I’ve just created a Quiz on Migraines! Hope you will try it out!
How can anyone learn how to react to a child who discloses abuse when we as a society still put our hands over our ears when the subject arises?
One-third of all women and 14% of men have been sexually attacked as children. These statistics haven’t changed in decades.
Why not? See remainder of this post Source: DISCLOSURE
I wrote this quote referring to the selfishness of my narcissistic mother. She fails to recall the days of ignoring me, joining in on anything I found enjoyable or excited about or the entire way she treated me. Her abuse had an enormous impact on my life, and I remain in therapy.
Now she is elderly, feels isolated and displaying signs of illness. She questions “Why don’t you ever visit or come over for lunch because it’s lonely every day in this apartment?”. Hmmm, I wonder why?
I finally went NO CONTACT three years ago as I was tired of her never-ending abuse.
While reading this article below, I immediately thought of myself and the difficulties I’ve experienced throughout my life with friends. For me, I believe it’s been a huge trust issue and becoming over-sensitive during many of my friendships.
At times, due to a phone call or an e-mail not being returned, I interpreted this as my mother disregarding me when I was younger, and now friends not giving a hoot about me either. Many other traumatic instances during my childhood came into play, thus losing many friendships.
While rarely mentioned, one common legacy of an unloving mother is the daughter’s diminished ability or total inability to form close and sustaining friendships. This is a significant loss since friendship plays an important role in many women’s lives: our girlfriends are often the people we turn to in times of joy and trouble, when we need company or support, or we just need someone to truly listen.
Unloved daughters often have trouble forging these bonds or maintaining them; the emotional isolation they felt in childhood is often replicated in adulthood when they find themselves with few or no girlfriends, or women they can actually trust.
Why is that? Our mothers are the first females we know in close proximity and we learn, for better or worse, not just what it means to be female but how females connect and relate. As children, we absorb the lessons our mothers model through their behaviors, accepting them as normal—we have nothing to compare them to, after all—and these become the unconscious templates for how we believe women act and relate in the outside world.
Even though we’re unaware of them and their influence, we carry these scripts when we go out into the world as children, adolescents, and adults, and make friends with other girls and, later, women.
The internalized voice of the mother—telling you that you are unlovable, unlikeable, unworthy, inadequate—can become especially shrill when you’re in the company of other women, whether they are neighbors, colleagues, acquaintances or even girlfriends you actually long to be close to.
Gleaned from many conversations, here are four pieces of the maternal legacy that directly affect female friendships.
Lack of trust
A loving and attuned mother models live in a world in which people are trustworthy and that extending yourself—leaving yourself open and vulnerable to another person—has great benefits. The unloved daughter learns the opposite and, even worse because her mother never acknowledges her behaviors, the daughter not only distrusts other people but her own perceptions and feelings.
In friendships, she may be dismissive or wary or in need of constant reassurance and proof that her friend is really on her side. Either way, how she acts—even though she may want and need the friendship desperately—effectively sabotages it.
Absent the validation of self a loving mother provides, unloved daughters have difficulty recognizing what constitutes a healthy boundary; they may vacillate between being overly armored and being much too clingy. While this is partly a result of the daughter’s lack of trust, it also reflects her ongoing unfulfilled need for love and validation. “I think I exhausted my friendships when I was in my twenties and thirties,” one daughter, 48, reported. “It took me a long time to recognize that my friends needed space and that, sometimes, my constant demands for their attention were too much. Therapy helped me see that all I was doing was focusing on my needs without understanding the give-and-take friendship requires.”
All unloved daughters have trouble managing negative emotions—they have difficulty self-regulating and are prone to rumination—and, if their mothers have been dismissive, combative, or hypercritical, are always vigilant and self-protective. A friend’s comment or gesture that wouldn’t even appear on a securely-attached daughter’s radar can be totally misunderstood and blown out of proportion by an insecurely-attached one. These can be small things—an unreturned phone call, a late invitation, an offhand remark—that become triggers and flashpoints.
It’s often hard for the unloved daughter to acknowledge her feelings of competition because the culture tends to look away from or minimize rivalry between and among women. Thinking about sisterhood is so much more pleasant, even though the word frenemy has been around since the 1950s when it was coined to describe politics, not rival girlfriends.
Susan Barash Shapiro’s book Tripping the Prom Queen paints a more realistic picture of the complexity of female connections.
Alas, the loneliness of childhood may be unwittingly extended into adulthood unless conscious awareness is brought to bear on a daughter’s reactivity
I learned this bit of wisdom from my therapist during one of our many sessions discussing my narcissistic mother. She explained it very clearly how a parent has children (plants); she waters some and helps them grow and flourish, yet the others who aren’t so lucky receive less attention and ignored. I now understood how my mother cared and treated my brother vs. myself. Do any of you feel this way?
