Tag Archives: survivor
Most people who hear of someone being abused think of someone weak. A small child, an adult with low or no self esteem who isn’t very intelligent or even mentally or emotionally stunted. Maybe someone who has a very gentle nature, lacking the strength & courage to stand up to an abusive person or thinks that tolerating abuse is the Godly thing to do.
While it’s certainly true that people like this are sought out by abusers, they aren’t the only ones. Highly intelligent, strong & confident people are also sought out by abusers.
Have you ever heard a story about a wealthy person being charmed by someone who stole most if not all of that person’s money? Or, maybe a strong person ended up abused, & turned into an empty shell of their former self not long after marrying their abuser. That person isn’t someone you would consider weak, but even so, they clearly were abused.
The natural response most people have is to wonder how this sort of thing happened? They think that person was too smart or too strong to be in this situation, & it doesn’t make sense. Their opinion of that person often drops because they feel that person must have been weak or stupid, in spite of how they appeared to be.
Such thinking couldn’t be further from the truth!
Abusers are often like prey hunting animals. Sure, they’ll hunt the wounded, young & easy prey sometimes. It’s there & they need a meal/victim so why pass that up?! But, that doesn’t mean they have an aversion to the more challenging prey. If a lion is hungry enough, he’ll hunt that healthy & strong antelope even though getting that antelope is a lot of work.
The same thing goes for narcissists. They don’t have an aversion to abusing a victim that is more of a challenge. In fact, they enjoy it. Easy victims are good, but conquering someone who is strong, confident & successful is big time narcissistic supply. That challenge makes them feel very powerful. It makes sense in its own dysfunctional way. It shows the abuser they are able to destroy the un-destroyable. They must be powerful to accomplish that, right?!
If you are someone who has suffered abuse, that doesn’t mean you are weak. It means the person is an abuser, & often abusers seek out a challenging victim. If you were sought out, that means there is something about you that appealed to the abuser. Your strength, success, intelligence, kindness, faith… whatever it was, it was a good thing to make such a horrible person want to destroy you.
And, if you know someone who has been abused, this also applies to them. That person must possess some very good qualities if that awful person worked so hard to destroy them. That doesn’t mean there is something wrong with the victim. Quite the opposite – there is something very right with that person!
When a person has been abused, they tend to see the world differently than other folks. People like this aren’t as trusting as the average person, & with good reason. They have survived some pretty terrible stuff! This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, considering how many untrustworthy people there are in the world. However, it can become a bad thing. A good friend of mine once called it “seeing things through the lens of victim-hood.” I thought the term made perfect sense.
When a person sees others as out to hurt them with little or no evidence to prove this is happening, it’s a bad thing.
Or when a person reads so much into every small comment or action that they see others as out to get them, this is a bad thing.
Unfortunately, it can be very easy to turn out this way after surviving abuse. It can be especially easy to see problems online over face to face contact. Once you’ve been badly hurt, you obviously want to avoid it again. It’s very easy to become hyper-vigilant, seeing abusive behavior everywhere. A person looks at you a bit odd or cracks a joke that isn’t like your sense of humor & suddenly you think they’re out to hurt you when nothing could be further from the truth. This is no way to live!
Rather than succumb to this miserable lifestyle, change yourself! It is possible! I was this way & managed to change. If I can do it, so can you.
As always, I recommend prayer as the place to start. God can & will help you to make whatever changes you need. He also will show you what you need to do. Why not let Him?
Also slow down when a situation happens. Respond, don’t react. Responding isn’t instantaneous. It requires time to consider the situation. Reacting is instantaneous & done in the heat of emotions. Reacting often happens when seeing situations through the lens of victim-hood. Give yourself time to consider the situation before you respond.
Don’t automatically assume that your knee-jerk reaction is correct. Consider it. Question it. Slow your thoughts down for some time & ask yourself why you think the way you’re thinking. Is there evidence to back up what you believe is happening? What is that evidence? Are there red flags that show you this person isn’t safe, such as a lack of empathy for example? Write it down if it helps. Writing can help you to see things clearly, often more clearly than speaking or thinking about things.
Think too about the person in question. If this is someone you know well, you will know what this person is & is not capable of. You know if this person is safe or not. Ask yourself, is it likely this person is out to hurt me or not?
