Tag Archives: verbal abuse

Inner Faultfinder

Everyone has an inner voice.  That sense of pride when you do a job well is a part of it, as is that other voice that criticizes you when you make a mistake.  For most of us who suffered narcissistic abuse, that inner voice turns into the harshest, cruelest critic you can imagine.

Have you ever done something simple, like spill your drink, & then tell yourself how clumsy you are for doing so?  Or, did you show up late due to circumstances beyond your control such as a flat tire then berate yourself for being so unreliable?  Did your company let you go due to cutbacks, no fault of your own, yet you still told yourself you were a failure?  That is your inner voice turned inner faultfinder.

That voice isn’t naturally cruel.  It turns cruel because of your narcissistic mother.  Her constant put downs & judgments eventually turn inward, & you began to tell yourself the same things she did.  Maybe you use her words, or maybe not, but you become as abusive towards yourself as she is towards you.

Unfortunately, this seems to be a natural event for children of narcissistic mothers.  I wonder if it is because that inner voice stays stuck as a child.  It doesn’t grow up, but instead stays an abused child, wanting to please the impossible to please narcissistic mother.  When you fail  to please her (by making a mistake, spilling something, doing something she wouldn’t approve of, etc.), that inner voice simply repeats what your mother has said (or implied).  I’ve heard that some people who experience trauma at an early age never emotionally grow past that point.  They get stuck at the age of their traumatic experience.  Maybe for some of us who didn’t do that, our inner voice did instead.  It just got stuck in an abusive childhood, & wants so desperately to please the narcissistic mother, it will imitate her actions in an attempt to make it happen.

I have been this way my entire life- extremely critical of myself.  If I forget something, I tell myself how stupid I am.  If I’m feeling under the weather & my husband helps me with or worse yet, does all of the housework, I’m useless & a burden.  If I stub my toe, I’m stupid, clumsy & should’ve known better.  It’s not a pretty inner dialog.  Frankly, it’s gotten old.  I’ve heard enough unfair criticisms in my life to last ten lifetimes, & not only from the narcissists- from myself as well.  I’ve decided it’s time to change.  God has shown me some ways to change this, & I’ll share with you in the hopes they help you as well..

  • Ask for God’s help on the matter.  He will show you creative ways to handle it as He has me.
  • Tell that critic to shut up.  I’m going to say “shut up!” to that awful faultfinding, hyper-critical voice inside every time it says something hateful, then switch my thinking to something else.  Anything to take my mind off what it said.
  • Remind yourself the critic is only an echo of your narcissistic mother, & it’s wrong.  Just like your narcissistic mother, this voice has her best interests at heart, not yours.  Its opinions won’t benefit you.  Ignore it as you do your narcissistic mother’s useless opinions on your life.
  • Years ago, I saw Robb Thompson, a preacher on TV, give a wonderful visual for controlling bad thoughts.  He said they were from the devil, so when bad thoughts came to you, imagine taking the devil by the hand, walking him over to God & saying to the devil, “Ok, now tell Him what you just told me.”  Naturally the devil would be too afraid to say anything so cruel to one of His children in front of God & would back down.

I believe it will take time to make that cruel inner voice less cruel but I think it can be done.  After all, it was trained to be so negative- why can’t it be retrained to be less abusive?

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Do People Tell You That You’re Crazy, Stupid Or Other Bad Things?

Narcissists love to accuse their victims of awful things.  Crazy, stupid, selfish & more- there is no end to the hateful things a narcissist will call you.  And, like everything else they do, there is a motive behind doing this.

Calling you these awful names doesn’t mean they actually believe you are crazy, stupid or selfish- instead, it gives them power & control.

How, you ask?  Because if you are told you are selfish, for example, you are going to work hard to prove that you are not selfish.  This gives the narcissist power over you because by saying what she did, she made you work harder for her.  She feels better about herself at this point because you working hard to please her shows she has power.  Plus, when she sees that she is able to make you do things, that makes her feel better about herself.

When someone tells you awful things about yourself, you need to think about it.  Constructive criticism is said gently & to help you.  Narcissists however, don’t say things nicely or to help.   They say things cruelly or they imply things rather than say them outright, so if you confront them, they can say something like “I never said you were *fill in the blank*”  “You read too much into things!”  “You have such a vivid imagination!”

The person saying these things.. do they often criticize you?  Do they often try to control you?

If you are having trouble determining what is really happening, ask God for discernment on the matter.

You do not deserve to be mistreated!  If someone is telling you terrible things about yourself that you know are untrue, always remember that it says more about her than you.  Normal people don’t tear down other people, but encourage & empower them instead.

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Narcissists & Pawning Off Pain

I read something recently about how narcissists dump their inner pain & torment on others in order to attempt to relieve some of the pain they feel inside.  This makes a great deal of sense when you think about it.  For example, my narcissistic mother has very low self-esteem, & she has done her best to make sure I also have low self-esteem.  She obviously feels a great deal of shame, so she has put that on me as well.  My narcissistic mother in-law never felt good enough for her mother in-law, & from day one, she made sure I knew I was never good enough to be a part of her family.

There are so many (often very subtle) ways a person can try to put their pain on another.  Did your narcissistic mother accuse you of being fat although your weight was normal & hers above average?  Did your narcissistic spouse accuse you of cheating, shaming you greatly, when in fact you were faithful & he was the one sleeping around?

This trying to transfer their pain to another seems to be a pretty normal thing for narcissists to do, but that doesn’t make it right.  Rather than excusing their actions, I wanted to discuss this with you today so that you know when this type of thing happens, it’s not your fault!  Like many narcissistic behaviors, it isn’t even personal even though it feels like a personal attack- it’s simply the narcissist hurting & wanting to make herself feel better.  You getting hurt in the process isn’t important to her, of course, so long as she feels better.

If you can keep the perspective that some abusive behaviors aren’t personal, but about the narcissist, it makes coping a bit easier.  It still hurts of course, & is painful to accept it happened, but it does help some at least.  Any help is better than none, right?  Really grasping that what was done to you was the narcissist’s fault & not yours will help you to avoid the always painful thinking that what happened was your fault, that you made her do that terrible thing, or if you would have only done or not don  *fill in the blank* then she wouldn’t have hurt you.

I urge you today to keep this post in mind when your narcissistic mother says something hurtful to you.  Remember, she is trying to make you feel bad so she doesn’t have to feel bad.  That is why she’s accusing you of whatever awful thing it is she’s accusing you of!  You’re fine, she isn’t.

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Emotional Neglect & Critical Words

Lately, I’ve been reading some about emotional neglect & criticism, & their detrimental effects, especially on children.  They can cause anxiety & toxic shame, both of which are absolutely horrible to live with.

