Tag Archives: talk

The Truth About Being The Bigger Person

Have you ever been discussing the abuse from the narcissist in your life with someone who has told you that you need to be the bigger person & let this go?  I have.  Lots of times.  So have many other victims of all kinds of abuse.

Recently, this came to mind for some reason.  I thought about it & realized that this never felt right to me.  It seemed somehow patronizing, invalidating, manipulative & shaming but I was unsure why I felt that way.  After thinking about it, I think I figured the reasons.

If a victim is told they need to be the bigger person, it’s shaming.  It basically says, “Something is wrong with you for being upset about this! Get over it already!”  Shaming can be utterly devastating to victims of narcissistic abuse.  Nothing can shut down a victim faster than shame, in my opinion.  Saying, “You need to be the bigger person!” is an easy way for someone to stop a victim from discussing their abusive situation & pain.

Some people who have survived abusive relationships absolutely refuse to face their pain.  They ignore it, or even pretend the abuse didn’t happen or that it wasn’t really abusive.  When someone discusses their abusive history, these people are determined to shut them down immediately, because they don’t want any reminders of their own pain.  They may not be acting out of malice as some people do.  They simply don’t have the strength or courage to face their pain.  Telling a victim to be the bigger person is an effective way for them to shut the victim down without sounding harsh.

If the person who says this is also a narcissist, that puts an interesting spin on the situation.  That person probably sees no problem with the abuse, since they act in a similar way.  When the victim points out it’s wrong, that could be offending this narcissist’s sensibilities.  He or she wants to shut down the victim so he or she can go on acting terribly without any remorse.  Not to mention, it’s not about the narcissist, so the narcissist couldn’t care less.  Narcissists also lack empathy, so the narcissist doesn’t want to be bothered with what he or she sees as your petty problems. Or maybe the person could be a flying monkey of the original narcissist, & simply trying to shut the victim down & force the victim to continue to tolerate the awful & abusive behavior from their narcissist.

“You need to be the bigger person!” also shows that the person saying it thinks that the victim has the ability to be mature.  They aren’t saying it to the abuser, after all.  That can be flattering, & as victims, most of us aren’t used to someone believing anything good about us.  It can be a good way for someone to shut down a victim while assuring the victim won’t get angry with the person saying this stupid phrase since it can sound flattering.

I truly believe that someone saying, “You need to be the bigger person!” basically boils down to a way that people try to silence victims by using shaming while simultaneously making victims feel they should not be angry at the person who is attempting to shut them down with this phrase.  And in many cases, the person saying it also is trying to convince the victim to tolerate the abuse.  It’s a lot packed into one phrase, isn’t it?

If someone says this to you, please take it as a red flag!  This person isn’t safe for you to open up to about the abuse that you’ve endured!  Of course you should talk about it not only to help yourself heal but also to help raise awareness of the horrors of narcissistic abuse.  However, not everyone is safe to talk with about your experiences.  Use wisdom in choosing who to open up to.  Anyone who tells you to be the bigger person is NOT someone you need to open up to!

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

To Those Who Are New To Learning About Narcissistic Abuse- It’s OK, Even Necessary, To Talk About It!

When you grow up with narcissistic parents, the fear of divulging what they do to you is very real.  Narcissistic parents don’t always use threats- they don’t need to.  They have a certain look that can instill sheer terror into their child.  That fear often stays with the child into adulthood.  This benefits the narcissistic parent, because she knows her secret is safe.  However, it hurts the child.

 

Not talking about the narcissistic abuse you endured can cause many health problems, such as ulcers, high blood pressure or digestive problems.  It affects your mental health too.  Depression, anxiety, PTSD & C-PTSD are very common, even under the best of circumstances- a good therapist & caring support system.  Without those things, depression, anxiety, PTSD or C-PTSD are pretty much a given.

 

You need to talk about your experiences!  I’m not saying you need to publish books or write a blog like me, unless you feel that is the direction God is leading you, but you do need to talk for the sake of your physical & mental health.

