Tag Archives: recover

Getting To Know Yourself After Narcissistic Abuse

I was recently reading a very good email from Dr. Karyl McBride, author of “Will I Ever Be Good Enough?”  It’s an incredibly good book for adult daughters of narcissistic mothers.

 

Anyway, her email was discussing the new book she has coming out soon.  She included an exercise in the email for helping you to get to know who you really are.  She called it “An inner selfie”.  Collect pictures from magazines or from the internet that represent some aspect of yourself.

 

I’ve done something similar this & it really does help you to get to know & inspire yourself.  I have several folders of pictures on my tablet full of pictures that speak to me in some way.  I have a folder of pictures that are uniquely feminine- flowers, beautiful women that I would like to model myself after, & other images.  There are several folders of various pictures that help me to feel good- one has images of Ireland, another a cabin deep in the woods in a blizzard, another has pictures of the beautiful interiors of luxurious trains, still another contains pictures of Claude Monet’s paintings, another a couple of cute vintage & beautifully restored campers.  I also have a folder full of pictures of inspirational quotes & another full of informative & validating quotes about mental health.

 

Growing up with a narcissistic mother, as you know if you too have one, means you grow up not knowing who you are.  You’re simply whatever your mother wants you to be, not the person God made you to be.  It’s the same way if you were romantically involved with a narcissist.   Today, why don’t you make a decision to learn who you are?  Start by collecting pictures that you’re attracted to.  Each one will reveal a little bit about who you really are inside, & help you to get to know yourself.  You may even learn that you like who you are.  🙂

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Adult Child Of A Narcissistic Mother, Be Compassionate With Yourself!

Tomorrow, Christmas eve, would’ve been my 24th wedding anniversary, if I had stayed married to my ex husband.

The day always brings some conflicting feelings.  Mostly, I am grateful I was able to get away from him, as he was a narcissist who treated me much like my narcissistic mother used to treat me.  I can’t imagine how bad things would’ve been for me if I had stayed with him.  Chances are good that I would have killed myself if we had stayed together.  I was that depressed with him.

It also makes me sad though, when I think of how damaged I was back then.  I knew marrying him was a mistake, which is why I had broken up with him a few months prior.  Yet I still allowed him to talk me into marrying him anyway.  I married him instead of continuing to date someone who I really enjoyed being with, because I believed my ex when he made me feel guilty for leaving him, & like I owed it to him to marry him for hurting him so badly.

It’s amazing the things that a child of a narcissist will do, isn’t it?

I’m sharing this embarrassing bit of information about myself with you today for a reason.  I’m sure you too have things in your past that you regret.  Bad choices made out of dysfunction, pain or even desperation to be loved.  I want you to know that you’re not alone!  You have nothing to be ashamed of! Mistakes like mine are a normal part of being raised by a narcissistic mother.  You grow up so dysfunctional because all of your growing up years, you were told you were a horrible, stupid, ugly, selfish, etc. etc. person.  You were blamed for things that weren’t your fault, & made to be responsible for things no child should be responsible for, such as her mother’s emotions.  Things like this cause a tremendous amount of damage that permeates your innermost being well into adulthood.  It is completely normal!

Please don’t do like I did for many years.  I beat myself up for being so stupid & marrying someone I didn’t love, for falling for all of his manipulations, for being so starved for love that I believed him when he said he loved me, for ignoring my instincts that told me to stay far from him & for passing up a good man for a narcissistic one.  I asked myself so many times how I could be so stupid, basically continuing the beating up of my self-esteem that both my mother & ex-husband started.  It was wrong & cruel, & I showed myself no understanding or compassion.  Don’t make that same mistake!  You deserve so much better than that!

While yes, you have made mistakes & done dumb things, everyone has!  No one is immune from making mistakes in their life, especially someone raised by a narcissistic mother.  Show yourself some compassion & realize that you have been through some damaging things- it’s only natural you have made mistakes.

Also remember, God loves you & forgives you.  If He forgives you, how can you not forgive yourself?

Be gentle & understanding with yourself, Dear Reader.  You deserve it.  xoxo

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Forgiving & Remembering

I have a knack for remembering special dates, & sometimes it can be quite annoying.

 

This date isn’t a nice one for me.  On November 28, 1990, when I was 19 years old, my mother threw me into her living room wall during an argument we were having.  I wish I didn’t remember that evening so clearly, or the date that it happened, but I do.

 

Although I’ve forgiven my mother & God healed my back injury she caused that night, it’s still an unpleasant event to remember.

 

While I was thinking about this a little while ago, I thought of something else.  Just because I have forgiven my mother for doing this to me doesn’t mean I have forgotten the event.  It also doesn’t mean it doesn’t pop into my mind once in a while when something reminds me of it (such as today’s date) or that I’m completely OK with this memory.

 

So many people think once you’ve forgiven someone, you should never remember the event again.  Forgive & forget.  I disagree.

 

While dwelling on a traumatic event  indefinitely isn’t healthy, there is a time to focus on what happened so you can completely process your emotions about it & forgive the person who hurt you.  And, once you have done that, it still may pop into your mind periodically.  Less often as time passes.  When it does, chances are you will feel a little uncomfortable with the memory.  To me, it reminds me of remembering a bad dream- you know it can’t hurt you, but the memory is so unpleasant, it makes you cringe a bit just thinking of it.  Also, you may forgive your abuser, but how can you be completely OK that it happened to you?  Being abused was not fair!  I don’t see any way that one can be completely OK with being abused even if forgiveness has happened.

 

This is normal!  And that is what I wanted to tell you today, Dear Reader.  If you still remember traumatic events, even ones from many years ago, & you believe they weren’t fair or right, you are normal!  You aren’t a “bad Christian” or holding onto bitterness or unforgiveness.  Instead you are perfectly normal.

 

 

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Helping Someone With C-PTSD

Helping someone with C-PTSD isn’t easy for either you or her.  The symptoms are so frustrating, & can be embarrassing.  Mood swings, extremely high anxiety levels & muddied thinking are not fun to live with or manage, nor are they fun for someone to witness.

If you live with a partner who has C-PTSD, your life isn’t easy either.  You are living with someone who just wants to be “normal” but can’t be due to this disorder.  You are affected, too, by the awful symptoms.  Watching someone you love suffer yet not knowing how to help is a terrible & helpless feeling.

Below are some ways that you can help your loved one who has C-PTSD.

