Tag Archives: relationships

Being A Joy Thief

So many people are quick to squelch the things that bring other people joy.  Granted, narcissists seem to have cornered the market on this behavior, but other people do it as well, & often without even realizing how discouraging their behavior is to others.

Here is one example of joy thief behavior I can give from my life.  Years ago, I shared a picture of some shoes I really liked on Facebook.  I’m not a big fan of shoes like many women, but these were an exception since they were simply gorgeous & unique.  As soon as I did, two of my aunts attacked me for my supposed poor taste.  Immediately, the moment of joy I felt at seeing these lovely shoes was ruined.  Thank God for good friends though, because a wonderful friend of mine came to my defense immediately, which made my aunts back off quickly.

Another way people do this is by showing holier than thou type behavior.  When a person thinks something is an answer to prayer, others can be quick to point out it isn’t exactly what the person asked for or it’s something rather unique, so it probably isn’t really an answer to prayer.  Or maybe you are like me & believe that there is nothing wrong with asking God for signs.  When telling some folks I got a sign, some people have told me, “You know that’s not really from God, right?” or, “Nowhere in the Bible are there any examples to support He would send a sign like that.”  Such comments are so discouraging & can make a person doubt they heard from God properly.  They can even damage a person’s faith, in particular if they are new Christians.

While these events are hardly the most traumatic a person can experience in their life, they still shouldn’t happen.  People deserve to experience their joy without the unnecessary shaming from other people.  There is no good reason to rain on another person’s parade.

What harm could possibly come from someone enjoying something that you dislike?  No harm could come to humanity because one person prefers autumn & another prefers summer, one person dislikes holidays while another listens to Christmas music in July or even one person prefers tea to coffee.  Seriously, issues like this are silly & not worth arguing about.

Even when it comes to someone’s faith, many issues aren’t worth disagreeing over.  Every Christian is at a different place in their walk with God.  While you may be further along than another, you are still well behind yet another person.  You don’t know everything, so why act like you do?  If someone believes something that you disagree with, unless you can back up your belief with Scripture, let it go.    Romans 14:12 & 13 in the Amplified Bible have this to say…  “So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.  Then let us not criticize one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block or a source of temptation in another believer’s way.”  

Please consider your behavior & avoid being a joy thief.  It will be good for your relationships as well as for your peace of mind.  Being burdened with trying to change other people only makes both people in this situation miserable.  Why behave that way?  Enjoy your life instead & allow others in your life to enjoy theirs as well.

10 Comments

Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Enjoying Life, Mental Health

Boundaries Are Always Necessary, Even With Other Christians

Many people assume that being a Christian means you have no real boundaries.  You’re nice & helpful to everyone, & if you aren’t, you must not be a “real” Christian, whatever that means.  That isn’t even close to what being a Christian means however.

The Bible contains verses stating that as Christians, we should separate ourselves from others who claim to be Christians yet who act in toxic ways.  Matthew 18:15-17 says, “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens and pays attention to you, you have won back your brother. But if he does not listen, take along with you one or two others, so that every word may be confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he pays no attention to them [refusing to listen and obey], tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile (unbeliever) and a tax collector.”  And, 1 Corinthians 5:11 says, “But actually, I have written to you not to associate with any so-called [Christian] brother if he is sexually immoral or greedy, or is an idolater [devoted to anything that takes the place of God], or is a reviler [who insults or slanders or otherwise verbally abuses others], or is a drunkard or a swindler—you must not so much as eat with such a person.”

Clearly, boundaries are a necessary part of life.  Even in healthy relationships, they are necessary because without them, people can become enmeshed & unhealthy.  If boundaries are vital in healthy relationships, doesn’t it stand to reason that they are even more vital with unhealthy people?

Not setting boundaries isn’t being unloving, unkind, selfish or even a “bad Christian.”  Boundaries protect love, Godly love, because it means we are standing up to things that can damage or even destroy love.

We can & should set limits with those who behave badly in particular those who claim to be Christians, because they can be especially dangerous.  They are the ones who claim their toxic behavior is Godly which can lead people away from God. It is completely reasonable & even Godly to limit your time spent around someone who doesn’t behave in a healthy way.  It also is Godly to sever ties with someone who refuses to acknowledge the pain their behavior causes & change their ways.  Someone who doesn’t care that their behavior hurts other people or who even enjoys causing pain is toxic, & eliminating toxic relationships from your life is far from a bad thing to do!  Matthew 10:14 says, “Whoever does not welcome you, nor listen to your message, as you leave that house or city, shake the dust [of it] off your feet [in contempt, breaking all ties].”

Boundaries aren’t controlling, so please don’t think setting & enforcing them makes you a controlling or manipulative person.  Healthy boundaries are set & enforced to protect yourself, not change other people.  They are left with the choice to respect those boundaries or not respect them & deal with the consequences of their lack of respect.  Basically, that is what God does.  He doesn’t force people to do anything.  He has ways that He wants people to follow to have their best life, but rather than force people into obedience, He gives people the freedom to obey or disobey.  If they obey, they enjoy a close relationship with God.  If they disobey, they suffer consequences.  If they see the error of their ways & want to change, He certainly will forgive them & allow them into relationship with Him.  God displays the perfect model of how people should behave with each other.

6 Comments

Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Enjoying Life, Mental Health

15% Off All My Print Books!

My publisher is offering another sale. 15% off all my print books until December 31, 2021. Use code NEWYEAR15 at checkout.

My print books can be found at this link…

my spotlight on Lulu

Leave a comment

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

What Can Happen When You Initiate Divorce Rather Than Your Spouse

People treat people getting a divorce very differently.  Often the one who didn’t initiate the divorce gets plenty of support & sympathy.  Those close to this person often shun the spouse who wanted the divorce & may even try to fix up their friend with someone new. 

The spouse who initiates the divorce usually gets no similar treatment.  This person is not only on the receiving end of rudeness from their soon to be ex spouse’s friends & family, but they receive very little support from those close to them.  It seems to me that most people think if divorce was your idea, then it isn’t hard on you.  In their mind, you’re simply ending your marriage & going on with your life as if nothing happened.

The truth however, is whichever side of the divorce you’re on, it can be incredibly painful.  Since there is very little information available for those who initiate divorce, I’ll be addressing them today.

I have been in your shoes.  My divorce to my first husband was my idea.  I was miserable, & as I wasn’t a Christian at the time, I had no hope.  I also was falling in love with my current husband who I was friends with at that time, so divorce was the only logical option in my mind.

I sincerely tried to be as good as I could be to my ex as we worked towards our separation, but it was pointless.  I was labeled the ungrateful, cheater who was leaving a great guy for no reason whatsoever.  People who had been our mutual friends suddenly got a snide attitude whenever they saw me, if they spoke to me.  Only one mutual friend of ours & his wife stayed friends with me while the rest abandoned me. 

My scenario is pretty typical, sad to say.  If you have experienced something similar because you opted to divorce your spouse, I want to let you know that you are NOT alone!  There are many of us out there!

I also want to give you hope today.  When you go through that situation, it hurts.  You feel so lost & alone.  You have doubts about your decision.  Even if your spouse was abusive like mine was, doubts are normal.  Divorce is a big decision & creates so much change.  All those feelings are normal, & you need to remember it.  You’re not overacting, crazy or whatever else people act like you are. 

You also have every right to be upset about getting a divorce!  Just because you initiated it doesn’t mean you have lost that right!  Clearly there was something bad going on to make you decide divorce was your only option.  Whatever that was clearly was bad, & you have every right to be upset about that.

You also have every right to be upset about your failed marriage.  It’s a loss, & loss is tough even when it is necessary or unavoidable.  The divorce being your idea rather than your spouse’s doesn’t negate that fact.  Nothing does. 

