Tag Archives: verbal

Some Things (& People!) Are Valuable Even Though Narcissists Disagree

Those of you who know me know I love cars, in particular the classics.  My husband, too.  In fact, our newest vehicle is my late mother’s 2002.

As a result, so many people have asked me why I drive old cars.  Some are downright rude & tell me I should get rid of my old cars & get something new, even though there is no valid reason to do so. 

The fact is that aside from preferring old cars, they also can be a good investment.  Many classic cars are well loved.  If you don’t believe me, go to a car show or watch an auto auction on TV.  Those so called worthless old cars can sell for thousands more than they were when new.  And that brings me to my point..

Just because someone fails to see the value doesn’t mean something has no value.

This statement isn’t true only about classic cars, but about people as well. 

Narcissists do their level best to convince their victims that they are worthless human beings, they are ugly, stupid, lack any real talents or skills & much more.  The goal is to destroy their victims’ self esteem to make those victims easier to control, to make the victims willing to tolerate any abuse & to make the victims stay in the relationship because they feel unable to find anyone else who would tolerate them.  Narcissists do NOT say these things because they are true.

If you have been the victim of narcissistic abuse, please remember this!  Whatever the narcissist said about you wasn’t said because it’s true.  They say these things to further their own agenda, period.  What they say has nothing whatsoever to do with the truth.  In fact, chances are excellent that the narcissist in your life recognized something good or even special in you, which is another reason that he or she tried to destroy your self-esteem.  You clearly outshined the narcissist, & no narcissist can tolerate that.

Please remind yourself of this often!  Don’t let the narcissist succeed in making you feel as worthless as many people see beat up old cars.  You deserve so much better than believing those terrible lies!  Instead, remind yourself that you aren’t worthless just because the narcissist said you were.  You’re even more valuable than even the most pristine & beautiful classic car.  God made you in His own image & loves you tremendously!  Try to remember that & forget what the narcissist has said to you about yourself.  Ask God to tell you the truth about yourself & your situation, too.  Then listen.  What He has to say may surprise you & it will bless you greatly!

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

Dismissive Listening

One way people can treat others poorly is by practicing dismissive listening rather than empathic listening.  It is a very common behavior.  It is so common, in fact, that many people don’t even realize that it’s not right.  They may feel badly after someone treats them this way but not necessarily know why, because in addition to being so commonplace, it’s also very subtle.

Dismissive listening can be recognized easily if you know what to look for.  Basically it is like the name says, it is when someone dismisses what you say.  Some common dismissive phrases are:

  • “Don’t be upset/sad/angry!” 
  • “The same thing happened to my friend!  She was fine though.”
  • “At least it’s not…<insert random bad thing here>”
  • “Well it could be worse!”
  • Any sort of toxic positivity phrase like, “cheer up!”, “Positive vibes only!” or “Think only happy thoughts!”

Dismissive phrases like these often try to shut down & even instill shame in the person talking to the dismissive person.  They also are a sign of someone trying to fix another person rather than listen to what they have to say.

While narcissists clearly are pros at dismissive listening, not everyone who talks this way is a narcissist.  Some people simply don’t realize how they are treating others is wrong. 

I urge you to pay attention to how people treat you when you talk.  If someone is quick to dismiss what you have to say, that is a red flag.  They may not be a totally unsafe person, but they may not be comfortable with the subject matter & as a result, want to stop you from talking about it.  Some people simply can’t handle talking about specific topics.  While that is fine, dismissing you if you bring up a specific topic isn’t fine.  The dismissive listening is a red flag that this topic isn’t a safe one to discuss with this person, so you should avoid it.  It also could potentially be a sign the person is dysfunctional or even narcissistic.  The way they behave otherwise will let you know what the case is.

I also want to urge you to pay attention to how you treat others when they are talking.  If you catch yourself being dismissive to others once in a while, it happens.  It’s normal, really.  On a regular basis though, it’s not good.  You can make changes though! 

Remember that being a good listener means you want to hear what someone has to say, & you make that obvious.  You make it clear you are willing to listen to them.  You let the other person speak without interrupting.  You don’t change the subject.  You let them speak without judgment or criticism. 

You also don’t need to offer advice unless the other person asks for it.  Unasked for advice is just rude & presumptuous! Not to mention, many people just need to vent rather than advice. 

Show empathy.  Let the other person know you care by saying things like, “That sounds really hard.”  “Can I do something to help you?”  “I’m here for you.”  & “I care.”  Those little phrases will make a huge difference to someone in need of a comforting friend.

Body language can be important too.  It sends subtle cues to the speaker that you are involved in this conversation.  Touch their hand, look them in the eye, maybe offer a hug.

Dismissive listening may not be the worst thing a person can do to another, but it still needs to be avoided in order to have healthy, happy relationships.

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

One Way To Handle Narcissists

Talking to narcissists is incredibly frustrating at best.  They think they know best on every topic, & aren’t open to hearing other people’s views.  Even more frustrating is when they are abusive, because when confronted on that behavior, narcissists turn things around to where the victim is to blame, over sensitive or overreacting.  They may even deny the incident happened altogether.  So often it’s easier to avoid confrontation & provide no reaction whatsoever, thus depriving the narcissist of their coveted narcissistic supply. 

There is one other way to handle abusive behavior by narcissists I have discovered in my personal experience that can work pretty well.  And, I’ve learned it’s also Biblical! 

When a narcissist says or does something abusive, rather than react, responding is always best.  Reactions are immediate & without thought, which means they can be overly emotional.  Seeing victims overly emotional feeds narcissists, so it’s best to deprive them of that.  Instead, take a moment to inhale deeply & exhale.  This short task helps to calm both the mind & the body, which will help you to formulate a good response.  The best response in these situations I have found is one that is completely logical & void of emotions while asking questions.

