Tag Archives: personality
**DISCLAIMER: If, like many of my readers, you are in the unfortunate position of not being able to go no contact with your narcissistic parent, please do NOT think this article is aimed at you! It most certainly isn’t!! I’m sure many of you have been shamed enough & I am not trying to add to that shame by implying you’re weak or wrong or whatever for being in that position. Every situation is unique, & I won’t judge you. This post is aimed at those who have gone no contact, not you!**
Going no contact (or even low contact for that matter) with a narcissistic parent isn’t an easy thing to do. There is a tremendous amount of anger & grief at the abnormal, awful circumstances that bring a person to this decision. Then there is society & their warped views of no contact. Some people think you should cut someone out of your life (yes, even a parent) at the first sign of them disagreeing with you. At the opposite end of the spectrum are those who think you’re a horrible person if you even entertain the idea of ending a relationship with your parent, no matter what. Many of those people also think you’re weak for “taking the easy way out”. That is the point I want to address today.
If you’re in the painful place of having gone no contact with your narcissistic parent, my heart breaks for you. I know the pain of this first hand & would tell anyone who thinks it’s easy or cowardly that they are completely, absolutely, 1,000% WRONG.
First of all, a relationship with an abusive parent is incredibly painful. Parents are supposed to love their children unconditionally, & realizing that not only do they not love us but are out to hurt & control us hurts! Really, really freaking hurts! How can anyone continue to subject themselves to that indefinitely? Every person has their limits.
Secondly, even considering how painful it is having an abusive parent, children naturally don’t want to end that relationship. It feels unnatural to end that relationship. How can it not?! That’s your mother or father, not some casual acquaintance.
Third, thinking about going no contact isn’t some easy decision like where to go for dinner. It takes a lot of prayer, thought, time, weighing your options, imagining scenarios.. it’s incredibly draining just to think about, let alone do it.
Lastly, once you are no contact, that doesn’t mean things are going to be easy. Without that narcissistic parent in your life, your emotions that you stifled so long just to survive the toxic relationship are probably going to come to the surface & demand you deal with them. That’s never fun! I’m going through it myself & I can tell you, quite frankly, it’s really rough! (It’s good in the fact I’m finally able to deal with stuff left untouched in so long, but it’s not fun to go through the process). There’s also the distinct possibility your narcissistic parent will send the flying monkeys after you to “talk some sense” into you by attempting to make you feel guilty for going no contact. After all, that parent won’t be around forever yanno! She’s getting older, & she is your mother yanno! Flying monkeys are always fun to deal with. (yes, I’m being totally sarcastic in that comment). Even more fun is the chance your narcissistic parent will attempt to contact you personally. There’s nothing quite like going along with your day, in a good mood, when you open your mailbox & see that parent’s handwriting. So much for that good mood. You can block that parent from emailing, calling, texting or on social media, but you can’t block postal mail.
So if anyone reading this thinks no contact is the cowardly thing to do, the easy route, think again. It’s far from it! Going no contact is actually a very brave, incredibly difficult thing to do.
This has been a really crappy, awful week to put it mildly.
Monday, we had a new storm door installed on the back of our house. It leads to an enclosed porch, which has a door that leads into the kitchen. In that brief window of time there was no storm door, my father not only stopped by my home but came onto the porch, into my home! Remember, we’re no contact so this was quite a shock for me. I had no idea he’d even come by let alone barge into my home. I thank God if it had to happen, it happened when it did because my husband dealt with him. It was ugly. My husband said he said he wanted to see me. My mother is in the hospital having a lump removed from her carotid artery, so he wanted to tell me (side note- any prayers for her would be appreciated). Hubby said he’d tell me. My father kept demanding to talk to “his daughter” & even accused hubby of keeping me from him. He said he was going to stay on my porch & wait until I came out to speak to him. My husband finally told my father if he didn’t leave, he was calling the police. (I love this man!) Interestingly, about an hour later, he said, “Yanno.. don’t be surprised if the police show up to do a welfare check. I just have a feeling.” I thought no way.. that wouldn’t happen. How wrong I was…
The following evening, there was a knock on my door. It was a county cop. He said my father called the police to do a welfare check on me. My father told the police my husband “kicked him off” our property & wouldn’t let me see him. This was an experience I never expected to happen since both my parents always liked my husband way more than me. For my father to turn on him & to waste the time of the local police has been such a shock.
Prior to this, he’d sent 4 different people after me to tell me to call him, including his barber. (Yes, I really am serious! His barber!!)