  1. Research this disorder.  Learn all you can about the symptoms & treatments.
  2. Ask your loved one questions.  Just be sensitive in how you ask questions.  Avoid sounding judgmental or critical.
  3. Show her that you are interested.  If she complains of nightmares, ask what they were about.  If she says she doesn’t feel well, ask why.  She needs to know that she can talk to you about her battle with C-PTSD without fear of you judging her.
  4. Don’t expect her to control symptoms 100% of the time.  As much as she may want to, she can’t hide all of her symptoms all of the time.
  5. Don’t pressure them in the recovery process.  There’s no time schedule. And remember, most people with C-PTSD or PTSD never recover, they only learn to manage their symptoms.
  6. Help her to feel loved, without expecting loving gestures in return.  She probably will offer them often, but there are times she won’t feel able to do so.  It doesn’t mean she doesn’t love you- it means she has C-PTSD.
  7. Try to be helpful & supportive.  Do what she asks promptly, & try to anticipate needs.  Be observant.
  8. Offer distractions.  Suggest going out to dinner, or going to a movie, or some other activity she enjoys.  Focusing on this disorder constantly is simply depressing!  Distractions help both of you from becoming too depressed.
  9. Try not to smother her.  Be there, but if she wants to be alone, leave her alone.
  10. Find support for yourself, too.  Talk to a counselor or friend you can confide in.
  11. Take breaks.  You need to take care of yourself so you will stay healthy (physically & emotionally) & so you can be strong for her.

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Yesterday..

Good morning, Dear Readers!

I just thought I’d share something…

As I’ve mentioned lately, I’ve been feeling really bad. It just seemed as if nothing was going right, & it’s been taking a toll on me. Thankfully, things changed yesterday…

To start with, the previous day, my mother called, wanting a favor from me. I told her I’d call back to let her know if I could do it. After some prayer & thought, I realized I couldn’t do it. Even at 43 years old, it takes a lot of courage to say NO to my mother sometimes.. especially without offering her any explanation (I didn’t want to hear any criticisms of my reasons for not being there for her). I called my parents yesterday morning, & thankfully was able to talk to my father instead- he accepted my no without question. No problems. Saying no helped me feel stronger than I had- it reminded me I had a right to say no, to have boundaries & to have my life as a priority.

Although leaving home made me extremely anxious as it always does, I still enjoyed my time out with my husband last night. I bought a couple of little things at a store without telling myself I don’t deserve them or we shouldn’t spend money on me. We then went to a car show, & on the way home stopped by a local car dealer where we’d seen a 1969 Dodge Charger. It was a replica of the General Lee from the old tv show, “The Dukes Of Hazzard,” one of my favorite tv shows as a kid & my favorite car ever. I wanted to snap a quick picture of it before we went home. We pulled into the lot just as someone was moving it, & as I snapped a ton of pictures of this car, he told my husband & I the story behind the car- it was one of only 17 remaining cars from the tv series & movies! I never thought when we left home yesterday afternoon that before we got back home, I would’ve seen a real General Lee!!!

Yesterday was such a blessing to me. Not only did I have fun, got a couple of nice little prizes, & get to see my favorite movie/tv car, but something else happened. If you recall, I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, I’ve mentioned how God has shown me I need to get the real me back.. to stop being “Eric’s wife” & be “Cynthia” again. Well, the real me came out yesterday, out of the blue. God is enabling me to be who He intended me to be, & it feels good! It’s also affected my husband. God once told me that if I get me back, not only will I be happier, but my marriage will improve. From what I saw yesterday, this is very true. My husband seemed more relaxed than he has in quite some time & we enjoyed each other’s company more. It’s strange- I thought I needed to change to please him, which is why I lost myself in the first place, yet instead, it caused us to lose much of the closeness we had when we first got together.

I’m sure that this change is something I will have to continue to focus on maintaining, but it is a good start. It gave me the kick in the butt I needed. I’ve been too afraid of rejection to even start focusing on getting myself back. Yesterday showed me it’s a good thing, & gave me courage.

I guess the point of telling you all this isn’t only to share in my good news, but to encourage you. Trust in God, even during the darkest times. He has a plan, & He will help you however you need. It may not be as fast as you want or how you expect it to happen, but it will happen. And, when it does happen, you will be blown away by His goodness & love. ❤

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Taking Care Of Yourself Isn’t Selfish- It’s Vital To Your Mental Health

Yesterday was a tough day.  I had the worst panic attack I’ve had in years.  My husband & I went to a home show in town.  It was a spur of the moment decision.  I had visions of a quiet place where we could look at various home improvements.  I was wrong.  Instead, we were bombarded by pushy salespeople amid a crowd- basically an agoraphobic nightmare.  After only a short time, I practically ran out, & had a panic attack.  It was scary for the first time in years, I couldn’t regulate my breathing at all.  It lasted a good 10 minutes, leaving me drained for the rest of the day & today.
It took a while, but I finally (grudgingly) finished everything I needed to do today, which wasn’t much.  Now, I plan to rest & recover.  I would have felt guilty about this even as recently as a few months ago, but I refuse to do so now.  After almost two years of having full blown C-PTSD, it is finally sinking in just how serious this disorder really is.  I see how badly damaged my brain is often, like when I can’t find the word or name I need, or when my mood goes from happy to angry to sad with virtually no warning.  C-PTSD is a frustrating disorder even on my best days. 
Beyond the frustration however, lies danger.  Many people with either C-PTSD or PTSD battle suicidal thoughts due to the severe depression that accompanies both disorders.  I’ve been there many times, & do whatever I can not to re-experience that pain.  Self care always has been a somewhat foreign concept to me, like it is to most survivors of child abuse, especially at the hand of a narcissistic parent, so I am continually learning ways to take care of myself, especially when the C-PTSD flares up.
Not knowing myself well, thanks to always putting others first, learning self care has been a challenge.  However, I’ve made progress, & I’m hoping what I learn will help you, too.
I find pampering thing to be especially helpful during bad days.  A manicure/pedicure, snuggling up in bed in cozy jammies with tea & a good book (preferably a classic) or good movie, or even a warm shower followed by my favorite lotion make me feel good.  I think pampering helps because it communicates the message that you’re special. 
Sometimes, when things are somewhat overwhelming,  I find TV a good distraction.  It let’s me zone out & escape for a while.  I’ve also found too much TV can make me depressed- I feel lazy for just staring at it rather than being productive.  I know that stems from my mother calling me lazy when I was younger, but that is something I still battle with anyway.
Hobbies are helpful, too.  I love reading & knitting in particular.  Focusing on them can help me relax when anxiety levels are high.
My most recent coping mechanism is more about helping me in my daily life.  I got a new app for my tablet a to do list app.  I can add things to it, & set alarms to help me remember things, since my short term memory is so bad.  It’s so frustrating forgetting things, so I’m hoping this app will help me.
I know many of you who read my writing also suffer with C-PTSD.  Please think about what I’ve written here today, & be gentle with yourself.  Practice self care daily, but especially on the bad days.  And, don’t be afraid to do little things to make your life easier- God gave us helpful things like my to do list app to be used!

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Today’s Update- March 24, 2014

Good morning, Dear Readers!  I thought I’d post an update..