If you want advice, don’t talk to someone else about the situation in a way that will get them assuming the worst about this person. If they believe you, they will only feed your fear. They’ll automatically respond to your fear with fear, especially if this is someone you’re close to. If you want to talk about your situation with someone safe, that’s totally fine. An objective opinion can be a truly great thing! Just make sure you say things in such a way that the person who you’re speaking with can form their own opinion. Say things like, “I think this person is looking to hurt me in some way.. what do you think?” then state the facts without emotion. Let this person form their own opinion if you want their best advice.
Just remember, Dear Reader, not everyone is abusive. Not everyone wants to cause you pain & suffering. Pray & seriously consider the situation so you can respond to it appropriately, rather than reacting because you’re seeing it through the lens of victim-hood.
Since my last post was about red flags in those who write about narcissism, I thought I’d make today’s post about fellow survivors.
Most people who have survived narcissistic abuse are good people who are trying hard to recover. Naturally they have issues, but at least they’re working on them & working on getting healthier. They also are willing to share what they learn to help others in similar situations, & do so without any arrogance. They’re also open to input from other people, because they realize they don’t know it all- there is always more to learn on this topic.
Not every victim is this way, however. Some turn abusive.
I don’t know why some victims try to heal & why some become abusive but it does happen sometimes. If you’re going to interact with other victims through online support groups, reading blogs or on social media, you need to be aware of some red flags.
The biggest red flag to watch out for is narcissism. Many of you know the signs already so I won’t repeat them here. I’ll just share a link to the page on my website where I wrote about it if you care to check it out: http://cynthiabaileyrug.com/Narcissistic-Personality-Disorder.php
There are other red flags, too. If a person gives advice too freely, for example. While most victims want to help others, they also realize how rude it is to give unasked for advice. They also realize sometimes a person just needs to speak things out loud to help them work through a situation, & that doesn’t mean they’re looking for advice.
If a person is bossy or demanding with their advice, that’s another red flag. Most people realize that all people are individuals. What worked for them may not work for another. They realize it’s not a good idea to try to force someone to follow their advice & let the other person decide for themselves whether or not to follow it.
Your average victim of narcissistic abuse also isn’t judgmental or critical. They know all too well what it feels like to be judged & criticized so harshly, so they don’t inflict that on anyone else. Some victims turned abusers, however, can be extremely judgmental & critical.
Some victims also become very arrogant. They seem to think because they found success in doing something that helped them, that everyone should follow in their footsteps & if they don’t, they’re foolish.
These same people are also usually the first ones to shame people who, “don’t just go no contact.” They make it clear they don’t believe there is any reason not to go no contact, & they offer no compassion to anyone who wants to but it unable to or is trying to find another option.
Abusive victims also make excuses. If they are short with someone, it’s always for a reason like they’re having a bad da, as one example. They don’t apologize or accept responsibility for the hurtful things they do.
And, if you call a person like this out on their actions, they WILL be furious. They may offer a non apology. They may offer lame excuses for their behavior. They also may get mad at you. That in particular is a big red flag, because most victims of narcissistic abuse apologize easily & often. They don’t get mad when called out on their bad behavior. They usually get mad only when someone is accusing them of something they didn’t do.
One other red flag is a smear campaign. This is very common on social media. If someone feels the online support group they participated in wasn’t a good environment for example, social media is an easy way to let the world know how you feel about it. That is pretty normal behavior, I think, but if a person posts about that group in a way that really trashes it, that is a red flag.
The last red flag is stalking or harassing another person online. With your average victim of narcissistic abuse, they may have a dispute with someone then either stop speaking with them or even block them entirely. A victim who is also abusive however, may harass or stalk someone who disagreed with them. They may leave nasty comments on their page or join groups the other person is in & harass them in the group. This nonsense can go on for a very long time, especially with narcissists.
The best advice I can give in these situations is the Gray Rock method. Don’t react to their outrageous behavior or show them that what they do bothers you. Remain calm & ignore their behavior. Don’t defend yourself to their smear campaigns. Instead, simply block them wherever you can. Most people like this will get bored easily & leave you alone at this point. Narcissists may not be so simple to get rid of however. They may bother you for a long time. Never, ever respond to them- instead keep blocking them & their flying monkeys.
In the past several months since my parents have stopped speaking to me, I’ve gained quite an education.