 

I know talking about your experiences can be a scary prospect.  It also can feel like you’re being disloyal.  That is not true, however.  Telling the truth isn’t being disloyal.

 

Guilt happens too.  I think it’s pretty much impossible not to feel guilty at first.  You’re talking about something you were told your entire life you shouldn’t talk about, after all.  My mother used to tell me not to “air our dirty laundry.”  It took me a long time to realize it wasn’t “our” dirty laundry I was airing, it was hers.

 

If you’re considering talking about the things that have happened to you, please know that it’s OK to talk about it.  If you don’t feel up to talking, how about writing in a journal at first?  Writing is very therapeutic- there is something validating in seeing your experiences written out.  Also, if you take precautions, no one will see what you write, so you can feel free to let it all out.  I love http://www.my-diary.org, as it is a password protected, private online diary.

 

If you aren’t comfortable talking to another person, why not pray?  God is a great listener, & will comfort you like no one else can.  You can be completely open with Him without fear of judgment or criticism- it’s very freeing.

 

If you opt to try therapy, be sure you find a therapist who understands narcissistic abuse.  Not all therapists do, so it may take trying a few before you find one you’re comfortable with.

 

And, if you opt to talk about your experiences with those closest to you, use wisdom with deciding who to open up to.  If you share a person with the narcissistic parent who abused you, they may not want to hear about your experiences.  They may be very fond of the narcissist, &not want to hear anything bad about her.  They may not believe you.  It is better to find someone to talk to who isn’t close to the narcissist, such as a friend of yours who doesn’t know your parent(s) well.  You also need to speak with someone who is caring, supportive, objective & close to God.  You need someone who is honest enough to tell you the truth, but caring enough not to be brutal & painful with it.  If this person also gets mad for you about what you have experienced, that helps too.  I had a friend who in many ways was like a mother to me.  She was a very special lady, always had a ready smile & some encouragement.  But, when I told her some of the things my parents did to me, she would get angry on my behalf.  If this good, Christian lady who was utterly patient & held no bad feelings towards anyone was getting mad, it must be really bad.  Her anger helped to validate my pain.

 

Talking about the painful experiences you endured will help you to heal.  It will get the toxicity out of you, preventing further damage to your physical & mental health.  It also will help you to keep the blame on the abuser instead of on yourself, which is a battle for many victims of narcissistic abuse.  So please, open yourself up to talking about your experiences.  You deserve the freedom it brings you.  xoxo

 

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

How Do You Talk To Yourself?

 

Like I said in my last post, I realized how incredibly verbally abusive I am to myself.  My narcissistic mother has always been extremely critical of me, as have the other narcissists I’ve been in relationship with.  As a result, I copied their behavior & became very critical of myself.  Unfortunately I think this is quite normal for survivors of narcissistic abuse.

 

As I said, I was berating myself a few days ago for my anxiety levels being so high, even though it’s a normal part of C-PTSD.  In fact, many other times, I have told myself I’m stupid, weak & a failure for having C-PTSD.  I have said similar things to myself for other reasons, such as for being depressed after losing someone I love or even being sick.

 

Does this type of self-talk sound familiar to you?  If so, then like me, you need to put a stop to it!  This kind of talk is abusive!  It is basically continuing the verbal abuse of your narcissistic mother!  Why do that?!  Didn’t she do it enough?!

 

No one deserves such vicious abuse, but especially from yourself.  Absolutely nothing good comes from it!  Only bad. This sort of verbal abuse devastates & can destroy your self-esteem.  It adds to a root of toxic shame.

 

I realize it’s probably such a habit, you do it without even noticing.  That’s how it’s been with me.  I’ve noticed it some times, but never thought much about it until the other night.  If you haven’t really paid attention to your own self talk like me, then I urge you to start now.  And, if you discover your self talk is bad as mine, then it’s time to start showing yourself some compassion for a change.