This is an excellent site flyingmonkeysdenied.com for articles on Narcissism and PTSD.
I found this post “How to Leave a Narcissist: Four key things to expect (step by step)
How to leave a narcissist.
Step one — understand walking away means planning to lose not only their half of the money and personal possessions, but also what they own.
Know they will do whatever it takes to destroy you socially, financially, psychologically, physically, and emotionally — more so if THEY were 100% at fault for the demise of the relationship (not less).
Expect zero help financially, physically, or with moral support; offering closure or remuneration to a victim is something a Narcissist resists, noting that even the process of grief will be interrupted repeatedly in order to make sure a target does not have it.
Step two — Plan you budget based on your own ability to produce income — not theirs.
Understand if you set your budget based on what you yourself can cover that you will never end up short; conversely, if you expect alimony and child support and rely on a dime to pay your bills that you yourself will have given them a highly effective manipulation tool to harm you directly each and every month a payment arrives late or never comes in.
Step three — Prepare to have your heart broken as they will perpetually strive to estrange children, family members, your entire emotional and social support network, and friendship circles from you with bonus points for their own ego if they can throw a home-town very public smear-campaign into the mix. Continue reading
If my parents had of believed me when I was eight years old, I wouldn’t have been in therapy for 20 years healing from the impact of their ignorance.
Thank you, Mom and Dad
My guest poster today is J.E. from her blog “This is My Silence”. (Trigger Warning)
Hello, I am J.E., 23 years old, and a PTSD survivor.
I’m married to a wonderful man who has been my rock and encouragement throughout those days when I didn’t believe in myself, nevertheless, he believed in me. I’m also delighted that I’m a working mother of two children (‘superheroes’), as the joy I see in their faces every day provides me with every reason, now realizing how past abusive years has an enormous impact on your life.
Writing is cathartic for me, and I’m using my healing journey to perhaps healing others. “This is My Silence” is my first blog, and here is my story.
A Little Piece of Me
Typing and deleting, typing and deleting. As I am sitting on my couch, I’ve come to a realization that this is now my second draft and remain struggling with a conundrum. It’s challenging to write about your journey, even though you may have memories floating around inside your head, writing them down on paper (computer) is difficult.
So, Where is my beginning?
I lay my jars of memories around me and search, and peering into each jar I take a moment to remind myself to breathe for a moment after each one. As I continue my search, slowly opening and closing each jar, I come to a standstill, noticing that every single one of these memories speaks my story, but only one conveys the beginning of my life. So I will begin like this:
My guest post today is from Mariah’s blog “Recluse“.
I remember the day I realized that I was in an abusive marriage. I called my mom, who lived 800 miles away blurting out my abuse and fear. I will also never forget how she responded. Mom expressed her opinions and words, and it was if blinders were removed from my eyes.
That was the day I recognized that my husband was violent and things weren’t about to change.
When I was in my first marriage, I was very young. I was 20 when we were married, and I had been with him since I was 17. Needless to say, I was hell-bent on making it work, because I was “an adult now” and that’s what “adults” did. They kept their promises, paid their bills and took care of their responsibilities. Except when they don’t things begin to change.
Soon after getting married, my ex-husband slowly started to show his true colors. Long story short, he was emotionally and verbally abusive, manipulated our finances, was addicted to pornography and video games, had drinking problems, and he had an affair outside of our marriage.
A women-only spa in Toronto, Ontario, Canada took some massive criticism and triggered a social-media outcry last week, that prohibits some transgender women from using their facilities.
On Facebook, a woman stated that she refused to revisit the spa on account that they canceled her friend’s (who is transgender) appointment due to their spa’s policy which states “no male genitals” rule.
The spa explained, “because we are a bathing-suit-optional environment, our current policy is to ensure all clients are comfortable in an environment with nudity, including minors.”
The backlash was extreme from the public, transgender and LGBTQ communities. However, the spa further clarified that it’s a ‘single-sex facility with full nudity, and unlike other facilities.’ They stated they supported these communities, but the spa has policies to adhere to.
This describes me. As a person with PTSD, I always feel “on guard”, and automatically scan a room if it’s a gathering with friends, a crowd of people or anywhere outside my home. Perhaps it’s a trust issue or maybe I don’t ever feel completely comfortable. Does this describe you?
I’ve written many posts about my PTSD (childhood sexual abuse); which was a ‘dirty little secret.’ Have you held on to secrets for years and years?
Recollecting my past, at around eight years old, while my friends and I played in our yard, the predator next door sat on his veranda puffing on a cigarette or repairing whatever under the hood of his car.
I was panicked for them and me, wanting so much to convey to them of the sexual abuse at the hands of this man, yet at the same time felt bewildered.
I had a secret; an ugly little secret, to something that I didn’t cause – or did I?