One thing I’ve learned is about survival mode. Survival mode is a way of behaving in an abusive situation. Basically, your emotions are shut off & you do whatever you need to in order to get through the awful situation. Barely speaking so as not to say something that upsets your abuser, for example.
I’ve learned that survival mode doesn’t necessarily end when the relationship ends. In my case, my parents didn’t say outright that they never wanted to speak to me again- they just stopped calling me. I think that is why I stayed in survival mode for months after our last conversations, I didn’t know for sure if they’d call or not. When I realized months had passed since I’ve heard from them (11 for my mother, 4 for my father to date- not her longest silent treatment, but it is his) only then did survival mode end. This happened with my in-laws too. I stopped speaking to them in 2002, but survival mode didn’t end for months after.
I think this means that the brain wants to be completely, 110% sure that the abusers are gone before it can relax. Survival mode is all about protecting you, so it makes sense the brain would want to be absolutely certain all danger is gone before it exits survival mode.
I’ve also learned that once survival mode is gone, emotions come out. Naturally when you’re in survival mode, your emotions get put on the back burner because you’re focused only on surviving. Once the danger is gone, emotions come to the surface, including ones that have been suppressed for a long time. It can feel overwhelming especially when you haven’t dealt with them for a very long time. However, I firmly believe it’s necessary to deal with them.
Without the burden of focusing on survival, I feel like I’m noticing every little thing. Unfortunately, part of that includes triggers. They seem to happen constantly. The other day, I saw a TV show where this lady’s son in-law cheated on her daughter. Although the daughter forgave him & he promised to mend his ways, the mother still was very upset. When she told her son in-law that there is no pain worse than watching your child suffer & you not being able to fix it, I flashed back to the fight I had with my parents last May. My father changed the subject to really odd topics to deflect my yelling at him. My mother sighed an obviously bored sigh as I cried & yelled at her until I gave up & told her if she had anything to say before I hang up, do it now. Her chance to apologize turned into her whining about having vertigo (for the record, I have it too- yes, it sucks, but you’d think when your normally calm, rational daughter is that upset, that might just take priority..). I realized that caring parent isn’t something I’ll ever have, & it hurt me enough to make me burst into tears, something I rarely do.
In order to handle these experiences, I rely on God a LOT. I tell Him how I feel & He reassures me, comforts me & explains what’s happening. He also shows me things that help. For example, I can be scrolling through Facebook when a meme or article that pertains to my situation pops up, & the information in it is very helpful to me.
I also write in my journal- seeing things written out is a good way to gain clarity. Not sure why that is, but it’s true. Seeing events written out as well as my feelings has helped me to see the situation clearer, instead of through the eyes of someone whose views are skewed hurt by narcissistic abuse.
Talking about things with a safe person is helpful too. I’ve told my husband some of what’s been going on. Sometimes, he gets angry or looks completely shocked by things I’ve shared about my parents. That lets me know it’s not normal! When you grow up with narcissists, abuse & bizarre is your normal. Even as an adult, it can be hard to let go of that & embrace the healthy & good things. Having someone you love & trust say that certain things were wrong or bizarre is helpful in letting go of those bad beliefs.
Dear Reader, if you too have been in survival mode for a long time, these things may happen with you too. Or maybe they’re happening already. If so, please rest assured that you are fine! It may not feel that way but you are. Ending survival mode is truly a good thing. Your mind & body finally can relax, & you can deal with those long buried emotions.
Recently I was inspired to create something to help inspire those who have suffered narcissistic abuse. (Well, ok, I stole the idea but with full blessings of the creator of it. lol)
I started making origami butterflies that I will be glad to give away to anyone wanting one. The premise behind this is to remind victims of narcissistic abuse that they are like the butterfly- they may have entered a dark lonely place (narcissistic abuse) like a caterpillar entering the chrysalis, then like the butterfly, they emerged beautifully. Just because they were once stuck in that place didn’t mean that they would stay that way forever.
My hope is that these little butterflies also will help to raise awareness of narcissistic abuse & the serious damage it causes.
For further information & to learn how to get one, please click the link below.
I have been asked quite a few times how long it takes to recover fully from narcissistic abuse. I believe it to be a lifelong battle, unfortunately. However, I don’t want to discourage you with that, because there is good news. Although it can be a lifelong battle, it does get easier!