I’ve been seeing lately how much anxiety & shame I carry, & as I mentioned in this post, now I understand why I have them.  When a parent doesn’t care about their child’s feelings, acts as if the child is a bother &/or is overly critical, seeds get sown in the child.  The child becomes fearful.  She learns early that people will hurt her with their words or actions (or both), & no one will protect her, not even her parents.  She also internalizes the fact no one cares enough to protect her, & becomes deeply ashamed of who she is. After all, if her own parents don’t love her enough to care about & for her, she must be deeply flawed, unlovable, a terrible person.  Or so she believes.

These dysfunctional beliefs carry into adulthood.  It means she settles for dysfunctional or abusive relationships (friendships or romantic relationships), lives with extreme anxiety especially when dealing with other people, has a hard time asking for assistance, & doesn’t believe she is worthy.  Worthy of what?  Pretty much anything!  Anything from setting healthy boundaries to taking care of her health to getting new clothes because her old ones are worn out & more.

It is a miserable way to live, & no one should have to live like this!  If you recognize yourself in this post, then please read my other post I mentioned above.  In it, I offer some ways I think can help you overcome toxic shame.  As it diminishes, the anxiety should follow.  It has for me.

I’m praying for you, Dear Reader.  May God bless you, & help you to overcome the pain of toxic shame & anxiety!  xoxo

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A Long Week In A Life With C-PTSD

It’s been almost three years since almost all of the symptoms of Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder manifested in my life, but I’m still learning about them & how to manage them.  It’s a daily battle.

This past week has been a rough one.  I’m not sure why, but the C-PTSD has been flaring up really badly.  Nothing happened to trigger it, although I did have a flashback a few days into this flare.  I haven’t discussed what’s happening much with anyone, not even my husband.  For one thing, when it flares up, I need to get a grasp on what is happening.  My thinking changes so much, & sometimes it takes a lot for me to recognize it’s the disorder, not me thinking that. For example, I’ve been ashamed of this flare up.  I’ve been feeling weak & angry at myself for being so weak.  Normally, I accept C-PTSD as the reaction to some very bad things that I’ve been through, but flare ups change that in me.

This morning, I was in an especially foul mood, & my husband & I talked about it.  I finally opened up to some of what has been going on with me this week  He suggested that since I’ve promised to keep my blog real, that I write about it, & hopefully someone who reads this will benefit from it.

Reading about the symptoms of C-PTSD on clinical sounding websites & living them are two very different things.  Reading about them, they sound bad enough, but living them?  Yikes.  And, you rarely see detailed descriptions of the more odd symptoms.  I thought I’d share some of the symptoms you don’t read much (if anything) about that I’ve experienced this week, so if you too experience them, you’ll know you aren’t crazy!

Lately, I’ve had more nightmares than usual.  Not even nightmares about traumatic events I’ve been through- nightmares about stupid things, such as an empty school bus parked beside my car catching fire.  I knew I couldn’t move my car for some reason, & was afraid it was going to burn with the bus.  Make any sense to you?  Yea, me neither.. lol  One night, I woke up every 15-30 minutes all night long, mostly from nightmares, most of which I didn’t even remember, but I woke up panicky.  The few I did remember though had absolutely nothing to do with the traumas I’ve experienced.  When I first read about C-PTSD, I assumed when it said nightmares happen, it was nightmares about the traumas.  Not necessarily.. I have them too sometimes, but usually not.  The nightmares are usually odd but disturbing.

My thinking has been extremely negative.  I try to be positive yet realistic, but this week, that hasn’t happened.  I’ve been beating myself up about anything & everything possible.  I’m weak, stupid, cowardly, useless, ugly, nothing but a burden to my husband.. you get the idea.  Growing up with a narcissistic mother, I used to do that all the time, but over the last probably 10-15 years or so, had gotten much better about not doing that.  When the C-PTSD flares up, though, that old habit comes back with a vengeance.

I feel like I’ve remembered every single time someone has told me something invalidating about having C-PTSD & it hurts.  I’ve thought of so many times when people have told me to “get over it,” “stop using C-PTSD to get pity/attention,” “stop living in the past”, “stop being so negative- you need to be more positive.”  or even simply showed they don’t care when the symptoms are bothering me.   Why these stupid comments pop into my mind, I have no idea..

My thinking has been very sluggish.  I haven’t caught on to hubby’s jokes, which is very abnormal for me since we share the same warped sense of humor.  Following a simple TV show or movie has been rather difficult too.  And, I encountered a narcissist, yet failed to recognize the signs I normally wouldn’t have missed.  Once they were pointed out to me is when I caught on.  UGH!

I’ve been getting very angry very easily.  It seems like anything & everything pushes my buttons.  While trying to put fresh sheets on my bed this morning, I got mad at one of my cats for getting in my way.  WHY?!  She does this every single time I change sheets.  It’s nothing new.  But for some reason this morning, this made me so angry.  I didn’t scold her, since this is a normal part of her routine, but I really wanted to for a minute there.

I’ve been extremely depressed.  I’ve always battled depression, & for years, I was fortunate enough to find ways to keep it under control.  I even wrote a book about that, called, “Baptism Of Joy.”  My first book!  Then when the C-PTSD kicked in in May, 2012, that changed.  While I’m not depressed all of the time, I once again spend quite a bit of time depressed, & this time, the usual things that once helped me to feel better don’t work nearly so often.

I’ve also been extremely anxious & unable to pinpoint why exactly.  Above & beyond the normal anxiety & hyper-vigilance that come with C-PTSD, I mean.  I’ve woken up having panic attacks several times lately.  Not a nice way to wake up!

I’ve wondered if I’m going crazy.  Definitely not a nice way to feel, especially since I spent so much time feeling this way when I was growing up  with my mother who often told me “you need help” (implying I was in need of psychological help, yet she wouldn’t take me to a therapist) & with an ex-husband who was very good at gaslighting.

I’m dissociating a lot more than normal.  I feel so spacey most of the time.  This also means I have very little focus.  Writing in this blog has been a very big challenge this week!  Honestly, when I’ve written my entries, I’ve been very unsure about how they sounded, then published them, just praying they made sense.

To try to manage these symptoms,I’ve been spending time listening to music I love, which means many songs I grew up with in the 70’s-80’s, some country & some classic & hard rock.  I’ve also been spending time with God, not even necessarily praying- just sitting in His presence.  It’s very restorative & grounding.

