happening.

 

The more a person heals from parental narcissistic abuse, the less they see things through the fog of gaslighting thrust on them.  The clarity means they understand how things should be, not as their narcissistic parents say they are.  Seeing healthy, normal situations is simply a reminder of how things were not when they were growing up.  Unfortunately the reminders can hurt a great deal.

 

Realizing your parents are narcissists is a painful experience, partly because of the grief that is involved.  You grieve the fact your parents never loved you, weren’t & will never be there for you, & even can’t be the kind of parents you would like them to be.  (I personally believe this is a lifelong grief, although it gets easier over time.)  It’s much like when someone you love dies- the initial grief can be debilitating, but in time it mellows to something more tolerable, only occasionally bringing you to tears when something reminds you of your loved one.  I remember right after my granddad died.. one day my husband & I ended up following a car that looked identical to his.  I cried because seeing that car made me miss him.  Almost 14 years later, I still shed some tears if I see a car like his last one or even vaguely like it.  Seeing something that reminds you of what your parents did or didn’t do for you can be like that- a sad & painful reminder.

 

If you are experiencing something like this, then Dear Reader, know you aren’t alone & you aren’t broken. I know it’s frustrating & painful, but I firmly believe it’s completely normal under the circumstances.  All you can do is understand these things happen, be gentle with yourself when they do & pray, pray, pray!  God will help you to get through!  Let Him do that for you!  xoxo

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My New YouTube Channel

Well, finally I did it, Dear Reader!  I started my YouTube channel.  After much anxiety & prayer & distractions, it’s now ready to go.  🙂

 

It’s now available at:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyHVkrFotB51_ZKqh7BqAXg

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Consequences & Narcissistic Parents

Proverbs 19:19  “A man of great anger will bear the penalty [for his quick temper and lack of self-control];
For if you rescue him [and do not let him learn from the consequences of his action], you will only have to rescue him over and over again.”  (AMP)

 

Consequences are a valuable thing.  They teach people what is & is not acceptable behavior, what is safe & not safe & more.  Many children of narcissistic parents are not taught this in a healthy way, however.

 

Narcissistic parents teach their children to take care of them, instead of the natural order of things, the parent caring for the child.  One way they expect their children to take care of them is to interrupt the natural event of consequences for their actions.

 

  • If the narcissistic parent hurts the child’s feelings, the child is to hold the pain inside rather than tell the parent how she feels to protect the parent’s feelings.
  • The child should never set boundaries of any sort with her parent, so the parent is free to abuse anytime, any way she is so inclined.
  • Most of all, the child never, ever should tell anyone about what her parent does to her.  That way, no one thinks badly of the parent or gets her in any trouble for child abuse.

 

As the child of a narcissistic parent grows up, they get fed up with such nonsense, & rightfully so.  It’s not fair this abusive, evil parent skates through life unscathed while her child suffers constantly.

 

If you’re in this place, Dear Reader, I want you to know that you have ever right to stop protecting your parent from the consequences of their actions.  It’s Biblical to allow consequences to happen- just reread the above mentioned Scripture again if you don’t believe that.  You have every right to set healthy boundaries & to tell your parent that her actions are not acceptable to you.    In fact, you even have the right to go no contact with your parent if you are so inclined.  Titus 3:10 says, “After a first and second warning reject a divisive man [who promotes heresy and causes dissension—ban him from your fellowship and have nothing more to do with him],” (AMP)  Parents are not excluded from this Scripture, I believe, because God knows that sometimes, even a parent/child relationship comes down to needing that separation.

 

So Dear Reader, please don’t forget that your parent needs consequences for their actions.  It is NOT your job to protect them from consequences.  They need them if they are to have any chance of learning to behave better.

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Feeling Sorry For Narcissists

I feel a degree of pity for narcissists, even the ones who have tried to destroy me.  It’s so sad to me that they felt they had to resort to behaving so horribly to cope with the pain in their lives or their insecurities.  It’s sad how afraid so many are & everything they do is out of that fear.  It’s sad that they waste their entire lives being angry, bitter, hateful & pushing away those closest to them.  Many are even full of anger, bitterness & hate on their death beds.  These people live pathetic lives not knowing what it is like to love, really love.  What lonely, empty, superficial lives they live.

 

This being said, it certainly doesn’t mean I think narcissists deserve a free pass to abuse.  Being abused is NOT an excuse to abuse others!  Being abusive is a choice, not a consequence of experiencing abuse!  If you don’t believe me, consider this example: your narcissistic mother ignores your requests to change her behavior so she doesn’t hurt you.  She clearly is opting to continue abusing you, isn’t she?

 

The pain in their pasts also doesn’t negate your pain.  Please never tell yourself that it’s OK- the narcissist had a hard life too or they had it harder than you did.  It’s not OK!   Never invalidate your own pain!  You don’t deserve that!  You were no doubt invalidated enough by your narcissistic parent- don’t do it to yourself too!  Invalidation is abuse, no matter who does it, even when you do it to yourself.  It has the potential for causing a victim all kinds of problems- bad coping skills, low self-esteem, guilt, shame, placing the needs of others before yourself even when you are in crisis, & even Borderline Personality Disorder.  Don’t do this to yourself!  It is very possible to feel sorry for your narcissistic parent while not trivializing or invalidating your pain.

 

Why pity narcissists?  They are horrible people, right?  Honestly, I don’t think it’s necessary to pity narcissists to heal.  Some people think it’s foolishness, in fact.  And this works fine for them.  There is nothing wrong with that thinking.