You will stumble sometimes, but even so, you are constantly getting stronger as you heal. The more wisdom you gain about NPD & the effects of its abuse, the more strength it gives you. You finally realize it wasn’t your fault, & that you’re suffering the normal effects of abnormal treatment.
The dark times of depression come less frequently & don’t last as long when they come.
There are times you feel stuck, as if you are always going to be depressed, anxious, or feel like you’re going crazy. But, the longer you have been healing, the less frequently those times happen. They, like depression, won’t last as long on the rare occasions when they happen.
Your self-esteem soars. Sure, sometimes you may backslide into feeling like the worthless piece of garbage your narcissistic mother always said you were, but at least that isn’t how you constantly feel anymore. They’re merely fleeting moments. When you realize this dysfunctional thinking is happening, you remind yourself that isn’t true. Healthy self-esteem also stops the dysfunctional people-pleasing at your own expense ways many children of narcissistic parents possess.
You try to practice good self-care rituals- prayer, relaxing activities, participating in fun hobbies. Granted, sometimes you let your schedule get too busy, but the healthier you become, the quicker you are to realize this mistake & make the appropriate changes.
I want to encourage you today, Dear Reader, to change how you think about your recovery. While it may be a lifelong battle with no definite end, try to focus instead on the good that comes during your healing. Focus on each baby step, every bit of progress you make. Your narcissistic mother tried to destroy you, but she didn’t! You are like a phoenix rising from the ashes. Little by little, you are getting healthier & happier. Maybe right now you aren’t where you want to be, & feel like you have a long way to go. How about instead focusing on how far you have come? You are no longer that wounded, dysfunctional little child, but instead are a grown woman who is getting stronger & healthier each day!
Recently, I was told what I write about is too negative. I’m sure many of you have heard similar things for talking or writing about your experiences with narcissistic abuse. I’m writing this for you, Dear Reader. I hope it helps you. xoxo
I’ll admit, the main topic of my writing, narcissism & narcissistic abuse, aren’t exactly positive, happy topics! I’ll also admit that sometimes, it gets to me, writing about such dark things. That being said, I will continue to write about what I write about for several reasons.
To start with, I believe this to be a calling from God, & I take any calling from Him very seriously. Everyone has a calling, usually several during the course of their lives. Ephesians 4:11-13 states, “And His gifts were [varied; He Himself appointed and gave men to us] some to be apostles (special messengers), some prophets (inspired preachers and expounders), some evangelists (preachers of the Gospel, traveling missionaries), some pastors (shepherds of His flock) and teachers. 12 His intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the saints (His consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of ministering toward building up Christ’s body (the church) 13 [That it might develop] until we all attain oneness in the faith and in the comprehension of the [full and accurate] knowledge of the Son of God, that [we might arrive] at really mature manhood (the completeness of personality which is nothing less than the standard height of Christ’s own perfection), the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ and the completeness found in Him.” (AMP)
Also, writing about what I learn helps me to make sense of the things I have gone through, as well as to help others to do the same. So many who have suffered with narcissistic abuse are struggling to make sense of it all. I can help a little by sharing my experiences as well as what I have learned.
Writing about things also helps to loosen the hold the abuse has on me. By being open about things, I am losing the shame I once felt for being abused, & am able to see more & more how none of it was my fault. This not only helps me, but enables me to get the message to other victims that being abused is NOT their fault.
It also helps to make my pain count for something. Knowing I am able to help other people means my pain was not in vain. Something good has come from something horrible!
Also, by being open about the taboo topic of narcissistic parents, it helps to raise awareness of this insidious, evil form of abuse. It makes it safe for victims to talk about it with other victims instead of quietly suffering alone. So many are afraid to talk about what their mother did to them, because so many people put mothers on a pedestal. People make victims feel guilty for being abused, as if it was their fault! They can’t seem to grasp that a mother would abuse her child. Certainly the child must be exaggerating. Of course the mother made mistakes- no one is perfect- & the child should forgive the mother. And, let’s not forget “honor thy mother” seems to mean “allow thy mother to abuse you” to many people. Because of people like this, as well as the ignorance surrounding Narcissistic Personality Disorder, there needs to be more awareness of this horrible phenomenon.
Don’t let anyone quiet you for talking about your experiences with your narcissistic mother, father, sibling, grandparent, friend, spouse or co-worker. You aren’t being negative by discussing your experiences. And, chances are, by discussing them, you are not only helping yourself to process your horrendous experiences, you are also helping to enlighten others who need to hear your story! So be open- talk about it!