C-PTSD is an absolutely evil, devastating disorder.  If you live with it too, I understand what you’re going through!  You may or may not have the odd symptoms I’ve been experiencing this week (I pray you don’t!), but if you do, please know you’re not alone, nor are you crazy!  In spite of how it feels, you are a normal person who had a normal reaction to an abnormal amount of trauma!  That is what C-PTSD is- a normal response to an abnormal amount of trauma.  It isn’t a sign of weakness, low intelligence, flaws in one’s character, or poor thinking such as living in the past or being negative.

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Rejection

Being rejected hurts, & if you too have a narcissistic mother, you know this all too well. They seem to live to let their children know that they constantly disappointed in us, & this doesn’t end with childhood. It carries over into adulthood. Your mother hates your job, the way you dress, your home, your spouse or countless other things about you & reminds you of that constantly. It hurts! No matter how accustomed to this you are, it still hurts.

There is one good thing that can come from rejection though. Rejection causes a hunger for God you may not get any other way. Psalm 119:71 says,  “It was good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn Thy statutes.”. While rejection certainly isn’t pleasant, it can make you want answers, & can turn you to God as nothing else can.

I’ve been a Christian since 1996, & in that time, I can’t even count how many times I’ve cried out to God when my mother has hurt me. Not only has He comforted me in those painful times, He has shown me how He sees me. Knowing God sees me as valuable, precious & someone He is proud of has helped me not to be devastated when my mother is cruel to me.

God can do the same for you. When you’re rejected or hurt in any way by your narcissistic mother, get alone as soon as you can. Then, ask your Heavenly Father to comfort you & to tell you what He thinks of you. You will be amazed! He loves you so much! He also will heal your pain. While your mother’s cruelty certainly always will sting, (she is your mother after all, so her opinion naturally matters!,) God fills you with His healing words, most of the pain will vanish. It’s an amazing, wonderful thing!

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Writing About Narcissistic Abuse

A while back, an obituary made rounds online.  It was written for an incredibly cruel, abusive mother.  I saw this article about said obituary, explaining why the obit was written:

 

http://jezebel.com/why-i-wrote-the-infamously-scathing-obituary-for-my-mot-1526324856

The story is heartbreaking, & although I’m unsure I could do the same thing, I applaud the daughter for doing what was right for her as well as her siblings, in spite of the harsh judgments & criticisms they have received as a result of doing this.

It also made me think – if my narcissistic, abusive mother dies before me, what would I say in her obituary?  Would I tell the truth about the abusive monster she has been, or would I simply stick to the basic facts such as date of birth & death, details of the viewing & funeral arrangements?

I think I would stick to the basic facts.  Not that I condemn the actions of anyone who would do otherwise, of course, it’s just that I have been working on my healing for a long time.  I don’t see how this would help me to heal any more than anything else I have done.  Plus, most people don’t believe that my mother is capable of monstrous acts, so when they read her obituary, I would simply be invalidated & judged further for “speaking so badly” of my mother (even though I would speak only the truth).  I also have experienced the death of my mother’s narcissistic mother, which I believe gave me a glance into what I can expect to feel when my mother dies.  Chances are, I’ll be sad things weren’t good between us, & relieved it’s all over, just as I was when my grandmother died.  It’s doubtful feelings such as those would leave me feeling the need to expose her abusive ways.

What would you do if you had to write your narcissistic mother’s obituary?  Maybe the thought is rather morbid, but it’s still an interesting question, don’t you think?

Being an author, obviously I’m a fan of writing for many reasons.  Writing anything.  One of those reasons is that writing can be therapeutic.  I have an online journal, plus I have written many letters to my mother that I’ve never sent her.  Something about getting out my feelings & seeing them in writing has been extremely helpful to me.  It purges a lot of the anger.  I think it is also partly why I won’t be writing such an obituary for my mother.  I don’t harbor anger at her any longer.  I get angry when she acts up, but I also let it go pretty quickly.

Have you tried writing about your feelings & experiences during healing from the narcissistic abuse you have experienced?  If not, I strongly encourage you to do so!  Let it all out when you write to experience the full benefits.  If you are concerned someone may find out what you’ve written, then once you’ve written things out, burn the letter or diary.  That act in itself can be quite cathartic, watching what you wrote going up in smoke.  For me, it’s as if the smoke dissipating into the air takes some of my anger with it.

A couple of years ago, I wrote my autobiography, “Emerging From The Chrysalis.”  It was a very difficult task, but also a very rewarding one.  Seeing many of the horrific events in my life in black & white made things even more real to me.  It showed me  how strong I really am – I have survived some rough, terrible things!

Writing your own autobiography or creating a blog about your experiences may do the same thing for you.  If you prefer privacy, nothing says you have to publish your writing – just keep it for yourself.  But, if you decide to speak publicly via a blog or publishing your autobiography, your story will help & inspire many people!  That can help you to heal as well, because others will validate your pain & your strength to survive such things.

If you do decide to write publicly, I strongly recommend that you pray long & hard before doing so.  Having survived narcissistic abuse, you are all too aware of the importance of secrecy.  Narcissists love secrecy, & demand it from their victims in order to protect their abusive ways.  When this happens to a child, the child grows into an adult who still feels that fear from  childhood at the thought of exposing the abuse.  As a result, talking publically about the abuse can be very hard to do.  It may be so hard in fact that you refuse to speak out, even when you know in your heart it will help you or it’s what God wants you to do.

I understand this fear all too well!  As much as I’ve written in the last couple of years about my own experiences, sometimes it still scares me a little.  I wonder what will happen if & when my mother finds out what I write about.  Thankfully she doesn’t have a computer, which works in my favor.  She also never asks how my writing is going or what I write about, as she thinks it’s all a “waste of time” & “trash no one wants to read.”  Yet even so, there is still a chance she could find out.  She has friends & relatives who have computers, & would be glad to look up my work to tell her what I write.  I often feel like I’m waiting for that call when she tells me I am spewing lies or whatever else she would say about my writing.

To give me the courage to write about what I know God wants me to write about, I remember a few things.  These can help you as well.

First, I know in my heart that it is God’s will I write about these topics.  He won’t give me a task that I can’t handle.  He loves me & He protects me, just as He loves & protects you!

Second, I ask myself what can my mother really do that can hurt me anymore?  She is 75 years old, & physically no longer a threat.  She still can scream & rage if she is so inclined, & call me terrible names.  However, I’m so used to that, nothing she says can phase me anymore.  She also once threatened to call my landlord & report me for having more cats than the landlord allowed.  Now I am a homeowner & have no landlord to answer to.  Plus, I have a legal amount of pets in this county.  She really can’t harm me anymore!  So what is the worst that can happen to you for telling your story?

Third, there is a very good quote that strengthened me enough to get through writing my autobiography.  Unfortunately, I can’t remember who wrote it, but the quote says something similar to this, “Tell your story.  If others wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have treated you better!”