Before I say anything else, I’d like to apologize for being so absent lately.  The C-PTSD has been flaring up badly.  I think because of knowing I’ll be seeing my mother soon.  She’s also called me more than usual lately (the silent treatment is officially over for now).  I have been fighting incredible anxiety- so much so that I’ve developed some eczema.  UGH.  I’ve also been depressed, & I can’t focus!  I’m so forgetful, it’s downright pathetic.  So writing in this blog has been a rather daunting idea.  Getting through each day is hard enough right now.

Also, I recently received an invitation to be a guest blogger!  I’ve never done this before, so I’m not sure what to expect, yet I’m looking forward to it.  The blog is about encouraging those with anxiety, depression, addictions & self-harm.  Not quite what I usually post about, but still related.  It should be interesting working with this blog & I’m looking forward to it.  I can’t say how often I’ll be posting there, because, as I told the lady I spoke with, with having C-PTSD, I get overwhelmed very easily.  Thankfully her reaction was “Even once a month would be wonderful!”  YAY!  Someone who understands!  Always a good thing!  I’ll try to post more than that, hoping for once a week or so.  Anyway, here is the link to the blog:

http://hopeinhealingblog.wordpress.com/

 

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What Is Your Name?

Your name is important.  It is your identity, after all.  In Biblical times, people took great care in naming their children, much more than today.  Names also were changed to show important changes in life, such as in the case of Abraham & Sarah in Genesis 17.

These days, that seldom happens, however I believe it can be beneficial to do in many cases of surviving abuse.  I have read some stories of survivors changing their names recently.  I haven’t legally changed mine, but the changes feel good anyway!

Although my parents named me Cynthia, they always have called me Cindy.  My mother claims this is the correct spelling, & makes fun of those who spell the name another way, such as Cindi, Cyndi, etc.

I’ve never liked Cindy.  To me, that name represents the person my mother created- someone dysfunctional, with no self esteem, my mother’s puppet.  I don’t like her at all!  Cynthia, however, I like much more.  I created her- she is strong, independent & not my mother’s puppet.

Asking others to call me Cynthia changed my life.  When I started going by Cynthia, I started growing stronger.  It felt much more comfortable, & enabled me to separate completely from my narcissistic mother.  I finally started to become the person God wants me to be rather than my mother’s puppet.  On a funny note, I even developed a slight Southern accent, like my dad & his family.  It highly annoys my Northern born mother.

What about you?  Does hearing your name or a nickname make you cringe because of the bad memories attached to it?  If so, that name is yours!  Change it if you want to!  It is your right!  Ask God what to do if you’re unsure.

If you do decide to change your name in any way, some people won’t understand or like it.  I had an old friend & some relatives flatly refuse to call me Cynthia.  Interestingly, those relationships ended shortly after.  I realized healthy people had no problem with my request, they just wanted me to be happy.

Also, I opted not to tell my parents.  I really didn’t want to hear the nasty comments or fight about my name.  You too will have to decide if you can handle your parents’ negative reaction.

Lastly, if you opt to change your name legally, talk to a lawyer or research the laws in your state.  It is often an easy process, but many details will follow.  You’ll have to change your driver’s license, mortgage or lease, social security card, medical records & much more.

Changing your name is a big decision, but one well worth considering.

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To Forgive Or Not To Forgive?

I just read an interesting article about forgiveness.  It claims that sometimes unforgiveness is a good thing.  The article gave an example of a woman who was abused all of her life by her brother, then as an adult, she stopped speaking to him, attending family gatherings that he was also to attend, etc.  It confused me because to me, refusing to speak to her brother doesn’t necessarily mean she hasn’t forgiven him.  Not everyone in a situation like this is hanging onto anger- they are setting boundaries. 

I am a firm believer in forgiveness, & also a firm believer in setting healthy boundaries.  As an example, I have ended friendships with people who used me, lied to me, or even had Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  I refuse to spend time with them ever again.  However, I’m not angry with them, nor do I wish them any harm.  I simply care enough about myself not to put myself in the path of being mistreated by people who have proved themselves fully capable of it.  

To me, forgiveness means refusing to allow anger to fester inside of me.  I hate feeling angry!!  As soon as it happens, I work through the anger as quickly as I can, then let it go.  It has nothing to do with the person who has made me angry- it is about me, & how I don’t want to go through life angry or bitter.

Forgiveness also doesn’t necessarily mean forgiving & forgetting.  Many times it does, of course, when the offense is small.  However,  if you are dealing with an abusive person, forgetting what they have done means you easily can set yourself up for further abuse.  Look at the example of a wife whose husband beats her.  If she forgives him & forgets, he will beat her again.  He will beg for forgiveness, she will forgive & forget, then he will beat her again.  The cycle will continue until she leaves him.  Leaving isn’t a matter of forgiveness or unforgiveness- it’s a matter of survival.  

Coming from a narcissistic mother, I have had to learn a lot about forgivness & boundaries. What I have written about here is the result of reading, listening to pastors preach on forgiveness, & praying.  I pray it blesses you!

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Keeping Blame In Perspective

Many people who have survived an abusive situation are told you can’t blame your abuser.  He or she didn’t know what he or she was doing.  Or, that person is mentally ill.  Or, he/she was abused as a child.  Or a plethora of other reasons a person can’t be mad at their abuser.  This invalidates the pain the victim feels!  It immediately makes you feel guilty because you have problems stemming from being abused.  I know- I have been in this position myself.

While I’m not saying we need to blame every problem in life on being abused, I am saying we need to keep a healthy perspective on it.  In my case as an example, my mother has Narcissistic Personality Disorder & Borderline Personality Disorder.  When I first learned of her disorders, I felt guilty for having problems that stem from her abuse when I was growing up.  I didn’t think I should hold her responsible- after all, these are disorders!  She must not be responsible for how she acts!  Then I can’t be angry or hurt or have problems that stem from things she did to me.  Besides, that was a long time ago..

Then I learned that personality disorders describe a way someone behaves, rather than physical brain damage, such as Schizophrenia or PTSD.  And, many of the things my mother did to me were hidden, even from my father.  That tells me she knew what she was doing was wrong.  After all, if one is proud of one’s actions, they aren’t hidden.  

I have since learned to have a healthy perspective.  While I do blame my mother for me having C-PTSD, I take responsibility for how I cope with it.  I blame her for my lifetime of low self-esteem, yet I try to find ways to keep a healthy self-esteem.  While she is to blame for the damage done to me, it is my responsibility to heal as best I can.  Part of that healing, I believe, is knowing that the damage done is NOT my fault!  I did nothing to deserve the horrible things that were done to me!