As an example, let’s say a narcissist tells their victim they’re stupid.  Rather than the victim reacting & making a bad situation worse, a victim would do best by staying calm & asking logical questions.  “You say I’m stupid?  I don’t understand why you think that let alone say it.  I have a degree in engineering.  You know that.  I just don’t understand why you think that, let alone think it’s an acceptable to say.  Why do you think these things?”  Another example could be something my ex husband used to say often, as many narcissists do.  A narcissist tells their victim they are the only person in the world who would be upset by the narcissist’s behavior.  A great way to respond would be, “Really?  So you’ve really talked to every other person?  I had no idea!  Thanks for telling me!  I guess I should change my beliefs then so I’m not the only person in the entire world who believes this way, shouldn’t I?” 

Responses like this show the narcissist that you recognize what he or she said is foolish, but without calling the narcissist a fool.  It also shows them that you are on to what they are doing, whether that is trying to manipulate you or tear you down.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, & as I said, it’s even Biblical.  Proverbs 26:5 in the Good News Translation says “Give a silly answer to a silly question, and the one who asked it will realize that he’s not as smart as he thinks.”

As long as you stay calm & logical in the situation, without showing any sign of anger or hurt, the narcissist may get angry about what you say, but they also know they can only get so angry without looking completely foolish.  Since they are so focused on appearances, they want to avoid looking foolish at all costs, even if no one is around but you. 

As an added bonus, responses like this do make them back off in this one particular area.  I’ve seen it happen first hand.  I used this tactic with my mother several times.  A close friend of mine mentioned using it with narcissists she knew as well, also with excellent results.

The next time you’re in a challenging situation with a narcissist, try this!  I think you’ll be quite pleased with the results too.

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

“I Was Just Joking!”

One thing so many narcissists say is, “I was just joking.”  They say this after saying something exceedingly cruel to their victim.  Rather than admit they shouldn’t have said what they did, they claim they were just joking.  This comment is designed to take the focus off of the narcissist’s abusive actions.  It also is supposed to make the victim believe they were in the wrong for being upset over this simple “joke.”  If successful, the victim also will hesitate to say anything the next time the narcissist says something cruel, or better yet, won’t say anything at all.  This allows the narcissist to continue their abuse without consequences.

Proverbs 26:18-19 in the God’s Word translation of the Bible says, “Like a madman who shoots flaming arrows, arrows, and death, 19 so is the person who tricks his neighbor and says, “I was only joking!”  These verses truly describe this scenario with narcissists!  Their “jokes” are deadly.  Maybe not to the body but to the mind.  Hearing “I was just joking” is gaslighting designed to make a victim believe what the narcissist wants them to believe.  Gaslighting can kill off the ability a person has to trust themselves, their feelings & their perceptions.  Once that is accomplished, the narcissist has free reign to control their victim however they would like. 

It also is “mad” if you will for any person to think that they can do something cruel then not only avoid consequences but also make someone else feel shame for being upset about the abusive action.  Once or twice maybe, but narcissists expect this tactic to work as many times as they need it to for as long as they need it to.  Sadly, often that is just what happens.  At least until the victim learns about Narcissistic Personality Disorder & the underhanded tactics narcissists use on their victims.

If you end up in a situation with a narcissist who claims they were “just joking”, please remember that they are NOT joking.  Whatever they said was not said innocently, lacking cruel intentions.  Everything narcissists say & do has a reason & a purpose.  They aren’t careless.  Quite the opposite.  Their words & deeds always are done with intent, & that intent is always to benefit the narcissist somehow.  Remember this & do not let them convince you otherwise! 

If you are unsure whether or not the narcissist truly was joking, then consider his or her behavior.  If someone makes a joke that is offensive, they will apologize.  They won’t make excuses for their poor taste or claim you are overreacting.  A person who feels genuine remorse will show it.  They also won’t repeat this behavior.  They will show more consideration for you in the future.

When in this situation, it is wise to choose your words carefully when you respond.  Showing any narcissist that you are upset by their actions just means they will do what they did again & again.  Don’t tell the narcissist they hurt you.  Instead, tell them something less emotional.  Some suggestions are…

  • I don’t see how you can find any humor in your words (or actions.)
  • You certainly have a strange sense of humor if you think that was funny.
  • You may find that funny, but I don’t.  I find your joke to be in bad taste.
  • Clearly we don’t share a similar sense of humor.

Comments like these don’t convey your hurt or anger at the narcissist, which provides them with no narcissistic supply.  They do, however, convey your disgust at their actions while also refusing to accept their claims of you being unreasonable for not believing their comment about just joking.  Comments like these can shut narcissists down, even if only temporarily.

Hopefully you won’t be faced with this situation, but if you are, now you have the knowledge & the tools to handle it in a way that is healthy for you.

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Narcissism

Being “Oversensitive”

Anyone who has been subjected to narcissistic abuse most likely has been ridiculed, judged & criticized for being too sensitive.  Claiming their victim is too sensitive seems to be one of the favorite ways all narcissists love to abuse.  It’s no wonder, really.  It’s a pretty effective weapon when you think about it.  If someone can convince you that you are in the wrong for being upset about something they say or do, then you will stop verbalizing your feelings.  Instead of confronting them, you may still feel upset, but you will tolerate what they do quietly rather than face their harsh judgment.  It’s just natural behavior.  At least until you learn that this really isn’t about you being too sensitive.  It’s about the narcissist being an abusive jerk.

One thing about being “too sensitive” I’ve come to realize though is being sensitive truly is NOT a sign of weakness.  I know, narcissists say it is, but it isn’t.  It’s more a sign of weakness to hide your feelings.