And lastly, I always tell the truth.  I try to avoid telling only what happened to me- if I did something wrong, I admit it.  I also try to tell stories objectively, minus any name calling or accusations.  I stick to the facts only, so no one can accuse me of exaggerating or embellishing my story.  Do the same if you talk about your story.

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Do Narcissists Really Know What They Are Doing?

The answer is a resounding YES!!!

 

Narcisissts are absolutely aware of what they are doing & the damage they cause.  And, they are well able to control their actions.

 

Anyone who has spent time around a narcissist knows that they act entirely differently around people they want to impress versus people they don’t care about impressing.  That is painfull obvious.  The fact is though that they also are very aware when they have gone too far over the top in their actions.

 

Recently, I posted about my narcissistic mother’s fake concern, get well card & cookies for my (also narcissistic) mother in-law, even though she knows perfectly well that I haven’t spoken to the woman since 2002 due to her abusive ways.  (I posted about that here).  This betrayal by my mother & her flaunting it in my face hurt me more than it usually does when she feigns concern for my mother in-law’s failing health.  It made me physically sick for over a week.  I also ignored the phone several times since then when my mother called, which I normally don’t do. (periodically yes, but not several in a row).  Apparently, she noticed, & this made an impression…

 

I finally took my mother’s call yesterday.  She tried to be pleasant. Even attempted to give me a complement.  She also mentioned something hurtful her mother told her once.  The call was quite odd to say the least.  I was thinking about it & I think it was to “apologize” to me for her behavior regarding my mother in-law.  She is very aware of when her behavior is too over the top, like most narcissists.  Besides, I realized I’ve seen this kind of thing before with my father.  At one point, when I didn’t answer his call, he called my cousin who lives 450 miles away & my father in-law looking for me.  I was livid & let him know that.  After, he began being gentler & kinder with me, & even mirroring me in an attempt to regain my trust.

 

This is very typical of narcissistic behavior.  They know when they have gone just too far, & rather than take responsibility for their behavior & apologize (like normal people), they engage in various behaviors.

 

  • Mirroring: People naturally feel most comfortable with those who share many similiarities. Narcissists will mirror your behavior & likes/dislikes in order to regain your trust.  (“See how much alike we are?  How can you be mad at me??”)
  • Minimizing or temporarily foregoing the criticisms:  In order to get you to forgive & forget their bad behavior, they will stifle their nastiness temporarily until they believe you have forgiven them.  (“See what I nice person I am?  You can’t be mad at me- I’m too nice!”)
  • Feigning thoughtfulness:  The narcissist will call you to let you know a movie you like is coming on TV shortly, for example.  They will perform small acts of showing they were thinking of you to prove how nice they are.
  • Giving you distance, respecting your space: For the narcissist who insists on constant attention such as an engulfing narcissistic mother, this is the hardest thing for her to do.  However, she will do it if it will get her back in your good graces.  If she calls you daily or near daily, she will skip calling for a few days after the incident, then call you, acting much meeker than usual.  She will employ one of the above tactics during that conversation.  If she believes that you have forgiven/forgotten her, this is the last pleasant conversation you will have with the narcissist.  If she believes you’re still upset, the routine will happen repeatedly until she believes you are over what she has done to you.

 

Always remember- the narcissist in your life upsets you, remember- do NOT tell her!  Explaining your hurt feelings to a narcissist only gives them ammunition to hurt you further.  However, if you become angry & the narcissist picks up on your feelings, be aware- the games will begin!  Remember these things & you can be prepared for what to expect.

 

 

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“To Thine Own Self, Be True” (from Shakespear’s “Hamlet”)

I had the most incredible dream last night, & I wanted to share the valuable lesson learned from it.  🙂

I dreamed that I saw my car parked in front of my parents’ home.  I was a few feet away.  My car is a lovely dark green with a matching vinyl top, but in the dream, she was painted (very poorly I might add!) white on the sides & yellow on the top, hood & trunk.  Somehow I knew my mother had done this.  I was horrified upon seeing this, wondering how was I going to afford the high price of having her repainted green.  I simply said, “God, what am I going to do?”  It suddenly started to rain a bit.  A nice steady rain.  The paint started washing off my car!!  Most of it came off easily but there were a few spots that I had to scrape at with my thumbnail.  Before I knew it, there was my ’69 Plymouth, all beautiful & green again!  In fact, she looked better than ever, now that I think of it…

I woke from this dream a bit shaken, since my car means the world to me.  She once was my Granddad’s car, then my dad’s.  Dad sold her in 1979 to a junkyard, & in 2005, I found her!  Wasn’t looking, but apparently God decided I needed a big blessing, & being a car lover, blessed me with my favorite car of my Granddad’s.  So anyway, dreams where this car is messed with in any way shake me up pretty badly.

Later, I decided to figure out what this dream meant, so I asked God & immediately, He gave me my answer.

Cars represent your life in dreams.  White & yellow are colors representing purity,  innocence, joy, positivity.  Rain represents cleansing.  In the context of this dream, this all translates to this:  growing up with a narcissistic mother, she did her level best to change me into what she wanted me to be.  In fact, still tries to do this even though I am now 43 years old.  My mother likes to present herself as a wholesome, wonderful person.  She wants me to act more like her, like what she likes, dislike what she dislikes, etc.  That is why in the dream she painted my car those particular colors, to make me more like her.  The rain was a result of me allowing God to wash away what others have done to make me into what they think I should be (my mother isn’t the only one who has tried to change me, but she is where the problem started).  Me scraping off the little bits of paint that remained represented me doing my part, cooperating with God, to get the person He made me to be back.

Isn’t that fascinating?

Since many of you who read my blog, website & books are also children of narcissistic mothers, I pray this encourages you as it has me.

Narcissists try to change their children, friends, relatives & basically anyone into what they think that person should be.  I believe it is especially painful for children, because as children, we are so starved for our parents’ love & approval, we’ll do anything they want us to do.  This also sets the stage early in life for you to believe you must please other people, even at the expense of losing yourself- changing your likes, dislikes, beliefs, how you dress, how you act & more.  It’s not right!  No one should have to change so much of themselves just to be in a relationship with another person!  If you do feel you have to change to be in a relationship with someone, maybe  it is time to reconsider being in that relationship.  At the very least, it’s time to consider getting you back & being the person God made you to be!

How do you get “you” back??