You did nothing to deserve the abuse you endured either!  Keep the blame for what was done where it belongs- squarely on the abuser.  You have absolutely NO responsibility for what was done to you.  However, you DO have a responsibility to heal.  Ask God to show you how- what steps you need to take.  And, as you heal, you may find out that God wants to use your story to help others heal, & inspire others.  That may help you heal even more than you know!  Blessing & inspiring others is a beautiful feeling!  

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Pets Can Help C-PTSD

Any of you who have read much of my writing or know me in real life know I love animals.  Especially cats.  Most especially black cats.  

Animals are truly a gift from God, of this I have no doubt.  They are constant companions, they don’t judge, they offer unconditional love & support, they make us laugh & so much more.  I currently have 9 cats, 1 dog & 1 finch, all of whom I love dearly.  Every morning, one of my two youngest cats, Zippy, likes to snuggle me before I get up for the day.  He is almost 20 pounds, so when he lays on me & demands snuggles, it’s impossible to ignore him!  He is a special cat- not only because he is strikingly handsome (think black panther- that is what he looks like), but because he is very in tune with me.  When the C-PTSD flares up, he is the first to attend to me.  He has grounded me during flashbacks by jumping up in my face, demanding I focus on him.  When I was battling agoraphobia more than usual one day & my husband wanted me to go out anyway, Zippy knocked the truck keys out of his hands, got under my feet as I walked near the door & more.  I went out anyway, then wished I had stayed home as soon as I was off my property.  When I came home, Zippy was there, offering lots of love & comfort.  When I am sad, he is there purring loudly & providing snuggles.  Zippy is a natural born service cat!  I have seriously considered training & certifying him as a psychiatric service cat.  He has a natural gift for it.

However, even my pets that aren’t quite as gifted as Zippy is are awesome.  They are so helpful with the nasty symptoms of C-PTSD.  They give me something to focus on, which helps my sketchy concentration.  I have to make sure they all have food, water & a clean litter pan.  If someone is sick, I have to be sure he gets medicine on time, that I keep an eye on his symptoms & take him to the vet as needed.  (Amazingly, as bad as the agoraphobia is, it is almost entirely gone when I go to the vet’s office.  I think because I have one of the furbabies with me.)  Most of the time when I write, Pretty Boy (my handsome, almost 12 year old black Turkish Angora mix) sits on my chest.  His presence somehow helps me focus when I write.  It is truly needed- as much as I love to write, sometimes it can be a challenge, organizing my thoughts.  Also, one of the furkids is almost always looking for love from me, but especially if I’m upset or the C-PTSD is flaring up.  They help me to relax when anxiety is bad, & cheer me up when depression kicks in.  

If you are battling some type of mental illness, I would like to encourage you to get a pet.  Pray first, seeking God’s wisdom on what type of pet would be best for you.  God won’t guide you wrong!  I have had a LOT of cats over the years, & I somehow just knew in my heart each time I met them which cat I should adopt.  That “knowing” feeling has yet to disappoint me!  I have been blessed with pets very well suited to my personality, & mine is suited well to theirs.  We always share a deep, loving connection.  God can do the same with you!  Just ask for His help!

I have written some about animals on my website.  What God has to say about them, & some advice on choosing a pet.  Check it out here:  Animals- God’s Gifts

 

Also, if you are interested, there are organizations who train psychiatric service animals out there. A search for “psychiatric service animal” or “ptsd service animal” can yield many results. I have seen a couple of books on amazon too, about training your own psychiatric service dog.

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Free Ebook! You Can Make A Difference!

yet God has helped them survive & heal.  I’m looking for all types of stories from people on all levels of healing.  I think a compilation of such stories could be very inspiring to those who read them.  

For more details, please check out my website at this link: Make A Difference!

If you wish to contribute to this project, you may email me at CynthiaBaileyRug@aol.com, or use the form on the link above.

Also, I want anyone who contributes to feel free to use a fake name.  I understand the desire for privacy, so please invent a name for yourself & those others in your story.  I will *NOT* share your real name, email or any information you share with anyone.  Your story will be in your own words, with any editing I may need to do to make it book worthy.  And, as I mentioned above, it will be a free ebook, so I will not be profiting on your story.  Which unfortunately means you will not be paid for your story.  

Thank you for considering allowing me to use your story!  🙂  I hope to hear from you soon!

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Website Changes

I’ve added a bunch of new information to my website about Narcissistic Personality Disorder and maternal narcissism.  Come check it out!

 

www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com

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Narcissistic Anger

Yesterday, my narcissistic mother called me after barely speaking to me since November.  She was passive/aggressively letting me know just how angry she is with me.  

This is nothing new, & I wasn’t even going to mention it here.  Then I felt God wanted me to share some of the details about it to show other daughters of narcissistic mothers how they operate.  So many emails I get are from women who are tired of the dysfunction in their relationship with their mother, & are looking for answers.  If that describes you, you may benefit from reading this blog.

My goal in sharing this is to help women like this learn some of the common types of comments narcissistic mothers use, & what these mothers hope to accomplish.  While your mother may not say exactly these comments, I would bet she uses something similar, & with similar motives.

Those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or NPD, don’t handle criticism well.  They also are in constant competition, especially with those closest to them.  They must look like the best, smartest, prettiest, etc. & if they don’t, they may go into what is known as a Narcissistic Rage.  This rage can be physically violent, but I believe many narcissistic mothers leave physical violence behind as they get older, & their children grow up.  They replace the physical violence with verbal attacks, often passive/aggressive ones that leave you wondering if your anger is misplaced.  These comments aren’t blatantly abusive- they have subtle, hidden meanings behind them, & are designed to strike at whatever means a lot to you to cause you the most hurt.  If you confront your narcissistic mother about what she has said, she’ll say you are crazy or reading into things because all she said was a simple statement.  This leaves you frustrated & angry because you KNOW that she didn’t just mean that one simple thing- you have absolutely no doubt there was a hidden, nasty crack at you in that comment!  This is gaslighting/crazymaking!

If your mother does this, you are NOT alone!  It is very common behavior for narcissistic mothers!  Read on- I bet you’ll see a bit of your mother in my mother’s comments.

Also, I am a firm believer in not judging people, including their motives.  While what I say below may sound judgmental, like I am judging her motives. I don’t believe it is at all.  This is based on knowledge I’ve gained from experience with my mother’s behavior for the over 42 years I’ve been alive.  

 

“My cousin is so brave.. while she suffers so with depression, she STILL works hard cleaning her house & garden!”