Never forget, that you have a Heavenly Father who won’t desert you like people have.  He will love you no matter what, & help you to get through this painful time.  He certainly did me.  I became a Christian a few months after my ex & I separated, & I am so grateful to God for helping me through that terrible time!  Not only did He offer me comfort & wisdom for healing, but He sent me new friends that were wonderful.  Much better than the ones I had originally.  Truly, I came out much better off without my ex & with God in my life.  What He has done for me, He can do for you too!  All you have to do is lean on Him & trust that He will help you however you need.

6 Comments

Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

Narcissistic In-Laws

For simplicity sake, I’m going to refer to the victim in this article as he & the spouse as she, but the roles easily could be reversed.

When you are married to someone with narcissistic family members, your life is full of challenges.  Narcissistic families expect their chosen victim to do as they want, which includes marrying only someone of whom they approve.  When that doesn’t happen, that victim & spouse’s life becomes incredibly challenging.

One common problem in these situations is when the victim doesn’t recognize the level of dysfunction in the family.  He may recognize that his family can be difficult or bossy, but doesn’t see them as the cruel or manipulative people they truly are.  She however, recognizes the depths of the situation.  When she tries to say anything about his family, he becomes defensive.  She gets frustrated, he gets frustrated, an argument happens & nothing gets resolved. 

This scenario is very common, & easily can result in divorce if handled the wrong way.

As tempting as it can be for you if you see the situation clearly, asking your spouse to choice you or his family is never a good idea!  The one who gives the ultimatum usually ends up on the losing end.  The person receiving the ultimatum feels unfairly pressured & manipulated.  On the rare chance the one receiving it goes along with it, he will end up feeling resentful in time.

When you feel you must mention the situation, do so calmly & as non-accusatory as humanly possible.  Anger will make your spouse defensive because he’ll feel as if you’re attacking him & his family.  Try to remain calm & leave emotion out of the situation as much as possible.  Men respond better to logic than emotions, & in this case may feel as if the emotions are less about emotions & more of an attempt at manipulation.  Women in these situations may respond to calmly expressed emotions, however, such as, “I feel like your mom tries to interfere too much in our marriage.  It makes me really uncomfortable.”

Have your own boundaries firmly in place as much as possible with your in-laws.  Don’t let them manipulate you or push you around.  Remain calm when setting those boundaries, so if your spouse sees this happen, he can’t say you were mean or unreasonable.  Your narcissistic in-law will be angry however, & your spouse will see their irrational behavior as you remain calm.

There may be a time when you have to go no contact with your narcissistic in-laws.  This can cause problems in your marriage.  A person still under the spell of their narcissistic family may not understand your reasoning.  If you firmly believe no contact is the best solution in your situation, calmly explain to your spouse that this isn’t you trying to manipulate him or come between him & his family.  Instead, this is what you feel is best for you to do.

Always remember not to have expectations of your spouse where his family is concerned.  Expectations put pressure on him & make his situation even more difficult.  Also, he may resent them, no matter how reasonable they are, which means he will resent you.  This will push him closer to his family & make him pull away from you.

Try to be patient & understanding of the situation.  This is hard, I know, but if you too had a narcissistic family, you understand how hard it is to be under their influence before recognizing what they really are.    

At some point, he is going to get frustrated or angry with his family & need to talk about it.  When this happens, do NOT say anything like, “I told you so!” or, “I always knew she was like that.”  Listen quietly while offering your support.  You can gently state the truth in a matter of fact way. If he asks for advice, give it without being critical. 

Don’t forget to take care of yourself in this situation, too.  Pray.  Write in your journal.  Talk to supportive friends or family who understand your situation for what it really is. 

Last but certainly not least, never ever forget to pray about your situation!  Let God show you how best to handle things with your spouse & toxic in-laws as well as how to take care of your own mental health.  His help is truly invaluable & He will show you the right way to handle the situation!

4 Comments

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

30% Off All My Print Books Until November 30, 2021

My publisher is having a really good sale on print books right now! 30% off! Shipping time may be a bit slow due to supply chain issues, but if you don’t mind the wait, this is a great time to get the books you want. Simply use code SAVE30 at checkout.

The print versions books can be found at the link below…

https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

Leave a comment

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

Saying “I Love You”

Recently I learned that an old friend of mine passed away suddenly & unexpectedly.  We met not long after I got my first computer in 2000, on an aol message board.  We emailed frequently.  Although we only met once in person & spoke on the phone only a handful of times, I cherished her friendship.  She was the definition of a southern belle – gentle, gracious, thoughtful, loving & most of all she had a strong faith in God.

Naturally, losing this lovely lady has caused me to think a lot about relationships & life in general.  One of the things that crossed my mind was our final conversation.  She wasn’t feeling well, so it was fairly brief, unfortunately.  I remember our last words before hanging up though.. “I love you.”

When I was growing up, my paternal grandparents always did this too.  We never parted company either in person or over the phone without saying, “I love you.”  It’s something that I believe is important to do with those close to me.  Honestly, no one knows when the time comes that they may leave this earth or even when a relationship may end unexpectedly, so why not be certain that your last words to those good, special people in your life are “I love you”?

Doing this means that there will be no regrets over last words said if the relationship stops.  That can make a big difference in a person’s peace!

The last words my grandfather & I said to each other before he died in 2003 were, “I love you.”  Although I don’t remember much of the conversation, I do remember that.  It brings me comfort during those times I miss him to remember how much we love each other.

The last time I saw my father before going no contact several months before he died, our parting words were “I love you.”  As much as I hated his narcissistic behavior, I did love him, & am glad I told him so. 

I know this isn’t exactly the most cheery topic in the world, & for that I apologize.  I feel it’s something that needs to be addressed anyway.  People seem to think saying I love you should be reserved for romantic relationships only, but really, it should be said in all kinds of healthy relationships.  Children need to know their parents love them & vice versa.  Grandparents & grandchildren should hear a heartfelt “I love you” said freely & often.  Even friends need to hear it.  I love my friends dearly, & tell them often. 

It’s common knowledge that falling in love with someone releases “feel good” chemicals in the brain, but I can’t help thinking that knowing you are loved by someone you love, whatever the nature of the relationship, has the same effect.  Hearing the words, “I love you” said with sincerity certainly draws people closer together & feels good, whether the person saying it is a romantic interest, friend or relative.

I believe that it’s time to normalizing telling those you love, that you love them.  Why not start today?

3 Comments

Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Enjoying Life, Mental Health

Warrior For Truth

On the morning of July 30, 2016, I woke up from a very odd dream.  In it, I saw my in-laws.  I was keeping a distance when one of my sisters in-law approached me.  My personality in the dream was as it is in real life, & I wanted nothing to do with her due to her past treatment of my husband & I.  She meekly mentioned seeing information about narcissism & then talked about their family.  She said reading this made her realize how bad things were.  I told her I was glad for her because now she can heal.  Then I woke up. 

I try to pray each morning before I get up, but this particular morning, it was a struggle.  I kept thinking about the strange dream & wondering what it meant.  God told me that the way I was in the dream is how I am.  I value truth over everything else.  He called me “a warrior for truth.”

That phrase has stuck in the back of my mind ever since that dream.  And, the older I get, the more I realize just how true it is.  I need only truth in all areas of my life & all of my relationships.

Truth also helps so much with healing from narcissistic abuse.  Learning what the problem was with my relationships helped me to realize that although I did make plenty of mistakes, I wasn’t completely to blame as others claimed I was.  For years I carried the blame around for causing other people such heartache & so many problems when the truth was they weren’t my innocent victims as they portrayed themselves to be.

Truth also helped me to have some compassion on those who were abusive to me.  Learning why they turned into narcissists or seeing that they had no desire to change their behavior in spite of being miserable gave me a degree of compassion for them which helped me to pray for them while also accepting that they were too dysfunctional to be in a relationship with.

Clearly what Jesus said about the truth will set us free is absolutely accurate! 

