Tag Archives: positive

Being Too Positive Is As Unhealthy As Being Too Negative

Lately I’ve noticed something.  So many people are just over the top positive. They can find something good in every single situation, no matter what.  While that may sound good, I really don’t think it’s entirely good for a person’s mental health.

If you’re very positive, you expect nothing but good things to happen.  Since life isn’t always perfect, bad things do happen, & when they do, overly positive people can be devastated.  A realistic person hopes for the best, but  also prepares for the worst.  When something bad happens, they aren’t usually overwhelmed, because they knew it was possible something bad might happen.

Very positive people also can unintentionally invalidate others, which damages their relationships.  Look at these typical scenarios:

  • You’re recovering from a potentially life threatening illness.  The overly positive person says, “At least you’re still alive!”  Well, yes, but that comment makes you feel like you don’t have the right to be upset about the fact that you could have died, when in fact you most certainly have that right!
  • A soldier with PTSD saved his friends’ lives by killing an enemy soldier who was running at them, guns blazing.  A positive person might say something like, “You did a brave thing!  Look at the lives you saved!”  While that’s true, how about asking how he feels about the incident, or offering him comfort because he had to kill another human being & is having difficulties coming to terms with it?
  • You tell the overly positive person of trauma in your life such as your parents’ abusing you, being the victim of a mugging or maybe being in a terrible car wreck.  The overly positive person says, “Other people have been through much worse!”  Or, even worse, they don’t so much as acknowledge what you said.
  • You were adopted as a baby.  As an adult, you’re frustrated because you don’t know your family’s history, how many siblings you may or may not have, why you were given up for adoption or even what name your biological mother wanted to give you.  Or, maybe your adoptive parents abused you.  An overly positive person might tell you how lucky you were & how grateful you should be to be adopted, making you feel guilty for not feeling so lucky or grateful.

I’m not trying to say being positive is all bad.  It certainly has its place.  It can help you in tough times to focus on the good, such as remembering the good times with your loved one after he or she has passed away.  I do believe though that there must be balance.

Being too positive means a person doesn’t deal with their emotions in a healthy way.  They ignore the anger, hurt or sadness & put on a happy face.  That is never a healthy thing to do!  Emotions demand to be felt, so if they aren’t felt in a healthy way, they’ll find a way to manifest in an unhealthy way.  This can lead to physical health problems such as high blood pressure as well as angry outbursts or depression.

It also can lead to deep insecurity.  If a person feels bad about themselves for feeling a negative emotion, chances are, that person will shame themselves for what they feel.  Their self talk will be awful.  They’ll tell themselves things like, “You’re so stupid for being mad/sad about that!”  Negative self talk can damage self-esteem, which is never a good thing.

You can be positive yet realistic at the same time, Dear Reader.  If something bad happened, there is nothing wrong with admitting that event was bad.  As I’ve mentioned before, in 2015, I nearly died from carbon monoxide poisoning.  Good has come from it- my personality changes have worked well for me.  I’m happy to say I no longer have patience for abusive people, I’m better with self care than ever before & I finally will stand up for myself.  But, at the same time, I don’t like the fact I get tired so easily, I have constant head, neck & body pain, sometimes my moods swing like crazy, & my memory & comprehension are seriously damaged.  See what I mean?  I have found the positive, but at the same time, I admit the negative.  You can do this too, & I firmly believe when you do, you will be much happier than if you are overly positive.

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health

Do You Celebrate Enough?

Do you celebrate the good things in your life?  Not necessarily throw a big party over every good thing, but at least revel in your joy for a few moments.

Life can be so hard & full of negative things, the good can get pushed aside.  It’s very easy to do.  However, I would like to encourage you today to start looking for more good things & celebrating them.  Focus more on what you have accomplished than what is still left to do.  Be proud of the fact you lost five pounds or finally painted your living room.  Think about how blessed you are that a good friend of yours brought you lunch when you were sick, or offered to take your child to school when you were unable.  Enjoy the fact your spouse took off work on your birthday to celebrate & spoil you.  Take a few moments just to think about those good things & feel good about them.  Bask in the good feelings for a few minutes.  Truly this will help you to feel good, & it will help to cement these positive experiences in your memory by attaching good emotions to them.  Experiences with emotions attached stick with us much better than those with little or no emotions.