Have you ever thought about what you have been through in your life? I mean, really thought about the things that you have made it through?
If not, I challenge you today to do this. I did this recently. A bad night full of awful nightmares, making me feel the same hurt, anger, anxiety & fear I have felt many times in my life triggered this. I realized that I have been through some really horrible things & I survived them all remarkably well!
I have survived having a narcissistic mother who physically hurt me, who tried to destroy the person I am & make me into whatever she wants me to be, who has betrayed me repeatedly, who used me more times than I can count, still tries to gaslight me to this day, & who hates everything about me. I also survived an ex husband who was much like my mother in how he treated me, constantly gaslighting me, trying to isolate me from my family & friends & morph me into somene he thought I should be instead of accepting who I was. I’ve survived a narcissistic mother in-law & two sisters in-law who hate me & have not exactly made a secret out of that. (Well, with me anyway- they all have put on a good show in front of others, especially my husband.) They also have done their best to cause problems between us, so it’s amazing we are still married. All of these awful things are in addition to the more common problems everyone has in life such as losing loved ones, financial problems & such. When I thought about it, I realized that I am one tough chick! I also realize that without God, I wouldn’t have survived the things I’ve been through as well as I have. In fact, to be totally honest about it, I probably would’ve killed myself years ago. I certainly thought about that enough. Yes, I have problems such as the C-PTSD, but I’m still alive & doing pretty well under the circumstances.
Thinking about all of this has given me a peace & strength I hadn’t felt before. It showed me how strong I am, with God’s help, & how well I can handle crises. It feels good!
What about you? What have you experienced in your life that should have destroyed you? I want to encourage you today to celebrate those victories! Be proud of the things that you have overcome! OK, so you aren’t perfect- no one is! But, you got through & are thriving! You keep pressing on, & try to be a good person. That is much more than so many others do. Many abused people go on to abuse others. They don’t have the “umph” inside to break the cycle, to face their pain. But you do & that is something you should be very proud of!
Good afternoon, Dear Readers!
I was reading something yesterday that said something like (I forget the exact wording), “You’re not a victim- you’re a survivor!” Although that sounds great at first read, I think it also can be a shaming message.
First of all, if you’ve been abused, you are a victim. Period. Nothing can change that. There is no shame in being a victim. The shame belongs to the abuser, not the victim who had no say in being abused.
Second, you always will be a victim of the abuse. That doesn’t mean you spend every waking moment thinking or talking about the abuse- it simply means that something terrible happened to you. You were a victim of someone else’s cruelty & bad choices through no fault of your own.
Third, the message that I have felt from such quotations is that you are to be strong, & don’t let what happened affect you anymore. Well, that isn’t very realistic! If you have survived abuse in any form, especially ongoing abuse such as at the hand of a parent or spouse, it always will affect you to some degree. You may be living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder & barely functioning each day, or you may function well, but be very cynical in how you judge people, or somewhere in between, but you will be affected in some way, shape or form by what happened. No one escapes abuse unscathed.
What I am trying to say is be balanced in how you view yourself. While yes, you are a victim, you have survived, & hopefully thrived. Even so, there may be some bad days where you feel more like a victim than a survivor, & that is OK! It happens to everyone, & is a natural effect of living through abuse. You can’t feel like a tough survivor every single day.
Personally, I prefer to use the term “conquerer.” A conquerer is strong, which is what survivors of abuse are as well. We find the strength to escape the abuse, then to heal, often with little or no support from others. Sometimes, it takes every ounce of strength we can muster to get out of bed in the morning, but somehow we find that strength & do it anyway. We resist the inclination to become bitter, uncaring or even abusive, & are loving to others as well- that takes a great deal of strength & courage. (So many abusers were abused themselves, yet didn’t have the strength to break that cycle.) Conquerers are also imperfect. While great conquerors have won many battles, they also lost many, many soldiers in these battles. They also made very serious mistakes, some even leading to their downfalls. Yet, they remained passionate fighters. If these phrases don’t describe someone who has survived abuse & is fighting to heal, I don’t know what would.
I would like to encourage you today to think about how you view yourself.
Good morning, Dear Readers!