  1. To start with, stop listening right now to what others say you should do, like, how you should feel or think.  Their opinions really aren’t important!  Of course you want those you love to have good opinions of you, but if they disagree with some things about you, that is perfectly ok!  No one can be pleased 100% of the time.  If they try to make you feel bad for not pleasing them, that is a big red flag saying this person isn’t safe.
  2. Ask God to help you.  Ask Him to show you who He made you to be, to have the courage to become that person & to help you shed the person you became only to please others.
  3. Step out of your comfort zone.  Try things that pique your interest that you never had the nerve or opportunity to try before.  You may discover a new passion, or at the least, will start to learn what you like & don’t like for yourself rather than what others have told you that you should like or not like.
  4. Try different clothing.  I know this sounds silly, but your clothing affects your mood.  Buy clothes that make you feel good when you’re wearing them.  Better to have 2 outfits you like than 10 you hate because someone else wants you to wear them!

At first, these things can feel kind of weird & hard to do, but I can tell you, they get easier with practice.  I’m trying them myself, & have off & on for a few years now.  From my experience, the hardest thing to do is stay focused on doing things for yourself like this.  It’s so easy to slip back into the old, dysfunctional habits!  That is what happened to me- this dream made me realize that.  To avoid conflict with my husband, I’ve even gone as far as hiding the symptoms of my C-PTSD from him no matter how hard it is on me.  This dream made me really see how bad it’s been, & how it has to stop right now.

Be good & true to yourself, Dear Readers!  You are so worth it!  I pray that God will help you if you are struggling in this area.  ❤

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Wet Blankets!

Good evening, Dear Readers!

I had an interesting experience a while ago…

My mother called me under the guise of telling me about a Stephen King movie coming on TV tonight.  I knew about it already, what with him being my favorite fictional author, as many of you know.  Plus it’s a new one based on a story in his book “Full Dark, No Stars” which I really enjoyed.

Anyway she took this opportunity to remind me (as she has probably thousands of times before) that she doesn’t understand what is wrong with me- why do I like scary stories?  She certainly doesn’t like them & has no idea where I got my taste in such things!  And did I know she saw the movie “Psycho” at the drive in when it came out, & it terrified her?  Have I ever seen it?  Yes, & it’s among my favorite movies.  “GASP!!  I just don’t understand what’s wrong with you!”

Same speech, different day.  As usual, it annoyed me.

I finally thought to ask God why did she feel the need to do this?  More attempting to shame me for liking an author she doesn’t approve of (even though he’s been my favorite since I was 8 & read “Night Shift” for the first time)??  He showed me that the motivation is to spoil my fun in watching this movie.  Often her comments are made to shame me, yes, but when she calls to let me know one of his movies is coming on TV soon, it’s to spoil my fun in the hopes that I’ll give up liking this “horrible” author’s works & start liking the more happy, light & fluffy authors she likes.

*sigh*  Yea, that ain’t happening.  lol

Suddenly I realized she’s done this wet blanket thing so many times, as has my narcissistic mother in-law.  When I got my first car, a cute little Buick Skyhawk, my parents took me to the dealer.  Since I only had my learner’s permit at the time, my mother rode home with me, & complained the entire way (about 10 miles).  “This car is too small!”  “There’s no leg room!”  & other untrue & snarky comments.  It spoiled my very first drive in my first car.  When my husband & I first started dating, his mother suggested she & I go to lunch & shopping.  I said fine, when?  Her response?  “You WILL be taking Eric’s car instead of yours, right?”  I was surprised & said “No, I’ll be driving mine.”  (she doesn’t drive).  She said “Oh.” & changed the subject.  This exact conversation happened a total of 3 times before she gave up since I wasn’t taking his car & insisted on taking my own.  It also set the stage for 8 long years of nasty comments about how awful my Oldsmobile was, how expensive it was to maintain & how I should just junk it, all because it simply needs a paintjob..

There were many other similar incidents with both of them, but I’m sure you get the point.

Amazing isn’t it?  Amazing how narcissists think they know best what you should like.  And, they can’t accept the fact that you might like something they don’t or vice versa.  They act like it’s a crime, or a direct attack on them if you are different than they are, or have an interest they don’t.  And, by golly, you better straighten yourself up & only be interested in what THEY deem worthy!

It’s amazing to me that any human being can be so insecure that they will hurt, anger & try to mold another person into liking/not liking the things that they do.  How is it a threat to them if you like something they don’t?!  Who cares?!  Everybody is different, it’s a simple fact of life, so why does this even affect a narcissist?!

They are simply that insecure.

While narcissists may appear overly self-confident, the truth is that behavior is to convince not only other people but also themselves that they are wonderful, special people, & not the lowly, unworthy person they really feel like they are deep down on the inside.  So, if you don’t like something they do, then they take that as you don’t approve of them.  On the opposite side of the same coin, if you like something they don’t, they also take that as you not approving of them or you thinking you are better than they are.

Narcissists simply can’t see this situation as 2 different people having different tastes.

Remind yourself of this next time the narcissist in your life insults you for not liking something she likes, or for liking something she doesn’t.  As always, her behavior speaks volumes about her, not about you!  ❤

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Narcissists Are Amazing..

and I don’t mean that in a good way!

I was telling a dear friend of mine earlier about my mother’s horrible phone call last night. She said so many evil, hurtful things to me. The worst part of all was that I could tell she was smiling as she said those things. You know how someone sounds a little different when they smile as they speak? That is what I heard in her voice. The crueler her words, the bigger the smile was, too. It absolutely blew my mind. Although I don’t have children (well, human ones anyway- furkids only), I can’t imagine hurting my child like this, & thoroughly enjoying myself while doing it! I wouldn’t hurt anyone deliberately, let alone find the things that are the most important to them, & use those things to cause the maximum amount of pain possible. I can’t understand how anyone can do that. I know a lot about narcissism, but that doesn’t mean I understand everything about it. I don’t think I ever will.

And the worst part? I really messed up. I got so angry that I cussed at my mother. I am not proud of this at all, & prayed later, asking God to forgive me. I didn’t ask my mother to, because she acted as if I speak to her this way every day. She knew she was pushing my buttons hard, & she got the bad reaction out of me she wanted. Now she can tell people how terribly I speak to her, & she knows what to do to hurt me more than usual. Fantastic… this is going to bite me & bite me hard in the future, I’m sure. It always does when I get angry with my mother, although normally cussing isn’t part of my response.

In case you’re wondering what horrible sin I committed to deserve this treatment, here you go: my mother is mad because my father is coming by to visit me tomorrow. She is mad that I invited him & not her. The irony of this? I didn’t invite him, either. He decided he wants to come by. There was no invitation, & there never is an invitation from me to either him or my mother to come into my home. So there you have it-the reason I deserved to be treated like crap to the point of tears of hurt & frustration.

Amazing, isn’t it?