I have stressed many times the importance of taking a break from emotional healing sometimes, as it can be very draining.  As much as you need to heal from narcissistic abuse, it can be very complex & deep, so periodic distracts are very important.  However, I think equally important is looking for & celebrating the good things.

Growing up with a narcissistic parent, accomplishments were always undermined.   We heard negative, critical, judgmental things our entire lives.  In fact, I think of my parents as the “could be a tumor” kid from the movie, “Kindergarten Cop.”  Do you remember that kid?  If not, here you go:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaTO8_KNcuo&list=FLyHVkrFotB51_ZKqh7BqAXg&index=27

These things our parents did became habits.  We learned to do them to ourselves.  We became highly critical & negative about ourselves, even trivializing the good things we’ve done.  Why continue the abuse that your parents started?  Stop it & stop it now!  You deserve so much better than that, & you deserve to be happy.  Start today by celebrating something good.  Take a few minutes to bask in the joy of the blessing or the event, whatever it is.  Focus on how good it feels to have received something or to have accomplished something.  Even if it’s simply cleaning your house- doesn’t it feel good to have that task completed?  Focus on that good feeling for a few minutes.  Thank God for the good things.  That’s all you have to do.

Now, try that celebration with other things, big & small.  Relish the enjoyment!  You’ll be a happier person for it!  xoxo

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

Trauma Changes You

No one can go through something life altering & not change in some ways.  Whether the experience is losing someone you love, a divorce, abuse or something that threatened your life, that experience will change you somehow.

While sometimes the changes aren’t positive ones, like developing PTSD or C-PTSD (which are unavoidable, unfortunately!!),  sometimes the changes can be good.  That can take a deliberate choice to make the changes good, but it’s worth it.  Some examples are:

  • Losing a loved one, which causes you to realize how suddenly life can end.  You can either become terrified or you can decide to enjoy life more.  Also, you can decide that it’s time to start showing those you love just how much you love & appreciate them more often.
  • Going through a divorce can make you give up on love, or you can think of it as a stepping stone to find the person God meant you to be with.
  • Abuse can make you bitter & afraid, or you can learn from it.  You can learn how to identify abusive people, how to be compassionate with & help other victims of abuse & learn ways to heal. Also, surviving abuse gives you a different perspective than others who haven’t been abused.  You can appreciate the fact that you’re strong & don’t get flustered easily over the little things.

What have you been through that has changed you?  Are you trying to learn from your experiences?  If not, I encourage you to do so.  If you’re at a loss as to what good could come from your pain, ask God to show you.  Romans 8:28 says,  “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (KJV)  Although it may not feel like it, there is some  good that can be gleaned in your painful situation, & God will show it to you, gladly.

I mentioned a while back how I went through a potentially life-ending experience with carbon monoxide poisoning.  Aside from the fact I survived, I wasn’t sure if any good could come of it, but it did.  God showed me through that event that I had a big problem with toxic shame, which was causing me a great deal of pain & suffering.  He also showed me what I needed to do to cooperate with Him to set me free of that, & I’m making progress!  I also grew up with narcissistic parents, & also have narcissistic in-laws.  In the last few years, I have learned a great deal about narcissism, which has enabled me to help others in similar situations.  Although I’m not grateful for the painful experiences, I am grateful that God has been able to make something good from them.  That is my wish for you too, Dear Reader- that you too can see something good that has come from your awful experiences & appreciate those good things.

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

“And We Know That All Things Work Together For Good To Them That Love God”

Good morning, Dear Readers!

I read a lovely quote yesterday by Budda.  It says, “Every experience, no matter how bad it seems, holds within it a blessing of some kind.  The goal is to find it.”  I thought it was a very true & lovely quote, & it reminded me of Romans 8:28 which says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (KJV)

I am not of the delusional mindset that if you are just positive enough, all the pain from the painful experiences will magically disappear.  I also will never, ever say I am grateful for the abuse & traumas I’ve experienced in my life, or that they were a blessing.  And honestly, I have yet to find any blessing in some situations even years later.  However, I am happy to say that some good has come from them.  My horrible first marriage taught me it’s better to be alone than with an abuser, to recognize certain warning signs in a man that show he isn’t good for me, & to recognize signs of abuse in a romantic relationship.  The narcissistic abuse from my mother taught me so much about what makes her act the way she does, how it has affected me, setting & enforcing healthy boundaries & more, plus it’s enabled me to help others in similar situations.