A little background:  Last June, my mother started being oddly nice to me for a few months.  During that time, she mentioned her 60-something year old cousin’s battle with depression.  She has been hospitalized for it, & takes medication daily.  She has gone through many medicines, changing doses repeatedly to find out what helped her best.  While telling me about her cousin, she asked if I’ve ever had problems with depression.  This shocked since when I was about 6, I told my parents I wished I’d never been born, & many times during my childhood my mother commented on how sad I looked & needed to cheer up.  Anyway I told her yes, I have problems with depression (I haven’t told her of the other mental health problems I have).  She asked some questions & I answered some as I felt comfortable.  I told her that I am used to it, it’s miserable, but I go on even when it’s bad.  My family needs me, so I can’t afford to fall apart for long.  Fast forward to yesterday’s conversation with my mother- I have no doubt this comment was to invalidate me, to let me know what I go through is nothing, especially compared to her poor cousin.  My mother’s cousin is so much stronger than me- she suffers so much, yet does so much more than me.  Aren’t I ashamed of myself??  (Truth be told?  Nope, I’m not!)

 

“My cousin & her husband went out one day & came home to find their son had bought & set up a fancy new 55″ television!  They are so lucky to have such a good son!”

I lost track of how many times my mother has told me this story… it has ONE motivation- to let me know I don’t do enough for my parents.  A good child would do things like this for her parents!  (Well, maybe if I wouldn’t have spent my life hearing constantly what a horrible person I am, I might feel more inclined to be nicer to my parents..)

 

Telling me about how long she & a couple of other people have been friends..

From any other person?  This wouldn’t be any issue.  But with my mother, it is.  She wants me to know she keeps friends longer than me (she seems to forget sometimes she is also 32 years older than me- of course some of her friendships are older than mine!  She is older than I am!).  She has told me I’m not a good friend ever since I can remember, & this is just one more way to remind me of what a terrible friend I am.  (We won’t discuss that my best friend & I have been friends since just before we went into our senior year of high school, or how many friends I have had since kindergarten..)

 

Telling me how spoiled her cat is.

This one is really easy.  Translation:  “I am a way better cat mom than you are!  You  should strive to be as good a pet parent as I am!”  Never mind I currently have 9 cats & 1 dog, all of whom are confident, happy, loving, healthy & very well cared for.  The one cat I have with health issues is doing way better than the vet thought he would, partly due to how I care for him.  As for my mother’s cat?  My heart breaks for her- she is overweight & extremely skittish.  Most likely this comes from my mother’s “discipline” when she misbehaves (screaming at the kitty).

 

Telling me how many people wanted to buy her old Dodge when she had it.

I’m not sure how many of you know the story of my car, so bear with me if this is a repeat for you.  I’ll try to keep it as brief as possible.  My ’69 Plymouth Fury belonged to my Granddad.  He gave it to my dad when his car was stolen, then Dad junked it for a bad transmission & rear in 1979.  In 2005, I found what I thought was a twin of that car at a flea market.  After buying the car, when I compared the VIN to Dad’s old records, we learned this is the same car!  My mother knows this, & hates my car with a passion.  She constantly lets me know it’s a piece of junk, no one likes it, Granddad was a terrible mechanic (really??  He kept his & some of his daughters’ cars running for many years) so she would NEVER own a car he owned, etc.  Her motivation with this comment was to let me know how much better her car was than mine since others wanted to buy it, and as a bonus, my granddad was a terrible person.  Funny.. my car is the only one that’s still on the road after 45 years, & I often have people wanting to buy it.  And, when my grandparents gave my parents this car in 1976, my mother didn’t turn it down.  As for her disdain of her father in-law?  It is because he & I were very close.  Once she learned how close Granddad & I were, she hasn’t stopped criticizing him to me.

 

I hope this helps you, fellow daughter of a narcissistic mother.  When your mother says something that sounds innocent enough, yet you feel angry about it, there IS a reason!  You aren’t crazy- your mother has some nasty motivation for saying what she has!  Trust that anger or hurt you feel- it is responding for a reason, I promise you that!  Narcissists always have a motivation for everything they say & do!  (They want you to make themselves look better or hurt anyone who they think is better than them, which motivates probably 99% of their behaviors.)  And, I bet if you think about it for a little while, you’ll figure out exactly what it is she is trying to say.  

Remember this too- just because your mother thinks something you say, do, like, own, etc. is bad, doesn’t mean it is.  I’ve said it many times- just because your mother says something doesn’t mean it is the truth.  Ignore her judgment of you- you are special!  God made you the way He did for a reason.  She is entitled to disagree with your likes or choices, & you are equally entitled to ignore her nastiness & continue your life however you like.  

 

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Repressed Memories.. January 14, 2014

Good morning, Dear Readers!

The other day, I had a bizarre experience.  i was gathering some wood from the pile outside to bring inside for the fireplace.  Suddenly a breeze came up & moved the big plastic tarp- it looked for a second as if the tarp would cover me, then the breeze stopped, laying the tarp down.  During that fleeting moment the tarp was elevated, a blind terror enveloped me- I was too scared even to scream.  I came inside my house, & prayed about this.  It occurred to me that I get anxious when plastic is near my face, such as the shower curtain- I can’t tolerate it even touching me- & have been like this ever since I can remember.

This was all very unsettling to me.  I couldn’t understand what was wrong.  Then, God reminded me of repressed memories.  Repressed memories are created by trauma that is too much for someone to tolerate at the time it happens, & the mind pushes it into the dark recesses of the mind.  Many times, they resurface at a much later date, when you are safe & able to cope with the pain.  They can be triggered by a look, a scent, a phrase spoken, the feel of a certain texture or about anything.  

What happened with me, I believe, was a type of repressed memory- while I still don’t know why I feel the way I do, obviously something has happened to me in my very early life to trigger such a drastic response, as well as creating the very odd anxiety I have always had about plastic near my face.  I think I have a basic idea of what happened to me to create this repressed memory, but I’m unsure.  

I’ve had many repressed memories come back to the forefront of my mind over the years- although admittedly none quite like this- & have learned a thing or two about them.  I’d like to share what I’ve learned with you today.

First, if you have a repressed memory come back to the forefront of your mind, don’t panic.  You aren’t crazy, you aren’t making this up or looking for attention.  Something very traumatic happened to you, & your mind wasn’t able to cope with it at the time.  You have become able to handle it now.  That is a good thing- it shows you are getting stronger!

Second, be gentle & understanding with yourself.  If something was so traumatic your mind hid it from you for a long time, then the event will be hard to handle.  Be patient with yourself- realize that sometimes you’ll be angry & be sarcastic with your children or cry when your husband asks what’s for dinner.  It’s frustrating to be that way, but it does happen when coping with trauma!  Apologize when necessary, but don’t beat yourself up about it.

Third, remember, what happened to you was not your fault!  Keep the blame where it belongs- on your abuser!

Fourth, don’t push yourself to remember!  Allow the details to return on their own.  I know many people believe in using hypnosis or other things that can bring repressed memories back, but I am not one of them.  If the memory isn’t coming up on its own, it’s because you are unable to handle it just yet.  Let it return in its own time, otherwise you can do more damage to your mind.

