Tag Archives: real

The Real You & The False You

Some years ago, I began to realize I didn’t know who I really was.  I was the result of people telling me who I was, how to dress, what to like & not like.  It’s taken a long time but I can say honestly that now, I’ve finally shed that false person & become the person God made me to be.

 

This is very common with children of narcissistic parents.

 

As a child, you learn early on that your job is to please your narcissistic parent at all times no matter the cost.  If there’s something about you that doesn’t please that parent, it’s best to change that into something that does please that parent rather than face the traumatic consequences.  This behavior becomes such a habit, you aren’t even aware that you do it.

 

Eventually you grow up.  Not into the person God created you to be- an adult version of that false self your narcissistic parent forced you to become.

 

While creating the false self worked for surviving childhood with a horribly abusive narcissistic parent, it no longer serves you well as an adult.  Chances are, you’re unhappy & don’t even know why.  Maybe you work at a job you hate.  Even though it’s a good job that pays well, it just doesn’t fulfill you or bring you any joy.  Maybe you wear a style of clothing you hate just because it’s what you feel you’re supposed to wear, thanks to your narcissistic parent.

 

It’s time for this behavior to stop.  Whether or not your narcissistic parent is still a part of your life, it’s time to stop worrying about pleasing your parent & start worry about pleasing yourself.

 

As always, prayer is the best place you can start.  Ask God to help you become the person He made you to be, & be glorified through you.  Ask Him to show you what you need to do to accomplish this.

 

Also, start paying attention to yourself.  This is hard to do, I know.  Narcissistic parents raise their children to ignore themselves & focus on the parent, & that is a tough habit to break.  It needs to be done though!  Pay attention to how you feel about things.  Do you really like that car you drive or is it just because your narcissistic parent said you should drive it?  If your job isn’t fulfilling, ask yourself why?  What about it doesn’t work well for you?  Do you really like vanilla ice cream even though you were always told you didn’t?  Even little things like the ice cream thing are important- your likes & dislikes make you, you.  So pay attention!  The more you pay attention to how you really feel about things, the easier it gets.  And, the more you learn, the more you’ll want to learn.  You’re going to find out that you’re actually a very interesting, special, unique person!

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

My Promise To My Readers

I’ve noticed an interesting trend with this blog.  When I write about my mistakes, failures or struggles, my blog gains more followers & views.  My recent post about a bad C-PTSD day gained me quite a few more followers & a lot of views.

 

I believe this is because people are tired of people who claim they’ve been completely healed from their past, saying all you have to do is pray & believe, & God will deliver you completely from your past.  People who are completely delivered from their pain are in the minority, yet they are the ones most in the public eye, it seems.

 

The problem with this is it makes people feel like failures.  It sure did me.  I felt like I must not have enough faith or I was praying wrong.  Maybe because my experiences weren’t as bad as some other folks’ God wasn’t going to set me free- maybe He thought I was over reacting & needed to realize that.

 

Then one night while watching TV a few years ago, I saw Josh McDowell doing an interview on TBN’s show, “Praise The Lord.”  As a child, he was sexually abused.  His story was heartbreaking, but it gave me hope at the same time.  Why?  Because he admitted that as a grown man in his 50’s or maybe 60’s (my guess.. not sure) he still had issues stemming from that abuse.  He said when people touch his shoulder in a certain way, he can’t handle it, because it reminds him of his abuser.

 

Realizing that this wise, caring, good man of God still had issues from childhood abuse so many years later released the feeling of shame I had.  He’s obviously no failure, yet God didn’t wave that magic wand & set him free of all symptoms of the abuse.  Maybe, just maybe, that means I’m not a failure either!

 

Two Scriptures also came into my mind in a new way.  Psalm 23:4, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” & Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”  I realized that God is truly there with me during all the bad times.  Not only the times that I’ve lost a loved one or had a fight with a friend- all of the bad times.  He is with me during flashbacks, panic attacks & depressive episodes.  He is with me during all of those valley of the shadow of death times, not just some.  Also, I realized you learn a lot more going through something than you do if you’re just delivered from it.  The things I learn by going through are the things that I’ve been able to share in this blog, & in my books, too, & I believe people are being helped by these things.  I’ve received plenty of messages to prove it.

 

Also, He is the one who showed me I needed healing.  He started me on the healing path by gently showing me what was wrong with me & how to heal.  So, since God started that “good work,” it seems logical to me, judging by Philippians 1:6, that He will continue working on healing me until Jesus comes back.  This tells me there is nothing wrong with continuing to have issues for years after the fact.  It’s normal!

 

These revelations gave me a new heart for how I write.  Rather than constantly trying to encourage or teach readers what I have learned, I felt it would be a good idea to share my mistakes & struggles, too, to let my readers know that they aren’t alone.  Everyone who has been through narcissistic abuse struggles to some degree.  It’s ok!  God is with them & helping them to heal.

 

So, Dear Reader, this is my promise to you- to be real, not only encouraging or educational.  I’ll also let you know that I understand your struggles, because I struggle too, every single day.  And, there is nothing wrong with you or your faith if God hasn’t miraculously delivered you.  There are plenty of us in that same valley, so at least you aren’t alone!

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

Being Positive Doesn’t Fix Everything

I’ve been seeing so much lately about thinking positive, how a positive outlook can fix any problem in life.  It sounds great, but I disagree.