 

For me, however, feeling that degree of pity that I do for narcissists enables me to pray for them.

 

The Bible tells us to pray for our enemies…

 

Matthew 5:43-48  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor (fellow man) and hate your enemy.’ 44 “But I say to you, [a]love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may [show yourselves to] be the children of your Father who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on those who are evil and on those who are good, and makes the rain fall on the righteous [those who are morally upright] and the unrighteous [the unrepentant, those who oppose Him]. 46 For if you love [only] those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers [wishing them God’s blessing and peace], what more [than others] are you doing? Do not even the Gentiles [who do not know the Lord] do that? 48 You, therefore, will be perfect [growing into spiritual maturity both in mind and character, actively integrating godly values into your daily life], as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  (AMP)

 

Praying for those who hurt you isn’t an option if you wish to live a holy, Christian life.  It also isn’t easy.  In fact, praying for someone who hurt you is hard enough, but praying for someone who tried to destroy you is a thousand times harder.

 

God dealt with me a couple of years ago about praying for my parents & in-laws.  I didn’t feel able to do it.  My parents & mother in-law were incredibly cruel to me, & frankly I didn’t much care about any of them.  Once I started thinking about them, I felt some pity for them.  My mother was abused by her mother, which is why she turned narcissistic I believe.  My father wasn’t abused, but had a terrible traumatic brain injury at only 15 that I believe may be at the root of his narcissism.  His behavior changed after it.  That TBI has given him many health problems.  My mother in-law had a very sad upbringing & many difficult years married to my father in-law.  Thinking about such things plus the other things I have mentioned above their behavior has caused stirred up pity in me for them.  I now pray for my parents & in-laws daily, & even set up reminders on my cell phone so I don’t forget.  Not knowing what they need specifically, I simply ask God to save them, meet all of their needs & bless them.  Praying this way I hope has been a blessing to them, but at the very least, it feels good to me.  It shows me that try as they might, they haven’t destroyed my good heart.

 

Feeling pity for narcissists isn’t always necessary & certainly isn’t easy.  However, it can benefit you by enabling you to pray for them.

 

 

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Comparing Experiences Isn’t Good For Victims

Many victims of abuse downplay what they have been through.  Maybe you’ve even done it yourself, saying things like, “What I went through wasn’t nearly as bad as what you did!”  “At least my mother didn’t beat me!”  “It wasn’t so bad…” “My uncle only raped me that one time, & he was drunk…It wasn’t really his fault..”

 

The simple fact is though, that abuse is abuse.  There is really no point in comparing your situation to someone else’s.  Yet, victims do it often.

 

Many victims of psychological & narcissistic abuse were abused mentally but not physically or sexually.  They often believe because there was “only” mental abuse, it wasn’t so bad.  Psychological abuse doesn’t leave visible scars, which means many people don’t think it’s as bad as physical or sexual abuse.  This is completely untrue!  All abuse causes pain & damages a person’s mental health.

 

Often abusers have their victims completely convinced that they are so incredibly unworthy, that they don’t even deserve sympathy, understanding or pity for the pain they have survived.   The lower a person’s self-esteem, the easier a person is to control, so obliterating self-esteem is a very preferred tool of all types of abusers.

 

Also, narcissists love to blame their victims.  It doesn’t matter if you were absolutely 1,000% not responsible for the problem, they will still find a way to blame you.  One year while working in the yard with my husband, he dropped a very heavy log on my foot, which broke my toe.  My mother blamed me for him dropping the log on my foot!

 

Narcissists love to flaunt to their victims that they care about someone else’s suffering & not yours.  If you experience the exact same thing as someone else, the narcissist will offer sympathy for that person while simultaneously letting you know they couldn’t care less about your problem.  For example, in 2010, one of my cats passed away suddenly.  Within a couple of days of losing her, my parents’ neighbors’ small dog passed away.  My mother shed tears over the dog’s death, telling me how wonderful she was.  Yet, when I told her about my cat, she responded with “Oh well.. at least you don’t have anyone sick anymore” then she changed the subject.  This type of behavior makes a victim feel like anything they experience isn’t a big deal, yet what other people experience, even if it’s exactly what the victim is going through, is worthy of sympathy.

 

Narcissists also are professionals at invalidating their victims.  After enough invalidation, you learn that you don’t deserve any validation.  Nothing that happens to you is a big deal, & everyone else is much more important than you are.

 

If any or all of this sounds all too familiar to you, you need to know something.  Dear Reader, what you went through was bad.  The worst.  No one should have to suffer any type of abuse!  There is no comparison between you & anyone else.  Every situation is different, & every person is different.  It’s completely unfair to say someone else had it worse than you because of those differences.

 

Instead of comparing, how about validating your experiences to yourself?  It’s OK & even healthy to admit that they were bad.  In fact, if you hope to heal, then you need to admit & accept how bad things were.  Once you do that, you can grieve or get angry or whatever you need to do to process what happened to you.  Acceptance is an important first step.

 

If you’re having trouble validating your experiences, try thinking about things from a little different perspective.  If someone you love came to you & told you their story that was just like yours, would you tell the person it was no big deal?  Would you tell that person someone else had it worse, so they need to just get over it?  Or, would you hug the person, say what they experienced was wrong, & try to help them cope?  Guessing you would do the right thing & be there for that person.  If you’d be good & understanding for someone else, then why can’t you do it for yourself?

 

If you’re having trouble being that good to yourself, then I would urge you to start praying.  Ask God why you aren’t being that good to yourself.  Let Him help you to see what the problem is, & help you to fix it.  Also don’t forget to ask Him to help you to learn to validate yourself while you’re at it.