I just wanted to remind everyone about the book I’m working on. It will be available for free in ebook format. I’m thinking of entitling it, “Broken But Still Beautiful” or something like that. The topic is how God helps people who have been abused to heal. I want to encourage people that no matter what they have survived, God still has a purpose for them, & wants to help love them through their pain.
No matter what stage of healing you are in, I want your story. Even if you are still being abused, your story can be encouraging to someone, because it will show others that God is always there, even during the darkest times.
I know sharing details of abuse is painful. When I wrote my autobiography, “Emerging From The Chrysalis“, it was among the most painful experiences of my life. However, I felt it was a necessary thing to do. This book also, I feel is necessary. I also want to assure your annonymity by encouraging you to use fake names when you share your story. No one needs to know this is your story- just knowing someone has survived something painful with God’s help will encourage others.
Please pray about sharing your story for inclusion in this book. If you want to see more details, check out this link: Making A Difference
Or, you can email me at CynthiaBaileyRug@aol.com
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
- 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.
- 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.
- I have the right to talk about my pain and frustrations with supportive, loving, caring people.
- 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.)
- I have the right to say no.
- I have the right to ask for help.
- 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.
- 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.!)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Good afternoon, Dear Readers..
I’m sorry for being missing in action the last few days. It has been a very difficult week for me for several reasons. I had a challenging lunch with my parents on Wednesday. As I mentioned in my last entry, my friend’s kitty was kidnapped, which just breaks my heart. I also ended a friendship of several years, because this “friend” yet again trivialized & invalidated my mental health issues. I like her, but just cannot tolerate her ignorance & lack of compassion any longer. Then Thursday, a storm moved through, taking down a huge part of a tree in my yard! Thanks to God, the part of the tree that fell, fell in the opposite direction from my home & car, only taking out our ugly old chain link fence! I saw the limb falling, & taking a part of another tree with it. Well, sort of- the rains were torrential & the wind was gusting, distorting my view. It was absolutely terrifying! If that limb had fallen on my home, it could have killed my family & I! All of this has made the Complex PTSD flare up. Hardly a big surprise, huh? lol
So now you know why I haven’t been around lately.. now, back to my blog..
My husband & I were talking night before last about the friendship I ended. I told him I believe that even though she mentioned once that she was abused as a child too, she never dealt with that. Maybe by me being open about my issues, on some level it reminds her that she has not done it. She instead has buried her pain, & never says anything but good things about her parents. Maybe that is why she has felt the need so many times to belittle me, tell me to “get over it,” or say “this too shall pass.” I’m not positive about this, I am only guessing. My husband said that sometimes people just don’t have time for the pain, or it’s too painful to face. I don’t understand this logic at all.
While healing is a painful process, & often a lifelong process, it is so much easier than continuing to live in dysfunction! Yes, I currently live with constant depression, anxiety, mood swings beyond my control, anger sometimes, nightmares, insomnia, repressed memories returning to the surface & flashbacks, I realize it could be worse! Before I began to face my issues resulting in being abused, things were much worse. I attracted so many dysfunctional & abusive people into my life. I had no self-esteem at all, so I allowed these people to use & abuse me. It was so bad, I even left a man I cared deeply for, & married a man I didn’t love because he said I should marry him. I also never spoke up to anyone who was verbally abusive to me, or had or enforced healthy boundaries to take care of myself. I was constantly angry, hurting, feeling guilty for not living up to whatever people said I should be, & was suicidal for most of the first 25 years of my life. I did not know myself at all, so I allowed others to mold me into what they wanted me to be. I was deeply ashamed of myself just for being me- for looking the way I do, for liking things I liked, etc. Worst of all, I feared constantly that I was insane, because I heard so often I was crazy & so many things were wrong with me. Usually I heard this after confronting an abuser on abusive behavior. I was told I was crazy for being angry that they told me I was fat, ugly, or stupid. I “needed psychological help” because I remembered things the way they really happened, rather than agreeing with a person practicing “gaslighting” to convince me their lies were true.
If you too are going through emotional healing, rest assured it is a good thing! I know it’s hard, but you are working on your healing! That is a wonderful thing! It is so hard, I know, but it is so much easier than continuing to live in the dysfunction. Make a list if you don’t believe me- make a list of how you were before you started healing compared to how you are now. You WILL be surprised!! God bless you & I love & am praying for you!
Hello, Dear Readers! I just wanted to let you know that my latest book, “You Are Not Alone!” (for adult daughters of abusive/dysfunctional mothers) is now available in paperback on amazon!