Lastly, pray!!  God will help you to get through this.  He will show you how to cope, & to help you forgive your abuser so you don’t go through life angry or bitter.  Besides, you need to get the negative emotions out of you anyway- who better to help you do this than your Heavenly Father?  Sometimes there are times you will feel unable to talk about it, & that is ok too.  Keep a diary, or write letters to your abuser (but never send them!), scream or beat up a pillow.  God sees these things too, & understands your pain.  

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January 8, 2014

Good afternoon, Dear Readers!

I need to rant a little today.. 

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

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

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

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What Would God Have You Do?- January 7, 2014

I just purchased a book the other day called, “The Post Traumatic Disorder Relationship.”  It explains the disorder, & how the spouse of someone with PTSD can help as well as cope (it isn’t easy living with someone with mental health problems!).  My husband said he would read it, & although I am excited, I am also nervous…

The traumas that caused me to have Complex PTSD also taught me from a very early age to handle all problems on my own, never “burden” anyone by asking for help, & that no one wants to help me anyway.  The thought of having my husband’s help with anything more significant than opening a jar with a tight lid is terrifying to me.  It also makes me feel guilty because I know my husband has plenty of his own things to deal with right now.  I already feel like a burden.  *sigh*

If I had my way, I’d just continue on as I have been, coping & working on getting healthier on my own.  But, I’ve been sensing God wants me to reach out to my husband a bit more lately, which is where the book came into play.  I am less than thrilled with this!  I also know that God has a reason for wanting me to do this.  I am guessing to help me break those old thought patterns I mentioned in the previous paragraph, as well as to teach him to be more compassionate.  Good lessons to learn, yet scary for me, too.  There is a degree of comfort in what is familiar, even when the familiar isn’t healthy.

God is so good though- He will take you out of what is dysfunctional & move you into what is best for you. 

If you too are in a transitioning place, I encourage you to do what I am doing- trust God.  He only has your best interests at heart, & He loves you so very much.  Ask Him to show you what to do in the unfamiliar, to strengthen you & to help you however you need it.  It will be worth it!  I don’t know yet what is going to happen in this situation with me, but I do know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the fear & uncertainty I’m currently feeling will be well worth it as I follow His leading!    

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December 18, 2013

Good morning, Dear Readers!

Last night I was thinking & praying.  God has given me a few purposes in my life..

  1. To help open people’s minds (such as with what I have learned about His immense love for animals & how people should treat them, as is the subject of my book “Pawprints On Our Hearts”)
  2. To show people the damage that can be done by child abuse.  Not only abusers in the hopes that they will change their ways, but to victims as well.  So many victims think they are crazy or have done something to deserve the abuse when nothing could be further from the truth.  Many also think the damage done to them doesn’t matter, because they believe they don’t matter.  Well, it *does* matter!  Everyone deserves a chance to be healthy & happy.  When you acknowledge the damage done to you, you can start to heal.
  3. To let people know they aren’t alone.  There are others who understand.
  4. To share what I learn about healing with other abuse survivors.

As I was pondering these things, I felt that today I should write to let everyone reading this blog post know that you are truly NOT alone!  Many people who read my work have contacted me, & have survived terrible abuse, usually at the hands of their parents.  I understand that completely!  Even if the abuse we survived was different, the basics are still the same- your parent cared more about his/her own needs than yours, made you feel unloved & unimportant, & only there to fulfill the parent’s needs instead of the parent caring for yours. 

And, if you have survived abuse, many survivors have Complex PTSD.  Just because you haven’t yet been diagnosed, doesn’t mean you don’t have it.  I had quite a few symptoms of C-PTSD my entire life- anxiety, depression, exaggerated startle response, hypervigilence, peridoic insomnia & agoraphobia- but not until the spring of 2012 did almost all of the symptoms fully develop.  Symptoms of C-PTSD may include:

  • Difficulty regulating emotions.
  • Depression.
  • Anxiety.
  • Panic attacks.
  • Forgetting traumatic events.
  • Flashbacks &/or intrusive memories.
  • Nightmares (about the traumatic events or not).
  • Insomnia or difficulty staying asleep.
  • Hypervigilence (intense awareness of the emotions of others & surroundings, looking for danger).
  • Exaggerated startle response.
  • Withdraw from others.
  • Agoraphobia (fear of leaving home).
  • Dissociation (the feeling of being outside one’s body, not being all “there.”).
  • Anger (turned outwards towards others or inward in the form of self destructive behaviors such as promiscuity or addictions).
  • Low self-esteem. 

If after reading this, you realize you have symptoms of C-PTSD, if possible, seek out counseling with a counselor who specializes in trauma/abuse.  Don’t take it lightly!  C-PTSD is a serious disorder, potentially even life threatening.  If the depression gets really bad, it can lead to suicidal thoughts.  If you get to that point, God forbid! please call 911, a loving & supportive friend, or even the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at:  1- 800-273-TALK (8255). 

If you don’t have insurance or the money for counseling, check into your local Department Of Mental Health, or churches.  Many offer counseling for free or charge low fees.  If that is still not an option for you, there are some ways to cope on your own.  That is what I have done, & while I can’t say life is perfect, I do think under the circumstances, I’m doing pretty well.  I take valerian root for anxiety, St. John’s wort sometimes for depression, & an all natural sleep aid.  I am learning to listen to what my mind & body need- if I need to go out, but don’t feel up to it, I get quiet & see how I feel.  If I’m feeling like I can handle it, I go out.  If I feel overwhelemed, I don’t go.  I will push myself to go out sometimes, but not every time I need to, because that can lead to more problems.  It can lead to greater anxiety about leaving home, which in turn makes the agoraphobia worse in the long run.  Some days, I find I need a lot of down time- I relax with a movie, knitting, or whatever helps me relax.  I have learned the value of getting quiet, & letting God speak what I need to do for that situation.  It always comes to me in the form of a knowing feeling.  Any time I have listened to that, it has helped me tremendously to deal with my symptoms.   

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Welcome To My Blog!

November 17, 2013

Just when I get comfortable thinking I’m finally familiar with C-PTSD, it seems like something else rears its ugly head.  It can be so frustrating!  

Last night, I went to start knitting a hat.  I cast on my stitches (the foundation), then went to join this long trail of stitches into a circle.  I suddenly realized I completely forgot how to do it.  I stared at my knitting needles & yarn for quite some time, but the next step wouldn’t come to me.  My husband asked me what’s wrong & I told him I forgot how to start knitting in the round.  He was surprised, since he knows I have such an addiction to knitting & have since before we met.  He then asked if I was that nervous about Monday, & I realized that must be why I forgot this ridiculously simple task.  Monday I have a doctor’s appointment that I am dreading- not because anything is wrong, it’s a simple check up, but because most of the staff can be so hateful.  It’s very triggering for me.  Unfortunately I’m stuck with them for now, so I must endure the nastiness from these people.  Anyway I hadn’t realized just how anxious i was about this appointment until that moment last night.  That anxiety is filling up my brain too much- so much so, it temporarily pushed out knowing how to do a simple knitting technique.  