 

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Are You Ashamed Of Past Mistakes?

Many adult children of narcissistic parents battle with shame.  These awful parents raise their children to be full of shame about everything about themselves.  Unfortunately this carries well into adulthood.

 

One area many adult children of narcissistic parents feel tremendous shame in is their younger days, when they may have done unwise things such as marry a narcissist.  I understand, as when I look back, I have a hard time believing I did such stupid things once.

 

The thing that we all need to remember though is the things we did that we aren’t proud of were done by someone who didn’t know any better.  Someone who was still in the fog of narcissistic abuse, & therefore unable to make good, healthy decisions.  How could anyone make good, healthy decisions when they firmly believe they are stupid, unlovable, worthless & more?  It’s impossible!

 

I look back at when I met then later married my ex husband & am amazed at myself.  He was nothing like the kind of man I find attractive at all.  He was narcissistic even at age 16 when we first met.  Yet, I stood up to my mother for him repeatedly, even as terrified of her as I was, & took repeated emotional beatings from her because of him.  Why??  He wasn’t worth it!  He wasn’t good to me.  But, at first he told me the things I was starved to hear, such as I was smart & beautiful.  It’s embarrassing how desperate I was for such things, & what I did to get them.  However, I know now my awful behavior wasn’t because I was a bad person or stupid or any of the other things my mother said I was.  It was because I had no self-esteem because of being subjected to daily narcissistic abuse.

 

When you look back over your life & feel ashamed of the things you have done, Dear Reader, please remember that you too have nothing to be ashamed of!   Narcissistic abuse does terrible things to people, especially when they are children & the narcissist in question is a parent.  It causes those children to make bad choices & do foolish things.  That is NOT the fault of the children.  Forgive yourself for the things you did.  It’s OK that you made some mistakes.  Everyone makes mistakes, especially when raised by narcissistic parents.  The important thing is  now you know better.

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Are You Setting Yourself Up?

I recently read an article in “Psychology Today” that I found very interesting.  It was about the effects of invalidation in families.

 

A part of the article really hit home with me, & I would bet also with many victims of narcissistic abuse.  It explains that many people who were constantly invalidated as children invite people to invalidate them.  When parents do something so compulsively, children assume it needs to be done, & will give their parents opportunity to do so.  I realize I’ve done this myself.  One example is my mother has always been hyper critical of my weight.  There have been times I lost some weight & told her, & was nearly crushed by her comments.  The worst happened many years ago, when I told her I lost some weight without really trying lately.  I wasn’t hungry so I wasn’t eating as much.  I was much younger & more naive then, & thought since she’s always battled her weight, she’d be happy for me.  How wrong I was!  Her response was, “You probably have cancer & are going to die soon, that’s why you lost weight.”  Then, she changed the subject.

 

I don’t think this refers to only invalidation, however, although that was the topic of the article.  From what I’ve seen, people can do the same with other things.  For example, adult children of very critical parents can do stupid things often to give their parents something to criticize without a clue about what they’re doing.  They’ll shoot themselves in the foot, so to speak, then tell the parents who then criticize their poor choices.  They think they’re the family screw up because of what the parents have always said, & they constantly try to live up to the parents’ expectations (well, it’s more like living down to those expectations, really..).

 

Do scenarios like this describe your behavior?  Ask God to give you show you what you’re doing, if you’re setting the stage for your narcissistic mother to abuse you.  And, if you are doing so, then ask Him to help you make the appropriate changes.

 

You’re going to need to modify your words as well as behavior.  I stopped discussing things with my mother that she is very critical of, which has left us very little to discuss.  It’s sad, but it’s easier than feeling stupid for basically giving her ammunition to use for hurting me.  And stupid is exactly how I felt every time it happened.

 

Also, as always, it’s just a good practice never to show a narcissist you’re upset.  If you slip up & she gets vicious, stay calm & collected.  Do NOT show her that you are angry or hurt- it only provides her the coveted narcissistic supply, which will make her do these things more, so you will become more upset & provide more supply.  Never do this!!!  Instead, stay calm, even cold & unemotional.  If she can’t get a rise out of you, she will give up.  She may try a few things first to be sure she can’t upset you, but she will give up in this area.  That is a victory for you!

 

When you do slip up, as you will at first, don’t beat yourself up about it.  Unfortunately, it happens sometimes.  We all do it.  I still do sometimes, even though I’ve been doing this for years & have gotten much better at showing my narcissistic mother no reaction.  It frustrates her sometimes- I can see it.  lol  But, better her being frustrated than me being devastated!

 

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Who Are You Now?

When a person is abused by a narcissist, they learn to accept the narcissist’s view of who they are.  They accept that they are weak, stupid, ugly, etc etc.  It is especially hard to get rid of such views when the abusive narcissist is a parent, but it can be hard no matter who the narcissist is that puts such dysfunctional, inaccurate views on a person.

 

Even years after the abuse has ended, many people still believe they are weak, ugly, stupid, etc.  It takes a long time to start to see yourself in an accurate way after enduring narcissistic abuse.  I would like to encourage you today, Dear Reader, to look at yourself differently.

 

For a moment, try to put aside all of the criticisms you heard from your narcissist.  Look back over your life.  Think about all of the things you have accomplished.  The things you have done in spite of hearing what a terrible person you were.  Look at how far you have come.  If you’re having trouble, write things down.  Writing things can be surprisingly validating.