 

I’m sure making changes in self talk isn’t easy.  It’s just something you’ve always done, talk to yourself that way.  Even so, I think paying attention to it & changing the negative words into more accepting ones is doable.  It seems to me it should be a matter of quitting a bad habit & turning it into a good one by showing yourself the same understanding & compassion you show other people.  It will require focus & patience with yourself.

 

Also, ask God for help as well.  He will help!  He always does!

 

Do you have other ideas?  If so, I’d love to hear them.  Feel free to post them in the comments section or email me privately at CynthiaBaileyRug@aol.com

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Telling The Truth About Narcissistic Abuse

Growing up, I think my situation was very typical of many children who have narcissistic parents in some ways.  Mainly in one way- secrecy was of the utmost importance.  My mother never clearly said don’t tell anyone what she was doing to me, but somehow, I always knew telling would be a big mistake.

When I turned 17 & wanted to start dating, her abuse magnified.  She was losing control of me & was less than thrilled with that fact.  That is when she began to scream at me on a daily basis, making sure I spent my school & work lunch breaks with her, & she even had someone at my school report to her daily what I did during the day when she wasn’t around.  It was a bad, bad time for me.  I tried to talk a little about it to friends & even a school guidance counselor.  No one was any help, so I sought out a therapist who turned out to be even less help.  I found out I was completely on my own.

My mother often said during that time that I shouldn’t “air our dirty laundry.”  I failed to realize at the time that it was *her* dirty laundry, not mine.  I did realize though that telling the truth about the abuse she put me through was a bad thing.  When she learned I’d talked to anyone about what she did, she would rage worse than usual.  More screaming at me would follow, telling me what a terrible person I was, she was only doing what she did to help me, since I was so unreasonable she had to practice tough love on me, & more garbage.

As a result, I learned to keep quiet, not discussing what she did to me.  I lived in fear that she would learn if I’d said anything about her.  Plus, I also felt I was to blame.  I believed her lies about what a terrible person  I was.  I must have been terrible to make her treat me so badly- what other reason could there be for what she did, I thought.  Telling also felt disloyal- I felt like I was betraying my mother if I told what she did.

Eventually, I had to talk about it.  I lived through hell with her, even as an adult, & couldn’t keep it bottled up inside anymore. My emotional health was a mess.  I had to talk about it & start to heal.  It was hard to do.  For years I continued to feel guilty for “airing our dirty laundry.”  It finally clicked though a couple of years ago… I felt God wanted me to write & publish my autobiography.  That task was very daunting- once you write a book & it’s published, it’s out there for the world to see.  Having a website is one thing- my parents don’t even own a computer, plus I could take it down if I was so inclined, so that wasn’t too intimidating.  But a book?!  That was terrifying!

To write the book, I finally had to get rid of those dysfunctional thoughts about sharing what happened to me, & God helped me tremendously in doing so.  He showed me the real truth about discussing narcissistic abuse.

He showed me that talking about it isn’t being disloyal or dishonorable- it’s simply telling the facts.  I have yet to embellish anything.  I tell things as they happened.  I never try to paint my parents in a bad light, although I’m sure the stories I tell do just that since they’ve done some bad things.  I try to keep the way I phrase things as respectful as possible.

He also showed me that although I wasn’t a perfect child, I was good & I did nothing to deserve what happened to me.  I never got into trouble or did drugs.  I cut a few classes in high school (which my parents never knew about), but still maintained honor roll grades.  My worst sin was sneaking behind my mother’s back to date the man who is now my ex husband.  Granted not a good thing, but not the worst thing I could’ve done either.  I only saw him at school & work so we didn’t see each other much.

God showed me too that there is nothing my parents can do to punish me anymore.  My mother can’t show up at my job again & scream at me for the whole population of the place to see (that was humiliating!) or force me to listen to her tell me what a horrible person I am for having my own thoughts, feelings & needs.  If she tries to scream at me now, I’ll either leave, hang up on her or kick her out of my home.

Accepting these truths will help you tremendously in your healing as well as your ability to talk about what happened!