My first reaction on Monday was to want to cuss out my father for messing with my husband. Not proud of that, but it’s true. Thankfully after calming down some, I remembered that narcissists love to bait their victims. That is what has been happening with my father. He tried forcing me to see him, then to hurt & anger me to the point I’d contact him. Even if it was to cuss him out, it’d be narcissistic supply. Narcissists need someone’s love or hate, since both strong emotions provide them supply. Ignoring them deprives them of supply & they can’t handle that.
So now, I’m not sure what to expect. Involving the police was a new low, as far as I’m concerned, so it makes me wonder what else he is capable of doing.
And, because once you’ve survived carbon monoxide poisoning, your tolerance for stress goes completely down the toilet, I’ve been pretty much a wreck since Monday physically as well as emotionally. (FYI- the body produces small amounts of carbon monoxide when stressed. This is helpful to the body unless it’s already compromised as it is after poisoning. In that case, your body responds to that small amount as if it was poisoned again).
Any prayers would be appreciated! Thank you!
I’m hoping sharing this with you, Dear Reader, is somehow beneficial. Maybe it can help you to realize the importance of never underestimating a covert narcissist as I did with my father. Maybe you realize the narcissist in your life may do this type of thing & you can prepare ahead of time for it. I don’t know. But, I do hope sharing my story helps you in some way! xoxo
Source: The Lucifer Complex
This article is fascinating & disturbing. I thought for quite some time that narcissism is demonic in nature. Remember what Lucifer said before he fell? Things like he would be greater than God. I didn’t delve as deeply into the subject as this author has. He explains it very well!
True forgiveness has been very warped by people. So many thing it means “forgive & forget” & if you can’t do that, you’re no Christian & a terrible person. I really don’t believe that however.
Yes, the Bible states that we are to forgive those who have trespassed against us (Matthew 6:12, 15; 18:21; Luke 7:47, 11:4, 17:3; John 20:23; 2 Corinthians 2:10). But, nowhere in the Bible does it state, “Forgive & forget. Let abusive people continue to abuse you with zero consequences!” Quite honestly, I believe that is just stupid to do when a person shows no remorse for their actions! If you don’t remember what they did to you, you open the door for them to abuse you over & over.
A good friend recently showed me what forgiveness really means, & this “forgive & forget” thing people preach isn’t it.
If you forgive someone, it means they no longer owe you a debt. For example, if you lend someone $100, but they can’t repay it, you can opt to forgive their debt to you by telling them they no longer need to repay you that $100. You act as if they never borrowed that money from you, you don’t bring it up again. However, you may decide never to lend them money again since they didn’t repay you the first time.
If someone hurts or abuses you, they should “repay” you by apologizing & making things right if at all possible. Chances are slim that will happen if you’re dealing with a narcissist or even if that person is simply selfish &, well, a jerk.
This situation leaves you with 2 choices- wait for that apology or forgive them the debt of owing you that apology. Personally, I opt to forgive, & quickly.
The Bible says in Ephesians 4:26, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down on your wrath,” (KJV). Nowhere in this Scripture does it say doing this will make you feel warm & fuzzy! God basically says you just need to release the need for that person to make it up to you for what they did. Once you realize this, you also realize that in time your emotions will catch up, that you won’t feel angry any longer.
I think there is also a common misconception that when your emotions catch up, even thinking about what happened will no longer upset you. However, I don’t believe that is quite the case.
It isn’t a sign of unforgiveness if what they did to you stirs up some emotion.
I don’t think or talk about my late mother in-law very often. She passed away last year & prior to that, I hadn’t spoken to her in 14 years. She was a very skilled covert narcissist, & after tolerating her abuse for the first 8 years of my relationship with my husband, I simply couldn’t take anymore.
Yesterday, I was working on a book I’ve been writing. I mentioned how once in 1999 (I think anyway.. around that time), my mother in-law wanted me to do something for her. I had an appointment that day, so I told her I couldn’t do it. Granted, I probably could have moved some things around & been there for her, but I didn’t want to. She was horrible to me- why would I want to help her? As soon as I said I wasn’t available, my mother in-law tried to find out why. She used guilt, shame, & even demands to find out what was so important that I couldn’t help her. I refused to tell her. Not only was it none of her business but she would have told her daughters what was happening with me (not their business either) & she probably would’ve found some way to use the information I gave her to hurt me at some future date.
Remembering this incident still angers me to a degree. I thought it must be a sign that I haven’t forgiven her. But, once I thought that, God quickly revealed to me that is not the case.
Forgiving someone completely doesn’t necessarily mean you never feel emotions over the awful things they did to you. You can forgive someone completely, yet still feel some anger about the fact that they hurt or used you. If you didn’t feel that way, chances are you would ignore signs that show you are about to be used & hurt that same way again.