And, it is available on smashwords if you prefer an ebook version..
I try to be positive or educational in my posts here, but today, I am angry for a couple of reasons. Be forewarned- this post may be longer than usual.
I saw this article the other day on facebook I wanted to read, but didn’t get back to it & unfortunately now I forgot where I saw it. It was about how much responsibility is put on victims of abuse rather than on the abusers. I only read about a paragraph- a short preview of it. It said that we’re told we have to stop calling ourselves victims & instead say “survivors.” We’re told we need to get over what happened to us & empower ourselves. Things like this. For a long time now, these phrases have irritated me & I never realized why. The preview answered that for me- it said these things put all the responsibility on the victim & none on the abuser. While yes, it is true it is up to a victim to heal & move on, when do the abusers get called out on their behavior? Not as often as they should be! How many people are told to be the bigger person with their verbally abusive mother in-law & just ignore her bad behavior while not saying anything to the nasty mother in-law or even making excuses for her? How many rapists aren’t even labeled a rapist because he “only” pressured his girlfriend into sex until she gave in rather than holding a gun to her head? How many people who have committed suicide were called cowards for “taking the easy way out” while those who pushed them to such a desperate point are not confronted? While I’m not saying as a victim of abuse of any type, we shouldn’t try to heal or blame all of our problems on being abused, I am saying there needs to be a balance! The abuser should be blamed for being abusive in the first place! That person had a choice- to abuse or not to abuse. They made a bad choice, & there is nothing anyone could have done to push them to that point. It is all on them. They deserve the blame for abusing you!
The other thing that has me angry today is the lack of compassion for those of us with mental illness. I am utterly fed up with this! I have heard so many times that I need to “get over it” or “stop living in the past.” Yes, I have Complex PTSD, which means I have flashbacks, nightmares, depression, anxiety & agoraphobia. However- this does NOT mean I’m living in the past! This means I have experienced a lot of trauma in my life- enough to cause physical damage to my brain that resulted in C-PTSD, including all of its ugly symptoms.
And, as early as this morning, I was “teased” about being “stressed” about seeing someone that causes me tremendous anxiety. This is not the first time this sort of thing has happened. It’s as if she thinks I have no right to feel this anxiety or have the problems I have. She trivializes my problems & magnifies hers. Never mind she has not been abused, & has no clue what I have lived through, her problems are always worse & I should just get over mine. Meanwhile, I am having a terrible time trying to write this blog entry because all the anxiety I’ve experienced the last few days has left me unable to sleep well & not able to think very clearly.
My point of all this griping is we really need to have compassion on each other! Whether you have experienced abuse or not, when dealing with someone who has, please, for the love of God, be patient, supportive & understanding! Keep your opinions to yourself unless you are asked, & think before you speak. Choose your words wisely. Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes & understand how she or he is feeling. I wrote some tips on how to help someone who has been abused on my website. Here is the link…
Thank you for listening to me rant this morning. I pray you will be blessed & maybe even learned a little from my rantings.. 🙂
I finished the print version of my latest book today!!! I am waiting for the proof copy to arrive so I can approve it, then the book goes onto amazon & other online book sellers. You can find it at this url:
Tomorrow, I’ll work on creating the ebook version. Will post when that is available…
Happy Saturday, Dear Readers! 🙂
I just thought I’d let you know that I have finally finished redoing my website. Not a lot of changes, but a few. Go check it out:
I still can’t believe the external hard drive crashed & I lost the site *sighs* but at least it’s online & fully functional again. Now to get back to the latest book, “You Are Not Alone!” There isn’t much left to do on the book.. more editing, then designing the covers & off to the publisher it goes before promotion. As soon as the publisher has the book, it will be available for purchase in ebook form as well as print on my website. I’ll announce it here, & it should be happening in the next few weeks, barring any further setbacks.
Thank you everyone for your patience & understanding!
Good morning, Dear Readers!
Today’s post is about PTSD & Complex PTSD. I think most people are pretty familiar with PTSD, but not necessarily Complex PTSD. To give you some insight into this awful problem, the criteria for diagnosis can be found at this link:
I have a couple of questions to pose to you today…
- For other suffers of Complex PTSD or PTSD, what is your favorite way to self-care when recovering from stressful events?
- Also, how do you stop beating yourself up (emotionally) for being less able to handle stress than you once were?