Sadly though, we live in a world where truth isn’t always as valued as it should be.  So many people are comfortable in their dysfunction & would rather avoid the truth if at all possible.  They are afraid of leaving their comfort zone, so they believe comfortable lies rather than facing the ugly truth.  Certainly feeling that way is understandable!  Truth is wonderful but sometimes it can be scary & painful too.  The fact however is that even if the truth is painful, it’s still so much better than lies & dysfunction!

Facing the truth means your relationships are healthy, functional & genuine.  You can trust those in relationship with you to have your best interests at heart as you have theirs.  You know they won’t lie or deliberately hurt you.  They also will value you highly because they know you too won’t lie to them or deliberately cause you pain.  They know you’re someone of integrity.

Facing truth also means that although some things in life are incredibly difficult, you know you’ll get through the pain & come out just fine on the other side. Certainly that is much better than working so hard to hide from pain your whole life.  Isn’t a season of pain better than a lifetime of it?

Please consider what I’ve said.  If you’re struggling with facing the truth, just know that it truly is worth doing in spite of the fear.  I can promise you that!

7 Comments

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

How Close Is Too Close In Families?

Most people want to be a part of a close knit family.  That can be a wonderful thing, but there is also such a thing as being too close.

Some examples of being too close are as follows:

  • When boundaries aren’t respected or are non existent in a family.
  • Parents not allowing their children privacy, no matter the age.  Parents that look through their children’s diary, bedroom, wallets, purses, cars, etc.
  • Parents relying on their children for emotional support, which is parentification.
  • When parents discourage their children from growing up & becoming independent.
  • When adult children’s lives center around their parents.
  • When married adult children prioritize their parents over their spouse.
  • When adult children will tolerate anything because they are afraid to deal with the fallout of saying no.
  • When someone marries into the family, & is treated like an outsider while frequently being reminded they aren’t good enough & never will be.

Families that display this type of behavior are known as enmeshed families.

Enmeshment is an extremely dysfunctional family dynamic.  It may be passed down through generations, it can be brought about by a family experiencing trauma, abuse, illness or it can be due to engulfing narcissistic parents.

Children who grow up in this type of environment suffer for it.  They are often burdened with trying to care for their parents when they aren’t prepared to do so, which leaves them feeling overly responsible for the feelings of them as well as others.  These children also lack a connection to their wants, needs & feelings due to prioritizing their parents’ over theirs.  They grow up not nearly as independent as they should be, often expecting their parents to tell them what to do with their lives in every area including things only they should decide like when to move out or who to marry.

This treatment also leaves children in a confused state.  In one way, they are child like, yet in another they are supposed to be wise & mature enough to handle their parent treating them like a friend or substitute spouse.  They also lack the ability to self sooth in tough times, are very disconnected from their emotions & often suffer with anxiety.  Relationships are a challenge & healthy one are impossible because the parents are always their top priority.

Once the child of an enmeshed family realizes what is happening, he or she is rarely supported.  Outsiders see the family’s facade of being close & happy, & believe that is true.  When this usually adult child begins to speak about the problem, people often minimize or invalidate his or her concerns because they have seen only the close, happy family facade.  They believe this person’s concerns to be unsubstantiated, & he or she should just be glad to have a close family.  Whether intentions are good or bad when saying this, it still is very upsetting & invalidating when you are in this situation!

If you are in this situation, there is hope!  To heal, you need to lean on God first.  He will help you to see what you need to do & how to do it.

You also need to start learning about & setting boundaries.  This is tough, but it can be done.  Start very small, such as not answering the phone every time your parent calls or if they want you to come visit a certain day, try to do it another day.  Tiny steps like this give you some power.  That power enables you to set more boundaries & more yet.  Before you know it, you’ll have this boundaries thing down pat!

Get to know yourself.  The real you, not the you your parents say you are.  Learn about your likes, dislikes, goals, morals, beliefs, strengths, weaknesses & everything you can possibly think of.  Accept your feelings on everything without judgment or criticism, & question if these feelings are truly yours or your parents’.

Recognize you have no valid reasons to feel guilty for doing this.  You aren’t harming anyone & you are helping yourself.  Your parents are going to hurt at first, but that isn’t a bad thing.  You need your independence & are entitled to it, & they need to learn a healthier way to live.

Remember, you can do this & be so much stronger, healthier & happier than ever before!

1 Comment

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

20% Off Print Books Until November 5!!

My publisher is offering a discount of 20% off all of my print books until Friday November 5, 2021. Use code EARLYBIRD20 at checkout.

My books can be found at the link below…

https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

1 Comment

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

Best Friends

God gives His children many gifts.  One of the finest ones I’ve ever received is my best friend. Although since we met in 1988, truth be told, she’s more of a sister than a friend.  She is one of those rare people who is absolutely beautiful, inside & out.  She has taught me about what a best friend really should be just by being herself, & I thought I would share that with you.

Best friends should always help to strengthen your faith.  People are often quick to say, “I’ll pray for you” but honestly, how many people who say that also help to remind them that God is so much bigger than their problems?  As good as it is to have others pray for you, it’s also incredibly helpful to have someone encourage you to pray, to remind you what the Bible says regarding your situation & remind you of times in your past when God has came through for you.

Best friends should be encouraging.  They shouldn’t just encourage your faith but your soul too.  If you have doubts about your abilities & your best friend knows you have no valid reason to doubt, they should be your cheerleader.

Your relationship should be balanced.  During trying times, it’s normal for a close relationship to be out of balance as one friend helps the other, but this shouldn’t be the norm for any relationship.  Relationships should involve two people supporting each other, not one person constantly doing all of the work, constantly helping the other or one person not caring about what is happening in the other person’s life.

Best friends should know each other VERY well.  My best friend knows me better than anyone else in the world with the exception of my husband.  This means she not only knows my likes, dislikes, interests, morals & beliefs, but she knows how to relate to me well.  I know her probably just as well.  If we disagree about something, we can work it out easily because we know each other so well.

Best friends are real with each other.  My best friend has seen me at my worst.  I don’t mean just seeing me without makeup.  I mean seeing me as I recovered from the carbon monoxide poisoning, after arguments with my parents & husband, after flashbacks, & going through very hard times like abuse at the hands of my parents.  Not once did I ever feel I had to tell her I was fine.  I always can tell her today was awful & this is why, knowing she wouldn’t judge me for being too negative.  I also can count on her to tell me if I’m wrong about something.  Thankfully, she is kind about it, but she will offer constructive criticism or correction if necessary.

Best friends should love each other God’s way.  What I mean is that love isn’t superficial.  It is deep, it only wants what is best for each other, it is courteous & full of respect. 

Best friends shouldn’t shy away during the hard times.  The night I got the death notification about my mother was an extremely terrible night.  My first thought once I was at my mother’s home & starting to deal with the police was to call my best friend.  Immediately she said she’d pray the moment we hung up & asked what else she could do.  A few days later when my mother was buried, guess who was at my side?  Even when one of my cousins screamed at me, she didn’t budge.  It couldn’t have been easy for her to be there during these scenarios, especially at the cemetery, but she was there offering her unwavering support.

If your best friend isn’t like this, then it may be time to find one who is.  God made people to be in relationships of all kinds, so why settle for less than the best He has to offer?

5 Comments

Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Enjoying Life, Mental Health

Your Perceptions Of People Aren’t Always Accurate

People can have very strange ways of looking at things.  They clearly look at things through their own experiences, which of course is to be expected.  Many times though, people also forget that there are other perspectives.

Many of my family members have made it very clear that they think I was spoiled by my parents, & have led an easy life without a care in the world.

What these people saw & what the truth was are VERY different things.