 

In spite of the narcissist in your life trying to destroy you (either physically or emotionally or both), you are OK!  You are functioning.  You are surviving.  You are helping & inspiring people, whether you know it or not.  You are so much stronger than you realize!  Sure, you may have some problems stemming from the narcissistic abuse, but that is completely normal.  You are working on your healing & you are growing daily- that is impressive!

 

In spite of realizing these things I know it can be tempting to think of yourself as that dysfunctional victim you once were.  I get it- I do it sometimes myself.  But, try to remind yourself of who you are now, not of who you once were.  You are not the terrible person the narcissist once said you were & you believed you were.  You are strong & fierce.  You have not become bitter or narcissistic yourself.  You are working on becoming your own person.  You also are an adult now, not a child, so if the narcissist in your life is your parent(s), remind yourself of that.  You are no longer a child who felt she needed to obey her parents at all costs.  You are an adult with your own mind & free will.  If you’re a Christian, it is also your duty to put God first, not your parents.  If they insist you put them above God, remind yourself how dysfunctional that is!  You do not owe them anything beyond simple civility, basic respect.

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The Little Things Can Be A Big Help

Song of Solomon 2:15  “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.”  (KJV)

 

This Scripture came into my mind recently.  So often, little things can steal our joy.  A good mood can be ruined easily by someone’s insensitive, cutting criticism.  A financial blessing can be spoiled when a person learns how much they’ll have to pay in taxes.

 

However, the reverse is true too.  Something bad can be reversed by something small yet positive.

 

If you’re having a bad day, yet a handsome stranger smiles at you, does that not improve your day?  It certainly does mine.  Or, when you put your hand in your pocket to find a few dollars you didn’t know were there, would that not brighten your day at least a little?

 

When you’ve been through some awful things in your life, it’s easy to cling to the negative while ignoring the positive.  Especially if you’ve grown up with at least one narcissistic parent.  They are truly the most negative people you can meet- if there is a bad way to look at a situation, they’ll find it.  And, they train their children to do the same thing.  It can be a hard habit to break, but it is well worth it.

 

I’m not one to advocate being overly positive & optimistic, because people who are out of balance that way tend to be disappointed constantly.  However, I do encourage people to be realistic & yet still positive.  Sometimes, things just stink & nothing can make it better.  However, there are also many more times when your situation stinks but there are tiny blessings around you that can help you to get through it.

 

God has been showing me lately that good can be found in a great deal of negative situations.  Flashbacks & nightmares even have their purpose.  Yes, they’re incredibly  awful at the time they happen, but once they’re done, if I look at them, I realize they often show me areas where I need more healing.  I believe they happen when they do because God basically says, “Now is the time to face this.”  Every time I do, I make another step towards healing.

 

I’ve also noticed that when I’m very depressed or upset about something, my cats will do silly things or snuggle me more than usual.  To me, that is a wonderful blessing because even in my worst moods, they can make me smile.

 

The point is, Dear Reader, that there are often silver linings in even the darkest clouds, & those silver linings can help get you through.  Not to make us overly optimistic to the point of being foolish, but to help strengthen us when we need it the most.  If you’re having trouble finding those silver linings, then by all means, ask God to help you to be aware of them.  He will!  Be sure to notice everything, even the tiniest things, because God has sent them to help you!  Even something small like noticing the blooms on a majestic magnolia tree in the middle of summer.. as common as that is, it’s still a beautiful thing to see if you love magnolias.  Maybe God put you in the path of that lovely tree to bring you a little joy at the specific time you needed it.  Enjoy it.  Revel in it.  It’s a gift from God just for you.

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About Covert Narcissists

One thing about narcissists is that they are extremely good at hiding how vicious they truly are from everyone except their victims.  Covert narcissists are even better at this than their overt counterparts.  Coverts can be so skilled at hiding their abusive actions that even the victims don’t consider it abuse.  Often, if they tell others about what the covert narcissist is doing, they aren’t believed.

People often make excuses for the covert narcissist…

 

  • “She just doesn’t know any better.  She didn’t even graduate high school, after all…”
  • “He’s getting old- he probably just didn’t even remember/think about….”
  • “Well, he was diagnosed with Dementia.. he can’t help himself.”
  • “Everyone loves her.  She helps so many people.  I must’ve overreacted.  She wouldn’t have knowingly hurt me like that.”
  • “Just look at what she puts up with from that awful husband!  She was probably just stressed & didn’t mean to hurt me..”

 

If any of these excuses sound familiar because you have heard them or said them, then chances are you are dealing with a covert narcissist.

 

Are you still wondering?  Here are some other clues…

 

  • Does this person act innocent, even slow or naive, but you know for a fact they aren’t that way?
  • Does this person act incompetent, unable to take care of herself or himself?  Maybe relying completely on their spouse to make household decisions, pay bills, etc.
  • Does this person come across as in need of protection?  As if they are too weak to protect themselves?
  • Do you feel as if you shouldn’t confront this person because they are too fragile to handle your confrontation, no matter how gently you approach them?
  • Does this person offer looks of disapproval more than saying critical things?
  • Does this person not give the disapproving looks when you both are around other people?  Perhaps even complementing you in the presence of others?
  • Does this person expect to be taken care of?  For example, elderly parents with plenty of money who refuse to call a lawn care service, instead, expecting their adult son with his own home to maintain their lawn.
  • Is this person married to an overt narcissist, & never stands up to him or her?
  • If married to an overt narcissist, does he or she leave parenting to the overt narcissist, never protecting the children from that parent & appearing as the real victim of the overt narcissist?