By saying these things, I’m not saying abuse or trauma is a good thing, or is necessary for building character or anything so ludicrous.  I’m also not trying to trivialize trauma.  I’m just saying I think it can be a good & healthy thing to find the little bit of positive in a sea of pure crap.  For years, I thought my pain had no purpose at all & nothing good could ever come from it.  Realizing it has, has helped me be more at peace with the traumatic events.  By that I mean that I’ve been able to accept that they did happen & cope to the best of my ability, which is so much better than how I used to handle my pain- by stuffing it down inside & trying to ignore it.

It just amazes me how God can pull some good out of so many terrible situations.  Regarding Romans 8:28, when I thought about that Scripture this morning, I thought about my gorgeous snowshoe Siamese cat, Jasmine. Jasmine was a lovely cat, but her first 7 years of life, she had irresponsible owners who passed her from home to home.  Her last owner before me was good to her, but she passed away in 2003, which is when I inherited Jasmine.  I learned early Jas had a wall up- she was obviously tired of getting close to someone only to have them abandon her.

On Christmas day, 2009, my husband found her barely responsive.  We couldn’t see the vet until the following day, but we immediately got her in that day.  The vet had taken such good care of Danya, my husky/wolf, when he had diabetes, that I was positive he’d be equally as great with Jasmine.  Not only did he misdiagnose her as having cancer or pancreatic issues, he coldly told me I should “just put her down.”  I don’t believe in doing that, plus Jasmine’s pleading eyes told me it would’ve been a mistake.  I took her home, expecting my beautiful girl to die in 1-2 days.  Instead, she started to improve.  She moved a little, then ate & drank a little.  Five days later, she sat upright!  In looking online for answers for her symptoms, I met a good friend who is a vet tech, who diagnosed Jasmine as having had a stroke!  Once she said that, i was able to take care of Jasmine & she recovered with only a little sway to her rear end as a sign she had a stroke.

During following 2 years, Jasmine had 3 more strokes, only her final one giving her any problems.  She fully recovered from the other 2.  We became even closer as I cared for her.  That wall she had built crumbled, & she became not only dependent on me for her care, but also for comfort & love.  She also fought so hard after each stroke to recover fully until she no longer could do so after her last stroke.  And even then, she fought so hard to stay alive.  Her blue eyes stared into mine for her last few hours with such love.. it was beautiful, the love she showed me.

While I can’t say her strokes were a good thing by any means, I still am grateful that she let them change her.  We became so close, much closer during her last 2 years than during the previous 6 years when she was in better health.  She also became very close to the other cats & dogs, rather than ignoring them.  She even became more clear in her communications with me, which struck me funny since one of our dogs at the time was very good at communicating with me, & she always had looked down on him for that.

Out of such a tragic event as a stroke, something beautiful happened.  Jasmine was able finally to accept the fact she had a loving family, & to accept happily the gestures of love we all gave her.  It even seemed to give her strength & a strong desire to fight with every fiber of her being to heal after the strokes.  It really amazed me, & still does, that something so positive came out of such a horrible situation.  Her courageous love (as a good friend of mine describes it so perfectly) was an inspiration to me, & I thank God for blessing me with that amazing, lovely creature.

If you think about the bad situations in your life, what good has come from them?

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

November 12, 2013

Good morning, Dear Readers!