Hiding rather than being open about being a sensitive person certainly can appear to be the best & easiest choice, but really, I don’t think it is.  Feelings must be processed, & if they aren’t processed in healthy ways, they’ll manifest in very unhealthy ways such as physical & mental health problems.  Heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease, adrenal fatigue & diabetes often can manifest in people who are very adept at hiding their true feelings.  Anxiety & depression, even to the point of suicide are common among people who keep their feelings inside.

Being sensitive takes courage.  Admitting how you feel goes against the norm, & can be met with intense cruelty.  Not many people can handle someone’s honesty about their feelings.  They only want people around them to act happy & as if nothing bad ever happens to them.  They don’t want to hear anything negative or be forced to deal with a topic that’s deeper than the very superficial.  There are also those, like narcissists, who see people who are openly sensitive as weak.  Anyone abused by a narcissist knows this, & exactly how hard it is to deal with people like this.  Being willing to be vulnerable takes courage, but especially after being mocked & abused for being this way.

Being sensitive also is a sign that you have a loving heart.  Again, another thing narcissists will say isn’t true, but as usual, they’re wrong.  You’re offended for someone who is treated poorly & angry for those who are abused because you care about people & don’t want to see them hurt.  This goes for yourself too.  If someone hurts you & it upsets you, that’s because you love yourself & know you deserve better than to be treated like this.  That loving heart can help you to create healthy boundaries & even confront people about their bad behavior when it would be simpler to pretend they didn’t do whatever it was they just did that hurt you.

The next time someone criticizes you for being oversensitive, remind yourself that being sensitive is simply proof that you are a wonderful person.  If someone can’t appreciate that fact, it’s their loss.  You just be you, & don’t worry about their approval.  Stand up for what’s right, cry at sad songs & movies & don’t hide your feelings!  Be proud of being a rare gem by being a caring, sensitive person! 

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

When People Must Share Their Opinions With You, Whether Or Not You Want Them To

I’ve noticed many people feel they must share any & all opinions, no matter whether or not other people asked them for those opinions & no matter how negative those opinions are.  Probably this is due to social media, & the ability to say anything without fear of any real repercussions from most “friends”.  Whatever the reason, it is highly annoying!  It seems nothing is a safe topic of discussion anymore.

If you think about it, you probably will realize how many folks share their less than encouraging opinions freely, no matter the topic.  Mention your thoughts on children, for example, whether or not to have children, your feelings on abortion or child rearing.  People will come out of nowhere to tell you how wrong you are & why you should think the same way they do.  Some folks tell those who have children things like they weren’t a real parent because they only had one child, they have too many children if they have more than one, or they were wrong for bottle feeding over breast feeding.  Then there are others who are adamantly against abortion because they say life is precious, yet these same people have no problem discussing their disdain for so called dirty or dumb animals & insulting vegetarians or vegans.

It amazes me that people think that their opinions are so incredibly important that they must be shared freely & with every single person they meet!

Chances are you will be subjected to this obnoxious situation at some point in your life.  And, if you’re a victim of narcissistic abuse, it can be very upsetting.  After experiencing the constant criticisms of a narcissist, you easily can become completely fed up with hearing such negativity.  That is understandable!  After experiencing this situation though I realized some things, & I want to share these things with you today.

You may never be ok with such behavior.  For one thing, it can trigger the same emotions you felt when the narcissist in your life tried to hurt you by telling you how terrible your feelings, opinions, thoughts, & everything about you were.  Early in healing, this behavior is very hard to handle because of that.  The more you heal though, the better you learn to handle triggering behavior of other people.  You see it for what it is, & handle the situation accordingly.

It’s also highly insulting when someone criticizes things that are important to you.  Insulting behavior isn’t something anyone should be ok with experiencing!  That being said though, the more you heal, the less it bothers you.  As you heal, you care less & less what other people think of you.  You realize their opinions are just that.  Theirs!  You also realize what they think is best for you isn’t necessarily what truly is best for you.  Only you know what is best for you.

What becomes more offensive than the opinions of other people is the fact that they are comfortable being disrespectful to you.  It can be very helpful to recognize why this person feels this way.  They may simply recognize you as a safe person for venting their anger or frustration at themselves on, which is why they mistreat you.  Or, this behavior may realize this person is a narcissist.  In any case, whether the person’s intentions towards you were malicious or not, it’s important to exercise healthy boundaries.  You don’t deserve to be mistreated.

Recognizing why they treat you this way can be very helpful too, because you see that their behavior isn’t about you.  It’s about them & their own dysfunction.

Unfortunately, many people seem to think they must have & share opinions on everything.  Although that is a waste of time to more functional individuals who recognize that they don’t need to have opinions on everything, let alone share them with everyone, dysfunctional people don’t see that.  Learning to deal with these people in a healthy way is a very useful skill to help you live a peaceful life.

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

Slipping Up As You Heal From Narcissistic Abuse

Healing after narcissistic abuse is messy.   There is nothing easy about it!  It’s not like walking on a nice, level, freshly paved sidewalk.  It’s more like walking on a rocky, narrow path up a steep hill.  Lots of ups & downs & struggles.

There are going to be times on your healing journey when you struggle & even fail.  You’ll slip back into old, dysfunctional patterns.  You’ll apologize for something that isn’t your fault or over explain yourself.  You’ll feel guilty for setting boundaries & maybe even give up on those boundaries since it seems easier not to have them.  You may even resume a relationship with the narcissist you had kicked out of your life.

Times like this are incredibly frustrating, but they also are incredibly NORMAL.  Everyone has had setbacks like these as they heal.  Yes, they’re awful but they happen.  Narcissistic abuse is extremely damaging, so this happens to everyone.

Rather than beat yourself up for being stupid, a failure or whatever other terrible things you’re telling yourself, stop it right now.  Beating yourself up does no good.  Besides, didn’t the narcissist in your life do enough of that for you to last a lifetime?  Why add to it?