My family saw me barely allowed to leave my mother’s side at family gatherings, & assumed this meant we were close.  They had no idea that meant she controlled my every move & I was afraid to protest.  They saw me dressed in clean, decent clothing & assumed that meant all of my needs were met.  They didn’t realize there are more needs that parents should meet than food, clothing & shelter.  It was those needs that were neglected in my life.  They also saw me as a quiet child who didn’t complain about anything, so they assumed all was right in my world.  Obviously they didn’t understand that abused children don’t usually complain.  They know that if it was discovered that they said anything derogatory about their abusive parent, they would face that parent’s wrath, so they keep complaints to themselves.  They also didn’t know I was afraid to say anything that could be met with my mother’s disapproval.

This is typical of many people.  They see things & make assumptions based on their own experiences or even fantasies rather than keeping an open mind. 

This is going to happen to you at some point as it has me, & when it does, please remember that what other people think isn’t necessarily important.  You were there, you lived the situation.  They were not.  They saw appearances only, not the truth behind the façade.  Don’t let these people downplay anything traumatic or treat you badly because they have made foolish assumptions about you. 

I have found that people who make snap judgments are often unsafe people or at the very least, very wounded people who aren’t trying to heal from their wounds.  Some distance may be the best option for you when you learn someone behaves this way on a regular basis.

Please also remember not to behave the same way as the judge-y people!  When you have been exposed to the horrors of narcissistic abuse, it can be very easy to see everyone as a potential threat.  Not everyone is a narcissist!  Sometimes people act in selfish or very inconsiderate ways because they are going through a tough time.  They are so caught up in their difficult situation that their preoccupation with it is making them behave thoughtlessly.  And, not everyone is a victim of similar circumstances to yours just because they show some similar behavior to yours.  That person who is dealing with terrible anxiety or depression may have a rather good life.  Their problem may be that they survived a brain injury that created problems with anxiety or depression even though they show no other outward signs of brain damage. 

6 Comments

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

When Adult Children Of Narcissists Marry Each Other

When children grow up with narcissistic parents marry, it can be incredibly challenging.  Usually, either one person is a narcissist & the other isn’t, or one is trying to heal & the other prefers staying in their dysfunction.  The last scenario seems to be the most common. There isn’t a lot of information available on the topic, which is why I opted to discuss it today.  It happens pretty often & people in this situation know how to handle it!

When you learn about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, it can be so incredibly freeing!  That’s how it is when you learn truth, though.  Not everyone sees it that way, however.  The truth isn’t always pleasant or easy, so many folks prefer to avoid the ugly truth in favor of pretty lies.  The pretty lies are easier & preferable to some people because they’re what is familiar.  Familiarity doesn’t always breed contempt.  Sometimes it breeds cognitive dissonance in the adult children of narcissistic parents. 

That cognitive dissonance can be incredibly difficult to live with for someone married to a person who prefers to avoid it whenever possible.  When you see the truth so clearly & someone you love avoids it like the plague, it is so frustrating!!  You just want them to wake up & see the truth, but they won’t.  Instead they continue to tolerate their toxic parents abusing them & even you & your children if you have them.  They also will fight you on this topic, even if they aren’t normally disagreeable.  If you complain about their parents, they will tell you things like it’s your problem & to leave them out of it.  If this kind of thing doesn’t make you want to scream, nothing will!

I prayed about this behavior recently when it came to mind & God showed me some things.

While this behavior feels intensely personal, it isn’t.  It’s about them, their dysfunction & self preservation.

When a person has a spouse that loves them & a narcissistic parent, the spouse is the safer of the two people.  In this situation, the adult child knows someone is going to be angry & they will suffer for it.  In their minds, the spouse is the safer one.  They’ve had a lifetime of knowing just how incredibly cruel their narcissistic parent can be, so they do their level best to avoid their anger & cruelty.  It’s safer to deal with the anger of a loving spouse than a narcissistic parent, so they choose (albeit unconsciously) the safer of the two people to anger.

Unfortunately for the spouse, this means that their dysfunctional mate is going to put them in some pretty awful positions.  They’ll expect their healing spouse to tolerate whatever the narcissistic parents dish out, & when the healing spouse doesn’t, arguments are going to happen.  Even if the narcissistic parent in question is the healing spouse’s parent, the dysfunctional spouse most likely will be upset if the healing spouse is setting boundaries or even severs ties with their parent.  The dysfunctional spouse is going to minimize, excuse or even deny abusive behaviors.  This can be so difficult because the healing spouse wants to heal but also wants to have a good relationship with their dysfunctional partner.  Sadly, the relationship can only be so good while one is dysfunctional & the other is trying to heal.


If you’re in this position, you will need God’s guidance on how to navigate this situation.  He knows so much more than you could possibly know so let Him help you!  And, pray for your spouse to see the truth & be able to handle it, too.  That is what someone in that position truly needs!

Also always remember that your spouse’s reactions aren’t personal.  They’re about that person’s dysfunction.  Keeping that in mind will help you to be less hurt & angered by their behavior, which will in turn help you to deal with the situation more effectively.

Don’t be afraid to set your boundaries!  Just because your spouse is fine with being abused doesn’t mean you have to tolerate it.  Protect yourself & if your spouse is angry about it, that is that person’s problem.  There is nothing wrong, bad or even un-Christian about protecting yourself!

When you must discuss your spouse’s or your narcissistic parent with your spouse, try to keep your emotions under control.  Any anger shown on your part could make your spouse become very protective of the parent in question, which will start a fight between you.  Avoid it as much as possible by remaining calm when discussing parents!

Lastly, don’t give your partner an ultimatum to choose either you or their parent if you want to stay married.  Those who do that usually lose their spouse.  The one given the ultimatum feels their spouse is being manipulative, which naturally pushes them away & towards the parent.  Don’t put your spouse or yourself in that position.  If you end up wanting to go your separate ways, find another way to discuss it. Ultimatums end in anger & make the situation worse.

I wish you the best!

12 Comments

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

Being Judgmental

Some years ago, I used to sell bath & beauty products I made from all natural ingredients.  I got an email one day about my products.  I was surprised that this wasn’t the usual email asking if I could make some specialty product or make a unique scent for some perfume that the buyer wanted.  Instead, the person emailing asked if I practiced witchcraft.  Apparently because I used natural products & openly discussed my preference for herbal remedies over man made, this person assumed I was a practicing witch, not a Christian.

Several years after that, I had met someone online.  We shared a love of crocheting, so we discussed it often.  One day, she shocked me by saying, “I know why you don’t have kids.  It’s because of your mother!  You shouldn’t let her make you feel that way!”  Since we never discussed children in depth other than I had none & she had a son, her saying this was astonishing.  She also didn’t know me well enough to make such a judgment, but she then scolded me for feeling the way she assumed I felt.

Not long ago, someone my husband & I have known for years thanked my husband for doing something for her, then told him to thank me for “letting” him help her out.

I’m sharing these strange little stories because I wanted to show just how utterly foolish judgmental people can be.  People other than witches like natural things.  Consider how many people of all religious backgrounds like a cup of chamomile tea to help them sleep.  The second person assuming my mother is why I don’t have children isn’t any better.  My mother had nothing to do with my feelings.  And as far as me “letting” my husband do things for someone else, that is simply laughable.  Having been subjected to controlling people in my life & being very aware of how awful it is, why would I do that to anyone, let alone someone I love?  Yet, in spite of the ridiculousness of these assumptions, these & equally stupid ones happen to people every day, all the time. 

While it can be easy to judge someone, that doesn’t make it right.  The Bible tells us not to judge each other.  We are only supposed to judge in a discerning way.  John 7:24 in the Amplified Bible says “Do not judge by appearance [superficially and arrogantly], but judge fairly and righteously.”  In other words, appearance isn’t everything!  Judge by the things a person does.  Their actions dictate their heart, & the heart is so much more important than appearance!  Some of the kindest people you can meet are covered in tattoos & piercings while some of the cruelest people you can meet wear modest clothing, volunteer or attend church every Sunday. 