So, the next time someone tells you that you need to work on forgiving someone, remember what I said, Dear Reader. Chances are, you have forgiven that person as God wants you to. xoxo
Since I have been no contact with my parents, strange but good things have been happening. One of those things is God has helped me to get in touch with the negative emotions I had stuffed inside for years.
I’ve had a lot of nightmares, repressed memories & flashbacks to deal with, especially in the last few months. While it hasn’t been fun by any stretch, it’s been a very good thing. I’ve been able to remember things I hadn’t thought of in a long time, then deal with them. This has enabled me to make great strides in healing. I feel freer & even physically lighter, as odd as that may sound. I feel cleansed of things I didn’t even realized I needed cleansing from.
I can’t help but thinking that this is happening as a result of going no contact. I noticed this has happened to me after being no contact with my parents for several months & also years before after going no contact with my narcissistic mother in-law & sisters in-law.
When you’re in a relationship with a narcissist- be they your parent, sibling, spouse or anyone- so much of your thinking is taken up by that person. Either you’re trying to find ways to appease her to avoid her rage, or survive the relationship with your sanity in tact. Either way, you simply don’t have time to cope with the constant wounds inflicted on you by her abuse. You’re functioning in survival mode.
Once the narcissist is out of your life, it takes some time for your mind to feel safe enough to stop functioning in survival mode. When it does though, finally, it seems to demand that you work on all those issues you weren’t able to face due to constant trauma.
If you too are faced with nightmares, flashbacks &/or repressed memories after going no contact, please don’t panic, Dear Reader. Your brain may be doing as mine has done- it stopped functioning in survival mode & wants to be healed. I would suggest going with it. Work on your healing from narcissistic abuse however helps you. Pray. See a therapist. Whatever works for you. After all, maybe one of the reasons for you being out of that toxic relationship is so you can heal.
I have been toying with the idea of creating some youtube videos for some time now, but dragging my feet about it. Thanks to my “lovely” upbringing, I absolutely detest having my picture taken & being on a video.
However, I’m seeing there is such a need for information! I recently read an article that estimates narcissistic abuse affects over 158,000,000 people in the USA alone. That is a tremendous amount of hurting people in dire need of information & support! It breaks my heart!
While I know I can’t help all of those people, I can help some. After some prayer on this topic, I think a youtube channel is something I can & should do.
What sort of topics would you like me to cover on this channel? Do you think I should stick with teaching about narcissistic abuse or sometimes venture off into other areas I write about periodically such as Christian living or animals? How often do you think I should create videos? Any format in particular sound good? I’d love to hear your input. You’re welcome to either comment on this post, or email me at CynthiaBaileyRug@aol.com
Since many children of narcissistic parents are introverted, I thought I would share this for you, my fellow introverts.
I’ve seen a great deal lately about introverts & how people try to get us out of our shell. Teachers tell parents that although their child is a good student, she doesn’t participate enough. Friends say you “need to get out more” or suggest ways you can incorporate more people into your daily life. Things like this can leave the introvert feeling bad about herself, feeling flawed because she prefers to read over attending big parties. This is so wrong!
People often fail to realize is being an introvert doesn’t mean you’re broken. Introversion isn’t a disease in need of a cure or a horrible flaw in need of improvement. Introversion is simply a personality trait, like having a good sense of humor.
Introverts don’t hate people. Introverts hate spending a great deal of time around people. There is a difference.
While extroverts get energy by being around people, introverts get energy by being alone. The way an extroverts feel after attending a party is how an introvert can feel after spending an afternoon alone, lost in a good book. Same results, just different means of getting those results. One is no better or worse than the other, simply different.
If you’re an introvert, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you! I know it can be hard, but ignore those who try to make you feel “wrong” or “broken” because you’d rather spend your afternoon with a book than surrounded by people. If you have friends who make you feel that way, then maybe it’s time to find new friends. People who don’t judge or criticize you, try to change you & accept you the way you are are a true blessing. I have been blessed with people like this in my life. My best friend & I are extremely compatible, because when we hang out, neither of us gets offended if the other says, “I need some introvert time.. mind if we call it a day?” We understand each other’s introverted nature, & although we always have fun together, we also know sometimes alone time is our best friend. If you’re an introvert, you need at least one friend like this!
Dear Reader, I hope you embrace your introverted nature rather than hate it. There is no shame in being an introvert whatsoever. Enjoy it! Introverts unite! (in small groups.. for very limited periods of time..lol)
If you have PTSD or C-PTSD, you know about nightmares. You have them so often, they aren’t a surprise. They’re just a way of life. Yet, little is mentioned about the nightmares.