Instead, try to relax.  Fix the things you can.  Reestablish those shaky or removed boundaries.  Remind yourself that you owe no one any explanations & stop offering them.  If you resumed a relationship with the narcissist in your life, then end it again & this time, stick to it.  Block their phone numbers, emails, social media accounts.  Avoid going places they go to as much as humanly possible.

Never forget that this was only a stumbling block on your healing path.  Just because you may have fallen into a ditch doesn’t mean you have to stay there.  Pick up where you left off.  If you’re really struggling, ask God to help you.  In fact, even if you aren’t struggling much, ask Him to help you!  We all need His help to survive this incredibly difficult journey, & He is more than happy to help His children however possible.

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

About Emotional Intelligence Shaming

The definition of emotional intelligence is the ability to be aware of, express, & control one’s emotions.  It also includes the ability to handle relationships with empathy & fairness.  People with a high degree of emotional intelligence are often kind, fair, understanding & tolerant of the mistakes of others while not tolerant of abuse.

Narcissists hate emotionally intelligent people.  There are many various reasons they can feel this way.  Possibly the main reason is because narcissists are very emotionally unintelligent, & therefore can’t understand the emotionally intelligent so they hate them. Narcissists understanding the emotionally intelligent would be like the average person trying to understand how geniuses like Einstein thought.  It would be impossible… although the average person at least wouldn’t hate him for his intelligence.

Another & even more likely scenario is because emotionally intelligent people aren’t easily fooled or manipulated.  Narcissists want to fool & manipulate their victims so they can get whatever they like from them.  Emotionally intelligent people have good boundaries & they understand people.  This makes it nearly impossible to fool & manipulate them.  It may happen briefly, but it won’t happen long.  This makes them very unnerving for narcissists.

For the emotionally intelligent person in this situation, the narcissist & their flying monkeys will be incredibly shaming.  They come up with all kinds of ridiculous things to say to the victim in order to shame them into compliance.  In Christian circles, often the Bible is twisted around for the purpose of shaming the victim: “If you remember, the Bible says to honor your parents!”, “Wives should submit to their husbands!” & “Love covers a multitude of sins!” are some examples of Scriptures being used to shame victims into tolerating abuse.  When Scripture isn’t used, the ridiculousness doesn’t get any better.  People try to shame the victim by saying equally stupid comments such as, “You need to forgive & forget!” “That’s in the past…”,“That’s just how she is.”, “You need to understand her better.” & “But he was abused by his parents!!”

Comments like these can create a great deal of conflict & confusion in someone victimized by a narcissist.  A person who is emotionally intelligent however, isn’t conflicted & confused.  They recognize the bad behavior for what it is, & have no problem calling out the people who say these things.  

If this happens to you, a very helpful thing you can do is remember what type of person is saying these things.  You aren’t dealing with another emotionally intelligent person.  They don’t say such stupid, heartless comments.  You also can ask God to tell you the truth about this situation, & ask if they were right in what they said.

It also helps to look objectively at your situation & ask yourself does what this person said to you make any sense?  If you can’t seem to look at the situation objectively, I know a trick that can help.  Pretend a friend has told you of this same situation happening to them.  Doing this can help you feel disconnected enough to look more objectively at your situation.  

Please remember to be proud of being the emotionally intelligent person you are.  Narcissists & their flying monkeys only criticize it because it means you see through their abuse.  Don’t accept their shame! The shame belongs to them & you have no reason to carry it!

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

Dealing With Critical People

Most people have little patience for the obviously foolish people, such as those people who repeatedly make poor decisions & are shocked when those poor decisions don’t turn out well for them.  The older we get & the emotionally healthier we get, it seems that tolerance gets lower & lower.  It certainly has for me.  It doesn’t take much for me to become very irritated at the obviously foolish.  One particular feature of foolishness especially irritates me though: people who are only interested in sharing their opinions while not wanting to listen to those of other people. 

The Bible even addresses this behavior specifically.  Proverbs 18:2 in the Amplified Bible says“A [closed-minded] fool does not delight in understanding, But only in revealing his personal opinions [unwittingly displaying his self-indulgence and his stupidity].” 

This behavior is so common in society isn’t it?  It’s all over social media but also people behave this way in person.  If you have any doubts, mention your thoughts on politics.  I don’t care what your thoughts are, there will be people who tell you that not only are you wrong, but you’re foolish for thinking as you do.  If you site evidence that supports your thoughts, then your evidence will be criticized as well as where you obtained said evidence.

One very bad thing about this behavior is it can be excessively triggering for those of us who have survived narcissistic abuse.  Whether you grew up with a narcissistic parent or two, were once married to a narcissist or have had narcissistic friends, you know first hand just how critical narcissists are.  They love to pick apart every single little thing about their victims because it makes them so easy to control & manipulate.  This is clearly very traumatic for victims.  So traumatic that even years after the last episode of abuse, when someone is critical, even when that person isn’t a narcissist, it can trigger intense rage, anxiety & even flashbacks. 

Unfortunately, people like this are impossible to avoid, so you need to learn how to cope with them because at some point, you will be forced to interact with them.

The first step I have found to take is to accept that this is going to happen & ask God not only to help you accept that, but handle it when it does.  If you think you can avoid people like this, you are sadly mistaken.  That is impossible because these people truly are everywhere!  The smartest thing you can do is accept that you won’t have a choice but to encounter people like this sometimes.

This can be hard to do in the situation due to the triggering of old emotions, but if at all possible, remind yourself of what is happening.  The reason this is so upsetting is simply because this person reminds you of the abusive narcissist you have experienced.  Nothing more.  Although this situation makes you feel awful, the truth is that this person can’t hurt you or control you because you know what is happening.  You are safe!