I’m asking because I have C-PTSD, & I have only recently learned that was my problem. I’ve always had to be “the strong one,” & the one not allowed to be upset for fear of upsetting others in my life. I am trying to embrace the fact that I am not as strong as I once was, while still trying to get healthier & break the dysfunctional old thinking habits. I’m also trying to rid myself of the “lazy” label I’ve heard all my life & accept the fact that self-care isn’t being lazy, it’s a matter of being mentally healthy.
So far, I have learned it’s time to remind myself that I am ok! I have had normal reactions to extremely abnormal & abusive situations I’ve experienced. But, I have to remind myself of this constantly. It just seems like there must be something else to do. And, as for self-care, I love knitting & spending time with my wonderful furkids, but I’m looking for other ideas just for variety.
I apologize for not offering advice today & instead seeking it. I’m just tired- yesterday was a very stressful day, so today I’m not feeling up to par. I’m just tired of feeling like this & while I know there is no easy fix, any different approach to it would be worth a try in my book! Besides, maybe your suggestions could help others with these horrible disorders.
Thank you in advance for your input! Have a wonderful day! 🙂
Good morning, Dear Readers! I hope this post finds you well today!
I had an “ah ha” moment last night. Thought I’d share- maybe it’ll benefit some of you readers, too.
Lately, my hubby’s been in a foul mood. Lots of stress plus he’s really missing our dog. When he’s with me, I realize I’ve been feeling weird, like I have to just stay out of his way, & not bother him with any “trivial” aspect of my life. I’ve been wondering what that’s about, but didn’t think much on the topic. So last night he came home from his parents’ house in a good mood. First time that’s ever happened since we’ve been together (18+ years). I felt much more relaxed & my mood improved.
So while I couldn’t sleep last night & all was quiet, I was thinking about this & wondering what that was all about. I prayed about it & immediately, I got my answer…
Growing up, I felt I had to be “invisible.” Have no needs, emotions, not talk unless talked to, etc. Only time I was allowed to not be was when I was needed by my parents, like when they had a fight & wanted my advice. I had to be even more invisible when they were in bad moods, especially my mother. I had to just stay out of her way. Being invisible wasn’t too bad to me if they were in good moods, but bad moods? I couldn’t be invisible enough!
I’ve taken this behavior into adulthood, into my marriage, without even realizing it. So when my husband has been in a foul mood lately, I’ve automatically reverted into being extra invisible. When his mood improved last night, I could relax some.
I hope this all makes sense- I haven’t been sleeping well lately & am really tired! I also hope & pray this helps other children of narcissistic parents.
Have a wonderful day, Dear Readers, & do something nice for yourself today!!
Ok, Dear Readers, “Emerging From The Chrysalis” is now available for ebook download or in print!!!!! It was published in print last night & ebook came out today (technical difficulties). I am excited! Here is the synopsis of the book…
In this inspiring book, the author describes her own painful experiences with the various forms of psychological abuse (verbal, mental and emotional abuse), as well as how she moved from the role of victim to survivor.
If you are interested in this book, go to my website at:www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com to purchase it.
Now, I am off to do a happy dance, celebrate hubby’s birthday (a day late since he worked all day yesterday) & watch some scary old movies with him tonight. (I love October- the really fun scary movies are on all month long!) I will start on the next book soon, but for right now, I think I earned a little vacation!
Have a wonderful, blessed day everyone!
Good morning, Dear Readers! I have some wonderful news to share.
My latest book, “Emerging From The Chrysalis” is almost complete!! I finished the first edit yesterday, & designed the front & back covers. I want to read it over one more time & see if any further changes need to be made, then off to the publishers with it.
I am excited- this book has been a VERY difficult project, & I am praying it will be well worth my efforts & helps many, many people. I am also very nervous about what my parents may think if they ever read the book. Logically, I know the worst case scenarios are things I can handle (being insulted, called names, denial of abuse), but even so, I am nervous. Old habits die hard, I guess.
(As I write in this blog, I am listening to T.D. Jakes preach.. he just said the best thing- “”When you acknowledge your critics, you give them your power.” Wow.. that is so powerful. Love it. Just thought I’d share..)
I am also looking forward to taking a little time off, then starting on a psychological thriller book next. I love psychological thrillers, & this will be my first attempt at writing one. Should be fun!