Dear Readers, please pray for me. I am beyond frustrated on how to deal with my parents. I’m praying for you as well, because I know that many of you understand this awful feeling completely. ❤

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A Sad Legacy – The Death Of A Narcissist

Good afternoon, Dear Readers!

I’m sorry for being missing in action. It’s been a crazy week, but I think all is settling down now & I can get back to writing. At least I sure hope so!

My husband & I were out this past Saturday, & at the last minute decided to stop by a local cemetery. His brother is buried there, as are a former classmate of mine & my mother’s mother. We visited his brother first. It was a painful few minutes- my husband was close to his brother, & his death from AIDS was a painful thing to witness. Then we visited my former classmate, Scott, who died only 4 years after graduation in a car accident. Scott & I weren’t close, but even so, his death was very sad. He was a good person, & died so young. Then we went over to my grandmother’s grave. I felt nothing as I stood there, looking at her bare gravestone- a basic metal plaque with only her name & dates on it. She had no flowers on her grave, nor did I have any desire to put any on there, although I did wish I’d taken some to my late brother in-law & classmate.

I got to thinking after we left. Hubby’s brother has a basic marker- his parents are the very no frills type, so this makes sense. Yet even so, it says “beloved son” on the marker along with his name & dates, & flowers were put on his grave recently. Scott’s family went above & beyond- they got him a huge marble plaque that covers his grave. A lovely poem is on it, Scripture & a picture taken not long before his death along with his name & dates. There are always flowers on his grave, even though he’s been gone since 1993. I even thought about my paternal grandparents. Grandmom died in 1996, Granddad in 2003, yet there is always evidence of someone having been at their graves. They also have a lovely, ornate joint headstone.

And then, there is my mother’s mother.

A basic plaque with only name & dates on it marks my grandmother’s grave. No “beloved mother” or any Scriptures. She didn’t even have flowers in the vase. It made me a bit sad thinking that no one showed love for my grandmother, including me, which made me feel rather guilty. Then I got to thinking about some of the things she did to me. My grandmother was a narcissist, which is obviously where my mother learned her narcissistic ways. She was an evil, cruel woman who cared nothing for anyone, not even her own family, other than what they could do for her. I also remembered how she once saw one of my cousins crying, saying how much our grandmother hurt he, & she turned away from my cousin, indifferent to her suffering. Countless times, I saw my grandmother hurt my mother with her cruel words & try to start trouble between my mother & father. When my grandmother died, I was upset, but not because I missed her. It was because our relationship was such a waste- she hated me & didn’t mind letting me know that. I was actually relieved when she died, not sad. She had stopped speaking to me a year before, never telling me why. I always waited thinking she would suddenly call, acting like nothing happened, & wanting something from me. When she died, I felt relief knowing that couldn’t happen.

Thinking about all of those things, it makes sense that there is no love shown to my grandmother by putting pretty flowers on her grave. It also looked as if no one has been to her grave in a while as the grass around her grave marker was somewhat overgrown. I didn’t go to her funeral, but from what I heard, there weren’t a lot of people there, nor was there a get together after.

How very sad that few people can be affected by someone’s death. What a legacy to leave! It also reminded me of the Scripture in the Bible that says, “what a man sows, that also shall he reap.” My grandmother sowed a life of discord & heartache, & she is still reaping a harvest of indifference.

I decided to write this out for those of you whose narcissistic mothers have already passed on, are elderly, or if you are thinking about what may happen when your narcissistic mother passes away. My prayer is when that time comes, you don’t feel guilty for not wanting to take flowers to their grave weekly or even for being relieved they are gone. You reap what you sow in life. No one is immune to that law, including narcissistic mothers. After years of abuse at her hand, do you really think you will feel sad for losing her? It is truly a sad legacy, leaving behind a child or grandchild that is glad you’re gone, but it is also a natural occurrence in abuse cases such as with narcissistic mothers.

Also remember when that time comes, you aren’t alone. I dare say most adult children of narcissists feel the same way, but are afraid to admit it to anyone for fear of being judged. If you have someone safe to talk to, then by all means, please talk to them about how you feel. If not, then write it out. I wrote my grandmother a letter after she died, & left it under her grave marker. No one knew I did it at the time. It helped me tremendously, getting out my feelings, even though I knew she obviously never would read it.

Pray about what you’re experiencing too. God can handle hearing it, & knows what you’re feeling & thinking anyway. You can’t shock Him. And, He will comfort you & heal your pain. ❤

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Ahhh…the joy that is a narcissistic mother

My mother has ended her silent treatment. I had a good run of a couple of months of silence this time, but it’s over now. She called me this morning & acted as if we’d just spoken yesterday. It’s like nothing happened- no silent treatment, no trashing me to my father, nothing bad…

In case I haven’t said it lately, I absolutely freaking HATE head games!!!

It was a typical conversation with my narcissistic mother. The exact same conversation that happens every time she stops speaking to me then eventually resumes talking to me. It’s also why I love it when she gives me the silent treatment & dread when she ends it.

She called under the guise of looking for my father- as he often does, he vanished for hours. Without a cell, she has no means of reaching him when he is away from home. Then there was the complaining about him, & that morphed into “did I tell you about my latest back problem?” Side note: I have no sympathy for her back problems, because, as many of you know, when I was 19, my mother threw me into a wall so hard, I was in constant pain for 10 years. I quit working outside the home a few months later. Then there was the usual guilt trip because my husband works long hours (my parents seem to believe I have some evil powers that make him work long hours against his will while I live like I’m on vacation..), & telling me again about a man who recently died who my mother is glad is dead. I must admit, that last part had me laughing. Not because the man has passed away of course or even her coldness about his passing (that was just disconcerting!), but because my mother claims he is a terrible person because he liked to present himself as such a great person when he really wasn’t. According to her, this man even wrote his own obituary & “it sure made him sound like a great guy!” Yes, you read that right. A narcissist is complaining about another person’s narcissistic behavior. Can you wrap your head around that one? I’m still working on it..

Is it any wonder I’ve had a headache all day? As if starting out my day that way thanks to anxiety & nightmares waking me last night wasn’t quite enough…throw in a Mom call & my head is not happy with me..

My mother’s call has skewed my day. I was ok considering I had a rough start to the day. Now? I feel shaken up. Anxious, angry, depressed, dissociating a lot, head achy, & exhausted. It is ridiculous things are this way, however, it is the norm for those times that I have to deal with my mother.

There was also a small part of me that was feeling guilty earlier today for not calling my parents or suggesting lunch together or something similar. Unfortunately, this seems to be the norm for children of narcissistic parents- always at least some guilt in there somewhere for something, some perceived slight against the parents or failure to measure up to their unrealistic expectations.