While some people who are very firm in their beliefs periodically are open minded about listening to other input, not all are.  A person who isn’t that open minded is someone that God refers to as a fool.  There is no reasoning with a fool.  Instead, go your separate way from this person as soon as possible.  The Bible says in Proverbs 14:7, “Leave the presence of a [shortsighted] fool, For you will not find knowledge or hear godly wisdom from his lips.”  There is no point in wasting your precious time on someone like this.

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

An Effective & Wise Way To Deal With A Narcissist’s Criticisms

There are plenty of people in life who will judge & criticize you harshly for no good reason & often with no valid reason for their negative opinions.  If you’re naturally rather quiet, for example, chances are someone has thought you were a snob.  They assumed you being quiet meant you thought you were better than them, when the truth is you simply aren’t the chatty type.  When this happens, their words might sting a bit, but it’s easy to see their opinions are totally unfounded, even foolish, & not worth paying attention to.

Then there are judgments & criticisms from narcissists.

While their criticisms are equally inane, they don’t come from a place of sheer ignorance & foolish assumptions.  They project, in other words, they accuse others of doing the same things they do even knowing that other person never does such things.  This is a way they try to deflect attention off of their abusive & horrible behavior.  However, at the time it is happening, it can be extremely painful & hard to remember that.

Narcissists also criticize as a way to destroy their victims’ self esteem.  To control & manipulate, they must first obliterate their chosen victim’s self esteem as a way to make their victim pliable.  To do this, they get to know their victim & figure out what makes that person tick, what they love, what their fears are & more.  Then, they say the most insulting, scathing criticisms they can come up with that are designed to cut that victim to the quick.  Over time, that person’s self esteem is going to be severely damaged, if not totally annihilated.  As this is happening, most victims don’t realize the motivation behind the words.  In all fairness, it’s very hard to focus on such things when someone is speaking things to you that hurt so deeply.

Narcissists also are notorious for creating smear campaigns after their victim ends the relationship with them.  In other words, they tell anyone who will listen terrible things about their victim.  Those things are often at the very least exaggerated negative things but even more often, they’re bold lies created to paint the victim in the worst possible light.  Sadly, many victims lose most if not all of their friends & family at this point, because those people believe the narcissist’s lies over the truth.

Proverbs 12:16 in the Good News Translation of the Bible says, “When a fool is annoyed, he quickly lets it be known. Smart people will ignore an insult.”  These are such wise words!!  They also can & should be applied to narcissists.

It always helps to keep in mind what the motives behind the narcissist’s criticisms are.  They want to project their abusive ways onto you, control you or make you look so bad people you love will abandon you.  This doesn’t mean what they say is true.  Quite the opposite, really.  Their negative words are all about them & what they can get out of hurting you.  In all reality, they have absolutely nothing to do with you & absolutely everything to do with the narcissist.  Nothing you can say will make this situation any less dysfunctional.

There’s also the fact that narcissists use any sign of emotion, good or bad, to cause further pain in victims.  If you speak up to the narcissist to tell them that their words have hurt you, this will provide them with narcissistic supply.  They will get a high of sorts from causing you pain.  This means they will do it over & over.

Also, if you’re experiencing or have experienced a smear campaign, you know that saying the narcissist is lying about you only causes others to believe the narcissist even more.  Why speaking the truth proves their case is beyond me, but it happens.

Keeping these factors in mind, doesn’t it seem the only smart thing to do is say nothing?  Speaking up only causes a person in any of the above scenarios frustration.  It’s in your best interest to ignore the insult.  I’m not saying you can’t feel hurt or anger, because naturally you will feel it to some degree even when you know the narcissist’s selfish motives behind the words.  Deal with your feelings however works best for you of course!  However, ignore the insult as in don’t show the narcissist you are upset & don’t try to defend yourself.  It simply isn’t worth it.  And, as a bonus – when narcissists believe a particular insult doesn’t affect a victim, they abandon using it since it doesn’t get them what they want.  So ignore the insults & go enjoy your life!

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Being Over Sensitive To Criticism

I’ve noticed recently that I am way more sensitive to criticism than I used to be.  It’s not that I care what people think, but I care that people feel they must share their negative opinions with me when I didn’t ask for their opinions.

When I first realized this, I chalked it up to getting older & crankier.  In time though, I realized it’s not only those things.  I firmly believe it is because of having experienced narcissistic abuse.

Narcissists are most likely the most judgmental & critical of all people.  They must share any & all opinions of their victims they have at all times.  They favor negative ones in particular as a way to chip away at their victims’ self esteem since low self esteem makes a person easy to control & abuse. 

If by some chance narcissists think something positive about their victims, they won’t offer any praise.  They prefer to do much crueler things.  The best option is they simply withhold praise, but that seldom happens.  Instead, they prefer to claim responsibility for that good thing such as by claiming if they hadn’t pushed the victim, he or she never would have gotten that promotion at work.  Narcissistic parents also claim that their victim/child got whatever talent they have from that parent.  This means that when their child gets praise for something, the parent often says something along the lines of, “She got that talent from me.”

Another common scenario with narcissists is to twist the good thing in their victim around so it looks bad, thus ruining that good thing.  For example, many years back, before I decided to focus only on writing, I did some editing work.  I was blessed to work with one amazing client & mentioned the work to my mother.  That was a huge mistake, but at that time, I didn’t know anything about Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  I mentioned my client & the work I was enjoying doing for her because I naively thought my mother would be happy for me.  She always fancied herself a skilled writer, & she was, but she never worked in the field.  I thought she might be happy that I was working in the field & enjoying myself.  Well, not only did she not share my joy, but a few days later she ruined mine.  She did this by saying she was thinking of getting into editing work because (& this is her wording), “it’s such easy money.  Obviously anyone can do it.” 