You may think that you aren’t a judgmental person, & I hope you aren’t.  But please look honestly at yourself.  If you see a homeless man, do you deliberately avoid giving him money because you assume he will use it for drugs or alcohol?  He may use money for drugs or alcohol, that is true, but he may use it to feed his dog or get a pair of shoes since his are worn through.  He may be struggling with mental illness or lost his job then his home.  Such things don’t make him a bad person.  They make him a person with a problem.  You may be his answer to prayer, but you won’t be if you judge him by his appearance.  Whatever his story may be, if you don’t try to offer him at least a little help, that says more about the condition of your heart than it does about him. 

I just wanted to encourage you today to take a look at your behavior, & if you recognize you can be unfairly judgmental sometimes, then please change that about yourself.  Not only is being judgmental ungodly behavior, but it also steals your peace.  There is no point in weighing yourself down with opinions of people & things that aren’t even any of your business in the first place.  Focus on what you need to, & don’t worry about the things that aren’t your concern.

22 Comments

Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Enjoying Life, Mental Health

Showing Appreciation To The People In Your Life

Entitlement runs rampant today.  Granted, narcissists lead the way with their ridiculously overdeveloped sense of entitlement, but even people who aren’t narcissistic can be too entitled sometimes as well.  This can lead to failing to appreciate people in your life, because it can feel like there is no need to show appreciation for something someone is just supposed to do.

Failing to appreciate people in your life can lead to being taken for granted, resentment, anger, depression & ending relationships.  Why let this happen when it is so simple to avoid?

Start by showing people you are grateful for the things they do for you.  When someone does something for you, no matter how small, thank them.  Make that into a habit that you do constantly.  I don’t care if the task was something small like passing the salt at dinner.  Thank the person who did that!  Your husband put gas in your car because he knows you dislike that task?  Thank him for thinking of you & saving you that trip to the gas station.  Did your best friend call to tell you that your favorite movie comes on TV at 9 tonight?  Thank her for remembering that you love that movie & for thinking to let you know about this.  People like being thanked for what they do, even for such small things.  It makes them feel appreciated & like you don’t take them for granted.

While you’re at it, return the favor to people who bless you by being a blessing to them.  Doing thoughtful little gestures for them will make them feel the relationship is balanced, & they aren’t just doing things for you.  If you aren’t sure what to do, pay attention to people.  If someone mentions wanting to read a new book, buy them the book.  If they like coffee, surprise them with a cup of their favorite coffee periodically.  If they complain about having too much to do, then offer to help them complete some tasks or at the least accompany them when they run errands.

Tell those in your life often that you love them.  Say the words often.  Growing up, my wonderful grandparents always ended conversations with, “I love you.”  I don’t remember all of the details of our final conversations before they passed on but I can promise you our last words to each other definitely were, “I love you.” 

Complement people & do it often.  Tell your loved ones how much you admire their intelligence, kind heart, fashion sense.. anything & everything you admire about them!  A sincere complement can make even a very bad day better.

Be a cheerleader!  When someone you love is struggling, encourage them.  Let them know you believe in them & why.  And, when they accomplish the thing that was originally a struggle, celebrate with them for a job well done.

In fact, celebrate whatever accomplishments they do that bring them joy no matter how big or small.  Tell them you’re proud of them or happy for them or whatever is appropriate in the situation.

Don’t just be there in the good times either.  Be there to help them through the tough times.  Listen non-judgmentally to them while sharing a pint of ice cream, offer to clean their home or go to the grocery store for them. 

Normalize showing love to every person in your life that you love.  Normalize making people feel like a priority in your life rather than an afterthought.  Normalize checking in just to say hi & see how someone is doing.  Normalize talking about your dreams & innermost, private thoughts together knowing there won’t be judgment or criticism.  Doing things like this will enrich the relationships in your life immensely & bring both you & the other people in your life great joy.

11 Comments

Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Enjoying Life, Mental Health

How Dysfunctional People Respond To Genuine People

I’ve noticed that people respond very passionately to genuine people, either positively or negatively. 

I realized something else about this phenomenon.  The healthier a person is, the more positively they will respond to genuine people.  The more dysfunctional, the more negatively they will respond to genuine people.  This makes sense when you think about it….

Healthy people are genuine.  If they’re having a bad day, they won’t deny it.  They will say, “Today hasn’t been a good one” rather than pretend all is right in their world.  Not to say they’re negative, of course, they’re just being real & admitting the truth.  They also have no trouble admitting they make mistakes or have flaws.  They don’t judge others for their mistakes or flaws either. 

Dysfunctional people are very different.  They value the appearance of good over what is real.  I learned this when my father was dying, & various relatives attacked me for not going to say goodbye to him.  Their daily influx of abuse was intense to say the least.  One day, I asked God why they acted this way.  He showed me that they were operating out of their own dysfunction.  One of the reasons behind their behavior was they didn’t want to face bad or traumatic things.  They clearly never dealt with their own traumatic experiences.  They instead created this illusion that all was right in their world & everyone in our family was good.  Me not being there for my father at the end of his life threatened this delusion by showing that things were so bad, I opted not to say good bye to my father at the end of his life.  Rather than face the fact that maybe this delusion isn’t a good thing, they tried to force me to go along with their delusion so it could be reinforced.  If I had gone, they would have had proof everything was good, & could continue in their dysfunction as they had before. 


My situation with these dysfunctional people wasn’t terribly unique.  Many of my readers have said they experienced something similar with their family.  Sometimes it was when a narcissistic relative was dying, but not always.  It also happened when some severed ties with a narcissist.  They were attacked by their own family, those who should have been there to support & love them. 

To sum it up, it seems to me dysfunctional people often treat genuine people like the scapegoat.  They act like genuine people are the ones with problems, who are lying & nothing but troublemakers.

The more you heal from narcissistic abuse, the more genuine you will become.  It just seems to be a natural event.  Unfortunately, this can mean the dysfunctional people around you will be cruel to you for it. 

My hope is that you will see the situation for what it is & not change your ways!  Being genuine is a wonderful thing!  It’s so refreshing in a fake world!  Don’t try to change to please these people who are too dysfunctional to appreciate the real you.  Instead, you just do what is right.  Be genuine & if others don’t like that, remember that is not your problem.  They are functioning in their own dysfunction.  Their negativity or even abuse isn’t personal.  It’s simply a reflection of their dysfunction rather than a reflection of you.  They’re allowed to be dysfunctional if that is what they want to do.  It’s certainly not a good choice but it is their right.  And, you also have rights. You’re allowed to be functional & protect yourself from their toxicity.

36 Comments

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health

Misconceptions About Introverts

Being an introvert means being someone who recharges through solitude & who prefers it to the company of large groups of people.  It’s really that simple, yet in spite of that, introverts are often a very misunderstood bunch.

Being an introvert myself, I have plenty of experience in this area.  One example that comes to mind is how extroverts who haven’t bothered to get to know me have mistakenly thought I believe that I’m a snob who thinks I’m much better than them simply because I’m quiet & reserved when around most people.  Another misconception is people assume all introverts are weird.  The majority of people who assume this do so simply because we don’t divulge a lot of information about ourselves to those who aren’t very close to us, so they fill in the blanks with what they think.

Those misconceptions can be annoying, but after being subjected to them my whole life, I’ve come to accept people think that way.  It no longer upsets me like it once did.  There is one misconception that still bothers me to no avail & I can’t seem to change my feelings on it however.  That is that introverts need to do the majority of the work in relationships, & when they fail to meet the other person’s expectations, they are criticized harshly for it.  I don’t see this as a common misconception for all introverts, but I have noticed it happens mostly with those who have suffered narcissistic abuse.

Those of us who have suffered at the hands of a narcissist were made to feel responsible for that relationship.  We were to please that person at all times, be there for them & basically be & do anything that person wanted.  Even after the relationship has ended, sometimes long after, we tend to be people pleasers.  People pleasers are naturally the ones who are given the task of maintaining relationships in their lives. 