I think the reasoning is because we are raised by narcissistic parents to feel guilty because we never quite measure up. We don’t get good enough grades in school, or study the right subjects. We always fail because we aren’t whatever they think we should be. We don’t choose the career they want us to work, or marry the person they think we should marry, or drive the right car, or we disappoint them with some other life choices. We are conditioned to feel guilty & the frequency in our lives of knowing how often we disappoint our narcissistic mothers is so painful. That isn’t always easy to shake off, even when we are adults & know better.

But yanno something?? When we “fail” our narcissistic parents, we are simply living life according to our rules as we should. We are following God’s plan for our lives rather than their plans, which is obviously way more important! As Shakespeare said in “Hamlet”, “To thine own self be true.” What wise advice! Living for someone, anyone, else is a guaranteed way to make yourself utterly miserable!

And, as for feeling guilty for not spending time with your narcissistic parents, I’ll share something that God has shown me many times. My parents are reaping what they’ve sown with me. I don’t want to spend time with them because of the sorry way they have treated me for my entire life. Who wants to spend time with anyone who mistreats or abuses them?! If you are battling guilt for setting boundaries on your interaction with your narcissistic parents, please remember that- they are reaping what they have sown. People who sow bad seeds (being abusive, neglectful, hurtful, manipulative) will sow an unpleasant harvest (being ignored, strong boundaries that are enforced, not tolerating abuse) in return. That doesn’t mean something is wrong with you- it means you are a normal person!!

Now if you’ll pardon me, I’m off for some well needed self care. Music, relaxing, snuggling furkids & a shower…

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Narcissists Are All Around

Yesterday while talking to a dear friend, she mentioned how I have only written about narcissistic mothers, yet narcissists exist in other relationships & all walks of life. She’s right. I feel that God wants me to focus on maternal narcissism, but also that a little side trip would be beneficial to my readers…

Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or NPD, is in people of every financial status, race, religion, etc. It truly knows no bounds. Dealing with a narcissistic mother is a bit different than dealing with a narcissistic spouse, family member or coworker, though, simply due to the different natures of the relationships. NPD is a spectrum disorder (meaning many people with the disorder act differently, because they’re at different areas on the spectrum). Some narcissists are at the malignant end of the spectrum- they are the bold ones, all “in your face” with their abuse. Others are what I think of as the sneaky narcissists. They feign innocence, naivete, & helplessness. They had no idea their actions would hurt anyone, or so they claim. How could you be mad at her when she simply didn’t know better?? This innocent act means if you get angry, you look like the unreasonable & cruel person.

In spite of the differences, there are some qualities all narcissists share…

Narcissists believe they never should be questioned. What they say is the gospel truth, according to them. This means they don’t tolerate questioning, no matter how outrageous the actions or words.
Narcissists are control freaks. And, if you end that relationship, thus ending their control over you, prepare to pay for your “crime.” How will you pay? It depends on the narcissist. (see below about narcissistic rage)
All narcissists demand supply. Narcissistic supply is praise, listening whenever they want to talk, & other actions & words showing the narcissist he/she is valuable. Anyone who doesn’t provide narcissistic supply is worthless, according to the narcissist.
When narcissistic supply is cut off, no matter the reason, narcissists will go into a narcissistic rage. Anything that threatens a narcissist’s self esteem is what is known as a narcissistic injury, & triggers rage. That rage can be simple, like giving the “offender” the silent treatment or talking badly about her behind her back. Or, it can be more serious behaviors such as screaming obscenities, physical violence, harassment/stalking.
Narcissists lack empathy. When you have a conversation with a narcissist, one giveaway you’re dealing with a narcissist is that any mention of you, your family, your job, your problems, or anything about you is disregarded & the conversation turns back to the narcissist. They are the important one, after all- you & your life mean nothing..
Most narcissists also have “minions”, “lemmings” or “flying monkeys.” That is people who believe the narcissist without question, & when you disagree with the narcissist, these minions will try to “talk sense” into you under the guise of concern for your poor judgment in disagreeing with or even ending the relationship with the narcissist.
And, narcissists love mind games. Anything that they can say or do to make their victim feel crazy, guilty, stupid or other terrible things makes them happy. They won’t hesitate to use any weapon to accomplish their goals, no matter how much damage it causes the victim. They’ll also use whatever your greatest (real or perceived) weakness is, too, such as your religious beliefs. Currently, the narcissist who is harassing me is doing exactly that, claiming I am not a good Christian for not tolerating her abuse. (I guess she believes Jesus thinks tolerating abuse is a good idea?? Doesn’t sound like the Jesus I know!)

Narcissists can be very dangerous people to those without the knowledge on coping with them. Dangerous to their victim’s self-esteem, sanity or relationships. One of the things that makes them so dangerous is that people often underestimate them. Narcissists are often described as selfish or eccentric, when the truth is they are so very much more.

If you’re dealing with a narcissist, be careful! You need to listen to your gut feelings. If something feels wrong, listen to that feeling- never brush it off! Don’t listen to others telling you that she didn’t know what she said or did would hurt you-narcissists are always VERY aware of what they’re doing & what the results will be. Also, trust your memory. If the narcissist says things happened differently than you remember, trust your memory over her words. Keep a diary if need be, so you have written evidence of the truth. Limit your exposure to the narcissist if you must deal with her, or sever ties if you feel that is the right thing to do. And, never, ever underestimate a narcissist. Not all are physically dangerous, but many are. When I was 19, my mother went into a terrible narcissistic rage, & threw me into a wall so hard, not only was there a big hole in the wall, my back was injured badly enough I had to quit working. I lived with pain for 10 years. I never expected her to do that, so I was unable to protect myself from her. Anyway if you feel you are in any danger, never hesitate to contact the police!! I never would hesitate to call them, personally, & you shouldn’t either! You don’t deserve to be abused by anyone! You have the right to be safe!

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Ignoring Narcissists

Do you know the one thing that makes a narcissist’s head practically explode?
 
Ignore her.  It’s that simple.
 
Love her or hate her, either is fine- both mean you are giving her some attention, & as long as the narcissist gets attention, that is all that matters.  Positive or negative attention isn’t important- only that she is receiving attention.  But ignore her as if she doesn’t even exist?  Pay her no attention at all no matter what her games?  She simply can’t handle it.  She will ignore the other person at best, or will do her level best to discredit the ignoring person or take revenge at worst.  (It can be quite the show!)  
 
The reason for her outrageous behavior is what is called narcissistic injury.  Anything (real or perceived) that threatens a narcissist’s self-esteem is what is known as a narcissistic injury.  And, rejecting a narcissist, even when it is done simply to protect yourself from her harmful behavior rather than to be mean, is a threat to her self-esteem.  She won’t care why you don’t want to speak to her- she only cares that you are rejecting her.
 