Narcissists also beat their victims down with criticism.  When my husband & I got together, his mother repeatedly told me how much she hated my car.  For years, I heard constant hateful comments.  Many times I wanted to tell her, “I know.  You hate my car.  You think it’s the worst car in the whole world.  There’s no need to keep telling me.  I figured out how you feel after the first 50,000 times you mentioned it!”

After going through these things for years at the hands of narcissists, I really think that no matter how much we may have healed, criticism is still a very tough thing for us to handle, even when we don’t care about someone else’s opinions.  We are burned out on criticism, negativity & cruelty.  We also had it drilled into us how awful we are or something about us is.  After years of this, we get to the point where criticism, unless it’s clearly well meaning & meant to help, is incredibly irritating.  So many times I have wanted to tell someone, “Your opinion wasn’t asked for & truly means nothing.  Why must you share it?  And, why do you think it’s ok to be such a disrespectful jerk?”

If this describes you, I so relate!  It’s frustrating!  I have learned the best way to handle criticism that is unasked for & unfair is to stop for a moment.  Inhale deeply then exhale to calm your mind & body.  Remind yourself that you are having a reaction to the narcissistic abuse, nothing more.  Also remind yourself that not all people have good social skills.  Some are very critical simply because they haven’t learned any better.  That doesn’t mean they are narcissists or are out to hurt you.  They are simply oblivious.  And, remember that just because someone is criticizing you doesn’t mean what they said is true.  Consider what they have to say, & if it’s wrong, disregard it.  If they are right, although it was a painful way to learn, you still learned something.  That is a good thing.

If you know the person who is critical, then you know if you can talk openly to them or not.  If you can, gently let them know how you feel.  They may have simply not realized how what they said sounded.  Or they may be struggling with something & took their frustrations out on you. 

And as always, remember to pray.  Ask God for wisdom & help in your situation, & He will provide you whatever you need!

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Sale On My Print Books!

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

My books can be found at the link below:

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

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When People Tell You Not To Discuss Narcissistic Abuse

So many people tell victims of abuse that they should forgive & forget, never mentioning the abuse again, in particular when the abusers in question were the victim’s parents.  They love to quote Matthew 5:38-39 to prove their point.  Those verses say, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:  39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” (KJV) 

The problem is though that when you pull out a random Scripture from the Bible, you can prove almost any point.  Other Scriptures on the topic need to be considered as well.

Psalm 82:4 “Rescue the weak and needy;
Rescue them from the hand of the wicked.” (AMP)

John 18: 22-23 “But when He said this, one of the officers who was standing nearby [a]struck Jesus [in the face], saying, “Is that how You answer the high priest?” 23 Jesus replied, “If I have said anything wrong, make a formal statement about the wrong; but if [I spoke] properly, why did you strike Me?” (AMP)

Acts 16:36-37 “36 And the jailer repeated the words to Paul, saying, “The chief magistrates have sent word to release you; so come out now and go in peace.” 37 But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us in public without a trial, men who are Romans, and have thrown us into prison; and now they are sending us out secretly? No! Let them come here themselves and bring us out!” (AMP) 

These verses clearly show that there is nothing wrong with speaking out about abusive behavior!  People need to learn & grow.  They can’t do that if the never are told their actions are wrong & people hide abusive behaviors.

Granted narcissists are not exactly the easiest people in the world to confront or even simply talk about.  They violently rage, create vicious smear campaigns to stop people from doing such things, & almost never learn when dealt consequences for their actions.  However, even so, it’s still your job to give them consequences & to be open about their abusive ways.  You give them chances to make healthy changes by doing such things, & that is the best thing you can do for them.  What they do with those things from there is on them, but you can rest easy knowing you have done the right thing.

You also need to be open about what they have done to you, because you may be helping someone in a similar situation.  Your story may open their eyes to just how bad narcissistic abuse is or inspire them to walk away.

Being open about the abuse inflicted on you also may cause some people to leave your life, but you know something?  It will show you exactly who truly loves you.  They will be the ones standing by your side & supporting you through your healing.  Realizing how special these people are makes losing the others hurt a whole lot less  🙂

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How A Narcissist’s Projection Can Work For You

Most of us who have survived narcissistic abuse know at least some about projection.  Projection is when a narcissist accuses a victim of something that the victim doesn’t do, but the narcissist does.  As one example, my narcissistic mother accused me of lying more times than I can count.  Although in all fairness I lied some to her, I didn’t lie to her often, & when I did, it was out of self preservation.  She, however, has lied to & about me more times than I can count.

Projection is a very effective weapon for a narcissist.  It allows the narcissist to get upset about the flaw they are accusing another person of while simultaneously accepting no responsibility whatsoever for it or making appropriate changes in their behavior.  It also means that unless the victim is aware of the phenomenon of projection, the victim will listen to the narcissist & make whatever changes they need to in order to please the narcissist.  This means plenty of narcissistic supply to any narcissist.  Controlling a victim?  Turning a situation around so the victim feels responsible while absolving oneself of responsibility at the same time?!  This is a big narcissistic supply win!

Victims need to be aware of projection so not only do they refuse to accept this burden & blame any longer, but also so the narcissist in their life is deprived of getting their narcissistic supply.  Depriving a narcissist of supply is VERY important to help you maintain your sanity while in a relationship with any narcissist.

Another reason to know about projection is because it can help you to learn about the narcissist.  Remember what projection is- a narcissist accusing a victim of things that they are doing, not the victim.  A narcissistic wife who accuses her husband of cheating is most likely cheating or at the very least, has chosen someone she wants to have an affair with.  The narcissistic boss who accuses an employee of stealing from the company probably has stolen quite a bit.  A narcissistic parent who accuses their adult child of lying is most likely a liar.