While this often happens naturally, that doesn’t mean the behavior is right.  It isn’t. 

Relationships should be full of love, care for & compassion for each other.  It’s not fair to expect a person to treat you that way if you aren’t willing to treat them the same way. Being the one responsible for calling the other person, planning activities together & everything else in the relationship is exhausting.  Those things should be shared among both people in a relationship, not only one person’s responsibility! 

If you know an introvert who hasn’t contacted you in a while, it might be time to consider your behavior with that person.  Are you expecting them to do most or all of the work in the relationship?  If so, it’s time to apologize to this person & make some changes!  If not, then rather than get angry with the introvert for pulling away, think about that person.  There are a plethora of reasons an introvert may pull away in relationships, & the reasons aren’t always personal.

Sometimes, introverts get overwhelmed with life & need space from everyone.  It doesn’t mean they’re angry or hurt.  They just need some space to recharge.

Sometimes, introverts just don’t think about reaching out.  Again, it’s not personal.  It may mean they have a lot on their minds, are working extra hours, have someone else in their life in need of their attention more than you, they might simply be tired or sick or for some reason reaching out simply hasn’t crossed their mind.  I am this way & got worse after a brain injury.  I don’t think about calling friends all that often.  It doesn’t mean I don’t care.  Far from it!  I do care, & think of them often.  My brain just doesn’t seem to make the connection between good thoughts of them & picking up the phone for some reason. 

If you’re an introvert & in the position of being treated as if you are responsible for the relationships in your life, know that you are NOT solely responsible for those relationships.  You have every right to set boundaries & to expect people to treat you with respect, love & compassion.  If they can’t, then you also have the right to remove such people from your life.  It won’t make you a bad person.  It’ll make you a person with healthy self respect!

19 Comments

Filed under Mental Health, Personality (including introversion, Myers Briggs, etc.)

Things People Wrongly Say Are Victims’ Responsibility

Something came to mind lately that I think many of you who follow my work can relate to.

Years back, I posted something on Facebook. My husband & I had a minor disagreement & I was angry. As a result, our cats were acting up badly. Cat owners know this can be normal. Cats are very in tune with their humans & when we’re upset, they’re upset. I asked if any of my fellow cat parents knew of a way to calm the cats down since there was no need for them to be upset. An aunt & a cousin both told me I needed to make up with my husband. That would calm the cats down. Immediately I was angry.

These people knew nothing about our disagreement, but naturally felt it was my responsibility to make things right. Not my husband’s. Not up to us to work things out together. All responsibility was mine, according to them. This isn’t an isolated incident either. This same aunt once told me I needed therapy to figure out how to fix the relationship with my parents. Another aunt once chewed me out for not watching football with my husband. He likes it so I should watch it with him even though I absolutely hate sports. Yet, not once did she ever tell him he should get into some interest of mine.

If you’ve been through narcissistic abuse, I would guess these scenarios sound somewhat familiar to you.

People seem to think that victims have a lot of responsibility, & not all of it should be on a victim’s shoulders.  Not making an abuser angry so they don’t abuse their victim is one example that comes to mind.  How many people tell wives or children of men who beat them to just stay out of his way so he won’t hit them?  Obviously that is very wrong.  What isn’t as recognized as equally wrong is making victims feel as if they are responsible for making the relationships in their lives work.  Whether the other person in the relationship is abusive or not, this is simply wrong, yet many people, including victims, accept this without question.

When someone is in a relationship with an abuser, telling them to fix the problems in the relationship is not only a stupid suggestion but impossible.  No one person can fix a relationship.  It takes two people working together.  Plus, abusers have no interest in fixing anything.  Being abusive gets them what they want, so they have no desire to change anything.

Making someone feel responsible for how happy a relationship is or is not also can be a sign of a narcissist.  Think about it- narcissists do everything they can to convince victims they are the real problem in the relationship.  They also make sure their victims know they are responsible for the narcissist’s happiness.  If they can make a person who isn’t their victim feel they are the problem & they need to make a relationship better, this must encourage them.  It shows them they can do this & probably even proves to them that this is how things are.  One person should be solely responsible for a relationship. 

If you are in this position & someone has told you that you need to make changes to improve or even fix a relationship, please know that they are absolutely wrong!  Galatians 6:5 says that each person should carry their own load.  In other words, each person has things for which they are responsible.  One person isn’t responsible for an entire relationship! 

If you aren’t familiar with boundaries, it’s time to be.  I created a free book study based on Dr.s Cloud’s & Townsend’s book “Boundaries”.  It’s available on my website.  Even if you aren’t interested in the book study, then please read the book!  I found the information in it & the other books in the series to be life changing.  I believe they can help anyone with weak or even non existent boundaries.

Also, never forget to pray.  God is more than happy to help His children however they need help, so let Him!  Ask Him if things are your responsibility or not.  Ask for help on knowing what to do or not to do in your relationships.  He gladly will teach you whatever you need to know. 

2 Comments

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

10% Off All My Print Books!

My publisher is offering 10% off all print books until May 28. Simply use code SELLDIRECT10 at checkout.

My books can be found at the following link:

https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

Leave a comment

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

Simple Ways To Improve Relationships

Recently, I thought of a conversation my husband & I had a long time back. I told him how my dear friend & one of my aunts had similar bouts with cancer. They both suffered with it I think a total of 5 times each, & each time, when it went to their brain is when they died a fairly short time after.

Both my friend & aunt handled their similar situations very differently.

My friend was always a very loving & compassionate lady with a deep faith in God, but she those traits became even more pronounced as her health became frailer. A few months before she died, she mentioned via an email how Jesus carried her through it all & how grateful she was for everything in her life. She truly was an inspiration! She was also always happy to talk to me & encourage me no matter what was happening in her own life.

My aunt, however, was a different story.

While she said she was a Christian, I have doubts. During one conversation,, she mentioned how no one should be so “arrogant” as to assume God only allows certain people into Heaven & not every single person, no matter their personal beliefs. She also was extremely judgmental. If someone didn’t have cancer, according to her, they had no real problems & she didn’t want to hear them whine. Several times, she was very critical & invalidating to me of my problems, whether they were serious or trivial.

For the record, these changes happened in both of them well before any diagnosis of the cancer in their brains.

Although both ladies have been gone for several years, I still remember very well how each woman made me feel. My friend made me feel very loved & like time spent with me was valuable to her. My aunt? Not even close to the same. She made me feel as if all I did was whine about petty problems & was too stupid to recognize the only problem of the world was cancer.

This got me thinking about how people should make others they talk with feel. No functional person wants to cause other people to feel unloved, unheard, invalidated or other awful things. Yet, this happens every day. With or without intention, people say & do things that make others feel unloved, unheard & more. Following are some things I learned from my dear friend that I think are extremely important.

When spending time with someone, it is so important that they know you are present. What I mean is don’t listen to them talk while scrolling through your phone, looking at the television or the clock. Make eye contact. Respond to things they say. Show genuine empathy & care if they are telling you about a problem.

If someone is talking, don’t try to make the conversation all about you. Even if you understand what they feel or have been in an identical situation, it’s not always necessary to say that.

If someone is telling you about a problem in their life, even if you don’t understand why they’re upset, don’t be an unfeeling jerk by shaming them for their feelings. Ask if you can help somehow. Say things like, “I’m sorry to hear that!” or, “That is so unfair!”

Don’t give unasked for advice either. Many times when people confide in others, they simply want to vent. They will ask for advice if they need it. If they don’t, it’s safe to assume they have a solution in mind, so why try to give them one? Wait for the person to ask before giving advice.