I’d always had frequent nightmares, but it got much worse in 2012 which is when I realized I had C-PTSD. I began having several almost every night, which of course led to a lot of fatigue. The nightmares also became even more vivid than usual, which is saying something since I’ve always had very vivid dreams. They became so vivid in fact, that often I would wake up feeling as if I’d just done whatever I did in the dream. If I dreamed I ran a marathon, for example, I woke up physically tired & achy.
After learning about C-PTSD, I assumed the nightmares would be about reliving traumatic events, which does happen, but only rarely. Most of my nightmares are about strange things- being an adult yet having to repeat high school & relying on my mother to take me rather than driving my own car; while repeating high school as an adult, being unable to find or remember the combination to my locker; my car being stolen &/or totaled; my husband mocking me when I was obviously upset or rejecting me somehow; or someone letting my cats outside & they ran away. Strange stuff! I finally asked God about it after waking up for yet one more bizarre nightmare. What He shared made a lot of sense & I think it will if you too suffer with odd nightmares like I do.
The brain constantly processes information, whether the information is good, bad or indifferent. Our dreams are often a result of that processing, because the brain doesn’t take breaks. Sometimes we don’t remember dreams because they weren’t important- the brain simply processed something unimportant. Other times, it tries to make sense of horrible things that have happened, which is where nightmares come into it. Sometimes the brain relives those awful, traumatic events in an attempt to understand it, but not always. Sometimes nightmares look as if they have nothing to do with traumatic events on the surface, yet they actually have a lot to do with them.
While the circumstances of the dreams may be different, the emotions they stir up feel exactly like some trauma you have experienced. My nightmare of my car being stolen & totaled? It caused a huge amount of anxiety & fear, & I felt completely helpless. Eventually I realized it triggered the exact same emotions of my seventeenth birthday. That day, my mother took my gifts from my then boyfriend/now ex husband & destroyed them on the way home from school. She blamed me for making her do that & making her car messy. The event caused me so much anxiety (knowing I’d have to tell my ex what happened to his gifts), fear (wondering what she was going to do next) & I felt helpless (she destroyed the gifts as I was picking up her Avon order & gone for maybe 3 minutes- I couldn’t have known what she was going to do or stop her from doing it)
When these nightmares happen, the good news is that they have a purpose. They show you that there is an area in which you need more healing. It can be hard to figure out, so I highly recommend asking God about it. He loves you & wants to help you, so let Him! Ask Him what did that dream mean? If you like, you also can look up symbols on a dream dictionary website- I’ve done this. I write down everything I can from my dream- items, colors, feelings- then look up what each means & write it down beside each item. Sometimes things make more sense to me when I see them in writing so that can be a helpful tool.
Once you realize what the dream was trying to make sense of, you can heal. Work on coping with the traumatic event however works for you- pray, talk to a therapist, talk to a close friend, write in your diary. What you do doesn’t matter, so long as it works for you.
I know nightmares are a very difficult part of C-PTSD & PTSD, but they are also unavoidable. Why not make them work in your favor by learning what they’re trying to help you cope with? Once you do, the nightmares often go away or at the very least don’t happen nearly as often. I haven’t had a dream about my car being stolen or totaled in a couple of years. 🙂
On Mother’s Day, I came across a very good article called “A Mother’s Day Card For The Disposable Child.” One sentence in particular hit home with me.. “She walked away from me and shamed me for asking for a healthier way of relating. If I wanted to go back to the old way, I suspect she’d accept me as her daughter again.” Reading this sentence, I thought about my parents & that is exactly our situation.
As usual when reminded of something so dysfunctional about my parents, it really made me sad. I knew I needed to deal with this rather than bury it, but I just wanted to finish the article first. As I scrolled down I read the letter the author wrote to her mother, but never sent. Upon reading this, what I needed to do clicked in my mind. I needed to write a letter to each of my parents, but never send them.
Have you ever done this, Dear Reader? Have you ever written out what you would love to say to your parents if it was completely safe to do so? If not, I urge you to do this.
Writing things out can be a very therapeutic experience. There is something validating about seeing things in writing rather than simply remembering them. It makes experiences seem more real.
Also, by writing things out, you are in charge of who sees what you write. You can hide it so no one but you & God know about it (I like an online, password protected diary), or you can add to it & turn it into a book. You are totally in control. When speaking things out, there can be interruptions, or others can hear what you don’t want them to hear.
By writing things out, you’re safe. If you confront your narcissistic parents, you are far from safe. Narcissists don’t do confrontation. They refuse to accept responsibility for things they’ve done since that might make them look or feel bad. They will do or say anything to avoid accepting responsibility. Denial, projection, gaslighting are all distinct possible scenarios. Why subject yourself to them if it’s not necessary? Yet, you still may need to purge the awful emotions you’re experiencing. That is where writing letters you don’t send come into play.