If you pay attention to what the narcissist in your life accuses you of doing, you can learn what they are up to.  This knowledge can help you to figure out ways to deal with the narcissist because now you know just what you’re dealing with.

The next time the narcissist in your life accuses you of some outrageous behavior, Dear Reader, I urge you to listen to it.  Not because they are right, but because it can help you to understand what they are up to.

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You Are Much Stronger Than You Realize

Have you ever stopped & thought about how strong you are?

Being raised by at least one narcissistic parent, you are naturally all too aware of your faults (real ones & the imaginary ones your parent put on you).  Even if you haven’t had contact with that parent & have healed, chances are you’re still very aware of every flaw you have, yet very unaware of the good things about you.  One of those good things that all victims share is great strength.

Think about it.  Narcissistic abuse is the psychological equivalent of walking through a minefield.  You don’t know where to turn that is safe.  Sometimes you’re going to step on a land mine (incite narcissistic rage by some imaginary slight) & it’s going to devastate you.  Narcissistic rage is as unavoidable when dealing with a narcissistic personality as stepping on a land mine in a minefield.

Yet, in spite of all of the abuse & the gaslighting, you survived.  Wounded, like a person who has escaped a minefield, but still, you survived.  That is pretty darned impressive!  And, you ended the cycle!!  YAY YOU!!  You aren’t a narcissist!  So many children with narcissistic parents turn into narcissists, but you didn’t!  That is awesome!!

Here you are, being good to other people, loving your kids (furry or human), & living life on your own terms.  You aren’t living to please your narcissistic parent, which shows you have great courage.  It takes a lot of courage to break away from that, since they make their children’s lives so miserable when they are disappointed.  Sure, you still have some issues from childhood, who doesn’t?  Maybe you even have PTSD or C-PTSD.  But, you didn’t commit suicide like many have.  You’re still here & doing pretty well for yourself.  And, you’ve done it all on your own.

You, Dear Reader, are incredibly strong.  You should be very proud of yourself!

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Changes Happening With My Website

I have recently changed my website domain registration & hosting to a new company.  It’s going through those changes as we speak.  From what I see, it may take about a week for things to change then possibly add in more time for me to learn the new website building software & get it back up & running.

 

I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause!  It’s unavoidable, though- my last website host & domain registrar went out of business without telling its customers.  In order to make any changes to my site, I had to make a change.  I really think it’s for the best though- this new company has no limits on how big my site can be or how many visitors it has each month!  Pretty cool, really.. just the change that isn’t so cool.

 

Anyway hopefully within the next 1-2 weeks, my site will be back & better than before at www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com .  Thank you, Dear Reader, for your understanding & patience!  xoxo

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If Your Parents Didn’t Allow You To Relax

A common criticism from narcissistic parents to their children is calling them lazy.  I can’t count how many adult children of narcissists have said their parent constantly called them lazy.  I’m also one of them.  These parents don’t allow their children to rest when sick or simply relax after a long day without criticisms.

 

While being called lazy & not being allowed to rest & relax doesn’t really sound like a big deal, it actually is.

 

Being treated this way is surprisingly damaging to a child.  It can cause a child to carry a tremendous amount of guilt & even shame until the child dumps the dysfunctional false belief put on her.  Many so called lazy kids show the following characteristics that stem from being called lazy…

 

  • Feeling as if you never should rest or relax.
  • Feeling intense guilt &/or shame if you need to rest, such as when sick or injured.  Along those lines- resuming activities quickly, not giving your body time to recover.
  • Feeling unappreciated.
  • Feeling as if you never can do enough.
  • Developing OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), & being fanatical about cleaning your home or doing your job.
  • Going in the opposite direction from OCD & being extremely messy.

 

If any of this sounds familiar, then it’s time to make some changes.

 

I have found that looking objectively at myself was a good place to start.  I looked at what I do & realized I do quite a bit.  Granted, in the past few years, my health has forced me to streamline my routine so I don’t do as much at a time as I once did, but I still do quite a bit.

 

I also looked at my mother objectively.  She is rather lazy.  She’s never been one to keep her home spotless.  Since marrying my father she put him in charge of not only maintaining her car but cleaning it as well.  She doesn’t cook often & never has.  She hasn’t held a job since before getting married, other than a part time job for a week or two in 1989.  This tells me that her calling me lazy was simply projection rather than fact.  (Projection is when a person behaves in a certain way, then accuses another of being that way when they truly aren’t.  It allows the accuser to get mad about the flaw without taking responsibility for it.  It’s a very common tool used by narcissists.)

 

I began to tell myself I’m not lazy.  I believe in working smarter not harder, but that isn’t a bad thing.  It was starting to sink in, until I got sick in 2015 with Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.  It took every ounce of energy out of me for months on end, & I felt like the laziest human on the planet since all I could do was lay around.  As I lay there recovering, I watched a lot of TV.  One evening, out of the blue, God spoke to my heart & told me why He allowed me to get sick.  One of the reasons was I needed to rest more.  In spite of starting to realize I wasn’t lazy, I still pushed myself too hard.  Now I have to rest sometimes- my body just can’t work as hard as it once did.  He said if I continued pushing myself too much, it would kill me eventually.  It had to stop.

 

I can’t believe I’m the only person God would do this too, so I’m including it as a warning to you, Dear Reader.  If you are that typical adult child of a narcissistic parent who pushes yourself too hard, it’s time to stop.  If you don’t, what’s to say God won’t allow something to happen to you that causes you to need to rest?  It’s much better to rest on your own terms!  Try what I did- look at your situation objectively & you’ll see you aren’t lazy, & there is nothing wrong with resting & relaxing!  You also deserve to have joy in your life, & how can you do that if you work non stop?  Take better care of yourself, Dear Reader!  You deserve it!