 

Covert narcissists are much harder to spot than overts since they are so much sneakier & more deceptive.  This is what I believe makes them even more dangerous than overt narcissists.

 

Dealing with covert narcissists is even more of a challenge than dealing with their overt counterparts.  You still have to have & enforce strong boundaries, refuse to provide them with supply, limit your time in their presence, etc. like you do with overts.  The problem is with coverts, they will slip into the victim role extremely easily & quickly.  It can be VERY hard not to apologize or give in.  The more you stick to your guns, though, the easier it gets.

 

Another thing I’ve found to be helpful is being cold & logical with them.  Show them no emotion.  If you do, they will try to squelch your joy or provoke you when they know something makes you angry.  Instead, show them no emotion.  Walk away if you feel emotions reaching a boiling point if you must, even if it appears rude.

 

Change the subject as needed.  Since covert narcissists are pretty passive in some ways, this tactic works quite well with them.

 

Limiting or even ending contact with them is your best bet.  The more time you spend with a covert narcissist, the worse they seem to get.  At least that’s been my experience.

 

And lastly, never forget- just because a covert narcissist isn’t screaming in your face doesn’t mean they aren’t just as vicious as overt narcissists.  In fact, many strike me as being even more vicious.  They are simply better at hiding their viciousness under the guise of whatever works best for them- naivete, being helpful or innocence.

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Narcissistic Families & Cults Have A Lot In Common

Have you ever considered the similarities of cults & narcissistic families?  There are quite a few similarities…

 

  • Leaders demand unquestioning, blind devotion, no matter what.
  • Leaders demand how those under them should act, think & feel.
  • The leader is always right, period.
  • Questioning leaders is discouraged, & often severely punished.
  • Isolation is extremely important.  Relationships with those not in the group is discouraged, often the leader demands others to sever ties in those relationships.
  • Life outside of the group is discouraged.
  • Leaving is looked at as a betrayal, & the person leaving is often spoken badly about.
  • Mind games/gaslighting are the norm.
  • Independent thinking is not allowed.  The leader has done all the thinking necessary so those under him need only to submit to his will.

 

Don’t these characteristics of cults sound also like the characteristics of narcissistic families?

 

The above reasons are precisely why it is so hard to heal from narcissistic abuse.  Living in this cult type environment is detrimental to your mental health!  People who have escaped both cults & narcissistic families work on their healing for many years, often their entire lives.

 

When people say you should “just cut ties” or “just leave”, the above reasons are exactly why it is so hard.  Not only are they talking about abandoning your family, but thanks to the cult mentality, leaving them is even harder than one might think.  You feel as if you’re betraying your family, as if you’re committing some unpardonable sin by thinking of your own mental & physical health.  You also may be afraid of the backlash because they will send out a smear campaign to destroy your reputation.  Not to mention, the unknown can be scary!  All you know is their warped mentality & way of life.  Even though it’s awful, it’s familiar, & there is a degree of comfort in what is familiar.  Things have to be really, really bad to take that leap of faith by leaving the familiar & treading into the unknown.

 

If you were raised in a narcissistic family, please understand that the damage done is incredibly severe.  Never get mad at yourself for taking too long to heal, or having so many issues.  Narcissistic abuse is incredibly insidious & pervasive.  It’s only normal to have a lot of problems after being raised in such an environment, even well into adulthood.

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About Not Hurting Other People’s Feelings, Even Your Abuser’s

When raised by narcissistic parents, we often feel obligated to prioritize not hurting the feelings of other people, primarily our parents.  It is so important, in fact, that we will hurt ourselves rather than hurt them or anyone else.

 

While it’s certainly a good thing to be concerned with the feelings of others, being so concerned over others that you’re willing to hurt yourself too out of balance.

 

Dear Reader, if you want to move forward with healing after being abused, you have to think about your feelings more than other people’s, in particular, more than your abusers.

 

I’m not saying turn into a selfish jerk who cares nothing for anyone but themselves, of course.  I am saying though, that you need to consider your own feelings.  If you’re still in a relationship with your narcissistic parents, you don’t have to go to that big holiday dinner if you don’t feel up to it.  Just because your parents want you there doesn’t mean you must do what they want!  Or, if you talk publicly about what your narcissistic ex did, there is nothing wrong with that.  Sure, it may upset that person, but the story is yours as well- you have nothing to be ashamed of for sharing it, & it may help someone else.  As the Anne Lamott quote goes, “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”

 

There is another reason to avoid putting the feelings of others above your own.  Doing so with abusive people means you are part of the problem.  It allows them to continue abusing with no fear of consequences.  Doing whatever it takes to avoid upsetting them does nothing to stop them from being abusers.  While no one can stop another person from abusing, one can create circumstances by having good boundaries that (hopefully!) will make them uncomfortable enough to want to change.  Just because narcissists rarely change doesn’t mean we shouldn’t set those boundaries.
Dear Reader, remember, your feelings are just as important, just as valid, as anyone’s.  There is no good reason to think otherwise.  The only reason you do think otherwise is because an incredibly dysfunctional, abusive person made you think that way.  Today, make a decision to get rid of that awful, flawed belief.  Remind yourself that you have value!  Ask God to tell you  what He thinks of you, then listen for the response.  He knows you have great value!  After all Jesus died for you- He wouldn’t have done that if you weren’t worth it.

 

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Why Didn’t I Learn About NPD Years Ago?!

Many victims of narcissistic abuse that I have spoken with have said the exact same thing that I felt for  years: “I wish I’d learned about narcissism years ago!  I wish I knew why God waited so long to show me.”  Most victims I’ve spoken with were over 40 when they first learned about Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  The absolute youngest I would say was in her late twenties.

