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About Understanding Narcissists

I recently read a comment on a post on Facebook where someone mentioned how some people “waste their time” trying to understand why a narcissist behaves as they do.  I’ve seen comments similar to this often, although said in different ways.  “Who cares why they do what they do?  They only cause pain & suffering!”  “They’re evil, that’s all you need to know about narcissists.”

I have a different perspective on this topic as I’ve mentioned before & felt that maybe it was time to mention it again.

When you understand the motivations of the narcissistic person & what is behind them, it can help you to remember you aren’t the problem, you aren’t overreacting or crazy & the narcissist is the problem in the relationship.  While that sounds like common sense, as most victims know, in the midst of narcissistic abuse, reminders like that are invaluable.  Narcissists do their best to convince victims they are the problem, & sadly, are often successful in their efforts.

Another plus about understanding narcissists is when you do, you clearly can see that you have done nothing to deserve what this person has done to you.  You understand that this person has been manipulating & abusing you, & that you were doing only normal things to do under such abnormal circumstances.  You did what anyone would do if treated as you were treated.

You also may begin to feel some pity for the narcissist because you understand just how badly damaged this person is.  This too can be a good thing, because it will make you want to pray for them.  I must warn you though, it can be easy to get out of balance in this area.  I did this with my late mother in-law.  I noticed once that after my father in-law had snapped at her, she was especially mean with me during the rest of my husband’s & my visit.  I thought maybe this was simply how she coped since she had no healthy coping skills.  As a result, I let her mistreat me for a while without complaint or setting any boundaries.  It didn’t take me too long to realize that this wasn’t helping her.  She was still miserable, & she still was hurting me.  Nothing good came of this.  I allowed myself to feel too much pity for her, & as a result, she treated me even worse than usual.  Learn from my mistake!  Keep your emotions in balance.  Feel pity for this person & let it motivate you to pray for this person.    At the same time though, remember to keep your boundaries in place.  Just because someone has been through some serious problems, that doesn’t mean they have the right to be abusive.  There is no excuse to abuse!

I realize what I’ve said in this post doesn’t work for everyone.  Some folks will read this & immediately know it won’t help them at all.   I don’t want you to think there’s something wrong with you if you feel that way.  I am one who has been helped a great deal by understanding the narcissists in my life, & I wanted to help others think about this as a possible useful tool for them.

If you do feel that understanding the narcissist in your life can help you, I have some tips.

Learn what you can about this person’s childhood.  Childhood forms who we become as adults.  Chances are, you’ll find some hints as to why this person is as they are today.

Learn everything you can about Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  I don’t believe there is one non-narcissist that can completely understand narcissists, but even so, learning what you can about it will be extremely helpful.

When you decide to learn about the person & the disorder, don’t get out of balance.  This mission doesn’t need to become an obsession, since that would be very unhealthy for you.  Take frequent breaks where you think of anything but the person or narcissism.

Most of all, pray.  Ask God to help you learn, not to obsess & to teach you creative & effective ways to cope with this person.  Ask Him to help you to pray for them, too.  After all, you may be the only person willing to pray for them.

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

About Dreams

I am a firm believer in understanding dreams.  They can teach us things about ourselves.  They can show us areas in which we need more healing.  They can help us to process things that are incredibly difficult to process.  They also can bring us comfort when we need it most.

Tomorrow, it will be 4 years since I survived Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.  It was the most traumatic episode of my life, which considering my life, is really saying something.  As a result of that plus the brain damage, I no longer have control over intrusive thoughts, so each year as February 27 approaches, I think a LOT about the day I nearly died.  It has improved some, thank God, because the first year anniversary was the most difficult.

For weeks, I couldn’t stop thinking about what happened, & how close I came to death.  I was shaken up badly & nothing seemed to comfort me.. until a dream I had on the night of February 26th, 2016.  In it, I was at a local library where I worked as a teen.  They were closing, so I walked out the door & lo & behold, there was my granddad!  I asked what he was doing here.  He smiled & said, “I came to show you my new car.”  His new car was a pretty burgundy Jeep Rubicon.  I said it was nice & he told me to get in, because we were going for a ride.  We went four wheeling!  We rode over boulders & into deep valleys.  It was so much fun!  When I later woke from the dream, my mood was drastically improved.

(As a side note, I don’t believe the dead technically visit us in our dreams.  I do, however, believe they still care about their loved ones they left behind, & sometimes ask God to tell us something which could mean they show up in our dreams.  Or maybe my dream was God knowing I needed something to comfort me, so he gave me a dream of my favorite person.  I’m not sure which it was, but in any case, it was great!)

I have had so many other interesting dreams that have proven to be very helpful.  For example, for years I had a similar dream about having to repeat high school, & relying on my mother to take me to school,  but she got me there late or would yell at me about how she was doing me a big favor (just like how things were when I actually was in high school).  The more I began to heal from her abuse though, the less frequent the dreams became.  They also started to change, such as I realized I had my own car & didn’t need to rely on her or I remembered I’ve been through high school & had no need to repeat it.  Eventually after going no contact with her, the dreams stopped.  Those dreams helped me to gauge my healing.

The reason I’m telling you about these dreams is to show you the value that can be had in dreams.  I know a lot of people think they have no purpose, but they really do!  Acts 2:17 says, “‘And it shall be in the last days,’ says God, ‘That I will pour out My Spirit upon all mankind; And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see [divinely prompted] visions, And your old men shall dream [divinely prompted] dreams;” (AMP)  I believe this is happening now.  Everyone needs to pay attention to their dreams!

The brain constantly processes information, good, bad or indifferent.  It continues to do so even when we sleep, which can be what our dreams are.  As I mentioned, they have helped me to gauge my healing, which was incredibly helpful.  There are other times when I don’t remember many of my dreams, & I firmly believe that is the brain processing things that simply aren’t important enough to remember.

When I don’t know what a dream meant, I pray, asking God to show me what that meant.  I also check out a good dream dictionary site I like, www.dreammoods.com.  I look up everything I can think of in the dream, such as objects, people, colors, emotions.  I write things down & then look at the information I gathered as a whole.  Usually then, I understand what the dream was about.  I believe God gives me that clarity when I need it.  If I don’t understand it, I figure it is simply my brain processing things & I don’t need to know what it’s about.

Dear Reader, I want to encourage you to start paying attention to your dreams.  They really can offer you insight, understanding & even comfort.

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

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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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health