Writing letters like this helps you to get out your feelings in a completely safe manner. You can say anything you like, in any way you like, without fear of judgment or narcissistic mind games. When I write these letters, I don’t worry about bad language or using “I” statements or anything- I let it all out, no matter how ugly it is.
Once the letter is done, I’ve noticed I feel very tired & a bit raw emotionally. It doesn’t last long, thankfully. This seems to be a typical phenomenon after doing heavy emotional work on healing. When it happens to you, just remember to be especially gentle with yourself. Do whatever self-care things make you feel loved & nurtured.
The most dreaded day for adult children of narcissistic mothers, Mother’s Day, is upon us.
What are you doing today, Dear Reader?
I hope you are taking some time to celebrate yourself. Whether you are a mom or not, you should be congratulating yourself.
If you’ve gone no contact with your mother, I know, today is especially hard. You should be proud of yourself though- you made possibly the most difficult decision a person can make. It’s incredibly hard to sever ties with your own mother, even when she is incredibly toxic, but you did it. That takes a lot of guts!
If you haven’t gone no contact, but instead maintain a relationship with your narcissistic mother, you too should be proud of yourself. It’s not an easy task finding a way to maintain your sanity with a narcissist, but you found a way that works. That is something to be proud of!
If you’re hurting too much to celebrate yourself, I understand that. Take time to grieve. Cry, pray, write in your journal. Having a toxic relationship with your mother is incredibly painful, & grieving it is totally normal. Maybe you need to take a day to grieve. The more you face your pain, the more you heal & the less painful it becomes.
I know this day is a very difficult, painful one, it is for me too, but you can make it through! xoxo
One of the main things all narcissists, be they overt or covert, have in common is that they discredit their victims to anyone who will listen.
Discrediting may be done under the guise of concern. A narcissist may claim to be worried about their daughter because she has serious mental problems- she’s depressed, anxious, or bipolar. Or, it may be more direct, a smear campaign, where a narcissist claims the victim is a drug addict, juvenile delinquent, promiscuous or other awful things.
Discrediting often starts early with narcissistic parents, sowing seeds of disdain & discord among family members & friends, who come to believe this innocent child to be anything but. Instead, they believe the child to be whatever the parent said, & the parent to be completely innocent when nothing could be further from the truth. My mother did this to me in my childhood. When her abuse peaked in my late teens, her friends, who once liked me, suddenly wouldn’t even speak to me.
Discrediting also may be done as a preemptive strike. Narcissists know sometimes when they go too far with a victim, & reach out to others before the victim can. This is an attempt to look like the good guy, so others won’t believe the victim when she shares what happened. My father has done this. Once when I wouldn’t take his call because he called too late (he repeatedly called late, in spite of repeatedly telling him I won’t answer the phone after 9pm), he called my in-laws & one of my cousins. He told them he was extremely worried about me because I didn’t answer the phone when he called at 10 that night. He even asked them to tell me to call him immediately. Both were concerned, & somewhat angry with me for being so “mean” to my father.
It also may be done as revenge. If a narcissist thinks that she has a chance of someone the victim knows well believing her, she may reach out in an attempt to hurt the victim. Again, my mother has done this. Many years ago, my husband’s work downsized, so he lost his job. My father took money from his & my mother’s savings account, & gave it to me, even though I didn’t ask him to. My mother was extremely angry with me about this. She called my in-laws. A few days later, my husband visited his parents, & his father told him about the call. He said my mother said I was doing something terrible, so he told her never to call back. Whatever it was, it was so terrible, he refused to repeat it to my husband.
If these types of things are happening to you, it’s typical narcissist behavior. Unfortunately, there really isn’t anything you can do about it. If you defend yourself, chances are, people will see you as the crazy, irrational, awful person the narcissist said you are, no matter how calm & collected you are when you speak. People in these situations often look for any tiny piece of evidence that the narcissist is right, so no matter how justified your anger or upset, it will be taken as the narcissist being right.
Rather than actively defend yourself when these situations arise, it’s best to let your character shine. The truth has a way of coming out no matter what, so if you are consistently a good, caring, loving, rational person, sooner or later, people will realize that. I know it can be frustrating doing nothing to defend yourself, but truly, it’s your best course of action. Pray- ask God to help you through this hard time & for the truth to be made clear. You will need God’s help during this hard time, so never hesitate to ask for it. He’ll be more than glad to help you!