I also had a difficult conversation with my mother yesterday afternoon, which added to my anxiety levels being higher.

If this describes you, too, know you aren’t alone.  Yes, it can be so very frustrating to forget things, but it is a part of C-PTSD.  You aren’t crazy.  You have a disorder.  Be understanding of yourself & gentle with yourself when these things happen.  

As for me, I looked up on youtube how to continue knitting on my hat.  I’ll continue working on it this afternoon.  🙂  “Yarn therapy” is very helpful.

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Complex PTSD Bill Of Rights

I think I am pretty typical of a daughter raised by a narcissistic mother.  Like many children of narcissists, I have Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which means I fight depression, anxiety, insomnia & agoraphobia every day.  I am constantly over-aware of the emotions of people around me, on the guard against potentially being hurt (hypervigilance) & have flashbacks & nightmares.  I also have a list of insecurities a mile long, I don’t trust people easily, & I expect nothing less than perfection from myself, partly so as not to be a burden anyone.  

Because of that feeling of I should be perfect, it has made the C-PTSD even more difficult than it already is.  My own husband doesn’t even know how hard it is sometimes, because I don’t tell him much.  I can’t burden him with my petty problems, after all.  *sighs*  I also never have had anyone take care of me, so I have become so accustomed to taking care of myself & my own problems.  Leaning on him is almost completely impossible for me.  This also means I even have trouble talking to God about it, & asking for His help.  

Anyway, I was thinking recently about this & I have no doubt I’m not the only person with C-PTSD like this.  I decided to write up a 
C-PTSD Bill Of Rights- something I could look at to remind myself I don’t have to be perfect all the time.  I thought I would share it here.. I hope it helps you too!  ❤

 

C-PTSD Bill Of Rights

 

  1. I have the right to talk to God about my struggles and my pain.  He understands, and will help me as no one else can.  He is not angry with me or disappointed in me for having C-PTSD.  He loves me no matter what.
  2. I have the right to have a bad day sometimes.  When living with this disorder and working on healing, there will be very good and very bad days- that is completely normal.
  3. I have the right to talk about my pain and frustrations with supportive, loving, caring people.
  4. I have the right to accept my limits.  Sometimes my best may not be very good no matter how hard I try.  (Remember- PTSD causes physical changes in your brain.  You are going to forget things sometimes or have difficulty regulating your moods or even finding the right words.  This doesn’t mean you are crazy or stupid- it means you have C-PTSD.)
  5. I have the right to say no.
  6. I have the right to ask for help.
  7. I have the right to walk my own individual walk with this disorder.  My journey will not be like everyone else’s.  That does not make me right or wrong- it makes me an individual.
  8. I have the right to remember painful events from the past.  I can learn from the past, and it has made me who I am today.  (Remembering the past is NOT the same as dwelling on the past, not letting things go, etc.!)
  9. I have the right to give myself the gift of forgiveness.  Not to erase the horrible things done to me, but because I deserve better than carrying around anger and bitterness inside of me.  I also need to understand that forgiving my abuser(s) does not mean I will be healed completely- there is some damage that must be worked on, even when complete forgiveness has happened.  I also must forgive myself for any wrongs I have committed.
  10. I have the right to take care of myself.  I must not only take care of my body but my mind as well.  That may mean reducing daily activities or taking more time off.  Self-care is vital to my mental health.  I must do this for myself as well as those who love me.  They deserve the best me I can give them.
  11. I have the right to reject unnecessary negativity and drama in my life, in all its forms, as much as possible to protect my mental health.
  12. I have the right to be who I am, the person God created me to be, no matter who approves or disapproves of me.  Just because I have a mental health issue does not mean I am not still a valuable member of society.
  13. Other people have the right not to understand what I am experiencing.  That does not give them the right to mistreat me, however, and I have the right not to tolerate their mistreatment of me.
  14. Other people have the right to ask me questions about C-PTSD.  I have the right to answer those questions or not, depending on my ability to answer them, and depending on how I feel God wants me to respond. 
  15. I have the obligation to make my pain count for something.  God is not into waste, and I am not either!  I have the obligation to ask God how to use this pain for His glory.  He may call me to raise awareness of C-PTSD, help create stricter laws against child abusers, write books or something entirely different.  Whatever He asks of me, I always have the right to say no to- He will not love me any less.  However, doing what God asks of me will not only bless others, but me as well.  God will reward my faithfulness.

 

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October 25, 2013

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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October 9, 2013

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

Living with C-PTSD is such a challenge.  I had no idea just how big of a challenge until 2012 when I suddenly developed all of the symptoms of it instead of just some. That is when I learned Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder exists.  Since then, I have been learning more almost daily about this wretched disorder.

The night before last, I learned I can no longer read while the television is on.  Hubby was watching tv, & I wasn’t interested in what was on, so I got out my tablet to continue reading “The Picture Of Dorian Gray.” (So far, it’s a wonderful book!  I love how beautifully Victorian literature is written.)   I couldn’t read much- the sound of the television while trying to read at the same time was an information overload for my brain.  It didn’t take long to feel overwhelmed, so I put the book aside after only a couple of pages.  I don’t even remember what I read.  So frustrating!  

I’m also learning to accept that even good stress can overload my mind.  I’ve got some things happening that are good, but since they are also out of the ordinary, they give me a degree of stress.  With my mind being so full of activity (hyper-vigilance mostly) already because of the C-PTSD, any stress, good or bad, can push me into overload.  It is much like this- fill a glass 3/4 of the way with water.  Anything you add to that glass will fill it up quickly.  It does not matter if what you add to the glass is good or bad.  All that matters is the glass fills up very quickly since it was already mostly full when you started adding things to it.

Unfortunately not everyone understands the symptoms of C-PTSD or is sympathetic.  The lack of empathy & understanding only adds to the frustration of the disorder.  If you live with C-PTSD, I’m sure this is nothing new to you- you have experienced it yourself firsthand.  (I recently lost a friend because of her lack of compassion.   I heard “this too shall pass.. I’ve had my problems too” one too many times from her.)  It is important to remember that you do NOT need validation from others, only yourself.  Even those who live with you don’t understand everything you are going through.  I know I tend to hide most of it, even from my husband.  I think because it is a habit I learned early in life- never bother anyone with my problems, & never show any negative emotions I’m feeling because I might upset others.  This is a very common thing for children of narcissistic parents like me.  

Maybe it’s time to start showing others what we are experiencing inside.  Talk about it.  Stop being ashamed- we have nothing to be ashamed of!  Having C-PTSD doesn’t mean you are weak, crazy looking for pity, holding onto the past, or whatever other terrible things you’ve been told.  Having C-PTSD means you have been abused & you survived trauma.   Trauma & abuse most people cannot conceive.  Your mind did what it had to do to protect you & help you survive, & the end result is C-PTSD.  