And, I found a quote that helped me tremendously in writing my autobiography.  Anne Lammont said, “You own everything that happened to you.  Tell your stories.  If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”  It’s very true!  What happened to you at the hand of your abusive narcissistic mother is YOUR story.  You have every right to share it with anyone you like.

I believe discussing narcissistic abuse to be a calling from God.  You have to respect His calling more than fear your parents’ retribution.  You aren’t betraying them by talking about it.  You aren’t being a “bad daughter” either, so long as you share things in a respectful manner.  If you believe God wants you to share your story, then share it!  Not everyone is going to like it, but that isn’t your problem!  Sharing your story will help raise awareness of narcissistic abuse & the damage it causes.  It will encourage others who have been in similar situations.  It lets people know they aren’t alone to read stories similar to theirs.  It also helps reassure people that they aren’t crazy, bad, wrong, etc.  It wasn’t their fault, & your story can help people to learn that.

Share your story, Dear Reader, however you believe God wants you to share it!  xoxo

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

Don’t Let Anyone Put You In A Box!

Have you ever noticed how people love to put other people in a box?  People don’t like to deal with topics outside of their comfort zone, so if you discuss those topics, you are told you’re too serious, too negative, too bitter,  dwelling in the past, etc.

 

I’ve experienced this quite a bit first hand.  When people find out what I blog & write about, many people feel free to open up to me about their own narcissistic mother or former spouse.  But many other people are immediately uncomfortable.  “You need to let that go.  I was hurt  by my parents, too, but I let it go.”  “Why don’t you focus on more positive things?”  “The past doesn’t have any bearing on who you are today, so why talk about it?”  Statements like this  are very frustrating, invalidating & hurtful!

 

People are so uncomfortable talking about abuse in any form!  Victims are supposed to forgive & forget, to understand that their abuser is a wounded person which is why he/she hurt you so you can’t be angry.  Victims are the ones who are supposed to do all the work- all of the forgiving & understanding, while the perpetrator gets off scott free.  No one confronts most abusers, especially narcissists.  Instead, many people insist on silencing the victims or denying abuse ever happened, especially if the abuser is a family member.

 

If you have been abused, I encourage you to talk about it!  Break the silence!  Talking about your story releases its power over you.  It also helps to raise awareness of the signs of abuse, & the symptoms of someone being abused.  Telling your story also encourages & helps others who are suffering in silence, possibly even giving them the courage to open up about their pain.

 

This is how I started to heal- talking on a message board & meeting other women who have experienced abusive mothers.  This lead to me healing & learning  more & more, & gaining strength.  Eventually, God graced me with the ability to speak openly about what I have experienced, which has helped quite a few other daughters of narcissistic mothers.  I now know that speaking about narcissistic abuse is what God wants me to do, to raise awareness of this insidious form of abuse & to help others heal.  So now when people tell me to be more positive, stopliving in the past, etc., although it may hurt a bit, I ignore them.  Writing about what I write about is a calling, & I am blessed to be able to help others with this calling.  🙂

 

Don’t let other people dictate what you talk about.  If you feel the need to share your story, then by all means, share it!  Blog about it, write a book, speak to groups, whatever you feel you need to do.  However, when you do, know it may be difficult.  Speaking about such intimate details, especially when you have been scared into secrecy is scary at first.  But remember- this is your story & you have every right to share it as much or as little as you wish.

 

If you are looking to share your story in order to heal only, which is a great first step, then I strongly encourage you to be wise with whom you share it.  Oddly, most people closest to us are also the ones who are the least supportive in these situations.  You may be better off finding a caring therapist, support group or even an online group.  I don’t understand why it is, but strangers who have experienced similar situations are often more validating than those closest to us.

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Changes

Happy Saturday, Dear Readers!