Recently, I’ve been having a lot of repressed memories return to the surface along with a flashback. I had a total of 6 repressed memories & 1 flashback in a period of 2 days. Not a fun 2 days for sure! However, I realized something. They all had reasons for happening.
Flashbacks & repressed memories show you what areas you need healing in. If you’ve dealt with events properly, you won’t have flashbacks about them. You’ll also remember them, so they won’t be repressed memories returning to the surface. Although they’re rough, at least flashbacks & repressed memories can help you see what you need to work on.
They also can enable you to feel emotions that you couldn’t feel, let alone process, at the time of the trauma. When I experienced mine recently, for the first time, I felt all the pain, anger & fear I was unable to feel at the time because I was simply trying to survive. Feeling those emotions enabled me to release the pain. Finally!
Flashbacks & repressed memories also are a good validation for why you’re low or no contact with your narcissistic parent. I only recently blocked my parents’ phone number after months of no contact from them. My father apparently called, & couldn’t reach me so he sent his flying monkeys after me to tell me to call him. Considering his age & failing health, I honestly had a tough time not calling him at first. Thank God I have a loving God & good friends who reminded me why I blocked his number in the first place to get me through the worst of it. A bit later is when the flashback & repressed memories happened. They really helped drive home the fact that I need to stay away from my parents. They showed me exactly how abusive & dysfunctional they are.
I know flashbacks & repressed memories are extremely painful to deal with, but if you allow yourself to learn & heal from them, at least that pain won’t be in vain. If you’re unsure what you’re supposed to learn or do after a flashback or a repressed memory returns, then pray. God will show you what the purpose of it coming to your mind at this time is. I also suggest keeping a journal. Writing things down gives you something to look back on. It reminds you of things you may have forgotten, & offers you strength when you see how far you’ve come. A written record can be a wonderful thing! I use an online, password protected diary so my journal is completely private. No one reads it but God & I. There are plenty to choose from, so you might want to do the same.
I have just published my newest book entitled, “The Truth About Elderly Narcissists”. It’s all about identifying their changing abusive behaviors, finding ways to cope with them while taking care of yourself, coping as a caregiver, as well as things to consider if you opt to go no contact.
This book is available in ebook & print formats on my website at:
Recently I’ve realized something surprisingly helpful in helping me cope with the abuse I’ve experienced at the hands of my narcissistic parents. Seeing things through their eyes. Granted, that isn’t always an easy things to do since I’m not a narcissist, but it can be oddly helpful.
Seeing things through their eyes has shown me the incredible dysfunction they live with, & how so much of their abuse wasn’t personal (although it sure felt that way), but was solely about them. I was simply collateral damage, an acceptable loss to them.
For example, my mother has criticized my looks as far back as I can remember. Compared her features to mine, telling me how much more attractive hers were than mine. Naturally, I grew up feeling like the ugliest person on the planet. Eventually, I looked at this situation through my mother’s eyes. My mother said when I was born, she figured I’d look like her- brown hair & eyes. I’m a blue eyed blonde, like the Baileys- my father’s family. In fact, I look a lot like my grandmother, who, mind you, was a beauty in her youth. My mother hates all of her in-laws, so if you look at this situation through her narcissistic eyes, I probably betrayed her. I disappointed her by being born not looking like her, & to boot, looking like people she hates. Never mind I had zero control over this, somehow it still comes back to her, & I didn’t do as she wanted. I had to pay. Plus, she probably thought I was prettier than her, so again, I had to pay. She had to tear me down so I didn’t think of myself as pretty. Bonus- tearing me down built her up at the same time.
Realizing these things helped me to stop taking her scathing criticisms so personally. What she said wasn’t true- it was simply a means to make herself feel better & to nurse the “wound” I gave her by being born differently than she wanted me to be. Granted, I’m still trying to believe I’m pretty, but at least I know now what she said is all lies & I’m not some hideous monster like she made me feel like. (Feeling pretty probably will take a long time. Baby steps..)
See what I mean? Seeing things through her eyes helped me to see the truth in the situation, & stop believing her hurtful lies. It can help you as well, & let’s face facts- anyone who has experienced narcissistic abuse needs any help they can get to heal the damage it’s caused.
I would like to encourage you today to try this, Dear Reader. Look at a painful situation through the narcissist’s eyes. I guarantee you will see that you did not deserve what was done to you, that it was more about the narcissist than you & that the narcissist lied to you simply to benefit herself. If you’re having some trouble, ask God to help you if this is something He wants you to do.
Recently I learned something very interesting & also useful for those of us affected by narcissistic abuse. We are very prone to Cluster C personality disorders.