Thinking positive is certainly a good thing.  It can help you not to be discouraged or depressed.  In fact, I even have what I call “Positive Monday” every week in my facebook group, where I share something good in my life & encourage others to do the same.  That being said though, sometimes you have to be real.  There is nothing wrong with being upset when something bad happens.  It’s ok to grieve & be negative for a while after losing a loved one, being unfairly fired, finding out your spouse cheated on you or being mistreated.

Also, being realistic rather than optimistic helps you to avoid being constantly disappointed.  Optimists are constantly disappointed, because they naively expect everything to turn out well.  Unfortunately for them, that isn’t realistic!  Sometimes life is great & things turn out well, but not always.  I am a firm believer in hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.  For example, last February when I got carbon monoxide poisoning & a concussion when I passed out from it, I did a lot of research on both.  I learned that recovery is very long & slow, & in many cases, a person never fully recovers from carbon monoxide poisoning or a brain injury, even a so called mild one like a concussion.  While I hoped to be one of the few to fully or nearly fully recover, I accepted the fact it may never happen.  My symptoms have not improved in a long time, & I accept that.  I’m disappointed, sure, but not devastated because I knew it was possible, which I believe is about as well as can be expected under the circumstances.

Positive thinking also won’t heal you from the effects of abuse.  What will help you is to face what happened head on, talking about it, praying about it, getting angry about it then forgiving the person who hurt you.  Ignoring it or making excuses for the abuser (“he was abused as a child”, for example) does not benefit anyone, least of all you.

I just wanted to encourage you today, Dear Reader, to have some balance in your thinking.   There is no shame in being realistic rather than optimistic.  There is no shame when positive thinking doesn’t fix everything for you.

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

How To Have Inner Peace

I was thinking this morning about how blessed I am.  My youngest kitty, Punkin, brought this on.  He came to me & dropped his favorite toy at my feet. I thought how sweet he was, giving me his precious possession.  Then I quickly realized he wanted me to watch it while he played with another kitty, Chester.  His silliness made me smile, as always.

Punkin came into my life one week after losing my Georgie, as a gift for my cousin who was looking for a cat.  I was going to take him to her the day of her mother’s memorial service.  It seemed perfect- she would have some comfort & a young, fun kitty to help her get through.  But then I woke up sick on that day, & couldn’t go to my aunt’s service.  I was going to take Punkin to my cousin a few days later, but he quickly adopted us, & thankfully my cousin understood this,as she understands cats as well as I do. (Side note- happily, shortly after, adopted 2 beautiful shelter cats).

This worked out well, because Punkin has PTSD (yes, cats can have it too!  I’ve seen him have a flashback) & is blind in one eye.  He needs someone home with him often, as he has bad separation anxiety (although it’s improving greatly).  My cousin works full time, so this wouldn’t have been good for Punkin.  It was, however, very good for me.  I ended up with this sweet, gentle, goofy kitten who I understand well & he understands me well. We understand being hypervigilent & how sudden loud noises make us jump out of our skin.  When things happen, we just look at each other knowingly.  Sharing PTSD has given us a very strong bond.

After the last couple of weeks with my father having all these health problems& spending so much time with my narcissistic mother, it felt good to have something very positive to focus on.  There’s been such an influx of negative things lately, it was making me very depressed.

What you focus on has a lot to do with your attitude & whether you feel joy or not.  Unlike many people though, I don’t necessarily believe that only thinking positively is the healthiest thing to do.  I believe it makes more sense to be realistic. Certainly hope for the best, believe God will bless you, but know that sometimes bad things happen.  Bad things are a part of life as much as good things are, if not more.  But the good news is as a Christian, you will be OK! In John 16:33, Jesus says, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]”  (AMP)

An overly optimistic attitude just isn’t healthy.  In fact, I read recently (unfortunately I can’t recall where) that optimists commit suicide most often.  Not pessimists as you might expect- optimists.

I believe balance is the real key to having peace & a good attitude.  Knowing & accepting that bad things will happen, but when they do, know Jesus has given you the ability to deal with them.  That gives you peace even during the bad times.  And also knowing that good things can & will happen gives you hope.

Also, when surrounded by bad things, try to find good things to focus on when you can.  I let myself get too focused on the bad things these last couple of weeks. I should have spent more time focusing on the blessings in my life, like my little Punkin.  I believe that being grateful for the blessings in your life is a key to happiness.

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

Being Real

Good morning, Dear Readers!

I was thinking about trying to write something positive & encouraging today, & I couldn’t come up with anything. Why? Honestly, I’m in a pretty lousy mood. There have been a lot of negative things going on in my life lately, & all the things I’m learning for the new book are a lot to take in. I’m learning about so many behaviors that are abusive, that I never thought were abusive. I’m seeing clearly just how many people have abused me during my life, even people I never thought of as abusive. It’s really a lot to process! Plus, the heat & bright sun of the summer tends to depress me anyway. I’m so NOT a summer gal! Give me autumn or winter instead, please!

This all makes it hard for me to be positive & encouraging right now. I was starting to feel guilty about that (only adding to my lovely mood), & prayed. God immediately showed me something. People do not need positivity & encouragement only. They need genuine people, which is what I am. While it’s good to be positive, people also need to see that sometimes, you don’t feel positive, & that is ok. Everyone has off days. Sometimes, if people see you as only positive, they feel bad about themselves when they have an off day or two. They feel as if they’re sinning, not measuring up or failing.

We all have off days, sometimes several in a row, & that is OK!  Take it easy & practice good self-care on those days. As for me, I am going to take off this week, & not work on the new book. I’m going to relax as much as possible & help myself to feel better soon. 

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