This has been a somewhat sad day for me.  I shut down my facebook page.  Kept my personal one, but shut down my writing one.  Due to someone harassing me for just over a year now & using that page to contact me, I felt it was best to shut it down.  This has made me a bit sad.  But, in a way, I’m thinking this may be a good thing in a way.  I have a group on facebook where my fans & I can interact.  We talk about all kinds of topics including animals, abuse & related issues, Christianity & naturally narcissism, & share some laughs.  It’s a nice little place, so if you’re on facebook, I’d love it if you’d come check it out.  If you aren’t on facebook or don’t care to join groups, then please check out my forum.  It’s very quiet as it is just starting, but I hope it will pick up the pace quickly.

Both the group & forum are going to be very safe places.  I will police them to be sure troublemakers are removed as soon as they join.  Both also offer some privacy- on facebook, the group is closed, which means although others can see you’re in the group, no one but members can see what you post.  And, the forum?  Only other members can see your posts. I strongly suggest creating a false name as your user name so others who do read your posts won’t know it is you posting if you want annonymity.

I hope to see you soon!  🙂

Here is the facebook group link.

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

And, the forum link.

http://cynthiasforum.boards.net/

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My New Forum

Today I got a couple more emails from people looking for advice. I just can’t counsel people- I’m not qualified. Plus, mentally, I get drained & sometimes I get physically sick from talking with people about their problems. It isn’t that I don’t care, it is that I just can’t.

My solution was to create a forum. Here is the link:

http://cynthiasforum.boards.net/

Now anyone can access my forum, & hopefully find the answers they’re seeking. As far as privacy goes, I made the forum so anyone who wants to read it needs to register. I still want to suggest using fake names though, just in case you are concerned with anyone you know realizing you’re posting in this forum.

Since I just started it about 10 minutes ago, it’s quiet, but feel free to come on by & introduce yourself! I look forward to seeing you there!

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New Feature On My Website

Good afternoon , Dear Readers.  🙂

I had an idea…

I added something to my website this morning.  A chat room.  I thought it might be a cool idea- a safe place where people can get together & talk or meet new friends, whether I’m there or not.  I was even thinking about having a monthly (or more frequent) chat.  We could discuss whatever is on your mind pertaining to topics I write about- abuse & recovery, Christian living, animals, & more.

What do you think?

There is one thing  you should know- I’m not familiar with chat rooms & how they work.  So please bear with me as I learn!  I’ll try to learn quickly!

The chat room link is on my website:  http://www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com   Go check it out!  I hope to see you there!

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Confronting or Comforting??

I was watching Bishop T.D. Jakes this morning.  He said something that struck a chord in me- “Some people don’t confront what’s wrong, they comfort it.”

This is so true of many people.  So many folks can’t seem to handle deep issues, only light & happy things.  When you tell one of these people anything about your abusive mother, they just can’t handle it.  They make excuses for her behavior, blame you, tell you it’s your place to make things right with her, or say other stupid things like “She’s the only mother you’ll ever have!” They have similar responses if you have mental health problems- “You need to get out more,” “Cheer up!”, “Think happy thoughts!”, “You need to get over it.”, “You’re not a soldier- you can’t have PTSD!”

Everyone who opens up about being abused or having mental health issues has to deal with someone like this at some point.  It’s painful, especially when it comes from someone you are close to, & you expected to be supportive.  I just want you to remember something- when someone behaves this way, it doesn’t mean you are crazy, wrong, need to make things right with your mother.  When someone can’t handle the “ugly” things in life, that is something wrong with them, not you.  Please remember that!

You need to exercise wisdom on how much you tell who about your experiences since some people, even ones you’re close to, may never be able to handle tales of your experiences.  Only discuss your experiences with compassionate, non-judgmental people.  

However, this doesn’t mean you need to be silent about your experiences!  I personally believe that although God doesn’t want painful things to happen to you, He can create a purpose for them.  For me, I have been able to help other daughters of narcissistic mothers via my books & website.  I don’t know what your purpose is, but rest assured, you have a purpose for surviving what you have survived!  Ask God to show you your purpose, & He will! 

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August 22, 2013

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…

http://www.cynthiabaileyrug.com/How_To_Help.htm

Thank you for listening to me rant this morning.  I pray you will be blessed & maybe even learned a little from my rantings.. 🙂

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August 4, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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