This is often a source of frustration for many victims.  We tend to feel angry for all the years wasted, not understanding what was happening & blaming ourselves for our abusive parents or spouse.  We also don’t understand why God didn’t show us the real problem years earlier.

I wonder, Dear Reader, if it was because we simply weren’t mature enough to handle this knowledge until we have a few years under our belts.

If you still have a relationship with your narcissistic parent, it takes a great deal of wisdom & maturity to be able to handle it with your sanity in tact.  These things can be gained only through age & experience.

Also, a solid foundation with God is absolutely essential to help you cope with the relationship.  As a young, new Christian, you may not have had the mature relationship & deep faith you have today.

Whether you still have a relationship with your narcissistic parent(s) or not, if you are healing, you also need that strong relationship with God.  I have found He guides my healing as I am able to handle things.  He helps me face things only when I am strong enough.  He also shows me new information as I am able to understand it. Looking back, I don’t think I would have accepted the information or help in my younger days when I felt like I needed to be able to do everything myself.  It took years for me to learn to rely on God at all, because, like all children of narcissistic parents, I grew up knowing I shouldn’t “bother” anyone with my “petty” problems.  I know now that I need God to help me cope & understand the things I have been through, but in my younger years, I would have denied that & refused His help.

I hope this answers that frustrating question of why didn’t God teach you about narcissism earlier.  It can be a point of frustration for sure, but God does know what is best for us.  If He delayed you learning about NPD, one thing you can know without a doubt- there was s good reason for it.

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Making Healthy Changes In Your Relationship With Your Narcissistic Parent

One year ago tomorrow, it’ll be one year since having that huge argument with my parents.  That means it’s also been a year since speaking to my mother, & almost five months since speaking to my father.  My mother stopped speaking to me after that argument but my father didn’t.  He called less & less frequently as time passed, & the calls were much shorter, but he kept the door open with me.

I’ve prayed a LOT about the situation this past year.  I felt God wanted me to pull away from my parents yet not tell them I want them out of my life.  So, I didn’t contact my mother, send her cards or anything.  I also haven’t sent my father any cards or called him, but I did take some of his calls & allowed him to visit me last December.  Also during this year, God has shown me via dreams & opening my eyes just how selfish & dangerous my father really is.  That visit in December really was eye opening for me.  My father told me when he was coming to my home, & what we were doing while he was here.  That on top of all of the other things that have happened made me pull away even further from him to the point I stopped taking his calls all together, & blocked my parents’ phone number.

Apparently this was an issue for my father.  He sent several people after me to tell me I needed to call him asap.  Thank God, in spite of the nasty old, dysfunctional feelings of needing to do as my parents say, God enabled me to resist contacting him.

My point in sharing this story with you, Dear Readers, is to give you hope.

When you have narcissistic parents, then learn about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, you realize you need to make changes & it can be scary.  You’re going against your parents, which is intimidating!  They’ve trained you your entire life to be a certain way or face dire consequences.  Even as an adult, the consequences still can be scary.

You may even feel you need to go no contact with them, which is even more intimidating.  Doing it may feel impossible to you, but I can tell you it is possible.

Whichever you are planning on doing- changing your behavior yet staying in a relationship or going no contact- you can do it!

You need to begin in prayer.  Ask God to show you what to do, how to do it & enable you to do whatever you need to do.

Start small.. start setting small boundaries, such as not answering the phone every time your narcissistic parent calls.  When the phone rings, pray first.  Ask God if He thinks you are able to handle the call or not, & listen to what He says.

Say “no” to your parent sometimes.  Your parent will hate it, of course, but do it anyway.  Say no to small things at first, then bigger things.  An example is if your parent wants you to come by Friday, say no- Sunday would work better for you.  It’s small, sure, but it’s taking back a little power.

If your parent insists on driving when you get together, you say you’ll meet them there & drive your own car.  If need be, arrange to have something else to do after seeing them so you have a legitimate reason (in your parent’s eyes) to drive yourself.   This is another small way to take back some power.

Small gestures like this are a great place to start- they worked wonders for me.  Seeing I could take back some power & set some boundaries gave me strength.  It made me realize I really didn’t have to settle for being abused constantly.  And, as time wore on, I set more & more boundaries.

This behavior naturally pushes away narcissists, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing!  I knew I wanted to go no contact quite some time before it happened, but it never felt right to tell my parents that.  Being healthier naturally pushed them away which put us in a low contact state that I could tolerate.  It also showed me just how abusive & dysfunctional they are because they can’t respect my boundaries.  Normal people, if they dislike a boundary, they still respect it.  Narcissists aren’t normal though.  They try to get you to change your boundary, pout or get passive/aggressive when they are faced with a boundary they don’t like.  Seeing my father’s behavior when I set boundaries with him was quite eye opening.  For example, after our argument, he tried calling me non stop for days.  When I didn’t take his calls, he called so early one morning I was still asleep!  I thought I was dreaming about answering a phone until I heard his voice & woke up quickly.  He said “he” just wanted to talk to me & “he” wanted to hear my voice & “he” thought this & “he” felt that.  When you see something like this, it’s impossible to deny someone is abusive & manipulative.  It can be very good seeing such things, because it gives you strength to either set more boundaries or to go low or no contact

I’m telling you, Dear Reader, these things work.  They are a fantastic place to start making healthy changes in your life & relationship with your narcissistic parent.  Try them, & see for yourself!