There was the distressing apology, forced by my parents to blurt out and recite with sincerity to this predator for abusing me. That sincerity was met with confusion wondering how I wronged in the first place. All kinds of feelings swished around: guilt, helplessness, and I was embarrassed.
A 30-year-old man is forcing sex on a child. Would that warrant an apology?
Perplexing also was permitting this predator into our home for Sunday dinners. Were my parents attempting to soothe the predator’s feelings for being wrongly accused?
WHERE WOULD YOU BE IF IT WEREN’T FOR MENTAL ILLNESS?
WHERE WOULD YOU BE IF IT WEREN’T FOR DEPRESSION?
This thought has crossed my mind many times over the years, forever questioning what my life would be like without mental illness.
Beginning in the mid-1990’s, this illness first tossed me into a life of bleak depressive despair, feeling hopeless and helpless, coupled with hospitalizations, countless medications, and ineffective ECTs. With it came a loss of so many things, as well as myself. I found myself apologizing for being ill, but why? Apologizing for an illness?
For one, I kissed my livelihood goodbye. As an accounting supervisor, I had a well-paying position, enjoyed my job and colleagues, and imagined I would have continued with my career with that company.
A misfortune, becoming so ill with depression and hospitalizations, I ultimately lost my job, then hanging on for over two years frantically waiting for government disability to kick in. You discover swiftly to become thrifty.
I thought this was an excellent infographic explaining all forms of PTSD and displaying the horrific impact it has on a person in the future.
This describes my mother well.
Hey, little girl, I saw you with that man
what were you doing, letting him have his way
didn’t you know it was wrong, why didn’t you stop it?
you could have said no, but you still let it happen
what’s wrong with you? how could you not know?
I tried to say no, he was bigger than me
yet he made me feel wanted and special for once
I was his “princess” and he said I “danced like an angel”
and I was invisible to everyone else
even though it hurt, it was worth the warm feelings
that I craved so much, and he granted me so lovingly
but then came anguish and pain
Finally, I did try to tell, but no one would listen
the words came out, yet no words were heard
no one will really know
that my mind and my heart
died back then
I was little and
I didn’t know how to say no
Written & copyright Deb McCarthy/2017
*I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, and it feels so much better to be able to say ‘survivor’ rather than ‘victim’ now.
As an unloved daughter of a narcissistic mother, the cards or flowers I handed to her with ‘love’ throughout the years were given with the expectations and desires that one day she would hug me with love. Giving her a card each year was presented or mailed with a fake smile or strained “Love you always mom.”
She by no means ever deserved a card, lunch or dinner out, and especially a visit when I was an adult. When I moved across the country, there was one year I ‘neglected’ to send a card or call. This resulted in a ‘hissyfit,’ possibly threw one of her notorious tantrums including tears, resulting with my father phoning me, blasting “how could you treat your mother like this?” I can’t recall my reply, but more than likely, I said I was sorry.
A few days passed, and what do I receive in the mail, a multi-page letter from my mother ranting how self-centred I am, this is the way I treat her after everything she’s done for me throughout my life, took care of me, and will sever our relationship now. This was due to not sending a card?
To be honest, I feel jealous of others who have/had a wonderful mother.
So to all of those who are survivors of narcissistic emotional abuse, or never received the kind of motherly care, empathy, encouragement, and love; this post is dedicated to you. You are all Warriors!
Trust was broken
you knew it was
But that didn’t stop your
desire and craving
My hands were tied
above my head
to the bed
Who cares, you thought
I’m getting what I want
This secret between us
no one will know
I’d never tell
because you persuaded me
told me I was lucky and special
to have someone like you
a special person
for protection and care
Trust wasn’t broken
You were was entitled to this
Written and copyright by Deb McCarthy/2017
Presently, I still require individual therapy from my therapist, for she has been the most successful in tackling the secrets and hurts that I’ve been holding onto for so many years. I remain needy to be heard and reassurance from her, so I will continue on for now, and for me at this moment, it’s distressing to consider parting ways, but I recognize that day will come and I will have to prepare myself for it.
How gruelling therapy is in the first place, and yet to be so secure with a stranger, to trust and disclose your most private inner thoughts, secrets, feelings and emotions; a person who listened to you when no one else does or ever did, never criticized, nor judged and was actually absorbed in what you had to say. It’s a reassuring relationship.
Mental illness is surrounded by a glut of half-truths and untruths. If you tell someone that you’ve been diagnosed with, for example, bipolar disorder, they are likely to roll their eyes and say, “I don’t believe it – you don’t look mentally ill…?” What does mental illness look like then?
Which brings me to my question: Do I perchance look like I have Bipolar Disorder? I don’t think I do. Am I perhaps making something out of nothing?