Cluster C personality disorders involve OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), Avoidant Personality Disorder & Dependent Personality Disorder:
- OCD involves obsessive, perfectionistic type thoughts. We need consistency, organization & routine.
- APD means we are so socially anxious, we avoid social interaction as much as possible. We are deathly afraid of ridicule or criticism. We also have very low self esteem.
- DPD involves indecisiveness, the need for reassurance, clingy behavior, & a fear of being alone.
If this describes you, please know you are not alone. After reading this information, I realized these disorders describe me very well. I would feel very safe in assuming it’s not just me. These traits describe so many of us who have experienced narcissistic abuse that I have talked to.
There is also one positive note in that personality disorders describe behavior, which means they can be changed. Personality disorders describe a behavior rather than physical brain damage, so that means they can be changed.
So how do you change these dysfunctional & unhealthy behaviors? In all honesty, I’m not really sure. Since I just learned about Cluster C disorders, I really don’t know much about them just yet. I do know, though, that God is the best place to start dealing with any problem. Since I just learned this information earlier today, I plan to spend some time in prayer later today when I have some uninterrupted private time to try to figure out where to start. I’m going out on a limb here to say I think God will want me to start with asking Him to tell me the truth. “Do I really need to be so anxious around other people? Is it right for me to be so perfectionisitic, so hard on myself? What is the real truth in these situations?” (as an example). That is always a great place to start, listening to God tell you the truth. He will, & His words are full of healing power.
I’m sorry I don’t have more information to share at this moment, but I will share as I learn. Hopefully it will benefit you as well as me, Dear Readers! xoxo
Thanks to a recent discussion with two of my wonderful fans, I learned about a fascinating personality test based on Carl Jung & Isabelle Briggs Meyers’ approaches to personality.
The test will result in a 4 letter description of your personality & explanation of what it means.
I would really like to recommend you take this test & learn what your personality is. Truly, it is a very eye opening, enlightening experience.
I learned I’m an INFJ personality, which means Introverted, INtuitive, Feeling, Judging. This happens to be the rarest personality type (which I think is pretty cool!). Reading about INFJs has answered a lot of questions I had about myself. I always thought I was weird, but in fact, I’m not- I’m simply a typical INFJ personality.
On a whim, I also took the test for my narcissistic mother, answering the questions to the best of my ability, & she turned out to be an ESTP. The description sounded a great deal like her. No wonder we clash so badly- our personalities are entirely opposite.
In any case, learning about your personality type is very helpful. It will teach you why you are the way you are. It’s also very validating. As I said, I always thought I was weird & have come to realize I’m not. It also can teach you about yourself. Learning about my personality showed me exactly why I hated certain jobs but loved others, why people (even strangers) have come to me for advice, why I can be so obsessed with details & more. I feel like I’ve learned more about myself in the short time I’ve been reading about the INFJ personality than in the rest of my life.
I hope you’ll consider doing the same. Learning who you are, learning about your personality is not only fascinating but so helpful. And, if you’ve grown up with at least one narcissistic parent, then you never had much of an opportunity to get to know who you truly are. You learned who that parent said you were. Why not finally learn about the special person God made you to be?
Here is the test: http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp
One thing I have learned about adult children of narcissistic parents is the majority of us are introverts. Introverts keep to themselves, like quiet activities, are focused & intelligent, prefer deep to superficial relationships & conversation, often have only a few interests but explore those interests deeply, & gain energy from alone time rather than from other people.
Extroverts are the exact opposite, & much more common. As a result, the life of an introvert can come with challenges. Some people think there is something very wrong with introverts, & will try to change them. They may believe the introvert is depressed, & constantly say things like, “Cheer up!” or “You’ll feel better if you come to the party with me.” Society in general seems to push people to be extroverts- you are told you must go to Christmas parties, have a big Thanksgiving dinner or have the whole family come by for your birthday.
These things can make us introverts feel uncomfortable, even flawed, & wondering what is wrong with us. The truth is that there is NOTHING wrong with us! Being an introvert isn’t a disease, some terrible character flaw or a mental disorder. Introversion is simply a personality trait. You would have just as good of luck “curing” yourself of introversion as you would changing your eye color. You were born with your specific eye color just like you were born being an introvert.
I also can’t help but to think that being raised by a narcissistic parent may contribute to introversion. The fact is narcissistic parents are very mentally & emotionally draining. After growing up with that, it seems natural to me to seek out quiet & peace, especially if you naturally are introverted & long for that anyway.
If you’re an introvert, then please don’t think there is something flawed or wrong with you for being this way. You’re in great company. Besides, being an introvert, you’re in great company. Some known introverts are Abraham Lincoln, Elenor Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, Mahatma Ghandi, Laura Bush, Rosa Parks & Warren Buffet.