There is a possible result a narcissistic injury that anyone dealing with a narcissist should be aware of, & that is what is known as a narcissistic rage.  Narcissistic rage ranges anywhere from refusing to speak to the one who inflicted the narcissistic injury, hurling cruel insults, slander, screaming, sending others to “talk sense into” the offender or even physical violence.  Remember, with narcissists, the only thing that matters to them, is them.  You, your feelings, desires, life, friends or family mean absolutely nothing to them.  They will do anything to take care of themselves, & if that means hurting you in any way to do that, so be it.
 
I’ve been the object of narcissistic rages many times in my life, & I have noticed that ignoring the narcissist is what creates the worst rages.  I’ve also noticed that the more “valuable” you are to the narcissist (you listen when they want to talk, do what they want you to do, etc), the more potential for an especially nasty rage.  The less “valuable” you are to the narcissist, the more likely the rage won’t be bad, or they may even walk away quietly.
 

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Who Are You?

Yesterday, I had another flashback.  I remembered being in my late teens, & my mother screaming at me because (her words here), “You only care about the underdog!  You just want to help them!” as if this is a bad thing.  Usually when these flashbacks happen, I come out of it in or near tears.  Not this time though- I was absolutely LIVID.  How dare my own mother scream at me so much!  How dare she scream at me for being a good person!  & besides, she groomed me to take care of others & ignore myself- she was screaming at me for being how she made me to be!  HOW DARE SHE!

This anger set off an interesting train of thought.. time for me to make some changes!

If you too have been around a narcissist, whether raised by one or in a relationship with one, you know that they want you to be what THEY want you to be, not what you want to be or the person that God made you to be.  You carry this “I have to change to please you” mindset into other relationships, like it or not, & often without even realizing it.  I have done this.  Not only did I become the person I thought my mother wanted me to be as a child, as an adult, I tried to become the wife I thought my husband wanted me to be.  As a result, I lost myself somewhere along the way.  In fact, an old friend of mine once scolded me, saying I had become “Eric’s wife” instead of “Cynthia.”  Yes, he was right, much as I hate to admit that!  Since that friend opened my eyes about six years ago, I have been trying to get myself back, but with very little luck.  I had all but given up until yesterday. 

Oddly, the anger I felt after that flashback gave me quite a kick in the butt to get myself back. I got angry not only at my mother for screaming at me so much as a child, but for trying to destroy the person God made me to be.  I also got angry at others in my life who have tried so hard to change me into someone I’m not.  God made everyone the way we are for a reason!  Every single person has a purpose!  No one has the right to destroy your personhood, to destroy what God has made!  I decided it’s time to get that person I lost back, & started to think of ways to accomplish this.  I hope these ideas help you, too!

  • God will tell you who He made you to be- so ask Him.  Not only the things you are to accomplish in life, but also He will tell you about your personality.  Ask Him!  I have done this, & God gave me an interesting answer.  He told me to look up the personality traits of the wolf- they are like who He created me to be.  Do you know something?  I learned they are fascinating animals!  They are highly intelligent, gentle, devoted, loving, confident, non-violent personalities & will do much to avoid conflict, yet won’t back down when it is necessary.  That is what God sees when He sees me!  I believe He used wolves because He knows I love animals so much, including the husky/wolf dog I had who I was so close to.  God will speak to you in a way that speaks the clearest to you, too.  Why don’t you ask God to tell you who He made you to be?  
  • Realize, really have a firm grasp on the fact that you are valuable.  You are just as valuable as any other person.  In spite of what you have been taught, you have a purpose & value.  And treat yourself accordingly!  Do nice gestures for yourself, not just other people- it will help you see yourself as valuable.  I started last night by pampering myself some.  I make my own beauty products, but I don’t use them as often as I should.  I decided heck with that last night!  I exfoliated my skin, head to toe, then used a wonderful moisturizer I make after so my skin felt like silk. I also gave myself a manicure & pedicure.  I relaxed for the evening- watching tv, playing Tetris on my tablet, & talking to the hubby.  
  • Do things that make you feel good.  Do you have a hobby you enjoy yet have abandoned?  Get back at it!  Try drawing, painting, writing poetry, cross stitching, knitting or whatever you have done again.  If you never really had a hobby, find one.  Try something you have always wanted to try.  You can learn how to do about anything online!  Indulging in something other than things that are necessary (work, caring for your kids or elderly parents, etc) is very healthy- it helps you to relax & have a clear focus.  It also helps you to feel pampered & loved.  Everyone needs loving gestures, especially from themselves.
  • Get angry!  I know, as a Christian, that can feel very awkward, especially if you were raised with a narcissistic parent who didn’t allow you to express any negative emotions.  However anger does have a purpose- it motivates change.  And, remember, Jesus got angry, too.  Remember him overturning the tables of the money changers?  (Matthew 21:12-13).  While anger can be dangerous, & forgiveness is absolutely vital to having peace with God, our fellow man & ourselves, that doesn’t mean anger can’t be used as a tool sometimes.  Ephesians 4:26 says we can be angry, but do not sin in that anger.  Using that anger to motivate chance isn’t a sin- in fact, that is a good thing!  And I have learned when doing this that once you forgive, the motivation to change is still there.
  • Stop listening to other people when they try to change you, no matter who it is!  Admittedly, this is difficult if it’s something you have been doing your whole life, or if the person is someone close to you such as a spouse or parent.  But remember- if someone wants to change you, it says they have the problem, not you.  Normal, healthy people want what is best for other people, not to change them into someone they aren’t.  

And please always remember- just because someone didn’t appreciate the person you are doesn’t mean they are right.  You are special because God made you to be!  Deuteronomy 14:2 says, “For you are a holy people [set apart] to the Lord your God; and the Lord has chosen you to be a peculiar people to Himself, above all the nations on the earth.” (AMP)  God loves you & made you perfectly!  

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

Narcissistic Anger

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Telling me how spoiled her cat is.

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

February 9, 2013

Hello, Dear Readers!  I hope this post finds all of you blessed & happy today!  🙂

I just wanted to let you know I added a new free ebook to my website.  It’s at the following link:

http://www.cynthiabaileyrug.com/free_e-books.htm

The newest ebook is about invalidation- one of the nastiest, most insidious & often most unrecognized forms of psychological abuse.  Statements such as, “You’re overreacting,” or “You’re oversensitive” are just two examples of invalidating behavior.  Invalidation can damage or even destroy one’s self esteem.  I encourage you to check out this ebook for more information.

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health