Self-confidence and self-esteem slid into the basement and remained there for too many years. Trudging through the mud, and finally locating a ladder to climb up, rung by rung, I achieved the surface. An awfully scary surface.
This article is wonderful explaining the huge impact emotional abuse and narcissism has on a child growing into adulthood. It’s a bit longer than most of my postings yet well worth the read.
I experienced emptiness during my childhood as a daughter of a narcissistic mother who either ignored me most days or spewed vicious words of criticism and anger. I spent many hours in my bedroom reading, a huge relief from my mother outside my door. Which was worse, being ignored or the vicious words? Either way, I felt empty.
Emptiness: It’s not a disorder in and of itself, like anxiety or depression. Nor is it experienced by most people as a symptom that interferes with their lives. It’s more a generic feeling of discomfort, a lack of being filled up that may come and go. Some people feel it physically, as an ache or an empty space in their belly or chest. Others experience it more as an emotional numbness.
You may have a general sense that you’re missing something that everybody else has, or that you’re on the outside looking in. Something just isn’t right, but it’s hard to name. It makes you feel somehow set apart, disconnected as if you’re not enjoying life as you should.
In many ways, emptiness or numbness is worse than pain. Many people have told me that they would far prefer to feel anything to nothing. It’s very hard to acknowledge, make sense of, or put words to something that is absent. Emptiness seems like nothing to most people. And nothing is nothing, neither bad nor good, right?
But in the case of a human being’s internal experience, nothing is definitely something. “Empty” is actually a feeling in and of itself. And I have discovered that it is a feeling that can be very intense and powerful. In fact, it has the power to drive people to do extreme things to escape it.
Also known as Sociopaths, have personality disorders, characterized by their use of charm, manipulation, deception, and lack of remorse for their continual vomiting of cruelty towards others. They tend to ruthlessly plow their way through life, leaving their playing field littered with massive chaos and destruction and they maintain a grandiose sense of entitlement. “They selfishly take what they want, and do as they please, violating social norms and expectations without the slightest sense of guilt or regret (Robert D. Hare, Ph.D.).”
Because Psychopaths are master manipulators and typically wear cloaks of deceit to mask their true identity, it is often difficult to recognize them, unless you have the great misfortune of living in their household. It is their immediate family members that are able to see the inside of their real world, however, it is the immediate family members who are manipulated the most; and their world of chaos soon becomes their norm.
They include: lonely (often rebounding from a hurtful relationship or not currently involved in a satisfying relationship), financially stable, have good credit, believe in the basic goodness of others, do not consider themselves very attractive or have a lower self-esteem, enjoy helping others, are not street-wise, are typically very nice people, and believe in honoring their commitments.
I have CPTSD (sexual and emotional abuse), and just hearing the word “fake” & “scam” was an enough to cause an actual trigger to my past, coupled with huge anxiety and intense anger.
Yesterday, while sitting in a coffee shop sipping tea and reading a book, two women around 30 – 40 years of age sitting behind me, actually had this conversation. True story. I’ll call them A & B.
A –Do you believe in all of this PTSD shit?
B –I don’t know what to think sometimes. I do know a co-worker who’s sister is going to therapy for it, I don’t know what exactly for, but she just said something that happened to her when she was young and has PTSD now.
A –Do you think it’s for real, or is she looking for attention? How old is her sister?
B –I think she’s in her 30’s, not sure. It’s something about molestation or something, I didn’t want to ask and be nosey.
A –Yeah right, like she can remember things that happened when she was a kid!
B –Well it’s her business
A –I’m just asking because I saw a show last night showing how some men in the military and some police are actually faking having this PTSD, just to collect disability. Some of them have collected $100,000.00, what a shame when people that have an actual disability need it.
And, their discussion continued……..
PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, rape, or other violent personal assault. PTSD is a real illness that causes real suffering. (source: psychiatry.org/ptsd) Continue reading
“PTSD can drastically impact a person’s ability to communicate and connect with others, truly interrupting their lives and preventing experiences of joy,” says Joe Bienvenu, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “This is why our findings are important and why it’s so critical that we continue to research ways to prevent PTSD.”
Similar research was done in years past, but there was much less data at that time. “We now have a larger data set to review and learn from,” says Ann Parker, a fellow in the Johns Hopkins Medicine Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. “These data could help us develop better prevention methods for ICU-induced PTSD.”
Through a systematic literature review, the research team looked at 40 studies of 36 unique patient cohorts with a total of more than 3,000 patients who survived a critical illness and ICU stay. The researchers excluded patients who had suffered a trauma, such as a car crash, or brain injury because those patients’ cognitive and psychological outcomes can be affected by the injury itself, rather than the critical illness/ICU stay. They found that the prevalence of PTSD in the studies ranged from 10 to 60 percent.
More on this article @