Also, there are many positive traits that introverts often have over extroverts. Introverts are often very good listeners, they often maintain long lasting friendships, they are responsible, analytical, intelligent & creative.
There is one down side to being an introvert that I have found. Naturally, as a die-hard introvert myself, I prefer alone time. Although there is nothing wrong with that, it can be a problem when it comes to hard times. Most people, I think, tend to isolate themselves to a degree when going through a really tough time, but introverts do it on a grander scale. And, if like me you’re an introvert with C-PTSD, it can be really bad. One of the traits of C-PTSD is wanting to isolate. Throw in the introvert trait & when I’m going through a hard time, it’s a miracle if anyone other than hubby & the furkids see me or talk to me for weeks. While isolation isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it needs to be balanced. God made people to need Him as well as other people. I have learned with myself when I isolate myself for too long, it contributes to the depression that accompanies C-PTSD. I just want to encourage you to have balance. Isolate yourself when you need to, but if it goes on too long, realize you need to spend time with people you love & who love you. Go & do something fun! It really can make you feel better.
Good morning, Dear Reader! Today, I thought we would talk about being an introvert.
Introverts are often very quiet people, people who gain strength from being alone rather than being around others, become mentally & physically drained after being around other people, hate being the center of attention, focused, introspective, highly intelligent, explore their few interests deeply, become irritable without sufficient alone time & prefer having only a few very close friends rather than many acquaintances.
This describes me very well. I absolutely cannot tolerate much time around other people, even those I love dearly. In fact, a lifelong friend of mine is also an introvert, & when we get together, it doesn’t take us long & one of us will say, “You ready for some introvert time?” Neither of us is offended by this, since we both understand the strong need for alone time. Instead, we both laugh about it & go home.
It seems to me that most people are extroverts. They need to be around other people often as it energizes & strengthens them. They are highly energetic people & often bubbly & excited in the ways they express themselves. If they are alone for any length of time, they become depressed. They have many friends & many interests. Being the center of attention is a positive thing for them.
The large amount of extroverts compared to introverts can make being an introvert rather challenging. Introverts often think there is something wrong with them for not being like most other people. We feel like we are weird or flawed. We also feel like there isn’t anyone else who prefers the company of a good book over people.
Also, extroverts can’t understand us introverts any better than we can understand them. Often, they try to “help” us by making us more social, such as wanting us to go places with them when we would prefer the solitude of our own home with a good book. They also may think we are depressed rather than introverted, & try to “cheer us up” by wanting us to do things that cheer them up. If you are fortunate, the extroverts in your life understand that you are simply different than they are. They quickly learn not to try to change you, & that there is nothing wrong with you for being introverted- it is simply a personality trait rather than a flaw or illness.
If you are not as fortunate with the extroverts you know, life can be a bit more challenging. I had a friend years ago who I cared a great deal about, but he was very extroverted. He constantly wanted to go places & hang out with me. We always had fun together & I enjoyed it when we went spent time together, but due to my introverted nature, there were many times I would have preferred to stay home alone. I ended up hurting his feelings quite a few times for turning down an invitation to go to a bookstore (our favorite activity) or out to lunch. I didn’t mean to- I just needed my introvert time, & he didn’t understand that as he didn’t like to be alone for very long or stay home. He did accept my boundaries, & usually with only a little trying to convince me to change my mind.
Unfortunately, this is unavoidable when an introvert is friends with an extrovert. The good friend, like mine was, may have his feelings hurt, but will accept that you don’t want to hang out together 3 times a week (or however often he wants to). Some extroverts aren’t as nice as my friend was. Some may get pushy or use guilt to try to manipulate you into doing their will. They may push you hard to try to become more extroverted as they are. Don’t give in if you are uncomfortable doing so! You have every right to be as introverted as you would like to be, just as others have the right to be as extroverted as they would like to be! Set your boundaries & stick to them. You have that right!
Also try to explain to your friend that it is nothing personal or wrong with him- you just need some alone time. As he gets energy from being around others, you have that exact same reaction to being alone. Maybe explain it this way- “You know how good you feel after you spend an afternoon with friends (or at a party or whatever social activity your friend enjoys)? That’s how I feel after some time to myself.”
Most extroverted people will understand & respect your boundaries. As for those who don’t, or those who continually try to change you into an extrovert? You may want to reconsider your friendship. Normal healthy people don’t try to change other people.
If you are an introvert reading this, just remember- you’re not alone, you’re not weird & there is nothing wrong with you for being an introvert. There are plenty of us out there, but you may not know it as we’re most likely spending time alone in our own homes… lol