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Rejection & Narcissistic Abuse

Part of the reason narcissistic abuse is so damaging is the rejection.  Rejection is at the core of many behaviors done by narcissists.  Not hearing someone is rejecting them.  Not allowing someone to have any rights is rejection.  Mocking & criticizing someone is rejection.  Failing to protect a child is rejecting them.  Not being validated is rejection.

 

Rejection hurts, whether you’re a child or adult, & no matter who does the rejecting.  However, it seems to me a child rejected by a parent hurts more than anything, & the pain often continues well into adulthood.  There are ways to cope however.

 

You have to realize that a parent who abuses (rejects) their child is the one with the problem, not the child.  I know, that is a tough thing to really get a good grasp on, but it is vital that you do!  A child cannot do anything that forces her parent to reject her- that is on the parent.

 

When your parent rejects or hurts you, ask God to tell you the truth about the situation.  As soon as possible, get into prayer.  Ask God, “Is my parent right in what she said about me?”  “Did I deserve to be treated that way?”  or any other questions you may have, then wait on Him to speak to you.  God cannot lie.  He will tell you the truth, & it will heal your wounds!  I have done this many times.  God has carried me through some incredibly painful experiences by simply speaking His truth, the real truth, to my heart.

 

Look at the situation from your parent’s perspective.  If your parent is a narcissist & you aren’t, this can be kind of tricky, but I encourage you to try it.  It will show you the depths of their dysfunction, which will help you to understand that you aren’t the problem.  For example, my mother has always had problems with my looks.  I look absolutely nothing like her, but instead look like my father’s family, in particular my grandmother.  Looking at it through my mother’s eyes, I can see how this is a problem.  My mother told me she assumed I would look like her when I was born, but I didn’t.  She hates her in-laws, all of them, & here I am, looking like them instead of her.  Her mother in-law to boot!  Does that mean it was OK for her to be so hyper critical & cruel to me about my looks?  Of course not.  But, understanding that showed me that I’m not the repulsive, ugly creature she always treated me like, & my mother has problems to treat me that way!  In fact, my grandmom was a beauty in her youth, so I consider it an honor to look like her.

 

Accept the fact that your parent isn’t capable of loving you in a normal, healthy way that a parent should love a child.  This one is hard & very painful, but you need to do it.  If you don’t, you might cling to the hope that she’ll change.  Instead, you’ll constantly be disappointed that your parent didn’t treat you better this time when you saw each other.  Your parent not changing has nothing to do with you- no one can make another person change.  Instead, it has everything to do with your parent not wishing to change, to be emotionally healthier.

 

Talk about your pain.  Pray.  Talk to a trusted friend or relative.  Write in your journal.  Get the hurt & pain out of you so it doesn’t poison you.

Be prepared- you may feel anger that you’ve never felt before.   The more you heal from narcissistic abuse, the more you see things through a healthier perspective.  That means that what was once normal for you suddenly you see as incredibly dysfunctional or abusive.  This is going to make you angry.  I started getting angry at my mother a few years ago for ordering me around like I was her personal slave rather than asking me to do thing for her.  All my life, that was just how she was.  No biggie.  Once I got much healthier, I realized I deserve better than to be bossed around so disrespectfully, & it made me very angry.  As the anger rises up in you, don’t be afraid of it.  Don’t ignore it, because it won’t just go away.  Find healthy ways of dealing with it.  Talk to God about it.  Vent to someone close.  Write scathing, angry letters that you don’t show to anyone.  Just get the anger out of you!

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An Idea For Enjoying Birthdays

As I mentioned recently, my birthday just passed.  It’s not a happy day for me.  I’ve had many miserable birthdays.  More bad than good.  Thinking about many of them still makes me cringe.  As a result, I dread the day every year.  For years off & on, I tried to make good birthday memories but nothing helped me shake the yukky feelings attached to my birthday.

 

One of my lovely readers knows how I feel, & told me about something I could do.  I read about it & found it fascinating.

 

Queen Elizabeth & I share the same birthday (well, different years..).  Cool, but not the fascinating part.  The fascinating part is there is a royal custom regarding birthdays.  The queen’s birthday isn’t celebrated publicly on April 21st, but on the second Saturday in June.

 

My reader’s suggestion was to follow the Queen’s example with a little change.  Celebrate my birthday on a different day with a chosen few people only, thus making my birthday something to look forward to for a change.

 

The reason I’m sharing this, Dear Reader, is because so many adult children of narcissistic parents or those who were married to narcissists, share my experiences- many lousy birthdays, thanks to the narcissists in their life, have made them bitter about their own birthdays.  Hopefully those of you on this same boat will give the Queen’s idea a try.

 

Besides, it’s simply not fair!  Narcissists have stolen so very much from us, & that’s just wrong.  They have taken way too much.  It’s only right we take back something from them, anything.

 

Thinking about it now, I’m considering creating my new birthday in the fall.  It’s my favorite time of year- the weather is beautiful, the leaves are so colorful & the days are short as I like.  I’ve never been overly fond of the spring, so changing my birthday celebration to autumn sounds like a lovely idea.

 

What about you Dear Reader?  When would you like your new birthday celebration to be?

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Why Do People Not Want You To Speak Up To Abusive Relatives?

Have you ever noticed that almost no one says you are right to have problems with abusive family members?  That it is OK to defend yourself to them?  Instead, you are encouraged to “just let it go.”  Or, excuses are made like, “Well, she’s getting old now…”  or “You know how he is.”

 

Why do so many people think it is wrong to speak your mind & defend yourself when someone says cruel things to you?