I see C-PTSD as a sign of strength.  It is a sign you survived!  It is much like scar tissue on your skin- it shows a wound was there.  But, I’m not sure if you know this or not, but scar tissue is much stronger than regular tissue.  The same goes for the mind with C-PTSD.  Your experiences have given you this “scar,” but as a result, your mind is so very strong now!  Chances are, you can handle a great deal more than you could have if you wouldn’t have experienced what you did.  

If you are having trouble explaining your symptoms to those close to you, I will include a list below that you may wish to show them.  I hope it helps!  May God bless you!  🙂

 

Symptoms of C-PTSD

  • Anxiety.
  • Depression.
  • Feeling overwhelmed easily.
  • Insomnia.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Memory problems.
  • Flashbacks.
  • Nightmares.
  • Hyper-vigilance (keen awareness of one’s surroundings & the mood/feelings of others).
  • Dissociation (detaching emotionally) or being overly involved in personal relationships.
  • Feels too much or too little.
  • Moodiness.
  • Love self-esteem.
  • Self-destructive behaviors (such as addictions, eating disorders, etc).

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August 31, 2013

Happy Saturday!! Wishing everyone a great weekend!

I know it’s been a while since my last post- I apologize.  I’ve been having a rough time lately.  The C-PTSD has been bad, plus my kitty, Pretty Boy, has been having issues with the diabetes.  Hoping we have things more straightened out, & a slight change in his insulin dose will fix him right up.  Waiting on the vet for more info though.  

In case you haven’t seen it yet, come check out the new group I created here on facebook.. I look forward to seeing you there. 🙂

https://www.facebook.com/groups/FansOfCynthiaBaileyRug/

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August 6, 2013

Good news!  My newest book, “You Are Not Alone!” for daughters of abusive mothers is almost ready for publishing!  I have about half of it left to edit, then I will publish it!!  I am hoping to get it done tomorrow.  🙂

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August 4, 2013

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

I’ve been working on my newest book, “You Are Not Alone!”  for daughters of abusive mothers.  It’s almost done!!  One final look over, then off to the publisher.  Then, I’ll make an ebook version.

Strange thing about this book.. I’ve had a hunch I’ll end up hearing some things I do NOT like to hear about this book, like, “You can’t keep holding onto the past..”  “Get over it”  “You can’t let this stuff get you down.”  Basically, the same invalidating things I’ve heard ever since I realized my mother was abusive.  I’ve already heard a few comments.

The truth is, I really don’t care what people think about me, especially when they are speaking out of pure ignorance.  Even so, it really is irritating to hear the same type of stupid & insensitive comments over & over again.  Why can’t people realize if they can’t say something nice, not to say anything at all??  

I write so much on the topic of surviving abuse because I believe it is what God wants me to do, at least at this time in my life.  He would not have let me go through all I have for no reason!  Helping others makes my lifetime of abuse count for something, & I know beyond a doubt I am helping others.  I have gotten plenty of emails telling me how much I have helped people.  

Also, just because I have Complex PTSD doesn’t mean I am “wallowing” in my pain, haven’t forgiven my mother for all she has done to me or am weak.  I have forgiven her.  I harbor no ill will towards her at all.  However, that still doesn’t heal the damage that has been done.  Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is unlike other types of mental disorders.  The traumatic events that caused C-PTSD actually physically damaged the brain.  Four areas are damaged- short term memory, language skills (finding the right words), emotional regulation & anxiety.  This is a medical fact & does not mean I am weak or “wallowing” in my past.  What it means is that I am damaged as a result of it- I reacted normally to an abnormal amount of trauma.

Whether you have been abused yourself or know someone who has been, please never, ever trivialize the experience!  Abuse is painful & life changing.  If you know someone who has been abused, think before speaking about this topic.  If you can’t say something nice or encouraging, don’t say anything at all!  

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July 23, 2013

Good news, Dear Readers!

I just wanted to let you know my current book, “You Are Not Alone!” is almost finished! I had finished the first edit, but kept adding to it.. well, one more edit & it’ll be DONE! Then I’ll create the ebook version, which won’t take long.

Daughters of dysfunctional & abusive mothers, I hope this new book will help you! 🙂

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August 31, 2012

Good morning, Dear Readers!  I hope this post finds everyone well today..

If any of you are interested in astronomy like I am, you may find this very interesting…tonight is the second full moon of August.  Many people call it a “blue moon.”  The moon won’t show a blue glow tonight, unfortunately, but the second full moon of a month is pretty cool, nonetheless!  I love a full or new moon- the moon showing her full beauty is a lovely sight to behold.

Lately, as some of you know, I’ve been going through a hard time.  Feeling overwhelmed easily, flashbacks of abuse in my life, depression.. it’s been a rough time to say the least.  Today I read something that struck a chord in me, & I thought I’d share it with you….

“There comes a time in your life when you have to either accept what you’re doing & just exist, or stop talking about what you used to be & do something completely different.”

I think it struck such a chord with me, because for one thing, I’m tired of living in the past with these stupid flashbacks & depression, but also because I know this isn’t what God wants for me.  God has been placing something in my heart lately.  When I was 19, I moved out of my parents’ home.  I can’t say I got wild, but compared to the extreme repression I had experienced with my mother, I certainly felt wild & free.  I was able to go where I wanted, see who I wanted, do what I wanted.  Even though it was a challenging time (I was never taught real life skills I would need), it was also about the best time of my life.  I was able to experience that freedom & be the person I was meant to be.  While, unfortunately, I wasn’t a Christian, I still was basically the person God wanted me to be- someone who was free to feel, do, think as she wanted.  Someone who could enjoy even the little things in life with passion.  Over the years, I have lost that person, & God wants me to get her back.  Seeing that quote this morning has inspired me to do my best to do exactly as it says- stop living the way I have been (thinking too much about the bad things) & asking God to give me the courage to do something different, & become the person I once was.

The reason I’m telling this story?  My prayer is that you too, Dear Reader, will do the same.  Life is full of so many bad things.  You can’t help but to notice them.  But, you can choose to focus on God, & His will for your life.  Live as He wants you to- notice & appreciate the everyday miracles that surround you, such as flowers in bloom, the fact you have a home of your own instead of living on the street as so many are doing these days, your beautiful children (human or furry!) & the spouse you love.  If you are fortunate enough to still have living grandparents or parents, spend time with them, listening to their stories of your family- get to know where you came from, your heritage, & be proud of it.  Love passionately- not only in the sexual realm with your spouse, but love your friends & family deeply, showing them just how much they mean to you.  I am going to do my best to do the same.

God bless you, Dear Reader!  I send you much love..  ❤

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