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Rejection & Narcissistic Abuse

Part of the reason narcissistic abuse is so damaging is the rejection.  Rejection is at the core of many behaviors done by narcissists.  Not hearing someone is rejecting them.  Not allowing someone to have any rights is rejection.  Mocking & criticizing someone is rejection.  Failing to protect a child is rejecting them.  Not being validated is rejection.

 

Rejection hurts, whether you’re a child or adult, & no matter who does the rejecting.  However, it seems to me a child rejected by a parent hurts more than anything, & the pain often continues well into adulthood.  There are ways to cope however.

 

You have to realize that a parent who abuses (rejects) their child is the one with the problem, not the child.  I know, that is a tough thing to really get a good grasp on, but it is vital that you do!  A child cannot do anything that forces her parent to reject her- that is on the parent.

 

When your parent rejects or hurts you, ask God to tell you the truth about the situation.  As soon as possible, get into prayer.  Ask God, “Is my parent right in what she said about me?”  “Did I deserve to be treated that way?”  or any other questions you may have, then wait on Him to speak to you.  God cannot lie.  He will tell you the truth, & it will heal your wounds!  I have done this many times.  God has carried me through some incredibly painful experiences by simply speaking His truth, the real truth, to my heart.

 

Look at the situation from your parent’s perspective.  If your parent is a narcissist & you aren’t, this can be kind of tricky, but I encourage you to try it.  It will show you the depths of their dysfunction, which will help you to understand that you aren’t the problem.  For example, my mother has always had problems with my looks.  I look absolutely nothing like her, but instead look like my father’s family, in particular my grandmother.  Looking at it through my mother’s eyes, I can see how this is a problem.  My mother told me she assumed I would look like her when I was born, but I didn’t.  She hates her in-laws, all of them, & here I am, looking like them instead of her.  Her mother in-law to boot!  Does that mean it was OK for her to be so hyper critical & cruel to me about my looks?  Of course not.  But, understanding that showed me that I’m not the repulsive, ugly creature she always treated me like, & my mother has problems to treat me that way!  In fact, my grandmom was a beauty in her youth, so I consider it an honor to look like her.

 

Accept the fact that your parent isn’t capable of loving you in a normal, healthy way that a parent should love a child.  This one is hard & very painful, but you need to do it.  If you don’t, you might cling to the hope that she’ll change.  Instead, you’ll constantly be disappointed that your parent didn’t treat you better this time when you saw each other.  Your parent not changing has nothing to do with you- no one can make another person change.  Instead, it has everything to do with your parent not wishing to change, to be emotionally healthier.

 

Talk about your pain.  Pray.  Talk to a trusted friend or relative.  Write in your journal.  Get the hurt & pain out of you so it doesn’t poison you.

Be prepared- you may feel anger that you’ve never felt before.   The more you heal from narcissistic abuse, the more you see things through a healthier perspective.  That means that what was once normal for you suddenly you see as incredibly dysfunctional or abusive.  This is going to make you angry.  I started getting angry at my mother a few years ago for ordering me around like I was her personal slave rather than asking me to do thing for her.  All my life, that was just how she was.  No biggie.  Once I got much healthier, I realized I deserve better than to be bossed around so disrespectfully, & it made me very angry.  As the anger rises up in you, don’t be afraid of it.  Don’t ignore it, because it won’t just go away.  Find healthy ways of dealing with it.  Talk to God about it.  Vent to someone close.  Write scathing, angry letters that you don’t show to anyone.  Just get the anger out of you!

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Is It Good To Understand Those Who Hurt & Abuse?

I recently read something on Facebook.   It said, “A mark of maturity is when someone hurts you, trying to understand the person rather than get them back.”  I thought it was an interesting quote, but others commented differently.  They said things like you shouldn’t waste time thinking about such things.  People who hurt you are evil & you don’t need them in your life.  The Bible says not to be in relationship with evil people, so when someone hurts you, you need to get them out of your life.

 

While the Bible does say we shouldn’t be in relationship with evildoers, not everyone who hurts you is evil.  When my husband comes home from work after a bad day & snaps at me, does that make him evil?  No!  That makes him someone who is very frustrated & not thinking clearly at that moment.  If I didn’t understand that, on the rare occasion it happens, I’d be filing for divorce rather than giving him some space & forgiving his mistake.  Many times when someone hurts you, it is for a simple reason like that.  They just aren’t thinking, that’s all.  They aren’t necessarily trying to hurt you.  It’s no reason to end a relationship!  We all make mistakes & accidentally hurt those we love at some point.

 

What about those who deliberately hurt & abuse you?  I think it is beneficial to understand them as well.  Not to excuse their actions, but because it helps you.

 

I have learned to understand my narcissistic parents pretty well, & it has helped me a great deal.  Understanding why they act the way they do helps me to keep a good perspective, to realize as personal as their hurtful actions feel, they aren’t personal- they are a result of their dysfunctional thinking.  Yes, they are deliberately trying to hurt me but it’s not because I’m a bad person, deserve it or have “asked for it” in some way.  It’s because they are incredibly dysfunctional.

 

Understanding them also helps me to remember that they are the ones with the problems.  Growing up with narcissistic parents, you learn that you are the problem.  Whatever goes wrong, it’s your fault, not your parents’ fault.  Once you understand narcissism & your narcissistic parents in particular, you realize it is NOT your fault!  It’s not you, it’s them!

 

If it is impossible for you to go no contact the narcissists in your life, then understanding them will help you to figure out creative ways to deal with them.  Granted, when dealing with narcissists, dealing with them in a healthy way is impossible.  However, you can figure out ways to deal with them that are healthy for you.  Understanding them & leaning on God for help in this area will help you tremendously!

 

Remember, understanding abusers does NOT excuse away their actions or make abuse acceptable.  Nothing does that.  It does, however, benefit you a great deal.

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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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