 

I think it is because people do NOT want to leave their comfort zone.  They would prefer you stuff your emotions (because that is oh so healthy..not) than make them uncomfortable by standing up for yourself.

 

Those of us who have been abused have been through more than enough suffering.  It isn’t fair to expect us to go through more just to make someone else comfortable by not upsetting them.

 

When people tell you to “just let it go” or “don’t rock the boat”, ignore them!  If you feel you need to speak up when your parent is cruel to you, then by all means, you have that right!  There is nothing good, loving or honorable in “not rocking the boat.”  People need to be accountable for their actions, like it or not.  They need to know when they have said or done something that is inappropriate.  Whether or not they change their behavior is not your responsibility, but at least by speaking up you have made them aware of the inappropriateness of their actions.

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Narcissism In The Bible

2 Timothy 3: 1-5   “But understand this, that in the last days dangerous times [of great stress and trouble] will come [difficult days that will be hard to bear]. 2 For people will be lovers of self [narcissistic, self-focused], lovers of money [impelled by greed], boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane, 3 [and they will be] unloving [devoid of natural human affection, calloused and inhumane], irreconcilable, malicious gossips, devoid of self-control [intemperate, immoral], brutal, haters of good, 4 traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of [sensual] pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of [outward] godliness (religion), although they have denied its power [for their conduct nullifies their claim of faith]. Avoid such people and keep far away from them.” (AMP)

 

Many people today seem to have skewed views of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  They don’t believe such a thing exists, because no one can be that bad or evil.  Possibly they prefer to deny it so they aren’t forced to deal with such an ugly, evil aspect of humanity.  Some believe it’s just a “pop psychology” term people use to blame others for their problems.  Others think NPD is a serious mental disorder & those with it can’t control their abusive actions so they shouldn’t be held accountable.  Or, they think narcissism is a rare thing.  (Studies say NPD affects anywhere from 1-9% of people, but since narcissists rarely seek therapy & NPD isn’t well taught to counselors, I firmly believe the numbers to be much higher.)

 

When people share such uninformed views, it perpetuates the lack of knowledge & understanding about NPD.  Narcissism & narcissistic abuse are serious problems in the world, & people need to understand that fact!

 

If someone shares a view downplaying narcissism, I would encourage you to show them what the Bible has to say about it.  Show them 2 Timothy 3:1-5 above.  You also can share the Scriptures below with them.  Narcissism is clearly mentioned in the Bible.  If that doesn’t stress that it is something important, nothing will!

 

 

  • Psalms 36:1-3 “(To the chief Musician, [A Psalm] of David the servant of the LORD.) The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, [that there is] no fear of God before his eyes.  2 For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful.  3 The words of his mouth [are] iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, [and] to do good.”  (KJV)
  • Proverbs 16:18 “Pride [goeth] before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” (KJV)
  • 1 Peter 5:5 ” Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all [of you] be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”  (KJV)
  • Titus 1:16  “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny [him], being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.”  (KJV)

 

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Why Do Narcissists Need Flying Monkeys?

Anyone who has been subjected to narcissistic abuse also has been subjected to flying monkeys.

 

Flying monkeys are those people who either have fallen for the narcissist’s act, blindly believing anything the narcissist says or are abusers themselves, likely covert narcissists, who get a thrill out of vicariously abusing the narcissist’s victim.  They often say things like…

 

  • “Your mother is worried about you.  You haven’t called in a while & she doesn’t know why..”
  • “I know your father hurt you when you were growing up, but he didn’t mean to.  He did the best he could.”
  • “You need to just forgive & forget.  After all, your mother was abused when she was growing up!  She doesn’t know any better!”

 

These people are indispensable to narcissists, which is why all narcissists have them.

 

Flying monkeys can reach a victim once that victim has gone no contact with the narcissist.  When a victim doesn’t speak with a narcissist, they often will talk to a flying monkey, at least for a while until they discover that this person is a flying monkey.  During that time, the flying monkey can tell the victim whatever the narcissist wants her to, becoming the mouthpiece for the narcissist.  They can say things a narcissist can’t say without looking bad.  The flying monkey also benefits from doing this.  If she is deceived about the narcissist, she honestly believes she is doing good & trying to help the victim.  If she is also an abuser, this gives her a thrill by abusing without being blamed for being abusive.  Covert narcissists make good flying monkeys, because by doing so, they get to feel powerful- something all narcissists love.

 

Speaking of feeling powerful, narcissists enjoy having flying monkeys because it means they’re controlling another person.  Controlling others makes them feel powerful.

 

Flying monkeys do all the dirty work for the narcissist.  The victim often will get mad at the flying monkey rather than the narcissist who is pulling the strings.  The flying monkey is the one who will look bad rather than the narcissist.  This is a bonus for the narcissist since no narcissist wants to look bad.

 

If the flying monkey is especially good at what they do, & the victim isn’t strong at resisting the narcissist, the victim will come crawling back to the narcissist.  That is the ultimate goal of the narcissist, of course.  Using one person to control another is quite the power trip!  Any narcissist would love to have this ability.

 

Flying monkeys are a very useful tool for any narcissist, so beware.  If you know a narcissist, you are going to have to deal with them at some point.  Be alert.  Be aware of their behavior so you can spot them easily.  Never feed them by engaging them in a discussion about the narcissist.  Refuse to discuss the topic with them, changing the subject as often as necessary & telling them this topic is not up for discussion.  And most of all, pray.  Ask God to help you to discover the best way to deal with this person or if you need to end this relationship.

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