I caught a show on tv last night that was so interesting.  It was about PTSD service dogs for soldiers.  One man told his story- he was in the marines for 13 years, did 3 tours in Iraq.  He came home with severe PTSD.  Took 32 (yes, THIRTY TWO!!!) meds, but was still not doing well.  Spent his time drunk & hiding in the basement of his home.  His wife finally took the kids & left.  Then, he was able to get a service dog- a beautiful German shepherd named Axel.  He said it was as if having Axel reset his brain.  He became able to take less meds, quit drinking & function.  Axel gave him security- he said it was somewhat like having his service buddies around, because he knew like them, Axel had his back.  It was a lovely story… 🙂

PTSD service dogs are great- they help their person remember to take meds, but they perform other wonderful tasks, such as providing a buffer between the person & others, thus enabling their person to go into public.  (This alone is a huge blessing since so many people with PTSD & C-PTSD have agoraphobia.)  They keep their person grounded when anxiety & hypervigilance get bad.  They offer a sense of security.  Truly these service animals are a wonderful blessing!  And, not only to the people they serve.  K9s for Wounded Warriors only uses dogs rescued from shelters!  They save the lives of dogs that might otherwise be put down by kill shelters.  

This show also affected me personally.. not only fascinated me because of my deep love & appreciation for animals, but listening to one soldier discuss his PTSD symptoms actually made me cry.  It seems so incredible to me that I can have many of the same symptoms a soldier who survived war can have.  I mentioned this to my husband, who said that like a soldier, I grew up having to be on alert, waiting & watching for the next bomb to drop.  My mother’s moods were my bombs instead of actual physical weapons, but they were also deadly.  

It also drove home the seriousness of PTSD & C-PTSD.  During the course of the show, one lady was interviewed.  She said 3 out of every 5 returning soldiers have severe PTSD, & 1 soldier commits suicide every minute.  How heartbreaking is this?!  People need to appreciate the great sacrifices the men & women in our armed forces are willing to make for the freedoms we take for granted!  God bless these wonderful men & women & their families!  

We also need to appreciate the severity of PTSD/C-PTSD.  This are potentially life threatening disorders, & need to be treated as such!  The rate of suicide with both is quite high in people with these dreadful disorders.  I even realized I have some at risk mindsets myself- yesterday on facebook, I saw a list of some of the warning signs people show when they are contemplating suicide.  While I am not suicidal, I do have some of the potential signs.  It scared me.  I have been suicidal before in my life, & I really do NOT want to go back to that horrible way of living ever again!  This shook me up, & showed me that I need to take better care of myself.  This disorder is nothing to take lightly!

I came up with a few things recently to do to help me take better care of myself.  Just some little things to make myself feel good or show myself that I matter.  Here are some of them.  I would like to encourage you to do the same for yourself.  You are worthy & you deserve it!

 

  • Spend more alone time with God.
  • Set & enforce healthy boundaries with everyone.
  • Realize my own self-worth.  (Listen to & believe complements, ask God to tell me what He thinks of me)
  • Practice mindfulness when anxiety kicks in.
  • Learn to meditate.
  • Focus more on accomplishments than failures.
  • Do at least one nice little gesture for myself daily (bubble bath, pampering, manicure, whatever!)
  • Be patient & understanding with myself.  (Would I get mad at someone else for having the same issues with C-PTSD?  No?  Then why should I get mad at myself for them?!)

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Animals, Mental Health

November 5. 2012

Hello, Dear Readers!  I hope you’re doing well today on this lovely autumn day.

Yesterday it was 18 years since hubby & I went on our first date.  Time really flies.  It was a romantic date, & I remember it as if it was yesterday.  To celebrate, we didn’t recreate it, but we did spend some quality time together at our favorite bar/restaurant on the water.  We try to celebrate that day every year, & other special days, such as the day he proposed, the day we met, etc.  Little celebrations are a good thing- they bring some much needed positive into life.

I also wanted to let yall know that Thursday, Dr. Karyl McBride, author of “Will I Ever Be Good Enough?” will be on the Dr. Phil show to discuss maternal narcissism.  She is a lovely woman & her book is amazing.  Check your local listings or http://www.DrPhil.com to find out when the show will air in your area.  I’m looking forward to it myself.  Dr. McBride’s book describes my mother well, so I’ll be very interested in watching this show!  My parents watch the show daily, so I just pray they catch this one, & gain some insight.  

By the way, there is another storm, what sounds like a milder version of hurricane Sandy, moving into the Maryland region on Wednesday.  Be careful, my fellow Marylanders!

Have a great day!  🙂

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health