When a person leaves a conversation, they should feel as my friend always made me feel – loved & valued. Small actions like I mentioned can make that happen, so please remember to do them.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Miscellaneous

If Someone Hasn’t Proven Themselves Safe, They May Be Proving Themselves Dangerous

I was thinking about something not long ago. In October, 2017, my father died. His final twenty days, he was in the hospital, connected to a ventilator. We were no contact by this time, so my “family” decided that not only did they need to tell me this, they needed to harass & try to bully me into saying goodbye multiple times a day, every day.


I deleted & blocked access to the worst of the worst of my relatives, the ones who constantly bothered me. Some others I left the door open for contact. We remained Facebook friends & I didn’t block their phone numbers back then. Not one of them contacted me during that time or after my father’s passing.


At the time, I thought their behavior meant they were safe, but I later realized something. Although they hadn’t proven themselves to be completely toxic & unsafe, they also hadn’t proven themselves safe either.


In situations where you are unsure about whether or not a person is safe, it’s very important to figure the issue out!


Sometimes you simply don’t know a person very well, so they don’t feel comfortable discussing certain topics with you. In all fairness, that could have been the situation with my relatives. I never was very close with most people in my family, so I didn’t know them terribly well. Anyway the closeness or lack thereof in the relationship should be taken into consideration when attempting to decide if a person is truly safe or unsafe.


If the person in question is a relative, I feel it can be important to know their immediate family & the relationship they have with them. That can be very telling. In my situation, the people were part of a branch of the family that was pretty enmeshed with each other. No one spoke up to their mother. Whatever she wanted, thought or believed was right, period. In fact, I saw only one person stand up to her one time about what I thought was a trivial matter & oddly, she never said anything in return. The incident did show me how much anger this person had inside, though, which unsettled me.


If the immediate family of the person in question is dysfunctional, you can guarantee the person also will be. The type of dysfunction is very important. Someone can be dysfunctional but trying to heal & change while also being kind & gentle. Yet, other dysfunctional people can be oblivious to just how dysfunctional they are, & they live their life out of that dysfunction, causing pain & chaos to others. This is how my family members are. They think they are functional & pretend any past trauma never happened. They live in their dysfunction in a self righteous manner. A person who doesn’t face their own dysfunction like this is going to be toxic to others to some degree. They may be invalidating to someone who mentions past trauma, saying things like it wasn’t so bad or it’s in the past so you need to let it go. Or, they may be outright cruel & say or do whatever they can to shut that person down. Clearly, people like this are unsafe & need to be avoided!


Another thing to consider.. if the person in question is close to someone who is actively abusive to you, it’s a very safe bet whatever you say to them will get back to the active abuser. It may simply be said in passing without ill intent, or it may be very deliberate on their part. Either way, abusers have absolutely NO need to know anything whatsoever about the people they abuse. Chances are they will use the information to cause suffering to their victim. Even if they don’t, I believe their toxic behavior has caused them to lose all right to know anything about their victim. So, even if the person doesn’t show obvious signs of being toxic, at the very least, it is likely they will mention you to your abuser.


I hope these tips will help you to surround yourself with only safe, good people! xoxo

Leave a comment

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

15% Off My Print Books Until May 7, 2021

If you have been interested in getting the print version of any of my books, now is a good time! My publisher is offering 15% off when using code SPRING15 at checkout until May 7, 2021.

My print books can be found at the link below…

https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

Leave a comment

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

When Narcissists Befriend Your Friends & Family

One of the many ways narcissists are incredibly dangerous is how they want to win over the friends & families of their victims.   While this may not sound particularly dangerous, it truly can be.  It also can be destructive to a person’s life.

When a narcissist befriends those close to their victim, the narcissist learns a lot about that victim.  Naturally the narcissist & the victim’s loved one will discuss the victim at some point, & the victim’s loved one will mention something about them that will benefit the narcissist.  Maybe the victim started a new job or moved.  This person telling the narcissist information has provided the narcissist important information.  If the narcissist is the stalking type, now he or she knows new locations to find the victim.  If the narcissist doesn’t stalk, he or she still can cause problems.  The narcissist can make anonymous phone calls to get the victim in trouble with their boss or landlord.

Or, the victim’s loved one may mention something just in passing that infuriates the narcissist, such as the victim has started dating someone new.  If the narcissist hasn’t moved on, this will be a huge narcissistic injury.  Some especially malignant narcissists may be so evil, this news makes them decide to kill the victim.  If the narcissist isn’t that malignant, he or she still can cause problems for the victim & their new love interest in countless ways.  The narcissist might show the new love interest pictures of the victim & narcissist together claiming they never broke up.  The narcissist may even show provocative pictures taken of the victim during their time together.  The possibilities are endless.

There is also the likelihood that the victim’s relationships will be damaged, often beyond repair, by this new “friendship” with the narcissist.  When someone you’re close to suddenly becomes friends with your ex, it can be hurtful.  It’s also very suspicious if they never were friends while you were together.  When they know that your ex was abusive & are unapologetically on good terms with that person, that is a thousand times more hurtful.  It’s an obvious betrayal & proof that this person isn’t loyal to you.  That alone can end a relationship with a friend or relative, but if that person becomes the narcissist’s flying monkey, it’s pretty much a guarantee the victim will end that relationship. 

The narcissist doesn’t have to be an ex significant other for this to happen either.  It happens often in families when one relative is abused by their narcissistic parent.  People take sides, & usually they side with the narcissist.  It seems that every culture has this unspoken belief that parents can do no wrong & children should love them no matter what.  Plus, narcissists are very convincing actors, which helps them win people over to their side. 

In either scenario, once the narcissist befriends their victim’s friends or family, that victim will end up losing relationships.

Narcissists are aware of such things happening which is why they try to befriend their victim’s friends & family.  They stand to gain a great deal by doing this.  They also know they are stealing their victim’s support system, which hurts the victim.  They enjoy being able to hurt that person without so much saying a word to them. If you are in this situation where the narcissist in your life has befriended those close to you, my heart goes out to you.  Not only were you hurt by the narcissist, but by people you never thought would hurt you.  If you are still in a relationship with those people, chances are excellent that it’s in your best interest to end those relationships immediately.  Anyone who can befriend someone who abused you is NOT your friend.  They are too cowardly to stand up for what is right by telling the narcissist to get lost. 

6 Comments

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

When You Hate Someone

Those of you close to me know that my husband & I have bought his late parents’ home from his two sisters.  Our situation has been challenging & rather different though in many ways from a typical home purchase.  For one thing, I haven’t spoken to them since 2002, & haven’t broken that even during this process.

They haven’t been good to my husband during this process, & it’s made me so angry, I realized I went from feeling nothing for them to hating them

As a Christian, this isn’t somewhere I wanted to be but I wasn’t sure how not to feel that way.  I asked God to help me not hate them a couple of times, but mostly just tried not to think about it.  Anything that is ignored doesn’t just disappear, so I have no idea why I thought that was smart.

While I was ignoring this hate in my heart, I had a dream one night.  In it, the only part I could remember was seeing a large flock of white doves.  I looked up the symbolism.  One possible meaning of doves in a dream is that you need to release any hatred you feel.  So much for ignoring it!

I got serious about asking God to help me get rid of this hate.  Matthew 5:44 came to mind.  In the Amplified translation, it says, “But I say to you, love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,”  This really isn’t my favorite Scripture, to be honest.  It might be my least favorite in fact.  Even so, that doesn’t mean it can be ignored.  I started praying for them.  Not just as my in-laws or my husband’s sisters.  By name.  I forced myself to think of each one of them specifically as I prayed for them.  Somehow it felt like the right thing to do & I am so glad I did it!

The first two or three times I did this, it was hard.  I wasn’t sincere.  I was only praying for them because I knew that is what God wanted me to do.  Then little by little, the hatred started to disappear.  It didn’t just vanish all at once.  It took lots of praying for them, & with each prayer, a bit of hate would disappear.

Once I’d decided to pray for them, I noticed that often, I’d think of them out of the blue, & get really angry.  Rather than sit with that anger, I’d pray for them.  Even if it was just a simple prayer, asking God to turn their hearts to Him or to bless them, I’d still pray it.  And you know something?  The more I did that, the less the anger reared its ugly head.

I don’t want you to misunderstand me.  I’m not saying that all is forgiven & forgotten, we’re going to be best friends now.  I am still angry about the terrible behavior they have exhibited towards my husband.  That is reasonable, I believe, because we should always be angry about someone we love being mistreated, but especially when the abusive person shows no signs of remorse.  I also will continue not to have a relationship with them for the rest of our lives. 

Praying for them took me to a much more reasonable & even Godly place.  God doesn’t want His children hating others, but He does want us hating what is evil, according to Romans 12:9.  Abusing someone without remorse or changing behavior is evil, so there is nothing wrong with hating such things.  There is also nothing bad with having healthy boundaries in place.  Examples of setting healthy boundaries are sprinkled all throughout the Bible.

If you have gotten to a place that I was where you hate someone, then please consider praying for that person as I did.  It really is worth the effort.  It truly helps!  It’ll help the person you’re praying for & it’ll help you by allowing you to release that hatred in your heart.   

11 Comments

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

Sale On My Print Books!

My publisher is offering a sale on all of my print books. Use code ORDER15 at checkout.

My books can be found at the link below:

https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

Leave a comment

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

Narcissists & Loyalty

Narcissists have an incredibly skewed view of loyalty.

Narcissists demand blind loyalty from people in their lives, no matter what.  The average person has the sense to realize that if they do certain things, people in their lives won’t approve, & if they do really bad things, they will lose those people.  While this seems like common sense, it’s not to narcissists.  Those in their lives are supposed to be blindly loyal to them no matter what they do.  No matter how badly they abuse & cause pain & suffering, their victims are supposed to remain by their side.  They could set an orphanage on fire on Christmas Eve while kicking puppies & they would expect people in their lives to support this decision whole heartedly.  Failure to support the decision is proof of disloyalty to the narcissist.

Narcissists demand people forgive & forget any egregious behavior on their part, no matter how horrific.   A part of the blind loyalty narcissists demand from their victims is for them to forgive & forget, so the narcissist can continue abusing them without consequences.  Any confrontation from the victim seems to be taken as a betrayal by the narcissist.  They act like the victim has no right to complain about their behavior.  Narcissists also expect others the victim may tell about the abuse also to forgive & forget, to make excuses for the abuse, to deny it ever happened or to blame the victim for making the narcissist behave in such a manner.  Doing those things proves loyalty to the narcissist.

Narcissists seem to take their children growing up as a form of betrayal, as if the child has done this terrible thing on purpose just to hurt them.  Children grow up.  Everyone knows this.  Except narcissists.  To them, growing up proves their children are nothing but disloyal, disobedient & out to hurt their narcissistic parent.

All narcissists expect blind obedience, & lack of blind obedience is taken as a betrayal & sign of being disloyal.  Overt & covert narcissists demand obedience in different ways, but make no mistake about it – they do demand it.  Overts will use threats or raging while coverts use guilt, shaming & act disappointed in those who disobey them.  Either way, whatever a narcissist wants someone to do for them, it’s expected to be done post haste, & not doing so is proof of disloyalty.  Even if whatever the action is goes against someone’s morals or causes physical pain or financial loss, if the action isn’t done, the narcissist will see this person as disloyal.

Narcissists are of the mindset, “If you’re not for me, you’re against me.”  Narcissists take a difference of opinion as a personal attack & proof of your disloyalty.  They can’t seem to grasp that people don’t all think like them & it’s ok.  Thinking differently than them is wrong in their mind & proof a person isn’t to be trusted.

Clearly the view of loyalty narcissists have proves their thinking is very messed up to put it nicely.  Like their views on other topics like respect, their views on loyalty are incredibly dysfunctional & wrong.

Actually, the way narcissists view loyalty also explains a lot about the people narcissists are close to.  They share these very skewed views of loyalty.  They also have absolutely no integrity to be so incredibly loyal to someone like a narcissist even when they know the person is harming other people.  Any person with a conscience couldn’t be so loyal to a person with such terrible character deficits.

If the narcissist in your life says you’re disloyal, then take it as a complement!  It shows you’re not thinking the same warped way they are! 

2 Comments

Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

Dysfunctional Family Holiday Gatherings

During the holiday season, many families get together.  They share a good meal & enjoy each other’s company.  There is no pressure about these gatherings & everyone genuinely looks forward to them.

Then there are the dysfunctional family gatherings.  They are something very different.

On first glance, dysfunctional family gatherings may look the same as their functional counterparts.  Family members get together & share a big meal.  But, that is often where the similarities end.

With dysfunctional families, the stress is terrible.  There is usually intense pressure to show up at the get together no matter what.  Sick?  Who cares?  You aren’t so sick you can’t attend!  Car trouble?  So what?  Figure out how to get there!  You would prefer to spend the day at home or with some friends?  Clearly something is very wrong with you!  No one is as worthy of your time as the dysfunctional family, & the holiday dictator will be highly offended if you even consider spending time with anyone else.  You need to attend this gathering & act like you are happy when you’re there, even if you are miserable.  Your misery means nothing, after all.  This gathering is all about appearances, not about having a good time.

There’s also the dysfunctional clique action.  Some people are going to shun other people or at the very least talk badly about them.  Maybe the other people didn’t bring a large enough casserole.  Maybe their gifts didn’t cost as much as the shunning people think they should have cost.  Maybe the other people weren’t wearing the appropriate holiday attire.  In any case, something will be found to criticize even when there isn’t anything to criticize.

The truth is that very few people genuinely enjoy this get together.  They may dread it but feel no other option is available but to attend & pretend to have a wonderful time. 

So why participate in this gathering at all?  Wouldn’t it just make more sense to do whatever you enjoy on the holidays & forego the dysfunctional family nightmare hoopla?  It would, but few will do that.  There are several reasons why.

One reason is no one wants to anger the holiday dictator.  Doing so can result in guilt trips, anger, &/or shaming.  No one wants this.  Many people think it is simply easier to sacrifice a holiday than to deal with the guilt, anger or shaming.

Another reason is that by participating in these get togethers, it gives the delusion that this family actually is a big, happy, functional family.  They can pretend that everyone gets along & is a “normal” family because after all, they got together for this holiday gathering.  That is a perfectly normal thing to do, so it must prove they are all normal.

When you are aren’t someone who is capable of blindly going along with people’s delusions & denial, these gatherings can be described as nothing less than excruciating.  The fakeness of it all is exhausting & repulsive to those who believe in facing the truth.

When you are faced with these dysfunctional family gatherings, you can cope.  You have choices.

You can choose not to attend.  This decision is a tough one, because those who are in favor of this get together will judge & criticize you harshly for not attending.  Even so, it may be worth it.

You can attend, but with strict boundaries in place.  You can avoid the critics as much as possible.  You also can set a specific time to give to this gathering then leave at the allotted time.

If you attend & the critics start their nastiness, you also can simply say, “Well, isn’t that nice” & walk away.  In the southern part of the United States, that comment is known to be a polite way of saying, “I really don’t care.”   I have said it many times then walked away.  It feels good!  It also tells the critics their opinion means nothing to you. Believe it or not, you do have options during the holiday season.  Exercise them!  It is your right!

9 Comments

Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

When People Choose To Spend A Holiday With Your Abuser

3 Comments

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

My Ebooks Are 25% Off Until January 1, 2021

Many of my ebooks are on sale until January 1, 2021! Use code WINTER30 at checkout. See my books at the following link:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CynthiaBaileyRug

Leave a comment

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

Another Sale On My Print Books!

My publisher is having yet another sale on print books. 10% off until November 20, 2020. Use code SELFPUBLISH10 at checkout

My books can be found at this link:

https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

6 Comments

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